Your Neighbor, the Entrepreneur: Anca Toderic

Huckle and GooseWho’s answering these questions?
Anca Toderic [above left]. My Huckle & Goose co-founder is my sister-in-law, Christine Lucaciu [above right].

Elevator pitch?
We tell you what to buy at the farmers’ market and what to make with it when you get home. By partnering with cookbook publishers and bloggers, we bridge the gap between forgotten recipes (on dusty cookbook shelves and Pinterest boards) and using the unique and often unfamiliar ingredients available at farmers’ markets.

Intriguing! Tell us more.
Eating local is easier said than done. Everywhere we look nowadays we’re instructed to get on this locavore bandwagon. It’s a good bandwagon to be on but difficult to navigate in practice. Instead of being just another guilt-trippy website, we want to be that nonjudgmental friend that “walks” with you through the market and says, “Look at those sweet potato greens! You should put a bunch in your tote. Never heard of them? That’s ok, here’s a recipe you’ll love.”

Aside from the meal planning aspect of our business, we make farmers’ market swag—for now, totes and journals. The organic cotton for our totes is grown in Texas and woven in South Carolina. The tote itself is cut, sewn, and printed in New Hampshire and our custom labels are made in Vermont. Our mini line of totes (which say “I Pick My Veggies, Not My Nose” and “Locavore in Training”) allow kiddos to haul home their own market loot. Exposing them to where their food comes from and then allowing them to pick it themselves is probably the closest to a magic formula for getting them to eat and appreciate their veggies.

Our beautifully letterpress-printed recipe pocket journals are hand bound with care and keep track of your farm-to-table cooking adventures throughout the year. Reference when produce is available, get ideas for seasonal activities, and ask your favorite farmers for their autograph. All papers are manufactured in the United States using renewable energy and process chlorine free bleaching.

So in a nutshell, everything is American made, eco-conscious, and will make you look cool.

When was Huckle & Goose founded? Where did the idea come from?
We launched May 2014. Although we both loved cooking at home and visiting the farmers’ market, meal planning was always a chore. At times we caught ourselves staring blankly at that kohlrabi even though we had at least a dozen kohlrabi recipes saved between our cookbook pages and online bookmarks. By the time we’d decide what to make, that kohlrabi was getting sadder by the day. With the thousands of cookbooks and recipe websites out there today, there are too many options, and having someone just tell you what to make with your market loot is the first step to getting over dinner indecision and making seasonal cooking second nature.

Why the name “Huckle & Goose”?
The prefixes of our favorite berries that are not found conventionally: huckleberries and gooseberries. Several summers ago, we brought home a pint from the farmers’ market, baked a cobbler, and fell in love with the seasonal way of life. We found that having to wait to taste them a whole year until the next harvest cultivated a deep sense of awareness and gratitude for where our food comes from and we noticed the marked difference in flavor of fruits and vegetables grown close to home. For us, the name of these berries encapsulates our mission: making more people fall in love with this way of life too.

How big is Huckle & Goose now?
Currently just the two of us, but we recently hired two awesome interns!

Where is it headquartered?
Here in Tribeca.

How and where you do see it growing?
Our ultimate, big, big goal is to change American food culture. From McDonald’s to Old MacDonald. We want to see every household taking the time to appreciate the people who labored in a field to grow their food and used sustainable methods to do so, taking the time to make meals that respect those ingredients, and sharing those meals with others.

We already have 27 food bloggers and 7 cookbook publishers that have partnered with us to provide recipes and we want to keep adding more partners and licensing more content. We’re in contact with dozens of farmers and farmers’ markets across the U.S. to see how we can support them and determine what they’re harvesting so we can create accurate meal plans. We want to add more to this roster and basically create this massive food community with one virtual table we all gather ’round; a place where home cooks can mingle with food authorities and exchange ideas.

Any company hangouts around here?
We love going to Fika for lattes and the best almond croissants around (sorry, Balthazar). The Greek: We could eat dinner here everyday. Do not forgo the dips and bread—gluten in all its glory. And Sweetgreen for salads for whatever mood we’re in.

Previously in this series:
••• Justin Hsu, MarcoPolo Learning
••• Marjorie Jaffe Goldner, PregPrep
••• Lianna Sugarman, LuliTonix
••• Grace Lee, Nine Naturals
••• Offir Gutelzon, Keepy
••• Lisa Ridd, Smitten Films