The tangy tale of Tessemae’s salad dressing. Made by Greg Vetter and his two brothers, it just hit Costco’s shelves. Lettuce, rejoice.
GREG VETTER: My brothers and I were wild as hell, and my mom had to figure out how to get us to eat our vegetables. She made this lemon garlic dressing, and suddenly we were just crushing salad at dinner. We played high school, college, and professional lacrosse, and the only thing the teams ever asked of our mom was to bring that salad dressing. When we went to college, she made it for our college houses in two-liter bottles.
I moved in with my girlfriend, now wife, and my mom made salad dressing for our house. One day in January of 2009, I came home to have lunch, and the salad dressing was missing from the fridge. I called one of my buddies, Smitty, who doesnot eat salad—he eats Taco Bell for lunch every day—and I was like, “Did you take my salad dressing?” And he said, “Yeah, I woke up, I needed it, I knew the code to your house, I got it, and now I’m eating spinach.” I’m like, “Well, bring it back.” He’s like, “Okay.”
Later I’m with my mom, and I’m like, “What kind of man steals another man’s salad dressing?” I’m like, “I think we should bottle this. If I get us into Whole Foods, will you go into business with me?” She was like, “It’s never gonna work.” I was like, “That’s not what I asked you.”
I called Whole Foods and told them I was a food manufacturer, which wasn’t true. I got a meeting with one of the grocery buyers, and I walked in with a Tupperware container of salad. The guy’s like, “Where’s the packaging?” I’m like, “Dude, you’re busy, it’s lunch, I brought you a salad.” He looks at me like I’m on something, but soon he’s taking these pieces of wet lettuce and licking the dressing off. He says, “You have something special.”