By Aimee Millwood
To our sexy male readers: Interested in indulging in some Honey Lavender BBQ sauce from an old mining camp in Colorado; or maybe you want to impress your lady with some Jack Rudy Tonic crafted from quinine concentrate, lemongrass, and orange peel? Then meet Mantry, the “modern man’s pantry” and food-of-the-month club that rounds up gourmet grub from the corners of America and delivers it to doorsteps around the country.
Mantry came into being after co-founders Reggie Milligan and Kyle Zien noticed talented food artisans were not getting shelf space at supermarkets. They created Mantry as a way to connect small-batch products to male consumers who don’t have a lot of time to focus on food, but care about eating well.
In the beginning, Reggie, a former French Laundry employee, says the project was “pretty run and gun,” delivering Mantry’s first orders from the back of a car. Since those early days, Mantry has grown significantly, purchasing and sending more than $250,000 artisan food products just in the last year.
Mantry’s concept is simple: each month, they debut a new themed wooden crate – which are also made in America – filled with full-size, hand selected gourmet products, and a custom “Manual” that includes recipes and the story behind each item. For $75 a month subscribers can have some of America’s most delicious gourmet foods delivered straight to their home.
Past boxes included themes such as “Craft Beer Belly,” “Bourbon Breakfast,” and “Breakfast With Pops,” incorporating products such as curry-infused salami, tamarind granola, dry-cured chorizo, and tomato sauce made by an Italian grandmother.
“Maybe it’s learning a bit about a state like Georgia’s food culture or makers using Bourbon,” Reggie says. “Our goal is to keep pleasantly surprising people with great products and stories.”
Mantry boxes celebrate the modern American man in his many forms – from the rugged (Into the Wild) to the refined (Italian American Picnic) – but this modern man’s pantry isn’t just for guys.
“The more people having fun and learning in the kitchen, the better,” Reggie says. “Cooking is really a social skill, even knowing one or two dishes can go a long way.”
To encourage people to try their hand in the kitchen, Mantry includes recipes in each box and on the company’s website. The creative takes on classic dishes show anyone how to whip up a Bacon Bloody Mary or Mole Negro Shredded Chicken.
While Mantry currently only ships to the United States and Canada, keep an eye out for Mantry’s UK edition, which will be released soon.
About the Writer
Aimee Millwood is a writer with wanderlust who currently lives in Hanoi, Vietnam. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she received her BA in Literature with an emphasis in creative writing. She believes everyone has a story to tell and is interested in the use of personal narrative to give voice to people whose stories are not always heard. She credits growing up in both Hawaii and Georgia with her constant desire to explore the concept of home and how places shape who we become. Although she has spent the past two years traveling in South America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, she believes a physical trip is not the only means of travel – at times, just the wind on your face during a long drive or the scent of a campfire can rejuvenate the soul. You can check out more of her work on her blog, www.stopdroptravel.com.