Caleb grew up on a local farm and says that when he came in a couple of years ago to pick up a re-soled pair of shoes, he mentioned that he'd be interested in working here. Given Maggie's retirement and an uptick in production, Dave gave him a call over the summer and asked if the interest was still there. Thankfully, it was. Caleb finished up the harvest season at our favorite local CSA, and joined us in the shop just before Thanksgiving.
Caleb studied History, Philosophy, and Asian Studies in college, and when I asked him why, with an education like that, he's still choosing the farm and now our shop, he replied with a Marcus Aurelius quote, "The only wealth you keep forever is that which you have given away".
So he's smart, he's principled, and as it turns out, he's also a regional celebrity.
In case you haven't heard, Caleb is a 2013 Northeast Regional Beard and Mustache Champion (in the Full, Natural, 2-8" category). Born out of a lazy attitude toward shaving, Caleb's full face has brought him (minimal) fame and glory. He gets supportive shouts across parking lots, and based on a BILF (Beard I'd Like to Fondle) comment, I'm guessing it goes over well with the ladies.
For those who aspire to their own bearded greatness, Caleb recommends the following:
- Be patient and push through the first 6 months of growth. It will look bad and it might get itchy, but you need the guts to achieve the glory.
- Always carry a napkin and use it - they don't call it The Flavor Saver for nothing.
- For good fluff and puff, comb regularly.
You can visit Caleb's family's sustainable and local grass-fed beef farm (and see what Caleb looks like under that beard) via their website. They're at the Syracuse Regional Market on weekends and are happy to ship or arrange for pick-up.
Thanks for being such a great sport, and for answering all of my hairy questions, Caleb!