We’re taking a big step today at Clover. We’re going to serve a meatball sandwich that for many of you may be the best meatball sandwich you’ve ever had. Not a meatball that is “meatball-like” or “almost as good as a meatball.” We’re going to serve something that will be impossible for you to distinguish from meat, and like I said, for some of you will be the best meatball you’ve ever eaten.
And we’re not sure if it belongs on the Clover menu.
David Lee from Impossible Foods called me a few weeks ago asking if Clover would be willing to partner with them for the New England launch. We were honored but a bit unsure.
I’d met David (COO of Impossible) when he was in Boston a couple of years ago, he announced himself as a fan of what we’re doing and introduced me to Impossible. I’d been following Impossible in the news so I knew a bit about them and since then I’ve learned a lot more. About a year ago when I was in SF with Chris and Ethan we stopped by the Impossible headquarters, talked to David, and Pat (Founder of Impossible). These are good people who have dedicated their lives to the same things we’re working on. And we got to touch and smell and taste the product. We had little burgers cooked in a fry pan atop a portable butane burner. We’d never seen anything like this. It smelled like meat cooking. It browned. It looked like meat. It got us all talking.
So how does this fit in? Our goal at Clover is to help meat lovers become vegetable lovers. We do that through working with farmers to get you the most delicious vegetables. That’s what we do. So how does this fit in?
To be honest, I’m not sure. I talked to Impossible about this. I’ve had some conversations with Jamie Bissonette about Impossible and idea of a collaboration. I wondered whether it would be fun to do a spin off or something that was burger only, maybe a 1 beef burger and 1 impossible burger on the menu. I wasn’t sure if Clover had the credibility for a burger or if it would be good for our brand.
When David Lee called I told him I thought if we were going to do something within Clover it would have to be a meatball, not a burger. And I wasn’t sure they’d be up for that. After checking with the team David got back to me with an enthusiastic YES. So we’re on.
Like most of what we’re doing at Clover we’re cutting a new path. There’s a lot of self doubt and uncertainty involved with trying things for the first time. But I think this could be amazing, for us, for you, for Impossible, for the planet. So we’re diving in.
You can help us. Talk. Tell us what you think, share your reactions. Does this belong on our menu? It’s your menu as much as it’s mine. What do you think of that question? Try it. Tell us what you think. Is this something you’re going to dream about? Are there friends that may not have come to Clover in the past but will try us now that we have the best meatball sandwich?
Meatball Sandwich (Impossible Burger) will be an item on the CloverHSC and CloverHSQ menus starting Friday (9/22/17). We’re working with Impossible to ramp up supply so that we can get it at all of the Clover restaurants in the future.
EDIT: Tonight’s talk with Impossible founder Pat Brown is sold out, but you can still try the meatballs tonight from 4:30-6pm at Harvard Science Center!