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COLUMBUS THE STORY OF LOCAL FOOD

Member of Edible Communities No. 44 | Spring 2021

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SPRING 2021 | CONTENTS

DEPARTMENTS 3

EDITOR’S NOTE

5 #EDIBLECOLUMBUS

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EDIBLE ENTREPRENEUR

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

16 CULTURE 26 RECIPES 32 DRINK 38 HERO 40

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SMALL BITES

FE AT URES 8

A GROWING PASSION FOR GARDENING Central Ohioans are turning to their backyards for kitchen gardens By Wynne Everett | Photography by Annette Ferraro

20 THE BUTCHER AND GROCER A place for small farmers to sell their best meats—and for customers to buy them By Nancy McKibben | Photography by Reilly Wright

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34 SHARP RELIEF At The Finest Edge, there’s never a dull moment By Linda Lee Baird | Photography by Rebecca Tien

C O V ER

Photography by Annette Ferraro

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EDITOR’S NOTE

edible

W

riting about spring always gives me a warm feeling, which is particularly welcome after hours of shoveling snow in freezing temperatures. (OK, I will confess part of that time was spent making a snowman.) The production cycle of Edible Columbus requires us to write about each season before it actually arrives, so my mind is focused on spring even if the rest of me is still dealing with winter. After a year of turmoil and uncertainty, we can count on this, at least: Spring will arrive with the vernal equinox at 5:37am on March 20. We will soon start to see more birds, bees and butterflies. Budding green leaves will appear on the bare tree branches. It’s a welcome season of new growth. For most of us, the winter—and the whole past year—was a time of staying at home more, not always by choice. We progressed through a series of pandemic shutdowns, stay-at-home orders, curfews and mask mandates. (Aside from Halloween, I had never worn a face mask in my entire life until 2020, and now I have quite a collection of them.) The stories in our Spring issue show how the food community, and all of us, have adapted to this reality of spending more time around the house. If you’re among the many who began growing your own food, garden coach Annie Chubbuck has great advice for the coming season. If you’re more interested in having your food delivered, we’ll introduce you to an entrepreneur who will bring his fresh “ooey-gooey” cookies to your door. For those who are cooking at home more often, we take you to an acclaimed local butcher shop and introduce you to a knife-sharpening service gone mobile. You’ll also find a collection of seasonal recipes that make use of fresh springtime ingredients—and some words of encouragement for when your kitchen

COLUMBUS PUBLISHER

Franklin County Farm Bureau EDITOR IN CHIEF

Gary Kiefer | gary@ediblecolumbus.com adventures don’t turn out as you planned. Spring is a season of hope, this year more than ever. The new year brought us the COVID-19 vaccines, and millions of our most vulnerable people—by age or health or occupation—already have been vaccinated. Just as spring promises to bring the warmth to melt the ice and snow, the vaccines give us the hope that we will again be able to enjoy gatherings with family and friends and other experiences we once relished. Columbus poet Maggie Smith published a book last year that seemed perfectly timed to the pandemic, although it came out of the breakup of her marriage. Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity and Change is an inspiring guidebook for difficult times and a favorite in our house. This passage could describe where we are today: Trust that everything will be okay, but that doesn’t mean everything will be restored. Start making yourself at home in your life as it is. Look around and look ahead. As we go through this change of seasons, I hope that you are able to stay safe and look ahead—to spring, to new growth and to better days. —Gary Kiefer gary@ediblecolumbus.com

Edible Columbus is brought to you by Franklin County Farm Bureau Board of Trustees: Leland Tinklepaugh, president | John Hummel, vice president Roger Genter, secretary | Dwight Beougher | Veronica Boysel Connie Cahill | Ross Fleshman | Denise Johnson Lewis Jones | Gayle Lewis | Jack Orum Cassie Williams | Nathan Zwayer

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Melinda Lee melinda@ediblecolumbus.com

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Edible Columbus is published quarterly and distributed throughout Central Ohio. Subscription rate is $25 annually. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission from the publisher. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us. Thank you.

