Phoebe Young was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, though her work has taken her to new places. “I have a knack for knowing how things work, and understanding processes,” she said. “I think that helps me in the work I’ve done over the years.” Both of Phoebe’s parents were architects. “I was raised to be competent,” she laughed, “for better and for worse.” She has had several careers working with equipment, quality assurance, production management, and desktop publishing. In her youth she was even a “grease monkey” in a copper mine. Phoebe is a hard worker, and likes wrapping her head around a problem to find a solution.
The New Lebanon Baloney company is a project Phoebe took on after retirement. She moved here in 2011 to live with her sister, her dog Jack, and her cat Posey. She gets business advice and labor support from her children, who have followed in her footsteps. Phoebe’s famous “New Lebanon Baloney” has a distinctive tangy, smoky flavor that has made it a favorite at the New Lebanon farmers market, where she sells her goods alongside her sister Debby’s jam.
Phoebe wants everyone to have access to good food, made locally. She thinks it’s important that people don’t see this as a trend or a luxury, but a return to a former way of eating. “All we’re doing is returning to something that’s much more natural,” she said. “It’s time to bring it back to what my grandmother made.”