Ruby Duke describes herself as “persistent,” but that’s only one of many traits essential to being a farmer, charcutier, designer, mother of two and wife. Charcutier? you ask. That’s the pork butcher responsible for preparing the bacon, sausages, pâtés and terrines we know (and love) as charcuterie. In partnership with her husband, Sather—also her collaborator on the design of interiors and furniture for their formerly Brooklyn-based company, hivemindesign—Ruby runs Raven & Boar farm in East Chatham, NY. Since 2009, they have been raising heritage-breed pigs in a woodland setting and are now building a facility on the farm, one of very few certified kitchens in the area, to scale up production of their Hudson Valley Charcuterie.
“It’s inspiring for us to know that we can raise the animals, make the products and sell them ourselves,” says Ruby, “but it’s also deeply meaningful that this hard work creates a sustainable model for our farm and family.”
This journey has taught her how difficult it is to make something from source to finished product; the ongoing challenge is to communicate its singular value to customers. Luckily, those smoked pork rillettes speak for themselves.