To say that making leather is in Jesse Meyer’s blood would be an understatement. His family has been working in tanneries since the 1500s.
Meyer would help out the family business in high school, but he wasn't a fan of the job. His father's company would manufacture the insides of bowling shoes. It wasn't glamorous but it kept them in business.
After graduating from SUNY New Paltz and studying art, Meyer brought his own ideas to the table.
Pergamena Leather and Parchment, of Montgomery, now makes leather for artists, fashion designers and furniture; it makes parchment for book binding. “We check a bunch of boxes,” said Meyer.
The small family-owned business knows where the hides are coming from and they use vegetable tanning, which is cleaner and better for the environment than chrome tanning. The formula is attractive to many businesses, especially in New York City.
One restaurant, which gets meat from the same farm that Meyer gets some of his cow hide, purchased leather for their furniture from Pergamena. The reason: customers can sit on the same cows that they are eating.
When asked if he likes the family business, Meyer said, “I do now.”