Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2018

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1017167

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Page 37 of 91

Nick Mendoza, founder and CEO, OneForNeptune N ick Mendoza is a former marine scientist whose career took him around the world on the ocean. It may be surprising to learn, then, that his idea for launching a sus- tainable, nutritious, and f lavorful fish jerky product came to him while working on a cattle ranch. Mendoza founded OneForNeptune, which makes jerky from white fish, after he had left his career in marine research and had begun looking into making beef jerky from his grandparents' cattle ranch in New Mexico. The lure of the sea called him back to what has become his life's mission, however. "I always pictured myself working to improve the big issues in the ocean," Mendoza says. "I found myself here out of a desire to address these issues in seafood that I had toiled over as a marine scientist." Mendoza sold some of the cattle to buy a commercial dehydrator and began experi- menting with some seafood varieties that he knew to be both sustainable and plentiful, and eventually settled on a white fish that yielded strong results in taste and quality tests. Together with co-founders James Coop and Garrett Delgado, Mendoza is gearing up for retail distribution. In the meantime, 18,000 packets of the product will be available through the Snack Nation subscription service. Looking ahead, Mendoza says he sees a lot of untapped opportunity in the world's oceans. "There's a laundry list of maybe 100 seafood items and species that we could poten- tially develop great products from that are high in minerals, protein, etc., that have yet to have a presence in the U.S. market," he says.—M.H. Mohammad Modarres, founding director, interfaith Ventures and founder, Abe's Meats M uslims and Jews harmoniously sharing a meal—as well as anyone else who wants to break bread—is Mohammad Modarres' mission. Last year, he founded Interfaith Ventures, an incubator that promotes religious unity and dialogue through inclusive events. He also began the development of Abe's Meats, which follows both kosher and halal dietary laws. "In 2016, after the presidential election, there was a massive wave of bigotry and hate, anti-Muslim sentiment," he says. "I wanted to invite all my Muslim and Jewish friends over for dinner together." To find out a way to do it on a much bigger scale, he moved into his VW van and traveled up and down the California coast, gathering ideas from ranchers, food experts, and religious leaders. The momentum led to the TED Talks' TED in-house residency program in New York City, which helps incubate breakthrough ideas. Modarres was able to further explore how to make faith-based meats more accessible, promote regenerative agriculture techniques, reverse soil erosion, and help small-scale American ranchers and farmers. Modarres now hosts a series of large Shabbat Salaam interfaith dinners in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York City, all of which have sold out. An observant Jew oversees the kosher process, and there's always a separate kosher kitchen. A Muslim certifier makes sure the animals have been sacrificed in a way that's acceptable. Abe's Meats is not a brick-and-mortar operation: It's more about rigorous sourcing of poultry, goat, and even black-bellied ram. In these very divisive times in America we're setting up an infrastructure so we're better positioned for peace-building," he says.—J.B. Age: 28 Age: 30 FALL 2018 35

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