If you want to make sure about Foustman’s Salami’s dedication to family ties, just look at the name itself. A combination of the married owners Justin and Jessica's last names, Foustman’s prides itself on its partnership with artisans who have been making salami in the Bay Area for four generations.
Jessica and Justin Foust started their salami brand 3 years ago after being in the food business for several years before. Jessica credits her dad as her introduction into the food world, but grew her own wings when she and Justin decided to create their own private label.
Working closely with a small family of salami-crafters, who the Fousts have known for 40 years, Foustman’s started at local farmers' markets, but now visits 6 farmers markets a week and sells in several grocery stores and wineries around the Bay Area.
And it makes sense that Foustman’s has made a name for itself here in the Bay Area. Their salami is dry-cured with no chemicals, nitrates, or nitrites, according to Jessica. Because of their no-chemical policy, USDA labels their salami as “uncured,” but Jessica assures that their salami is dry-cured with natural salt and celery juice powder.
Foustman’s also hosts alternative meats and flavors in order to make their salami unique and diverse. For example, a lamb and garlic salami made with humanely and pasture-raised lamb and Gilroy garlic, a turkey salami, a beef salami made with hormone-free, vegetarian-fed beef, and classic pork salami in numerous succulent flavors.
To create these flavors, Jessica said they are always looking for the best, local ingredients. Therefore, they work closely with California farms and incorporate beer and wine from local breweries. They are also currently on the way to creating a line of organic salami.
Of course, I had to ask the salami connoisseur what her favorite ways were to prepare her salami. “Of course it’s a perfect charcuterie snack,” Jessica said. “I also like to put our pepperoni in scrambled eggs.” She goes on to describe a wonderfully appetizing tomato sauce with the pork, fennel, and pepper salami, which you can throw over some pasta with cherry tomatoes and basil, and a homemade pizza topped with the pepperoni, olives, and mint.
Though Foustman’s have lost a chunk of sales due to the cancellation of local food festivals, Jessica said they’ve been lucky to survive so far as a small business because of an increase in online sales. Clearly, more people are turning to online produce shopping, which in turn aids small local businesses in surviving through the pandemic.
The support of the community ties in well with Foustman’s commitment to the community — one of their goals is to supply good, quality food that can bring people together.
“Overall we wanted to build a family business, create independence, create a business that could be a part of our community, and a product people can enjoy together,” Jessica said. “Food is fun!”