Never underestimate the crowd-pleasing power of pigs-in-a-blanket.
Like many of us, Missy Koo grew up associating the pastry-wrapped sausages with party time, since her mom made them the centerpiece of every festive occasion. And as an adult, they’ve remained her get together go-to, even though her friends often laugh at the decidedly retro snack. “I have very fancy friends who love to throw parties and make gourmet canapés, who always joke when I bring along pigs-in-a-blanket,” she admits. “But just like my mom at her parties, they’re always the first to go — I can barely get them off the pan before people grab them all.”
That’s why, after 15 years as a handbag designer, Koo decided to make a career out of elevating America’s favorite hors d’oeuvres. It seemed like such an obvious idea, she couldn’t help wondering why no one had already done it — and neither could her friend, Stacey Cole, who told Koo she had five years to do something with the plan or she’d run with it herself. Eventually, the pair decided to work together, hand-rolling their “piggies” out of a small business incubator, Entrepreneur Space, in Long Island City. They made an impressive debut at Smorgasburg, consistently running out of product, although fortunately, an Oprah Winfrey staffer was one of the lucky customers who actually got to try some. Brooklyn Piggies ended up on Oprah’s “Favorite Things” list, and from there, demand sky-rocketed, causing Koo and Cole to move operations to a co-packing facility.
Throughout their growth, Koo and Cole have maintained an emphasis on using the best ingredients (believe it or not, their tasty sausages are zero trans-fat!) The veggie piggies have been a real hit, because they ditched the idea of bland tofu, opting for a blend of yukon gold potatoes, apple and sage instead. Koo says they’re also working on gluten-free pastry piggies, in addition to running a catering business, and producing sauces – catsup, mustard and barbecue – to complement their sausages. “We’re snobs about taste; we didn’t want people to have to use just any condiments!” Koo says. So keep an eye out for oh-so-refined Brooklyn Piggies at specialty markets near you, such as Dean & Deluca, Union Market, Agata & Valentina and more!