Kinderhook Farm, in Kinderhook New York is our most beloved source for grass-fed beef, lamb, pork, and eggs at all of our restaurants and our butcher shop. Lee and Georgia Ranney, Anna Hodson and every one else who run that farm, inspire us in their every effort on the farm, nurturing the land that they saved from development, and caring for each animal as an individual. We are both so grateful for the opportunity to work together to celebrate the hides of each of their animals, by preserving them. We have also branched out to other grass - fed cow farmers in NYS and PA due to demand. Instead of these hides being turned into chemical solvents, or sent to tanneries in China, we are keeping them here in the US so that we can all enjoy local leather.
We are eternally grateful to Sara Grady from Glynwood Farm for connecting us with our tannery. R.E.Meyer & Sons is only 1.5 hours from the city, and they are our partners in every way. We are always learning more about what it means to work with raw hides that were not raised specifically for leather production. Each hide comes in with a whole host of leather flaws, from nicks and scratches, to holes from pests and bacteria. All of these hides we veg tan with natural chestnut tannins and dye with aniline dyes, but some of these hides are so charactered that they require a next step. These special needs hides are brought to a finisher, who smoothes out their damaged spots and embosses a grained pattern onto them. By 'correcting' them, we don't waste them, and the added bonus is that these grained hides are also weather proof.
THE FOLKS WHO MAKE THE BAGS
Mesias Paredes and his wife Patrizia are the magical duo behind the production of our bags. The tannery sends the leather directly to their studio in Union City, NJ, which is right over the Lincoln Tunnel from the chaotic fashion district of Manhattan. Mesias trained as a shoe maker in Ecuador before coming to NYC, and when he set up his studio here he did so with the same simple tools and simple machines that he had used back home. He cuts and sews each and every leather good by hand. We work together to make all of the patterns, and every style. After working together for 7 years, he knows exactly how I like every edge to be finished and every gusset to be turned. All I have to do is scribble a picture on a piece of paper, and talk him thru it, and he returns days later with the exact thing that I had imaged. I couldn't run this business with out him or Patrizia. Just as Kinderhook and R.E. Meyer & Sons are foundational to my work, so are Mesias and Patrizia.