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#ediblecolumbus Share your edible endeavors with us on Instagram via #ediblecolumbus! Here are a few of our recent favorites... Reilly Wright

From top, left to right:

@thethompsonkitchen @aaronmclouse @cbus_d.eats @cheapeatscolumbus @tastingcolumbus @foodietripps @explorecolumbuscafes @ohiofoodlover @iiamlexi |

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Bradley Kaplan

Lion Cub’s Cookies His baking hobby grew into a business for Bradley Kaplan Story and Photography by Angela Lee

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EDIBLE ENTREPRENEUR

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eet Bradley Kaplan. He’s not your typical Midwestern small-business owner. Spreading via the roots of Instagram reshares and word of mouth, the cookie business Kaplan started has grown exponentially as more customers seek out his unusual baked goods. From ghost kitchen to the customer’s house, Kaplan has created an experience that focuses on community engagement. The origin story of Lion Cub’s Cookies is a wholesome one. The cookie-making business started out as a hobby, fueled by an innate curiosity to create cookies unique to Columbus. At the time, Kaplan was also going to business school at Ohio State University and the idea grew from there. Each of his cookies is carefully weighed and shaped during the production process to create a dessert that is slightly crispy on the outside with a soft cookie-dough-like center that he describes as “ooey-gooey.” The ever-changing flavors range from the typical chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin to more complex combinations, including PB&J, fluffernutter, maple bacon, puppy chow and oatmeal white chocolate cranberry. From the start, Lion Cub’s Cookies was anything but a household name. But it was a name that echoed across social media and into the concrete halls of the North Market for Kaplan’s first cookie pop-up in December 2019. And it was this first pop-up that changed the game. Asked about that day, Kaplan recalls feeling a mix of emotions before the doors opened. “I remember before the first pop-up wondering what was going to happen and if anyone was even going to show up. My brother had invested a small sum into the company at the time and we had no idea what to expect. We sold 400 cookies that day. But after seeing all those people that day and seeing all those sales, I remember going back to my brother and saying that ‘This [is] going to be the best investment of your life.’”

Lion Cub’s Cookie stand out is the practice of dispatching the same delivery driver to the same neighborhoods to help build a relationship with the customers. This has created a more personable experience for both the customers and the drivers, because both sides are able to check in and get to know each other. And during the unique experience of dealing with the pandemic, many people have been craving the human interaction that they lost. “Having the same delivery driver coming out with our weekly batch of cookies has helped to bridge that void of socialization,” Kaplan said, providing the sort of connection “that we have all been desperately seeking.” Kaplan said there have been some “really cool” interactions sparked by the cookies, mentioning two that stood out. “One girl … actually spoke with me via Zoom and started crying after talking about all the hardships that she’s faced this past year. She described how the cookies have been able to help take her mind off the struggles and hardships that she’s had to endure. That was truly incredible to see how the cookies have impacted those in the community,” he says. The other story he told was about the Ronald McDonald House. “They do such incredible work there. But the people there have grown to know my car as it pulls up to the driveway, ready with the next delivery of cookies,” he said. “I was talking with a guy that works there and he was just saying that one delivery of cookies just simply melts away the sadness and rough things that are happening. It helps to bring a little spark of joy into the day, and everyone always looks forward to it.” To continue with the sparks of joy, Lion Cub’s Cookies is set to open a brick-and-mortar store this spring at 1261 Grandview Ave., in the heart of Grandview Heights. Cookies will be readily available, fresh, warm and ready for the taking.

Kaplan is now fully committed to the world of cookie making. What started out as a business of one has transformed into a working machine complete with recipe developers/bakers and drivers. But aside from the cookies themselves, Lion Cub’s Cookies has made a name for itself as a brand. The commitment and devotion to customers is seen through every step and every member of the business. And throughout the course of this past year, Kaplan and his team have created something for the city that it has been desperately seeking: connection.

When asked about what continues to drive him to bring the business to where it is today, Kaplan admits to enjoying “seeing where it takes me, the success of the company.” For him, that first bite of the oven-fresh cookie means everything. It means “validation.”

