A look at Obis One and what is Black Garlic?
An interview with Lisa Lloyd
Obis One, LLC originated in 2012 on one of New Jersey’s oldest working farms and one of the oldest residences in the United States dating back to 1670. Previous owner of the farm and Obis One founder, Patrick Lloyd, had the idea to start producing “black garlic”. The company name, Obis One, pays homage to the 18-acre farm Obisquahassit, in Pennsville, New Jersey where the idea to produce this new, emerging product first began.
Patrick Lloyd, a declared “serial foodie” by his wife Lisa, has always experimented in the kitchen working on his own recipes for beef jerky, his well-known crab cakes, and with various ingredients. It took about 4 years to come up with the process to create black garlic and traction grew from there. The Lloyds knew their product was different enough and allowed them to create their own “niche within a niche” market. There were not many black garlic providers and even fewer that were certified organic as Obis One is. Since being founded, Obis One has become North America’s largest USDA organic certified black garlic provider.
In addition to being a unique product, it is also one that holds various health benefits. Black garlic has double the antioxidants, substances that may protect your cells against free radicals in your body, than regular garlic. High levels of free radicals can contribute to illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. If that wasn’t enough to convince you to try to the product, an added bonus is no garlic breath! The aging process Obis One uses gets rid of allicin and mellows out the overpowering taste of garlic making their product more sweet/savory with a soft texture comparable to that of dried fruit.
So, what is the process that makes black garlic? While Patrick and Lisa previously grew garlic on their farm in New Jersey, planting up to 25,000 garlic bulbs a year, since moving to the Blacksburg area, they now source the bulbs from various certified organic farms in areas such as Charlottesville, California, and Spain. Yearly, they use approximately 11 tons of garlic! Once received, the raw garlic is aged with heat, humidity, and vacuuming adding only water. This process gives the garlic its black color and soft but not mushy texture.
A move to Blacksburg, Virginia became feasible in 2016 when things fell in to place and Lisa was able to convince Patrick to make a move so they could reside in the mountains, closer to where their son was attending school at Virginia Tech, both of their alma maters. When researching locations to continue their business plans for Obis One, Patrick settled on the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. The park provided them a location that included a wide variety of services and amenities they might need. Their current legal team is located right in the park as well. After having a conversation with former VTCRC President, Dr. Joe Meredith, the decision was a done deal. The VTCRC was where they would have amenities as well as a high level of support and personal interaction with people who cared about their business.
Since relocating, Obis One has continued to grow and just recently doubled their capacity for production with hopes to gain new wholesale providers and accounts. Their products, especially “Black Crack”, have become increasingly more popular throughout the New River Valley, and Patrick and Lisa would like to take things to the next level-with sights on their products becoming recognized nationally, possibly even internationally!
Locally, Obis One products can be purchased at Annie Kay’s Main Street Market or Eats Natural Foods both located in Blacksburg. Additionally, an online shop is set up at www.obisone.com. The month of May 2020 currently offers free shipping or local pickup and local delivery.
For customers searching for news ways to use Obis One products, their webpage includes various recipes from chefs and customers who have come up with alternative ways to use black garlic. In 2013, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery even created a limited-edition London style porter called Garlic Breadth with dried Black Crack. For customers who are inventive themselves, be sure to sign up for the Obis One newsletter or follow along on Facebook as they will be hosting a recipe contest in June. The possibilities are endless with this certified organic ingredient!
Obis One, LLC
1872 Pratt Drive, Suite 1375