Recently, BS Brewing had a chance to sit down with internet bacon peddler Scott Kveton, to discuss his new business venture, bacn.com. Read on for ideas on starting your own web business in just 3 weeks with some friends, a garage full of freezers and a passion for salt pork. Or just to drool at the meat porn.
BS Brewing: You’re known for your work with the Open ID project, and seem to have had much success in the web industry. How did you decide to become a bacon mogul?
Scott Kveton: I’ve always been a big lover of bacon. Once Twitter and Facebook started to take off, friends would forward me bacon links which I’d retweet/post which of course perpetuated the whole thing. Next thing I know I’m surfing the web and come across the BS Brewing “Makin’ Bacon” post and the rest is kind of history. I started a website called “BaconGeek.com” and then about 3 months later Bacn.com. When we said we were going to sell bacon on the Internet we basically went from idea to store front in matter of 3 weeks. It all kind of happened really fast.
BS: Bacn.com is a great url … I’m surprised it was still available. Did you just get lucky, or did you have to buy it on the secondary market? Have you tried to secure bacon.com as well?
SK: My partners (@mtrichardson and @jasonglaspey) and I thought it would be cool to have a “Web 2.0” on-line bacon store. The first rule of Web 2.0 is to drop some kind of vowel. We chose the “o”. Turns out the domain was available and Jason’s wife Holly had a great idea on the branding side of it. We looked into the bacon.com domain name but let’s just say this: that’s one expensive vowel.
BS: There’s already a mail-order bacon site out there – what made you decide to get in the business?
SK: There’s quite a few stores out there already but we thought there was still quite a bit of interesting things we could do in the space. One thing about buying bacon on the Internet is you don’t really know what you’re getting. So we try to augment the product pages with pictures and videos as well as good descriptions of the bacon people are thinking about buying. That and our “Bac’n of the Month Club” where we just make sure people can just click a big ole’ “give me awesome bacon” button and have it appear every month. That’s really starting to pickup steam.
BS: In assembling your product list, I’m sure you’ve sampled quite a few. What’s your favorite bacon?
SK: I gotta go with “Scott Ham’s Bacon.”
This is serious bacon and not for the faint-of-heart. Its cured and has a strong, strong smoky smell to it; you can smell the box it ships in when the postman put its on the doorstep. The flavor is out of this
world. Salty, savory and just plain good. This is the perfect bacon to mix into an omelet or salad as you don’t lose the flavor of the bacon.
BS: Have you tried a bacon that wasn’t worthy of being sold on bacn.com?
SK: Absolutely. There is a lot of crappy bacon out there. That was one of the reasons we started the site. Somebody Twittered me and said “You have to try this bacon … drop everything and spend the $40 for 2 package to get this to your house.” Being a total lemming, I did just that. When it arrived a few days later I had this Pavlovian response to taking the package from the mail person. It was akin to something I
would imagine Home Simpson doing. Unfortunately, when I cooked it up, it was awful. It was then that I realized that not everybody knows what good bacon is. After a few months of research, it became clear
that not all good bacon is known. Bacn.com is all about helping us spread the word about the best bacon out there.
(I’ll refrain from sharing the name of the product; suffice it to say we don’t carry it).
BS: You have some great bacon clothing on the site now. Do you design the t-shirts yourself?
SK: We’ve designed a few of the t-shirts but we’ve found that other people are way better at it. Instead of trying to be the wittiest bacon people out there, we instead opt for licensing shirts and designs from other people and offering them on the site. They win, we win and most importantly; people are wearing more bacon shirts than ever.
BS: You were a judge in Bacon Camp in San Francisco. What other bacon honors have you received?
SK: Most likely to die before 40. I kid, I kid.
BS: What was the best bacon dish you tried at Bacon Camp? The worst?
SK: Hands down the best was the Bacone … deep fried cone of bacon filled with cheese scrambled eggs covered with country gravy and topped with a fresh biscuit. Umm. OMG. Good.
Worst? That’s easy, the “bacon brownies” that were inspired (I kid you not) by somebody looking at one of their #2’s in the toilet. “That looks like a bacon brownie!” Let’s just say the judges scored it poorly.
BS: The bacon meme grows stronger every day … What’s the weirdest bacon-related thing you’ve ever seen on the internet or otherwise?
SK: Wow. That’s a toughy. Needless to say, I have to go with the “bacon egg” that was at BaconCamp SF. These guys came out of nowhere and created this crazy ass egg with raw bacon. The process was astounding and everyone was amazed with this thing. Very cool.
BS: Why do you think bacon has achieved such notoriety/infamy? What has it got that ham/prosciutto/jerky doesn’t?
SK: Bacon is the only thing that people put on something else to make it taste better. Ham, proscuitto and all the others are good but there’s just something about the greasy, smoky, salty flavor of bacon that makes everything better.
BS: Ever tried making your own bacon?
SK: Inspired by none other than the BS Brewing blog, I’ve made my own bacon a few times and I love it. I bought a little cheapy water smoker on Craigslist for $20, got the belly at Gartner’s and the rest is history. I love making bacon and am looking forward to doing so a bunch more this summer. I smell a collaboration coming on … :-)
BS: What’s next for bacn.com? Any new products we should be watching for?
SK: We’ve got a whole bunch of new products about to hit as well as a few interesting “other” bacon related things. We’re going to be launching our own brand of bacon as well in the coming weeks so keep an eye out for that.