When the pandemic initially shut the doors of businesses throughout the country, Kaplan saw the great impact that it made on his employees. Determined to find an answer, he introduced a cookie delivery service as a way to serve his employees, and also as a way to bring back a semblance of joy into the lives of his community. The concept that has made

To order cookies, visit lioncubscookies.com.

So there you are, Columbus. I introduce to you, Lion Cub’s Cookies: a little bit sweet, a little bit warm and a whole lot of joy.

Angela Lee is a food photographer, freelance writer and social media strategist. She’s always in search of her next culinary adventure. You can find her on Instagram at @FindYourFork or via email at FindYourFork@gmail.com.

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These Kenyon College students are cultivating new attitudes along with the crops By Wynne Everett

A Growing Passion for

Gardening 8

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Annie Chubbuck wants to see kitchen gardens planted across the city By Wynne Everett | Photography by Annette Ferraro

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Annie Chubbuck

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hen the coronavirus emerged last spring, many of us turned to gardening to fill the time, to have something healthy to do at home and to begin growing some of our own food. What was a spontaneous trend last year has blossomed into a full-blown craze as many of last year’s beginning gardeners plan to keep up the habit with bigger and better gardens this year. In Columbus, many would-be urban gardeners turned to consultant Annie Chubbuck to teach them the basics and help them transform small spaces into productive little plots where everything from tomatoes and peppers to herbs and flowers can thrive. Even before the pandemic, Chubbuck said, there was a steadily increasing interest in kitchen gardening in recent years. “More and more people were interested in growing food at home and once coronavirus hit, it just exploded.” For many people, being outside and working in a garden provided some peace during the pandemic. Having something to care for was like therapy in uncertain times, she said. And

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home kitchen gardening was something we could do with our families safely at home. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to relieve stress. Chubbuck’s own introduction to gardening came when she worked in the fashion industry and lived in the East Village neighborhood of New York City. She found a small community garden and joined the crew working there, some of whom had been at it for 20 years. Spending time outdoors, working and learning about growing food helped relieve the stress of her big-city office job, Chubbuck said. Chubbuck left New York for Columbus years ago and transformed her former hobby into a business called Seed Babies, helping Central Ohioans plan and build beautiful kitchen gardens. This year Chubbuck has rebranded her business with a new name, Seed and Vine, which she thinks more accurately sums up the essence of her work. The wave of interest in creating and growing kitchen gardens has continued, and Chubbuck has spent the last few months planning springtime garden installations and consulting with returning clients about their plans for the growing season.


GREEN TIPS Chubbuck’s goal is to make everyone—no matter their experience level—feel more confident in the garden. Here are some of her best gardening tips to help even amateur gardeners grow like a pro: 1. There is no such thing as a green thumb.

“I hear from people all the time that they don’t have a green thumb,” Chubbuck said. “There’s no such thing. Gardening is a learned skill, like anything else. The learning never stops. I learn new things in the garden every year.”

2. Our growing season in Ohio is much longer than you think.

Another misconception for gardeners, particularly in Central Ohio, is the idea that we have a limited growing season. Chubbuck plans for a garden to produce in multiple seasons using cold-tolerant plants in the spring and fall. “We can really start growing in early April, depending on the weather,” she said. “I plant stuff in my garden every single month from April to October.” To make the most of this, gardeners should stagger when they plant their seedlings. By using this succession planting, Chubbuck not only gets produce earlier and later in the season, but she also helps manage that mid-summer garden produce glut that threatens to overwhelm many gardeners. “It makes both planting and harvesting more manageable,” she said.

3. Get adventurous with what you plant.

Gardening the city, gardening pretty The new wave of urban gardening is leaving behind old ideas about how home gardens should look. Gone are the days that gardens were square, untidy plots tucked away in a corner of the backyard. Chubbuck’s custom-designed gardens often use raised beds and other attractive space-saving designs meant to complement home landscapes. Many are pretty enough to go in the front yard. “A kitchen garden is meant to be close to the house,” Chubbuck said. “You should be able to step out and clip.” Rather than large, messy and unattractive spaces, the gardens that Chubbuck helps her clients design are compact and aesthetically pleasing. “It is important to make it look like it belongs,” she said. Chubbuck helped Georgina Flower, of Upper Arlington, design a front-yard garden early in the growing season last year. She chose a front-yard spot because it was a space her family wasn’t using. Once it was installed, Flower said she could enjoy a view of the garden from her home office—and

