When I became the CEO of Roland Foods more than five years ago, there was so much history and opportunity within the brand. The Scheidt family, along with many dedicated employees, had based a business on relationships formed before a distressed departure from Europe, and those connections not only saw them through a new life in New York City, but also became seeds for growth once they arrived. I spent my first few years at Roland Foods focused on future development to maintain our company’s success while also respecting its history.
The past 18 months of my tenure, however, have brought about the most change. While we have continued to find the greatest suppliers and ingredients for our customers, we have also been inspired to ensure that our brand expresses our foundational love of food and all the possibilities that unfold during a meal. We modified our logo and website and resurrected our vintage labels—choices that both honor the history of our company and reflect who we’ve become so far. We have focused our community efforts on work with organizations across the country that empower at-risk youth and adults to pursue culinary careers. You may have noticed Roland Foods’ acquisition of Albert Uster Imports, Inc. This growth in our family expands our offerings to chefs and home kitchens far beyond our current catalog to include high-quality pastry and a variety of exciting confections.
We are networkers, we are curators, we are bridge builders, and we are risk takers. Most important, though, we are enamored of the culinary world. Altogether, our history, our interest in the future of food, and our love of adventure and travel fueled the collection of photos, stories, and recipes you see in this first edition of our flagship publication, Larder. We believe in the power of food to open minds and bring diverse groups of people together, and we are delighted to give you a magazine in which adventurous eating unites us all.
In this first volume, you’ll meet a seventh-generation family of Appalachian salt makers reviving an almost-forgotten industry and changing regional tastes. You’ll also learn about a blacksmith crafting coveted new cast-iron cookware and go on a journey across the chocolate nirvana that is Switzerland. Plus much, much more.
We hope you’ll read this issue from cover to cover. We hope you’ll keep it on your shelf or, even better, pass it on to a friend—a chef, an aspiring chef or home cook, or just someone who loves to read about and explore the culture of food. All are welcome at our table. We hope you’ll get as much out of reading this publication as we did producing it for you.
After all, our palates are our passports, and the culinary journey is sweeter together.
Roland Foods, LLC