First, I took an embarrassing amount of time to get this post up. While I was in Seattle (yes, that was in April) I took a tour of the Field Roast factory and I have to say it was a lot of fun. The pictures aren’t going to show just how cool it was, because they don’t allow photos of the actual manufacturing process. Takes all the good photos out of a factory tour, right? But at the very least we got to see how (vegan) sausage is made, even if we can’t show you, too. Tours are not something they regularly do, so we were extra appreciative of our tour guide Kiley who took time out of her day.
When we walked in, this is the first thing we saw. A little altar for employees and guests, which also just happened to make this part of the building smell fantastic and not like sausage, which I have to imagine is important considering how deliciously sausagey everywhere else smelled. I thought the altar was a nice touch — the little things.
Another nice touch? They had framed posters of the meals people had made with their foods. Makes all that time we spend Instagramming worth it, right? We also had a little chat with Kiley here about how their products are vegan, but they definitely withstand a carnivore taste test. I was with Josh and Nikki (my older sister who I was visiting), so we were a pretty good mix of long time vegetarian with some vegan dabbling, carnivore, and more recent vegetarian and we all have pretty rave things to say about the taste and texture of the sausages, deli meats, and cheese.
Here would be photos of the cooking process, if I had them. Instead, I’ll just tell you a little about it. First off, everything was spectacularly clean like what you want to see when looking at a food prep area. Second, there were actual people making everything. I was there a day they were making roasts, and it was surprising how much it looked like they were making meat. A lot of the steps are the same — we actually watched a step that looked like the grain mix was coming out of a meat grinder to get the perfect shape. I was surprised to learn that all flavors of roast, burgers, and sausages start from the same base grain mix and then they’re flavored with seasonings to get the different flavors. After being shaped, the various meats/roasts get a dunk in a seasoned broth or cooked in a steam cabinet, similar to how you would make homemade seitan.
Above is all of the packaging supplied out on the floor in the warehouse. Directly across from this, I saw workers labeling the products.
Guesses what this last photo is? The biggest freezer I’ve ever been in. Kiley hyped it up a little, and I wasn’t disappointed. This is only showing half-ish of a row, and there’s another row on the opposite side. Plus more things that wouldn’t fit on the shelves. If you dream about Field Roast, you should start dreaming about this room. Boxes, boxes, and more boxes of all of my favs. Plus, it was a little warm outside that day and I chose to wear a dinosaur sweatshirt (because professional and I make good life decisions), so it was fantastic to stand in a giant freezer.
After this, we walked back up through the office area and I saw their glorious test kitchen. I also accidentally saw the owner (and creator!) of Field Roast hard at work in the kitchen, so we quickly scurried away — so I didn’t get a picture of the test kitchen. Let’s just picture the kitchen of our dreams to go with the well-stocked freezer of our dreams, and we’ll all be in the right place. Our tour ended with some freebies from a fridge in the entry way with everything you could ever dream of. We took burgers, hot dogs, and chao cheese. This was our last day in Seattle so we had to fly home the burgers and hot dogs (Nikki chose the cheese) — I’m happy to report that the luggage area of an airplane is cold enough to keep everything frozen solid and keep it safe and tasty. I hadn’t tried the hot dogs before and woah, are they legit tasty.
I reached out to Field Roast to tour their factory while I happened to be on vacation in the area. They gave me a free tour and some samples, but I was in no other way compensated for this post. I genuinely love this brand and all opinions are my own. Thanks Kiley for the tour and Jennifer for working hard to get everything set up.