While most people are initially interested in kitchen-garden standbys like tomatoes, peppers and herbs, Chubbuck encourages her clients to consider other delicious produce that is also easy to grow, including potatoes and greens. “A lot of people don’t think to grow potatoes, but they’re relatively low maintenance,” Chubbuck said. One way to manage this in a small space is to choose small-variety potatoes like fingerlings. She also encourages gardeners to consider greens like kale, chard and arugula, all of which are especially delicious fresh from a kitchen garden. “It’s just so much better than store-bought,” she said.

4. Don’t be afraid to plant densely.

Another tip Chubbuck offers new backyard gardeners, particularly those using raised beds, is to plant plants a little bit closer together than seed-packet directions recommend. “I generally space things more closely than recommended,” she said. “A lot of those spacing guidelines are for traditional gardens where people will need to walk between the rows, which you don’t have to do in a raised bed.”

5. Don’t beat yourself up if plants die.

“Sometimes Mother Nature gets the best of us,” she said, even when we’re experienced gardeners. |

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she also got to see neighbors admiring it as they went by. “Everybody kept telling me how much they loved to look at it,” she said. The family grew kale, tomatoes, herbs, chard, arugula, beans and strawberries. Her triplet sons, who are now 5½, loved it. “They understand that food doesn’t just plop on the grocery store shelf,” Flower said. Flower said she decided to start a garden as the pandemic took hold last spring. She was searching for something healthy and fun she could do at home with her children and a kitchen garden fit the bill. “It’s such a cathartic thing, even if you’re in the middle of the city,” Flower said. This year she is looking forward to a second-season consultation with Chubbuck to pick out new crops. “It’s kind of addicting!” she said.

No two gardens the same When it comes to home gardens, no two people seem to have the same thing in mind. Each person’s goals, space, time and tastes require a unique design and garden plan. Some families are eager to maximize the amount of space they can use and maximize the produce they can yield from it. Others want to start small and not be overwhelmed. “It’s personal and there’s no right or wrong way in how you use it,” Chubbuck said. And those needs evolve over time, too, she said. Someone who starts small may catch the gardening bug and want to expand the size and scope of their garden with each successive year. Others may want to slow down and enjoy a year in which their garden is less demanding. Whether they end up big or small, full of tomatoes or potatoes, one thing is certain: More gardens are coming. Chubbuck said she is thrilled to see so many people in Columbus discover that they can enjoy growing delicious food at home, even if they have very small urban plots. It’s a trend that seems likely to last. It’s not just about a response to coronavirus, but a blossoming interest in a healthier lifestyle. “I hope it is a trend that continues,” Chubbuck said. “More and more people are getting into it.” Learn more about Seed and Vine at seedandvine.co. Wynne Everett is a Columbus native who grew up eating fruits and vegetables from her grandparents’ farm and beef bought on the hoof at the county fair. She’s now a vegetarian and a veteran journalist whose career has taken her to Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Toledo. She has a passion for food stories and can be reached at wynneeverett@gmail.com.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Embracing Disaster in the Kitchen After a year of pandemic cooking, let your mistakes be lessons By Malinda Meadows

iStock.com/ AkuAlip |

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“Q

uel désastre! It was bloody!”

These were the words that came tumbling from Julia Child’s mouth in her kitchen in Provence. It was the 1970s, she was surrounded by a number of esteemed guests and she had just pulled a roast chicken from the oven. As her knife sliced into it, she realized it was massively undercooked. It was raw. It was bloody. It was a disaster. Or was it?

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By the time this article reaches print, we current-day non-chefs will have been grappling with the effects of a global pandemic for more than a year. Collectively, we’ve baked bread, we’ve made pasta from scratch, we’ve whipped sugar and water and coffee powder to create Dalgona coffees. We’ve baked cakes and pies along with tarts and Tarte Tatin. Some have attempted meals that take three hours, or even three days, perhaps in an effort to steady the hands or calm the internal purr of uncertainty this past year has brought. This also means that there have been kitchen mistakes and mishaps—it comes with the territory. Incidences where bread refused to rise, cakes emerged from the oven stodgy, butter burned in the pan and perhaps one or two or more roast chickens suffered a fate similar to Julia’s.

