Bringing home the bacon; Lessons from young entrepreneurs

By Kurt Yalcin

It’s not everyday your tongue takes a shit.

For Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, the day came when he decided to dip a sausage wrapped in a bluberry pancake into a jar of Bacconaise Lite. After attempting to take a bite of his concoction on the show, Stewart spat it out and said, “I think my tongue just took a shit.”

The tongues of partner “baconpretreneurs” Justin Esch and David Lefkow were saying a lot more than shit that night. For a company which uses online social networking sites and regular media coverage as its sole marketing strategy, The Daily Show coverage seemed irrevocable.

But baconnaise and the other kosher and vegan bacon flavored products J&D sell are a testament that no press is bad press. A year has past since the night Stewart’s tongue shat, and Justin Esch, 31, says his company is as profitable as ever.

Although Esch and his partner have decided to withhold the companies earnings for 2009, the two did boast a $1.4 million profit in 2008, just one year since the launch of their first website,

Now, baconsalt and J&D’s other bacon products are all over the web. The two have created profiles for their products on facebook, myspace, and twitter and even maintain a blog at

And baconsalt is just as prevalent on the grocery store shelves as it is on the web. The products are shipped from a packing company in Seattle, to a grocery division of Kroger, America’s largest food distributor. Esch and Lefkow’s next stop is to distribute with Target.

Esch also joked about adding a bacon flavored sex lube to the bacon repretoire, which already includes baconsalt, the company’s first product, bacon sunflower seeds, bacon popcorn, bacon lip balm and bacon envelopes. Whether true or not, the prospective new product did garner great media coverage.

And it is one step closer to Esch’s motto: “Everything should taste like bacon.”


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