Brooklyn Slate Company, Founders Kristy Hadeka, Sean Tice, Brooklyn, NY, New York, Natural Slate, Cheese Boards, Charcuterie Boards, Entrepreneurs, Artisanal Products, Local Products, Recommendations, Where to eat in Brooklyn, What to buy in Brooklyn, Where to drink in Brooklyn

Q & A



Q. How did you start Brooklyn Slate Company?

Founders Sean Tice and Kristy Hadeka

Photograph courtesy of Brooklyn Slate

A. In 2009, I was finishing up a graduate program at Parsons and looking for something creative to do. Sean and I really wanted to be part of the food movement and after I had seen a similar product - we talked it over and just went with it. Sean being a typical graphic designer had the logo created and a website finished before we had a true product line!

Q. What’s involved in foraging for slate at the quarry?

A. It is a long and labor-intensive process. The slate is brought up as huge slabs from the bottom of the quarry in dump trucks and then split with pavement cleavers into smaller pieces. Those pieces are then put on a conveyor belt and brought into the mill where they are cut with large saws into thinner, more manageable pieces. At this point, the slate begins to take form as a cheese board, both in thickness and size. The final step is to trim the edges to expose the natural shelving, and sand down the corners so the pieces have a slight bevel.

Q. Is this a limited resource?

A. Slate quarries last for hundreds of years. Where our quarries are located is a very unique region that is about 22 miles long and 3 miles wide. It runs up the border of Vermont and upstate New York and is referred to as the Slate Valley. Slate is sort of a way of life there!

Q. Tell us about your current product line and any new developments for the future.

A. Right now we’re really focused on perfecting our current product line, which includes three sizes in black and red. About a month ago, we debuted a line of found pieces, which are odd shaped boards that we’ve reclaimed from barn roofs and old stone walls in New York and Vermont. We’re really excited about these because each one is completely different in size and shape, and some even have unique features like strains of quartz running through them.

Q. How did you decide on using a burlap sack as packaging?

A. When we set out to create the packaging, two words that kept going through our heads were ‘contemporary’ and ‘rustic.’ Sean and I spent a lot of time playing around with packaging materials that fit both categories, but also served a functional purpose for the slate. Burlap seemed like a perfect choice - it’s great for gift wrapping and storing the board, and can also be used as a place mat when plating the slate.

Advice / Tips

Q. What's your advice on keeping the cheese boards clean without damaging them?

A. Our cheese boards can be cleaned with a damp sponge or towel, but you can also put them in your dishwasher. The best thing you can do to preserve your slate is wipe it down with a drop or two of food safe mineral oil about twice a year. Mineral oil helps protect the integrity of the slate and give it a slightly polished look.

Q. What are your current favorite cheeses or pairings to present on your cheese boards?

A. Our current favorites are Bayley Hazen Blue from Jasper Hill or Green Hill from Sweet Grass Dairy with dried strawberries or hazelnuts and a baguette.



Q. What other Brooklyn artisans are you impressed by?

A. SCRATCHbread is unbelievable. Matt, the owner, produces some really delicious, progressive bread out of his store front window in Bed-Stuy - think French provincial by way of Brooklyn. If I lived closer I’d be picking up bread there every day.

We’re also really excited about Joel Bukiewicz’s Cut Brooklyn, which hand-crafts kitchen cutlery.

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Q. Who else in your field do you respect and what do you like about their product?

We recently met Andy Ring, who runs a company called Brooklyn Bilt out of his workspace in Park Slope. Andy’s a furniture maker by trade, but he’s gotten into crafting wood cutting boards out of Richlite and wood scraps. I don’t want to speak too much for our competition, but I love the contrast between the black Richlite body and the natural finish of the wood handle.

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Q. What are some of your favorite shops that sell cheeses, charcuterie, condiments that “pair” well with your cheese boards?

A. We love Murray’s and Lucy’s Whey. Stinky Bklyn and Bklyn Larder are right down the street from us - we are always stopping in and I am so excited to go to New Orleans this spring and stop in at St. James Cheese Company!

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Q. Where do you like to eat off the beaten track and what do you like about the place?

A. A few months ago we happened upon Petite Crevette in Brooklyn, which is this tiny French restaurant that, from the outside, still looks like the flower shop that used to inhabit the place. It’s small and cluttered and sits hidden right by the BQE in Red Hook. It is always quiet and delicious. We love it!

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Q.Where do you like to eat in Brooklyn that you think really showcases the local Brooklyn artisan scene?

A. Recently we were in Bushwick for a radio interview on Heritage Radio Network, which is housed in a shipping container right next to Roberta’s. The pizza was great, and I really like how they’ve sort of built a self-sufficient compound complete with their own farm. A lot of chefs in New York pride themselves in sourcing vegetables from farms within 100 miles or so of the city, but Roberta’s is taking it to the next level by having one in their own backyard.

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Q. Where do you like to go have a drink to start the night?

A. We often start at Sunny’s in Red Hook and make our way north. If there’s good music playing, we’ll stay longer.

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Q. How about for a drink to end the night?

A. Canal Bar in Gowanus. Probably one of the only places in Brooklyn where you can get a Chicago style dog when the Bears are playing.

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Details of Kristy and Sean’s recommendations on where to eat, drink, and shop in Brooklyn, NY.



Slate Cheese & Charcuterie Boards


Available At:

- These locations

- Online at Williams-Sonoma



- Lucy’s Whey


Kristy and Sean’s recommendations on where to eat, drink, and shop in Brooklyn, NY.