|Founder||Abraham Kamarck, Ed & Ryan Mitchell, Vanessa Jaikaran|
|Press Contact||Abraham Kamarck|
Ketchup was ruining dinner. Our founder knew ketchup has more sugar than ice cream, but his kids poured it all over their food anyway. So, he decided to make his own. Abe went back to how his mom and grandma cooked and sweetened his ketchup with nothing but flavorful fruits and veggies. Even the pickiest eater was asking for more. He then partnered with legendary Pitmaster Ed Mitchell to craft high flavor, low sugar barbecue sauces. Together, they’ve returned American barbecue to its real food roots. With an insatiable appetite to bring back delicious, traditional, and healthy ingredients to the table, True Made Foods is revolutionizing condiments for good.
Our founder, Abraham (Abe) Kamarck, a native of Washington, D.C., grew up with a Southern Italian cooking influence on his mom’s side and Southern Virginian cooking influence on his Dad’s side. After graduation from Vanderbilt University, he spent eight years in the US Navy as a Seahawk helicopter pilot before earning his MBA at the London Business School. Abe then launched a career in emerging markets, living and working in places like Bulgaria, Ghana and Qatar. In 2013, Abe and his family returned to the US and he was hired as the Director of Innovation for a charity and tasked with launching a direct trade Ugandan coffee with social impact. This experience introduced him to the food industry, and in 2015, Abe decided to tackle a problem that was plaguing his own dinner table - his kids copious use of ketchup or "red corn syrup" as Abe called it. Abe wanted his kids to eat a healthy diet full of veggies and without added sugars, but he was not going to give up the family grill (or smoker). Thus the use of ketchup by his four kids became a constant losing battle at the dinner table, so Abe decided to win the war and create a better ketchup.
Abe and his family have always loved the history and regionality of BBQ. After living overseas much of his adult life, Abe understood that BBQ and BBQ tradition was core to American culture and likely the only true American cuisine. But what was happening in BBQ drove Abe crazy. Skill and tradition were being replaced by sugar and corn syrup. Regional traditions were being washed over by big brands selling the same junk. How skilled a pitmaster do you have to be when your main ingredient is sugar? American BBQ had lost its way and was drowning in sugar.
But Abe knew he could not save BBQ alone. At best, he was a BBQ fan-boy, not a pitmaster. He needed help. So Abe did his research and one name always came back up - Ed Mitchell, from Wilson, NC. It is through either dumb luck or perhaps divine intervention that the Mitchells ended up partnering with True Made Foods. It took one email and one long phone call to kick off the partnership.
The first time they spoke, Ed was being wheeled out of VA hospital by his son and Pitmaster, Ryan Mitchell. Ed had just been diagnosed as pre-diabetic and had decided to take a hard look at the ingredients and food culture around BBQ and in his family. Type 2 diabetes was now common in Eastern North Carolina, where Ed is from, and also common in his family, when a generation ago, it was unheard of. Abe's proposal to make True Made Foods a vehicle for returning BBQ to its roots and removing sugar hit home.