Catching Up With Amish Convert & Chef, Matthew Secich

You may remember the story of Amish convert Matthew Secich of the Unity, Maine Amish community.

Secich was previously a well-known chef working in upscale restaurants, before becoming a member of the Unity community last autumn, where he lives with his wife Crystal.

matthew-secich-cutting-meat
Photo: Gabor Degre/Bangor Daily News

Now Secich runs Charcuterie, a store specializing in specialty meats and cheeses.

He ran into challenges earlier this year when health regulations threatened the closure of his business (including questions over his use of an ice house instead of conventional refrigeration). Happily, those issues seem to have been resolved and Charcuterie is plugging away.




The Bangor Daily News recently revisited his story with an update on the business, which along the way has gained international fame:

“It’s been a really great year,” Crystal Secich said. “We feel very blessed to be here. We just feel at home.”

Part of the whirlwind stemmed from a flurry of media attention that began last January. People from all over the country, and then around the world, heard about the store and were captivated by the idea of the Amish chef hand-grinding sausages by lamplight in a rural part of Maine. Matthew Secich and Charcuterie were featured in the Bangor Daily News, NPR, on public radio in Germany and in a newspaper article published in Japan, among other media outlets.

The effect on Charcuterie was immediate. It was even a little out-of-hand, the chef said.

“I could never have imagined,” Matthew Secich said. “It was mind-boggling to think you could have a business in Maine that brought people from all over the world. I feel the greatest part is the chance to make friends. … There’s so many people that come in, sit down and talk for an hour or two.”

charcuterie-amish-meat-business-maine
Photo: Gabor Degre/Bangor Daily News

Commenters on the BDN story show the enthusiasm over the Seciches’ business:

Very glad. I always get a few things there when I’m in the area. While the smoked cheddar might be my favorite purchase, I can attest to the pearls of wisdom Matt’s willing to share being all the more worth the trip. A friendly, hard working couple, and they will have my patronage as long as they are open.

I assume this person means the town in Maine, not the better-known European capital, but still:

Best of luck to Mr. and Mrs. Secich. I’m going to have to make the trip from Belfast…

It always tickles me when these little Amish businesses get known across the nation or even worldwide.

Secich’s story is of course a bit more captivating than that of the average Amish food business given his unusual background. Hopefully this will continue for them in a positive direction into 2017 and beyond.

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    6 Comments

    1. Mike Caron

      Yes Belfast is in Maine

      Matthew and Crystal Secich opened their Charcuterie in Unity, which is very near Freedom, Liberty and Hope. Belfast (Maine) is the nearest town of any size on the coast. China is much closer to Unity, but even less populated. This is a worldly state. We also have Norway, Naples, Calais, Paris, Poland, Sweden, Mexico, Peru, Wales, Vienna, and many other placenames from afar.
      Then there are local names like Meddybemps, Megunticook, Cobbosseecontee, Cupsuptic, Umbagog and so on for those who want more uniqueness in their toponyms.

      1. Great names, Mike, thanks for sharing. I always enjoy hearing about or seeing quirky and unusual place names in my travels.

    2. Amish Convert

      Thank you for putting this on. I wondered what happened to Matthew. Glad things are working out for him and his family.

      Merry Christmas to all.

    3. Alice Mary

      I hope you’ll keep us up to date on the Secich’s venture into the daunting (to me) prospect of becoming (and staying) Amish. Very unique people and story! The best to them and their neighbors, their whole community. They sure seem to have fit in & filled a niche of sorts!

      Alice Mary

    4. M.H.G.

      Great story…
      Nice to hear, that the small business can get some respect
      from around the world…
      ___________________________
      Merry Christmas everybody!

    5. Meridith V. French

      shipping

      does Mr. Secich ship his German style meats and sausages? I sure would like some schnitten but I don’t live close to a German or Amish metzger.