Say goodbye to salty gut bombs. A Maine startup crafts healthy, tasty dehydrated meals for backcountry travelers.
By Olivia Dwyer | Courtesy photo
When New York City émigré Jennifer Scism met New England outdoorsman David Koorits, she gamely joined him on backpacking trips. Long trail days, hard ground, heavy packs—Jennifer took to it all. But she quickly tired of mac and cheese with tuna, a staple in a diet Koorits perfected as a ski patroller and wildland firefighter out West. “I’m not a food snob,” she says. “I try anything and eat everything. But I knew I could do it better.”
That’s not hubris speaking. Chef Scism partnered in a successful Manhattan eatery before she moved to Kittery, Maine. Actually her full title should read Iron Chef Scism—she won that highly coveted moniker. Applying her training (and her gift) to backpacking, she first tried hauling in packed fresh vegetables and steak tips. Yum, but too heavy. So she experimented with DIY dehydrated meals using Koorits, now her husband, as chief food taster. The spaghetti marinara and wine served lakeside four days into an eight-day trip in New York’s Adirondacks convinced them they had a business.
Today Good To-Go offers gluten-free, vegetarian, just-add-hot-water meals like Thai Curry, Herbed Mushroom Risotto, Smoked Three Bean Chili, and of course Classic Marinara with Penne. Their first sale came as recently as April 2014, but Good To-Go is now carried by Eastern Mountain Sports and a growing network of outdoor retailers. Look for their jaunty packaging in REI this spring. Scism and a sole assistant produce up to 2,500 meals a week in a small house near the Maine coast. All the ingredients are sourced from New England and Canadian vendors and flavored with whole spices that Scism toasts and grinds on site. Koorits handles sales and marketing. And they still spend weekends in the White Mountains. Because as Scism says: “My best ideas for recipes come while I’m hungry on the trail.”
From the Winter 2015 issue.