May 20, 2022

Meet the new CMO

Hi folks. I’m Kiernan. Kiernan Patrick. Kiernan Patrick Schmitt. (I once met the comedian Colin Quinn at a New York City pizzeria and he told me I had the worst name he’d ever heard.)

I just started as Clover’s Chief Marketing Officer, but I’ve been a Clover devotee since 2011. Back then I lived in NYC and worked at an agency called Blue State Digital. My favorite client by far was Ayr’s alma mater MIT, and I’d take any excuse to hop an Amtrak north to see my clients in-person. After 4 hours, I’d emerge from the train seeking hearty food and a good drink, which are in short supply inside South Station. The Clover Food Truck was a welcome beacon—all hand-scrawled signage and pour-over coffees that were worth the wait. (Pro tip: if you’re looking to get a Clover sandwich for your multi-hour return Amtrak trip, ask for the condiments/sauces on the side to prevent unnecessary sog.)

In 2016, I moved back to Boston and “Proximity to Clover” made the list of Pros (alongside “Minuteman National Park” and “Snow!”) In Clover consumption terms, 2016 to 2020 are a blur of egg and eggplants, ginger sodas, and a medically questionable amount of hummus. 

When the pandemic hit, I was one of the first in line at CloverHUB to help the company clear out its fridges—a long line of us idled outside, far apart, in the rain, carrying home flats of eggs and gallons of milk, unsure of when we’d return. Later, when Clover started contactless pick-up, I, like many, rejoiced: finally a reason to leave the house and comforting food for an uncomfortable time. Plus, a way to ensure that Clover survived!

Fast forward to 2022 and the company is back on its feet and then some. All 14 locations are now welcoming customers, and the pandemic even drove Clover to create our at-home meal box program which, it turns out, lots of people really like.

My favorite Clover offering? The Brussels Sprout Sandwich. Oh the Brussels Sprout Sandwich. I’m the most zealous subject that King Brussels has ever laid his cruciferous eyes on. Just to illustrate: last fall, when Clover sent out the email that The Brussels was in its final days, I called out of work, headed straight to Kendall Square, ordered two to-go, and took in the latest Wes Anderson flick while munching away on those gorgeous green goblins.(It’s the hazelnuts; I’m an inveterate sucker for hazelnuts.) Long live the King!

To close out, a few words on “Marketing.” Clover hasn’t had a Chief Marketing Officer before. In fact, there was a time when Ayr and the team thought Clover would never have anything called “marketing.” Personally, I don’t like the word very much and I share the allergy to it. I hate when a company keeps trying to force-feed me products I don’t want and stories I don’t believe. 

But that’s exactly why I wanted to join Clover. The products don’t need “spin” because they’re actually delicious. And when they’re not, they come off the menu. Clover does in fact think through the food’s sourcing, its seasonality, its flavor combinations. We genuinely do listen to and respond to customer feedback. We are sincere in our ambition to tackle climate change through changing the way people eat.

And the stories don’t need embellishment because, since its founding, the company’s been an open book. This blog is proof of that. It’s got an “Our Mistakes” tag for godssake: what other company on earth has that?

So here’s what I promise: Yes our food pictures might get a little better and the website UX might get a little easier to follow. Yes the murals in our stores might get a fresh coat of paint. Yes we’ll be starting a Tiktok. But Clover is not going to suddenly become some glossy, Botoxed fast food company. We’re not going to “market” at you (God, just typing that…) Ultimately I’m here—along with Ayr, Lucia, Jane, Cody and all the others you’ve come to know—to keep you all up to date on the food we’re making, why we’re making it that way, and the impact it’s having on the world.

