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Matthew Gallira, Owner of The Atlantic Ave Company

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Andrea Tarr

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Sauce the way your grandma made it! About a year ago, Matt Gallira founded The Atlantic Ave Co., an artisanal sauce company. All products share hand-crafted qualities: small batch sauces start with fresh herb-infused organic extra virgin olive oil, San Marzano tomatoes, Cabernet Sauvignon, and carefully sourced ingredients like hand-made Pancetta and imported Porcini mushrooms. After quitting his job as a financial services recruit in Boston, Matt came home to NJ to make sauce. “... I guess one day I got enough compliments from it that I thought maybe I could do this professionally.” He began by selling gift baskets and jars on Black Friday at the Garden State Plaza Mall. Matt says the problem with sauce in grocery stores is their industrial production. Companies mass produce sauce by passing very hot steam through the ingredients instead of cooking them. But the difficulties of giving artisanal care to large amounts of sauce are apparent. “At a certain point this sauce needs to slow cook for two and a half hours. That’s why no one makes it this way… it’s hard to scale up.” This is the 2nd of a 3-part series on food entrepreneurs. “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed,” said Dave Thomas, Founder of Wendy’s. An entrepreneur is someone who sees an opportunity, sizes up its value, and finds the resources to make it work. Entrepreneurs are typically innovators introducing something new to the marketplace, putting a different spin on a product – and willing to take a risk for their success. Find out from Matt what it took to launch his product. After the interview, check After Hours at Jersey Coastal Live for more info.

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