As Link Lab Artisan Meats enters our 4th year of business, I’ve been doing some big thinking about the company. Our sausage and bacon products have found steady customers all around the state, business continues to grow, and customer feedback is as positive and flattering as ever. Thanks for that! Creating and running this company has been an exciting and very rewarding adventure. But…..(uh oh, here it comes), I’ve decided to wind things down and stop sausage and bacon production.
Link Lab is closing, and February 2014 will be our final month of business.
Link Lab has developed to a point where we need to either grow substantially, or pull back substantially. And frankly, I don’t want to run a facility that is exponentially larger than what we currently have today.
During the past several years running Link Lab, I found an amazingly supportive audience of customers, partners, and friends who continuously assured me that “supporting our amazing local farmers….via great sausage” was not only a worthwhile mission, but also a model that should be repeated and emulated more often in the food-world. The farmers, chefs, and retail business owners I’ve worked with all clearly share my passion for thoughtful food production, and thoughtful food consumption. The story and details behind the source of our food does not have to be a mystery as it is too often. We’ve slowed down the manufacturing pace, proudly ensured an unreasonable level of transparency into our processes and recipes, and always used local farmed meats as the core of our sausage and bacon products. While shutting down Link Lab may sound disappointing to some, this story will end on a strong, healthy, and positive note. I feel so good about the work I’ve done, the people I’ve met, and the statement I’ve made to the food industry (and the USDA) that thoughtful and responsible food production by small business is not only important, but very possible. I don’t know if I’ve blazed a trail, but if it helps a few other food producers support local farmers and bring great products to market, than it can’t be all bad. Right?
The whole Link Lab journey has been an amazing ride, and I am wrapping things up while the entire experience for everyone (customers and me) is so genuinely great.
There have been a tremendous amount of people who have joined me for the Link Lab adventure, and I thank you all for your involvement, encouragement, feedback, and support. I have a lot more to say and share with this community, and writing a book will likely be one of several next steps. There are a lot of stories to tell, recipes to share, and plenty of amusing food-safety and government meat-inspection anecdotes that are genuinely worth documenting and sharing. Stay tuned for details about my next steps.
Thank you again for your ongoing support of Link Lab and of the work I did here.
All the best,