My name is Robert McGee and I cook. I am going to open a deli in Kakaako, with any luck by February 2012. I have financing for most of this endeavor, except for one very important item.....a smoker. This smoker, along with whole animal butchery, will be the cornerstone of our business, so it has to be reliable, efficient and be around long after I am. The reason that the smoker is so important is that we will be producing our own cold cuts! What we want to do is create and brand pastramis, hams and other deli meats using local, humanely raised, free roamin' beasts. Hawaii ships away far too much quality livestock, and imports just as much. It's a recipe for food non-security. I can't change the world, but in this state, we, as a community, can make a difference by buying local whenever possible. Whole Ox deli meats will be me, doing my part. You can help me by donating funds towards the purchase of this smoker.
Most people these days understand the benefits of buying local. You are giving back to your community, you are probably getting fresher ingredients, fuel costs are decreased, etc. Not everybody knows the benefits of whole animal butchery and how it ties into the idea of food security. What it boils down to is this: cold cuts are a very efficient product for using whole animal techniques. Using whole animals is a very efficient way of generating demand for product. It goes back to the idea that ranchers don't raise T-Bones, they raise cattle, so we gotta use it all. I have the skills to make that happen, and if you have an appetite for a sandwich, I think we can make a difference.
$11,000.00, that's the goal. That's the cost of the Alto-Shaam 1767 sk. It's a sweet machine, but not unnecessarily so. This machine will provide us complete control of smoke intensity, heat and duration of processing. It has plenty of production capacity, but is not overwhelming in size. This smoker will allow us to brand a product from the island, for the island. The reason we decided to have a fundraiser for this specific piece of equipment, is to create an investment by the community, towards the community. If we reach our goal, it's simple, we order the unit. A partial success will result in the purchase of a smaller, less efficient model. It's not an ideal situation. Why not just rig a smoker, using inexpensive materials? The big goal is USDA inspection, that's why. It's no easy feat, but it's one small step towards food security in Hawaii.
We know that not everyone has the ability to give, but if you even have the ability to share our cause with others, it will make a difference. This is just one small part of a very big picture. It will take all of us to make a move towards a higher level of food security in Hawaii. We are confident that we are building a solid model. Let people know and you will be making a difference.