Central Indiana native and IUPUI grad Mark LaFay has worn many professional hats - tech innovator, concert promotor and event producer to name a few. Through it all, a passion for barbecuing and for fresh, locally-sourced cuisine has remained, and it’s a passion that culminated in LaFay’s 2016 founding of Old Major Market, a purveyor of fresh, artisan sausages and bacon sourced from Indiana farms.
Working out of a modestly-sized production space in midtown Indy, LaFay has stayed hyper-focused on quality over quantity since day one behind the grill. He started, as many businesses do, selling his bacon and sausages to neighbors and friends. He eventually became a regular at the local farmers market scene. Most recently, he’s devoted a lot of energy to building his online sales through Market Wagon.
It all stemmed from what seemed like a set-back. “We hit a brick wall on fundraising for one of the technology startups I was working on, and I got to the point where I decided to pursue my passion for food,” LaFay recalls. “I've always been passionate about food in general, but really passionate about barbecue and curing meat. I had a fascination with producing good, quality meat products, and it was a natural fit.”
A natural fit indeed - during his first two years of operating Old Major Market, LaFay took home 2016 and 2017 Grand Champion honors from the Indiana State Fair Backyard BBQ Cook-Off. Cooking up savory selections like tomato basil chicken sausage, Mexican chorizo and maple bourbon bacon, it remains his mission not only to provide fresh, local, antibiotic-free products, but to champion Hoosier farmers along the way.
“The deck is kind of stacked against family farmers, and there's a lot of legislation in place designed to bolster the big, billion-dollar international conglomerates,” he says. “But people are becoming more aware of what goes into their food and how animals are treated, so it's important to support the family-owned farms that really want to focus on sustainable agriculture and humane animal husbandry practices.”
You can find Mark’s sausage and bacon products here on Market Wagon.