Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Ryan Farr, founder and CEO of 4505 Meats, explains how this image represents his business.
At 4505 Meats we want to change the way consumers buy and eat meat. With a commitment to sustainability and whole animal utilization, we provide high quality, delicious food options, and strive to make them accessible to everyone. We want to be more than a restaurant you love or a snack on your road trip – we want to be known for making food that does more than just feed you.
As a professionally trained chef and butcher, I always felt bad about the amount of waste in traditional butchery. 4505 Chicharrones came about because I sought a way to use normally discarded pork skin, and began making the first batches in my home kitchen. In 2009, with immeasurable help from family and friends, I founded 4505 Meats as a whole animal meat company in San Francisco.
In the beginning, we had one singular product of meaty deliciousness: the mighty Chicharron. I sold bags of them to local bars, shared them with my friends and family, and quickly found they were a big hit. That soon grew to getting them on the shelves of local stores in San Francisco. Now they're available nation-wide and are still made from humanely-raised pigs from small family ranches.
Building on the success of our chicharrones, we decided to open 4505 Burgers & BBQ in San Francisco in 2014. We wanted our restaurant to be a place where people could sit down with friends or strangers, get their hands dirty, and eat delicious food that doesn't make a mess of the environment. We are uncompromising in choosing our ranch partners and ingredients, and everything that makes it to the plates we serve is responsibly- and humanely-raised, and most importantly, delicious.
4505 Meats also makes quality food more accessible to all through Feed the Pig, a philanthropy program that partners with local non-profit organizations to give back to the community and improve the lives of children and families through food. As 4505 Meats grows, I will maintain my commitment to whole animal utilization, sustainability and community as I always have.
This photo is a great representation of 4505 Meats: We view our chicharrones as an all-natural product you can feel good about enjoying while making memories with loved ones. These "crispy clouds of porkaliciousness" are an elevated version of a snack you might have formerly only found at convenience stores, but we believe they should be enjoyed during special occasions beyond a stop for gas on a road trip. Made with all-natural ingredients found in a kitchen, not a food lab, 4505 Chicharrones are the perfect high-protein snack to bring along on a camping trip, on a hike, or to a party or backyard barbecue.
Many people still shy away from pork rinds, aren't familiar with them, or believe the misconception that they are just another fried snack lacking nutritional value. A few years ago, beef jerky was viewed the same way before companies started selling culinary-driven, flavor-inspired variations. 4505 Meats wants to be on the forefront of educating consumers on what our chicharrones represent – not only are they a delicious, high-protein, low calorie, artisanally-crafted all-natural snack, but that we as a company are committed to sustainability. We use the finest humanely-sourced pork from small family farms with no added antibiotics or hormones and we season each bag with high-quality, real ingredients you'd find in your own kitchen.
Additionally, it's been great to have the support of Paleo, Gluten-free, and Ketogenic diet communities who have really embraced our products as a go-to snack that they can also feel comfortable sharing with their family and friends because they know exactly what simple ingredients go into their creation.
It's in my nature to always be brewing up new ideas to further build 4505 Meats and really make pork rinds mainstream. However, my amazing team here at 4505 keeps me grounded and reminds me that we first have to get through the hurdle of consumer education, getting our name out there and building the chicharrones category. You'll be seeing more of 4505 and our new creations as we continue to build our brand.
Edited for brevity and clarity by Nicole Fallon.