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"Move over Paul Newman, there’s an up-and-comer in the high-stakes world of salad dressings and he’s gunning for your spot on grocery store shelves.
Oxford resident Hans Kalohn has launched a line of flavorful food products under the name Roadhaus. The line includes a salad dressing, marinade, seasoning blend and dry rub.
Kalohn, founder and CEO of HK & Company, LLC, has spent the last two to three years developing this line and securing the necessary approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 'I’ve always wanted to do this,' he said. 'It’s finally working out.'
Although Kalohn’s line is new, the salad dressing – billed as 'sweet tomato garlic' on the bottle – is not. It’s actually an old family recipe. Kalohn’s grandmother, Irene, showed him how to make it many years ago. But the dressing goes well beyond the family. It’s something of a legend in the Oxford-Orion area. It’s the same tasty concoction that was once served as the house dressing at two well-known Orion Township restaurants that closed long ago – Gus’ Steak House, owned by Hans’ grandfather, August Kalohn, and Pete’s Road Haus, owned by Hans’ father, Pete Kalohn. Simply known as 'the red dressing,' diners not only requested it, they craved it, demanded it, even waxed poetic about it. 'It was quite popular,' said Kalohn, who worked as a cook at Pete’s Road Haus for many years. 'It was one-of-a-kind. Nobody else had it. A lot of people liked it because of all the different seasonings in it.' The famous dressing hasn’t been available to the public since the 1990s, so there should be plenty of pent-up demand from those who have fond memories of it. 'People still ask me about it,' Kalohn said. Although the dressing was always served atop salads at his family’s restaurants, Kalohn stressed it’s not just for smothering greens. 'It’s really good on turkey breast,' he noted. 'You can use it on anything.'
To complement the dressing, Kalohn created a marinade with the same sweet tomato-garlic flavor. 'It’s thinner so you can inject it right into the meat if you want,' he explained.
Kalohn has also created his own personal seasoning blend and dry rub, both of which are perfect for enhancing the flavor of ribs, brisket, steaks, chicken, pork and seafood. He said the seasoning has got 'a little bit of kick to it.' Chili powder, black pepper and red pepper are among the many ingredients.
Both recipes were carefully crafted. They didn’t happen overnight. 'It takes time,' Kalohn said. 'There was a lot of kicking (things) around and dumping until I got it right.'
All of the Roadhaus products are being made and packaged locally in the kitchen at the Knights of Columbus hall in Orion Township, where Kalohn is a member. Working alongside Kalohn, helping him build the Roadhaus brand, is his daughter Emily. 'I love that we’re doing this together. It’s just really fun,' said Emily, who designed the Roadhaus brand’s colorful labels. Emily’s favorite is the seasoning blend. 'It just tastes good on anything and everything,' she said. 'We’ll go through a bottle a week at home. We use it on everything.'
'It’s all made in Michigan. It’s not mass-produced like Kraft.'
His dream is to one day see his Roadhaus products become a household name. He hopes to see his brand sold everywhere, from little shops to large chain stores. 'I’m going to take it as far as I can push it,' Kalohn said. 'I hope it goes big, eventually.' "
From: The Oxford Leader. August 23, 2017, By CJ Carnacchio
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