Rose (Rosie) Rivezzi came to Potsdam as a student in 1976. By the early 80’s she had put down roots in the community. One of these was a membership at the Potsdam Food Co-op. Rose and David raised their children on Co-op food, leftovers lived in “Co-op” containers, and a vibrant garden let their kids see how food makes it to the table. A teacher for 30+ years, Rose retired in 2015 but she wasn’t going to just take it easy. The kitchen had always been a place she felt at home. As a child one of her strongest sensory memories was the smell of garlic sautéing in olive oil. The eldest child of Italian immigrants, Rose learned the basics of the Italian kitchen from her mother, and the beauty of having a garden from her father. Her culinary world expanded beyond meatballs and tomato sauce with the help of Molly Katzen’s first Moosewood cookbook. Food for her is pleasure, comfort, and a way to create community.
Will (Willie) Trithart always had a passion for eating. That passion for consumption became a passion for creation. Will loves to cook food for others and the hustle and bustle of the kitchen became appealing. In high school he got an entry level job at SUNY Potsdam doing catering and then became the “pizza guy” at Mama Lucia’s. After graduating from PCS Will took a 10 year hiatus from life in the North Country. He went to culinary school, got a degree in Environmental Studies, met the love of his life, biked across the country twice, and spent 2 years managing an educational forestry project in Costa Rica. The North Country always felt like home, and in 2015 it pulled him back.
Rose and Will were both at a crossroads. One recently retired, and the other ready to start a career a partnership seemed like a good plan. Ideas sparked, grew, and evolved. What could this mother-son team do in their community that would support local farms, get people excited about food, and ultimately make food and eating have more meaning? Big Spoon Kitchen came to be.
Buying from local farms and creating meals was their first idea. However they knew that wasn’t enough. They needed to empower others to take a step back to the kitchen. There would be no secret recipes, techniques, or ingredients at Big Spoon. Anything they made, they would be ready and willing to teach. A little more confidence in the kitchen might be the spark that convinces a someone to buy a whole chicken, half pig, or quarter cow from the farm down the road. Some new knife skills may be all that is needed for a family to decide to do a CSA or decide that the frozen pizza would stay in their freezer at least one more day.
As our business has grown we have added a full time employee which we are lucky enough to call a friend as well. Steve Greco moved to Potsdam to work for Big Spoon in November of 2017, but has been a friend of the family since he and Will met at Binghamton University in 2008. Taught to cook by his parents, his passion for food developed in college during his time as a cook at the Binghamton University Food Co-Op, where he and Will cooked together for 3 years. After college, Steve worked in New York City for the Canadian Consulate in the Immigration section, working closely with the UN on diplomatic visas. After 4 years of city life, Steve craved nature once again and jumped at the opportunity to work with Will and Rosie doing something he loved in an area that made him feel at home again.