To some, Empire Mayonnaise may seem like a risky business.
The Brooklyn-based company is devoted entirely, as its name would suggest, to a single condiment.
But the business has grown slowly and steadily over the past year—graduating from flea-market stalls to e-commerce and national shipping.
This success story supports our hypothesis: Once-divisive mayonnaise is now cool again.
Restaurants are serving from-scratch aioli next to everything from croquettes to fries, and mayonnaise-based “salads” like pimento cheese are more popular than ever.
Empire Mayonnaise Co., then, is both a product of and a catalyst for this mayonnaise moment. The shop, run by chef Sam Mason and designer Elizabeth Valleau, focuses on new renditions of the classic eggy sauce; jars with such flavors with black garlic, saffron and walnut are on offer.
But this is no hipster’s Hellman’s. First, the condiment is delicious and a springboard for meal enhancement. Try the walnut version with steak and the lime-pickle iteration with seafood.
Second, the stuff is made with fresh eggs, so although it has a limited shelf life, it tastes like the real deal.
Some businesses are worth the risk.