Matt Rebackoff's introduction to the retail world has been unique to say the least. He launched MR Eatwell, a small apparel and accessories business, earlier this year and his food-themed loungewear was soon a hit with sales coming in from across the country, even in the midst of a pandemic.
"Quarantine has allowed me to spend a lot of time on this venture," he told Adore. "I'm happy to have something to do. I have not been bored!"
Items range from t-shirts to phone cases, with most featuring photos of food and drinks. Mardi Gras lovers will want the King Cake merch (featuring a cake made by his fiancé Tess) and social distancing warriors will find humor with the "Cerveza" items. Crystal Hot Sauce fans will be pleased to know there are multiple pieces featuring the beloved condiment. The name "MR Eatwell" features his initials and a hobby of his: eating well. "Not a diet," he explains. "I crush food."
The idea of MR Eatwell came from a bowl of pasta (Rebackoff was learning to cook at the time). Self-described as a hoodie aficionado, he thought his favorite hoodie might look better with the pasta on it. A friend helped print the photo on the sweatshirt and voilà, people began to ask about it. From there, he made a few more items for himself, sold some to friends, and taught himself Photoshop and Illustrator. Then came the collaboration with Crystal Hot Sauce (which was produced in the midst of the pandemic) featuring sweatpants, crop tops, and even baby onesies. Crystal is donating all proceeds of the merchandise to the Greater New Orleans Foundation Service and Hospitality Family Assistance Program. On all other purchases, 10% of the proceeds will be donated to a charity of the customer's choice.
"I want to continue to make things that make people smile for whatever reason. I’ve had a blast and it’s been an incredible experience."
Rebackoff is taking MR Eatwell day by day, but would eventually love to step away from the logistics and focus more on partnerships and design. He would like to expand beyond loungewear (summer clothes are in the works) and team up with chefs on new dishes. "It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster but I’m going to run with it for as long as I can."