Q+A w/ the co-founder of Sir Kensington's, Scott Norton
A hot dog and mustard walk into a bar…JK a Carrot Dog and Sir Kensington’s Yellow Mustard walk into by CHLOE…not the beginning of a bad joke but rather a DELICIOUS REALITY.
As soon as we tasted the Carrot Dog (s/o to the Harry & Ida’s team) we knew the perfect condiments partner was Sir Kensington’s. In our opinion, a hotdog is not complete without a perfect squiggle of yellow mustard on top. Sir Kensington’s elevates a condiment, often an afterthought, to something that comes close to stealing the show! Like by CHLOE., Sir Kensington’s is focused on creating clean, sustainable alternatives to America’s favorite foods. We appreciate Sir Kensington’s commitment to excellence, which is evident from sourcing only the highest quality ingredients to producing as many of their bottles out of recycled materials as possible. Check out our Q+A with Scott Norton, the founder of Sir Kensington’s, below!
by CHLOE.: Hi Scott! Thanks for chatting with us. Please introduce yourself.
Scott Norton: Hi there, I’m Scott Norton. I’m the Co-founder and CEO of Sir Kensington’s, based in New York City, and we’re makers of the finest condiments.
bC: Tell us how it all began! What inspired you to start a company producing (in your words) “one of the smallest players on the modern plate—the condiment.”
SN: Food is the most powerful human connector and the centerpiece of culture. My co-founder Mark and I have always been passionate about food and back in college we saw that food was evolving for the better, but sadly, condiments were getting left behind. So we set out to create a ketchup that we actually wanted to eat — goodbye high fructose corn syrup, hello real tomatoes and natural sugar. In 2008, we hosted our first tasting party with 20 varieties, of which, the top 2 were chosen and our Classic and Spiced Ketchups were born! The rest is, well, history…
bC: How would you describe Sir Kensington’s mission? What sets your brand apart from other condiment companies?
SN: We’re passionate about our mission which is to reimagine ordinary and overlooked food with fearless integrity and charm. Integrity is all about the purity of the ingredients we use, how they’re sourced, how we process them, and how we communicate transparently about our products. Charm is because food is here to nourish us but it’s also here to entertain us. Our boss, Sir Kensington, is a cartoon character so we’ve got to have a little fun!
bC: Talk to us about SK’s position on sustainability, and how you address the environmental crisis?
SN: One of Sir Kensington’s values is that we think long term but act in short order. Long term thinking is about stewardship for people, planet and plate. The food system has the biggest environmental impact of any industry and while our impact is unavoidable we take responsibility for making decisions to take care of the overlooked people and resources that we touch. We’re a certified B-Corporation which means we hold ourselves to higher social and environmental standards and use our work as a message. Whether it’s our emphasis on plant-forward eating through supply chain innovations like aquafaba (chickpea broth) in our vegan mayo, our commitment to using 100% certified humane free range eggs, or our goal to use 100% recycled materials for our squeeze bottles. Our aim isn’t only to be the best condiments in the world but also be the best FOR the world.
bC: We are so excited to be featuring Sir Kensington’s Yellow Mustard on our Carrot Dog! What excites you about working with by CHLOE. on the launch of our new product?
SN: Well first, let’s name a more iconic duo than the hot dog and yellow mustard. I don’t think you can. So making this American classic accessible to the plant-forward community is really exciting. Making the flavors of plants sing is an awesome culinary challenge and this Carrot Dog is one of the most creative and delicious interpretations of a carrot that I’ve ever tasted. There’s a common misconception that plant-based eating lacks variety and flavor but time and time again by CHLOE. disproves this narrative. We love working with by CHLOE. because they’re bringing people into a movement of plant-forward eating that’s pushing food culture forward.
bC: What is the innovation process like? How do you decide what products to create next?
SN: A lot goes into product innovation at Sir Kensington’s and everyone at the company gets involved. We start our innovation process with a question; What ordinary and overlooked foods might be reimagined with integrity and charm? This way our innovation process is rooted in our mission. We keep our finger on the pulse of food trends, but even more importantly, we listen to our community of eaters and what they’re looking for from us. We have a lot of out-there ideas but we know that in order for our products to be successful they should have one foot in novelty and one foot in nostalgia. At the end of the day, we push every innovation up against our product values to make sure they’re upheld with integrity and charm, the number one value being if we don’t love it, we don’t launch it.
bC: Having built a thriving company with many employees, how would you describe your leadership style?
SN: People don’t always remember what decisions you make, but they always remember how you made them feel. Our first value is that our secret ingredient is people and so we work very hard to learn and to teach servant leadership everyday. We’re highly collaborative though ultimately I think we’ve been successful by having a very strong point of view and resisting the analysis paralysis that comes with being inundated with market research data. At our core is the attitude of a creative and passionate cook.
bC: What is next for Sir Kensington’s? Where do you hope to see the company in the next five years?
SN: At Sir Kensington’s we’re just getting started. We’re mostly unknown to America and completely unknown to the rest of the world. We have some very new, exciting condiments launching later this year and early next year and the team’s efforts will be focused on bringing more eaters into the fold. The best way to follow along on our journey is through our Instagram @sirkensingtons. Let’s be Taste Buds!
Secret talent? Talking to strangers.
Favorite Sir Kensington’s product? Spicy Brown Mustard.
Three objects you can’t live without? A chef’s knife, my bicycle, sunscreen.
Watcha readin’? A big stack of National Geographic.
Biggest pet peeve? The rare occasion when I have to buy a plastic water bottle at the airport.
Dream dinner guest? Sir Kensington, of course!