Prepare for Brooklyn Salsa to be everywhere. That’s what Matt and Rob, the company’s founders, want you to do. The two masterminds behind the brand are working overtime to feed New Yorkers (and beyond) a new kind of salsa – one that goes well on everything from tacos to an entree gourmet meal. Brooklyn Salsa Company has been serving its salsa at our stores all summer and tonight they’ll be joining us for the final INDIE NIGHTS of the summer at our Union Square location. We spoke with them about their history, their flavors and their plans.
BKI:How did the BK Salsa team assemble? Where did you two meet – somewhere super trendy and “Brooklyn”?
BKS:We met in the fall of 2007 sharing a loft in Bushwick. Maybe trendy and Brooklyn now but at the time we were just trying to squeeze by to create at maximum potential. Rob had posted an ad on Craigslist saying he needed a roommate “yesterday,” and so did I. I showed up and we listened to some records and talked DIY punk rock for a few hours and I moved in immediately. The Brooklyn Salsa Company came like a lightning bolt that spring. We’re two guys that approach life sometimes from very different angles, and in terms of combining dual levels of creativity and orchestration, there’s some very real chemistry going on. It was an Organic process by nature. We inspire each other.
BKI: You already have a flavor for every New York borough. How will you introduce new flavors?
BKS: We’re dropping a white label sauce, SLEEPY HOLLOW, for the winter months. It’s designed with Butternut Squash, Coconut Milk, Cinnamon, Oranges and Jalapenos… It’s an amazing salsa. The kind of sauce you can dip bread in, make mashed potatoes with, flavor stuffing, turn into a warm soup, endless possibilities. The great part about Brooklyn Salsa and new flavors is that we are a new generation of salsa makers only interested in original, hybrid, international, multifunction blends that inspire creativity. It’s exciting to consider the kinds of integrative flavors other continents will be getting.
BKI:You claim BK Salsa goes on everything, not just chips and tacos. Is an official BK Salsa cookbook in the works soon?
BKS: Yeah. It’s called POUR OVER EVERYTHING! You won’t even need to read the book. In fact, the book doesn’t even exist. The book is in your mind. Take the Lid Off.
BKI: Does your master plan include opening BK Salsa stores or would you be happy just selling through grocers like Whole Foods?
BKS: We’ve discussed burrito stands and taco trucks in the past. The first thing we ever did to spread the word was deliver late night, organic, vegan tacos to our neighbors around Brooklyn with our 5 boroughs as the only choices on the menu. We’d come home from epic days, start cooking at 6pm, and deliver on our bikes with a crew from down the hall until 3am or so. Intense. Our mission is to bring the flavor and life of New York City with simple, explosive ingredients and that’s what we’re doing right. The master plan is to create new flavors in cities all across the globe using Conscious Methods, meaning Organic, Local and Direct Trade whenever and wherever we are able to. When Brooklyn Salsa launches in LA, we’ll launch new flavors for that scene. When we launch in Paris or Tokyo, same thing. Blends infused with the culture and cuisine of that specific place.
BKI: Does your team ever have Salsa marathons? Like, who can go the longest eating only salsa?
BKS: We created Salsa Power. We get radical. We drink raw egg yokes with cayenne flakes and chew garlic cloves and shotgun beers and practice ancient yoga together. Fun is the main ingredient in our sauce.
BKI:We just recently expanded our headquarters from Fort Greene to DUMBO. Do you ever see BK Salsa moving to a different part of Brooklyn?
BKS:We’re very happy living and working in Bushwick. There’s an inspiring mix of individuals and cultures coming together the way I think people would have looked at SOHO years ago. The warehouse/factory/artist/street vibe is surrounded by beautiful pockets of community gardens and parks. It’s a very historic, very legit neighborhood of Brooklyn.
BKI:Word on the street is BK Salsa is also musically talented. Tell us about that.
BKS: Both of us were creatively musicians before anything else so we like to keep our instruments around to bang on and have a practice space at Monster Island. We play in a band together called Poorsports, which is pretty much the filthiest skate thrash noise punk you’ve ever heard. We play cheap, broken gear and try to smash as much of it as possible at every show. In May when we were manufacturing we recorded an album in a motel at the same time. We’ll put it out sometime in the future. In the meantime you can check out our individual projects: Rob makes live electronic music as The Blue and Red 3D Spectacular and dj’s crunk mash-ups as LEGO CHEWBACCA. Matt’s in a band called CONTRA DRAGON and does ambient solo work under the title [goodnight].
BKI:What else are you doing this summer?
BKS:Everything. Matt just finished filming a lead role in Argentinian director Martin Piroyansky’s debut, ABRIL EN NUEVA YORK, opposite Carla Queveda from THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES. Rob’s playing more and more as LEGO CHEWBACCA. We’re camping and hunting new farmland and swimming in lakes and doing some urban gardening. Once a week we’re catching sunrise waves at Fort Tilden. We’re opening in stores like Whole Foods and Fairway and doing a number of local flea markets. We like to stay busy. SALSA POWER. Get Some.