Tom Brophy and Larry Brownstein were getting up every morning at an obscene hour to get in to the Jewish Community Center kitchen before the rest of the world rose. With them, they'd bring bags and bags of green kale, fresh from the farm. They'd dehydrate the kale and package it for sale at 13 stores and markets across the state including the new Elm City Market in New Haven and Brookside Farm Stand and Amity Meat in Woodbridge. Their product, called Tasty Kale, is also available for sale at the Bethany Farmer's Market.
Tasty Kale chips come in five different flavors, one discovered by accident, according to the company owners. Zing Zang Tasty Kale happened when maple syrup was accidently added to oregano, turmeric, paprika, onion and garlic. Brownstein says Zing Zang is being sought by people with cancer since turmeric is said to have healing qualities.
Other flavors are: Za’tar Tasty Kale, Curry Tasty Kale, Garlic Tasty Kale and Sweet Tasty Kale.
The idea came from Brownstein's daughter, who has a blog called Always Snacking. She asked her dad to take pictures for it of what she was taking out of the oven. He photographed dried kale and then he sampled it. He bought a dehydrator and started making his own. Brownstein's trainer at the Jewish Community Center started eating the kale and passing it out. Tasty Kale was born. Brownstein, who owns Amity Insurance and Financial Services, teamed up with Tom Brophy, a web developer who works from an office - and soon to be production center for Tasty Kale - on Lunar Drive.
Tasty Kale had a moment of notoriety in the fall when the product was featured on NPR’s Food Shmooze program with Faith Middleton, who loved the product.
The business has outgrown the kitchen at the Jewish Community Center and earlier this month, Woodbridge gave the gentlemen permission to run the production efforts out of a Lunar Drive office.
“We just had a re-order from Fairway Market in Stamford,” Brophy said. A re-order is big in this business. Now from their new location, they'll be able to produce even more Tasty Kale.