Growing up, Ari Miller and his dad would often spend long weekends road tripping. They’d trek through the Napa Valley in search of a gooey grilled cheese or a sloppy burger. But their favorite – and the measure by which they judged a greasy spoon – was bacon.
As Ari matured, his mother (a professional judge) reasoned with him (as most parents would) that “bacon” wasn’t exactly a career choice, more of a menu choice. For a decade, he worked in banking, and then went to law school (to his mom’s delight). Upon graduation in 2013, he informed her that law had no appeal after all. No, his childhood obsession was still bacon him crazy.
By this point, Ari had gone from casual bacon eater to a hog wild bacon enthusiast. He had already been making his own for 12 years. It started in college, where he would make 20-pound batches using a dorm room fridge converted into a mini curing chamber. After he got married, he would cure pork belly in the kitchen while slabs of pancetta hung in the bedroom of his home in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. (Literally bringing home the bacon.) As he says, “This was the first side project that energized me more than anything I had ever done.” He’s lucky that his wife and two daughters were willing to have their home turned into a meat chamber – and even more willing to be the taste testers.
After a successful test run at the local farmers market, Ari took the leap to turn his obsession into a full-time job. He found a USDA-approved 10,000 square-foot warehouse, complete with a 700 square-foot curing chamber. The new space, opened in 2015, allowed him to expand from bacon into other charcuterie such as guanciale, lamb prosciutto and dry-cured pork loin. No matter the type of meat, Ari maintained a dedication to humanely and sustainably-raised animals – no hormones, no antibiotics and when possible, all-natural heritage breeds.
In his very first year, Ari won a Good Food Award in charcuterie. Now, that’s what we call bacon care of business.