Recent Posts

March 27, 2024
Every year, just after Valentine’s Day, we start getting the same question in from customers: Will there be a Passover Box this year? Sometimes the pleas are more direct, sometimes more colorful. The glories of the vegetarian Chopped Liver are a common theme. This year, Sarah, an NYC-based friend of mine said she’s spent so much time thinking about the emails describing last year’s box that she’s DRIVING UP TO BOSTON to claim one!
February 15, 2024
We have a new sandwich out everywhere today. It’s a take on a Buffalo Chicken sandwich. We use celery root, aka celeriac, this nobbly, gnarled joy of a winter vegetable. We cut it into planks, batter it with panko, and fry it. We’re getting ours from Norwich Meadows Farm, a farm in NY state that’s known for creating really flavorful organic veggies using a cool irrigation system. 
February 7, 2024
For the week of Valentine’s Day, we’ll be delivering these Making Whoopie (Pie) Kits 😉. They have everything you need to make whoopie pies — more specifically, Chris’ favorite oatmeal cakes with beet buttercream frosting. You’ll also get a scoop for making the perfect size pie, and a roll of sugar cookie dough for more sweet fun.
January 18, 2024
Pull out your plaid and cue up the bagpipes because it’s Clover’s third-ever celebration of Burns Night, an introduction to Scottish food/drink/music/poetry and a reason to raise a glass during this dark and cold month! You may be asking yourself, what is Burns Night?
January 17, 2024
Chances are you’ve tried the new Clover Bowls. We’ve been running them since the Spring. After a few tweaks, we landed on a roster we love: the Mediterranean Bowl, the Verde Rice and Bean Bowl, and a Rotating Seasonal Bowl. The bowls have transformed our menu – Josh, a Kendall customer, recently wrote to us, “The beet poke bowl is the best new item I’ve tried at Clover in years. I love the freshness and bite of the mix of flavors.” We’ve also heard some very good suggestions about how to make them even better…
January 3, 2024
Meet the Veggie Monster Meal Box! Some of you are subscribers to our Friday newsletter about plant-based cooking. Now… that newsletter has spawned a meal box! Pack your fridge with everything you need to make an entire week of vegetable-based meals. Think hearty pot pies; sweet and spicy maple-roasted squash tacos; bowls packed with…
December 20, 2023
New Year’s Eve is no time to be buried in the kitchen, so we pack our NYE Box with Clover fan favorites that come together fast and encourage a night of Finger-Food Feasting. Can you think of anything better than digging into bubbling hot Brussels Sprout Cheese dip on a freezing cold Boston night? Or scooping up our bright nutty Romesco sauce as the clock ticks to midnight?  And our breakthrough Carrot Lox (probably the best thing to come out of our food dev in 2023) will have you resolving to spare more salmon in the year ahead.
December 19, 2023
Stop by Clover today (Tuesday 12/19) and when you order a Brussels Sandwich on the app, we’ll give you $1 off our new chocolate chip cookie! It’s a gift from King Brussels, on his final day in the Clover Kingdom. Use this link to get yours!
December 16, 2023
Are you looking for the perfect gift for a friend who loves Clover? We have online gift cards! You can specify a time that you’d like the card to hit their inbox – and there’s a new feature that lets multiple people pool money to send a card to one person. Pretty cool!  
December 10, 2023
What would we serve if we had all of you over for Christmas dinner? This (epic) box, available only for Christmas, is an homage to the holiday traditions of our Clover staff. And like all Clover boxes, it supports our hardworking Massachusetts farmers, millers, bakers, and cheesemakers. This box is designed to feed you and keep you properly festive throughout a week with different meals/snacks, and can also be laid out all together on a holiday table as one big feast.
December 4, 2023
These sweet potato latkes date back to early days on the Clover food truck. They’re so yummy and the sweet potatoes lend them such a fun golden color. They’re probably the most popular item in our Hanukkah Meal Box, which you can get delivered on December 7th. Inside the box you’ll find: 
November 29, 2023
I’m writing to share some news: we’ve decided to permanently close CloverROW, our outpost in the Assembly Row neighborhood of Somerville. The closure of this restaurant is part of the whole company’s focus on reaching financial sustainability and positioning us for future growth. These decisions are really hard, but they’re necessary steps for us to simplify Clover. And, happily, all the amazing staff at CloverROW, including the manager Joe, will be able to move into other Clover restaurants. The math is straightforward…