The president of Sonoma Direct Sustainable Meats since 2005, Marissa Guggiana is curating the charcuterie section of Slow Food Nation. A playwright who has had five plays produced in New York and Seattle, Guggiana is also a co-founder of the Secret Eating Society and a leader with Slow Food Russian River.
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The economics of food continue to challenge my values.
On the one hand, I don’t think we really understand what things cost. People ask me why lamb from New Zealand is so inexpensive; well, Kiwis I know tell me that ranchers there are selling their lambs for $10 a head and praying that they can keep their ranches from going belly-up.
Continue reading Cheap vs. expensive food »
Lately I have been thinking a lot about Middleman Pride. As a processor of meat, a driver-around of meat (must I be a distributor?), and a marketer of meat, I am met with suspicion.
What turns me on about being a middleman is that you have this spectacular view of the whole system and the ability to better every part of it, in some small way. But other people — depending on the size of their pick-up truck and their comfort level with a cleaver — see middlemen as a necessary/unnecessary evil.
Continue reading Don’t shoot the messenger »
When my parents bought Sonoma Direct in 2005, I felt more like an innocent bystander than a CEO. The meat business was far from any vision I had of a better tomorrow. I had imagined myself less as a meat maven than as an expat playwright, bringing theatre into a new golden age in my hometown.
Mom and Dad had bought the business from a Dutch man with a metronomic sense of profit and expenses. Meat was the measure of exchange, but it could have been anything. Cheap, imported meat came in by the truckload and was exported as smaller, more expensive pieces of meat.
Continue reading Meat middleman »
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