Ton Ton’s Artisan’s Affections
Located in a rent-a-kitchen in Talent, Oregon, Michael Antonopoulos ran a two-man ship when we made a trip to talk with him about his artisan affections.
He specializes in locally sourced, organic foods. He and his co-worker Erik were in this tiny kitchen; Michael was pleasantly going about his day while going back and forth between the boiler and the mixing machine as Erik chopped ingredients by hand.
Ton Ton’s offers three flavors of fresh hummus, grain free cookies, which are presently the first of its kind on the market, and a line of roasted chickpeas, which they call “Snackers”. Other gluten free recipies that are coming soon are pitas and crackers that go hand in hand with the hummus, seasonal fruit and veggie turnovers as well as cakes and pastries.
Local to Ashland, Michael says what drew him to Talent was the kitchen that he could rent out. He also said that being well received in the area makes him want to stay local to the area, but he soon wants to expand nationally.
He has maintained a presence throughout the Rogue Valley farmer’s markets and has made himself known through word of mouth to promote the brand. Sales at farmer’s markets have given Ton Ton’s a direct feed and interaction with the community. The feedback he has gotten as established a sense of loyalty and strong support system for the business.
Michael’s plan of action to being his expansion process includes co-packer in Portland. He plans to ship his hummus there to be post-production high-pressure pasteurized (HPP), which will destroy any bacteria or microbes. This will extend the shelf life, easing their distributing capabilities.