May 20, 2022

Meet the new CMO

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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

December 2, 2022
The Bridgewater is back!! This is probably the most requested sandwich on our menu. Michelle who runs our social media says she reliably gets one message per week asking when it will return. In 2015, Paul and Bryan came up with this sandwich as an homage to the jalapeño poppers at The Charlie Horse, a now-closed tavern in their hometown of Bridgewater, MA.
December 1, 2022
It was inevitable. Our meal box program had to find its way into restaurants at some point. A bunch of you have been asking if we can sell “on demand” meal boxes in our restaurants – for those times when you have last-minute dinner guests or forgot to subscribe by the deadline. So we’ve been easing into the process of combining one part of Clover with another.
November 28, 2022
Brussels Sprouts are extra sweet this time of year, and King Brussels, in his infinite wisdom, has cooked up a Brussels Week in our meal boxes. Every single subscription box will contain a recipe inspired by brussels! This is the first time we’ve explored a seasonal theme across our entire lineup and we’re excited to dive in.
November 19, 2022
This was Jane’s last week at Clover. We’re wishing her the best in her next steps (but also not so secretly hoping she comes back!)
November 11, 2022
Have you ordered your Thanksgiving Box yet? It’s already 50% sold out, so get your orders in this weekend if you can. This box comes with everything from stuffing to porcini-thyme gravy to mashed PEI potatoes to local cranberry sauce to bread to make leftover sandwiches. Most of the items can go from box to oven to table with very minimal prep, and we’ve made multiple sizes whether you’re dining solo or with a crowd.
November 10, 2022
This is a post by Dave Epstein, meteorologist, avid gardener, and friend of Clover. Occasionally we’ll ask him to pop in and drop some knowledge about an in-season veggie, this time it’s Brussels!
October 24, 2022
If you’re observant, and live near CloverHUB, you may have seen pallets of brussels being delivered from where they’re grown in Hadley, MA. Creamy dijonaise, smoked cheddar, fried brussels tossed with za’atar, pickled red cabbage, toasted hazelnuts. IT’S BACK!
October 20, 2022
We have an awesome event coming up this Saturday@10:30AM at the new CloverROW and I. Am. Pumped. Ana Inciardi is coming to show us how she painstakingly carves, inks up, and hand-prints beautiful food-inspired linotypes.
October 19, 2022
I know you all LOVE Picnic and Pantry, the little shop in Union Square’s Bow market. Did you know that Bobby and Alexandra who run it are also behind gâté comme des filles, the chocolate shop in Bow Market. (Go there and try the brownies.) They’re also responsible for Zuzu’s Petals in Inman Square.
October 4, 2022
Clover ROW is live! Soft opening Weds 10/5 and Thurs 10/6, then a Pay What You Want grand opening on Friday 10/7.
September 16, 2022
23 years ago this month NASA lost a spacecraft due to a unit conversion error. In September 1999 the Mars Climate Orbiter concluded its nearly 10 month journey to Mars by burning up, either in Mars’ atmosphere or in accidental orbit around the Sun.
September 14, 2022
The Classic Chickpea Fritter is in a lot of ways the cornerstone of Clover’s menu—and the topic of much thought and debate—especially the Great Question of “Falafel v. Fritter”. The Classic Chickpea Fritter is a customer favorite and it’s not going anywhere.