Everyone appreciates good food, so when good food is accompanied by a good cause, it’s even better. After visiting the Fancy Food Show, Allen learned about The Good Ham Company and reached out to Suzanne Sampietro to learn about how the company combines quality with care.
FP: I definitely enjoyed sampling your ham at the Fancy Food Show! How did the concept come about?
SS: The concept for The Good Ham Company came about through a desire to continue the family tradition of offering quality GOOD products to people that enjoy good food. Also, we have incorporated more unique and health-conscious recipes as you can see on our website – the lentil salad with shaved ham has been a hit with our fans. We started The Good Ham Company targeting businesses for corporate gifts because we felt that ham is such a great gift to receive at the holidays, etc. Also, we wanted to market a brand that gives back on every purchase so the consumer knows that they are getting a good product.
FP: Worthwhile mission, indeed!
Do you cook at home? If so, what are some of your favorite meals to prepare for yourself? What meals do you enjoy most with ham?
SS: I DO cook at home LOTS. I have three children, ages 14, 13 and 11 and we all like to cook in the kitchen. We play Top Chef with their friends and have cooking competitions for the kids. They love it so much and I can tell you my kitchen is constantly in a state of chaos. For my daughter’s 10th birthday, we had a “cupcake war” party where 15 of her friends divided into teams and they had a cupcake bake-off. It was fun and MESSY.
So, we are always being creative in the kitchen. We love to make omeletes with ham and the lentil salad as I said earlier is really a good alternative for using ham. For holidays, we bake ham with different glazes and also it’s just good to have a ham in the fridge for sandwiches. The Good Ham is also good in quiches, etc.
FP: Creativity in the kitchen is key! We love the idea of a birthday cupcake bake-off!
When you go out to eat, name some of your favorite places in the Memphis area.
SS: We love to eat out and love food. In Memphis, my favorite place is Restaurant Iris by Kelly English. The menu is based on New Orleans culinary traditions. Kelly has been a great ambassador for the Memphis food scene and the food scene has boomed thanks in large part to him.
We also like Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman’s restaurants, Andrew Michael’s Italian Kitchen and their more casual place, Hog & Hominy in Memphis. These guys are all doing great things in Memphis showing two distinct aspects of Italian cooking, the refined and the rustic.
I was just in New York and went to The Spotted Pig and was in heaven the entire meal. It is probably one of my favorite places in New York. Some other places in NYC I like are Balthazar, Gramercy Tavern, Locanda Verde and I love the Shake Shack! We don’t have those in Memphis. In February, my friend took me to a quaint little spot in a back corner in Chinatown, Nom Wah Tea Parlor. The food was great and the price was even better. It was really a cool little spot.
FP: We hear the food scene in Memphis is on the rise and we hope to visit soon!
What are some of your guilty pleasures? Kristina and I like to call them foodie pleasures, hence the name.
SS: Guilty Pleasures…I guess the frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity, any type of cheese as I love pasta with heavy cream sauces. I also love red wine.
FP: Couldn’t agree more with your selections!
When you’re not busy operating Good Ham Company, what are your hobbies/interests? What’s a day off like for you?
SS: My hobbies are photography (which I don’t get to do that often but I used to love to take photos when I traveled), I am an avid tennis player and I enjoy hiking and outdoors activities. When I turned 40, I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with seven other women from Memphis. It was amazing and something that I will always remember. We trained for about six months and I am proud that I got that off my bucket list. I also love to read about exotic places and restaurants!
FP: Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, wow!
Thank you Suzanne for your time. We wish you continued success with The Good Ham Company!
To learn more about The Good Ham Company and Suzanne, read Christian Owen’s article in Style Blue Print, which provides a great overview of the company’s history. It also provides a great recipe for Shaved Ham and Kale Salad!