How Howard Allen created the Maroon Sausage Company
In 2014, a dialogue between Howard Allen and Lloyd Porter sparked the interest in launching a jerk chicken sausage product. They realized there were other jerk chicken sausages available in the market, but they thought they could do a better job.
Howard started working on the recipe the following year and then secured a spot at the Smorgasburg in Brooklyn Bridge Park, a weekly open-air food market that spring.
He spent a few years doing events to market his brand and product and listening to consumer feedback. After gaining the product experience and exposure at Smorgasburg food market, he took the initiative to package his sausages into stores in 2020.
The name of his company is Maroon honoring the Maroon people of Jamaica who created the flavor that we refer to today as Jerk.
Who are the players behind your product?
I’m the creative force behind Maroon Sausage Company. The Maroon brand is centered around African-Caribbean culture and cuisine so the sausage flavors that we are developing will be a reflection of that. I develop them myself. Financially the company began with the help of family and friends.
What aspect of the food manufacturing business do you find most challenging?
The most challenging aspect of the business is getting the attention of distributors. The stores may be interested, and the consumer may want the product but the distributors are very key to getting into stores at a regional level.
When did you start making this product?
I developed the recipes in 2015 in my apartment in Brooklyn. Tweaked the recipes for mass production and scaled up for CPG mode in 2020.
Where can we find your products?
Currently, you can purchase Maroon Sausage Company products in Brooklyn at:
The Greene Grape – Fulton St
Wholesome Farms – Fulton St
Food Town – Vanderbilt Ave
Lincoln Market – Fulton St
Lincoln Market – Lincoln Rd
Key Foods – Cortelyou Rd
Brown Butter in Bed Stuy
Harlem Hops in Harlem
Griot Cafe in Jersey City
We will reopen the online store this summer for national distribution.
Why should anyone buy your products?
People often say that we’ve raised their expectations of what sausage can be. Our focus isn’t to make lots of SKUs. We want to be the best at what we do by being very attentive to the details of the flavors we create. If you’re the sort of person looking for a new culinary experience, you can rely on us.
How many employees do you have?
I’m the only full-time employee at the moment. However, we’re currently creating job descriptions for new positions in Brooklyn, NY, and Accra, Ghana.