Connie defined success, explained how we hire, talked about the candles she loves and wondered if you would buy a platter. We talked about East Fork's next chapter and waxed poetic on Harvest Moon (the glaze) and Harvest Moon (the one in the sky). You bought all the Third Wave Mugs in this seasonal beauty of a glaze. Clarissa talked racial equity with CoThinkk and A Blue Ridge Raffle raised $24,100 for the organization. Alex made a pie plate. Donna talked mutual aid with Free99Fridge and gardens, arts and cooking with Katrina Brosan, Cherry took Cherry Pops! out West for a grape harvest, Marissa made us more excellent glaze-inspired playlists, Frederick Bouchardy talked scent and memory, Sara Elise hosted a party, Jenny Rosenstrach shared a salad.
We brought Soapstone out of retirement until October and Harvest Moon season continued. You raised $12,634 in an auction of rare East Fork pots, funds that will get the Buncombe County Benefits Cliff across the finish line. It included test tiles, a massive platter, a wood-fired vase, a mug that looks like brains, a cosmic urchin vase, a wood-fired geometric-patterned platter, a wheel-thrown pitcher and not one but two custom pieces made by our founder and first potter, Alex Matisse. The world learned about The East Fork Effect. We, and a whole lot of East Fork pottery, were there for the first dinner service at Audrey, presided over by chefs Sean Brock and Ashleigh Shanti, who shared this recipe from the dinner for black pepper buttermilk cheese. Alex wedged some clay then threw a pie plate. Marissa shared more tunes to match our glazes and Sam talked Seconds. We fell even more deeply in love with beautiful and iconoclastic French flatware.
Alex talked about vision. Connie spoke about staying true and East Fork’s journey toward creating an equitable workplace. We launched a Black Caucus for our employees. Tony Pearson introduced us to Drip Life and to his designs inspired by East Fork. Ronika McClain courted true love and decadence. Asher (age 9) matched pots to amphibians and insects. We admired some very special shiny objects and ate Shepherd’s Pie made Appalachian. We learned about regional grains, stone milling and natural leavening and then baked a cake. Cherry drank wine with its maker, Patrick Cappiello of Monte Rio Cellars. Joy Douglas shared an inspiring day and her East Fork faves. And Elianah Davi Sukoenig took us to her home and her clay studio.
We achieved B Corp Certification! We brought back Orchard and Peachy Keen. Tony Pearson talked about his label Drip Life and presented East Fork Drip Life t-shirts. Connie gave a tour of her kitchen and talked about big things happening offline. We cooked along with Edna Lewis. James showed off some inventions and Virginia talked shipping. Vera Wu defeated the afternoon blahs and Melissa Solano shared a day in L.A. We put new playlists on Spotify and chatted with Jenni Earle (and went behind-the-scenes on our bandana photo shoot). Cherry drank Kirk Sutherland’s sparkling fruit wine with the winemaker himself and drank more wine with Christopher Renfro who shared his dream of a Black winemakers’ collective. Lisa Flamion got us making new gardens. Two words: Crocs charms.
You got really into Taro, our current seasonal glaze. Our co-founders dished again. Connie advocated for raising North Carolina’s minimum wage. She also shared a favorite product purchased during the pandemic. You asked an East Fork vegan some great questions and Lindsey delivered. Shannon made cauliflower a la niçoise, Erin made potato beignets with romesco and charred scallions and there was also spring panzanella for lunch. Zaynab Issa shared pasta primavera. Cherry got fired up about ferments and hosted Wheeler on Cherry Pops! Elah Hale shared a morning at home and Tara Raani whispered in our ear. We checked in with Sistas Caring 4 Sistas and spoke with Alexandria Ravenel from the YMI Cultural Center, the recipient of the proceeds from our current raffle and our Wealth Reclamation/Seconds Sale. We shared our 2021 Q1 financials.
We brought back Taro pots for the spring season and announced a new recipient for our Seconds Sale/Wealth Reclamation project. We fell (more deeply) in love with vegetables. Connie cooked aloo gobhi with Priya Krishna and the Mississippi Vegan taught us about heirloom carrot salad and food styling. We announced a new vegetable-themed Cook-Along and shared our thoughts on the competition’s jackfruit biryani. Alex spoke about values and vision, and Connie talked about customer demand and ham. Jehanne Dubrow mused about The Mug.
We launched The Coupe and you showed us the first dishes you plated on it. Connie, Alex and John dished on The Dish, Episode #3, and Connie and Alex talked sustainable, humane business. Connie got down with hometown hotdogs, a new house and the dream of a day with no meetings. Clarissa talked with Kelly Carlisle from Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project, recipient of 10% of sales from Pinto pots and pantry things chosen by Samin Nosrat. Cherry’s love affair with wine continued and they talked wine with Bichi. We enjoyed more recipes from Mexico: The Cookbook, making gallina en verde (chicken in green sauce), shaking the perfect margarita, and learning about essential Oaxacan cuisine and moles from there and elsewhere in Mexico. We cracked the code on being more adventurous when cooking beans. Arkeedah McCormick showed us around Atlanta. We mixed glazes and got into a kiln (literally). We wrapped up our partnership with PODER Emma, Q1’s recipient of our Wealth Reclamation/Seconds Sale project.
We maintained our pace for getting pre-ordered pots out the door in four weeks and surprised you with free shipping. We got way into Cooking Mexico and started our latest Cook-Along, based on recipes from Mexico: The Cookbook and whipped up all the Mexican hot chocolate. We showed you how we make The Mug and introduced Karla Valdez from our Mold Shop. We shared the latest in East Fork mask-wearing trends. You received the first of the Pinto pre-orders (don’t you love it?!). You quickly bought all of our Large Ramekins from the Small Batch Studio. We assembled a collection of more things made in limited quantities. You entered our raffle for PODER Emma, which ends March 1st at noon EST. You bought Seconds at our Asheville and Atlanta stores and online, where you first made a donation to PODER Emma. Connie made enchiladas, looked back at running a business in 2020 and ahead to what’s on the horizon. Alex took a (virtual) tour of Anfora’s factory, and we learned more about Anfora Studio and other ceramics makers and their great work in Mexico.
We cut our lead time for order fulfillment down from eight to four weeks on all pottery. We launched Pinto with Samin Nosrat, collected resources for learning about food sovereignty and food justice and we talked with PODER Emma about collective ownership and community as we directed our Wealth Reclamation/Seconds Sale efforts to that Asheville-based organization. Jefferson Ellison had a dream dinner and later took over our Instagram. Our Atlanta store started stocking Seconds and some retired Firsts. We shared our favorite glaze combinations, talked tong marks and then we started eating: we made a seafood tower and beheld the raw power of steak tartare, we re-read Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat from cover to cover then made her Warming Winter Dinner Party menu. You cooked from the book and showed us some feet in our January cooking contest, #saltfatacidfeet.