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The fact of the matter is most of us aren’t chefs. Many of us perhaps didn’t even consider ourselves home cooks until a pandemic shifted our relationship with food and our abilities and the contents of our own kitchen. Mistakes happen, even to chefs. But rack up enough of these mistakes in the kitchen and cooking can quickly turn from a feeling of joy to a feeling of failure. Scroll through flawless food images on social media or tune in to “Chef’s Table,” where perfectionism dominates the culinary discourse, and it’s no wonder we might be tempted to throw in the literal and metaphorical towel. But before we have the chance to ruminate any further on mistakes and perfectionism, let’s get back to Julia. On making mistakes in the kitchen, Julia said, “At first this broke my heart, but then I came to understand that learning how to fix one’s mistakes, or live with them, was an important part of becoming a cook.” Cooking is indeed the method by which we feed ourselves and one another. It’s a vehicle for connection, a wonderful experiment of turning very little into something much more. But it’s easy to forget that it’s also a skill, one that isn’t acquired in a single night or over the course of a weekend. It’s the learning of how to fix the mistakes or move on that’s the important part.


When our cooking plans don’t work out, we shouldn’t automatically assume failure. In fact, we could afford to take a step back from perfectionism, to let our egos take a nap for a while. We could afford to cut ourselves a break after surviving a year without even a modicum of predictability. With some gentle reframing, our mistakes can become valuable lessons. Perhaps a little less flour next time will help that bread rise. The next time we sauté, we’ll remember to add a little oil to the pan to prevent the butter from burning. Angling the legs of the chicken toward the back of the oven, where it’s usually hottest, will help our chickens roast more evenly. And in making these small adjustments, we’ll reintroduce some predictability back into our lives, if only in the form of a crusty loaf of bread or well-roasted chicken. If accepting mistakes as a chance for growth is still a struggle, it might also be comforting to know when exactly it was that Julia undercooked that chicken in Provence. The mistake was made after she attended the renowned culinary school Le Cordon Bleu; after she had written her seminal cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking; after she had soared to national fame with her TV show. As it turns out, even the professionals have an off night. Returning to that “off night,” the esteemed guests at Julia’s table were none other than American food icon James Beard,

the witty and compelling food writer MFK Fisher and a few other notable gastronomes. Yet these esteemed guests were also her dear friends. The response to the roast chicken wasn’t really likened to a disaster in the truest sense of the word. They all laughed, including Julia, who was well-known for her boisterous and infectious personality. Julia’s husband, Paul, took the delay as an opportunity to pour more wine for the table. The group eventually ate, some two hours later than expected (it was a rather big chicken, after all), but in the end, everything worked out. The wine continued to flow. They were tucked together in good company—something many of us are desperately yearning for a return to—which is the most real thing and all that really matters. Perhaps there is a sort of sovereignty in not caring so much in the kitchen, in banishing perfectionism, in dialing down the performance. Perhaps there is sovereignty in treating ourselves like a good friend who is trying their best to prepare a nice dinner for those around the table. This, if I were to choose, would be just my kind of disaster. Malinda Meadows is a freelance writer based in Columbus but will travel the world for a good meal. She loves handmade pasta, Swedish music and the first day in a new city. Find more of her writing at malindainthesnow.com or follow along on Instagram @malindainthesnow.

iStock.com/ asbe |

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Belle’s Bread: Sweetest Shop in Japan Marketplace The French-inspired Japanese bakery is celebrating its 10th year By Nicole Rasul | Photography by Rachel Joy Barehl

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t Belle’s Bread, a Japanese bakery in northwest Columbus, the aroma of sweet-meets-savory greets the nose immediately upon entry. The shop’s plethora of breads, pastries and other confections—more than 45 in all—are baked in-house daily beginning at 4am. There’s a bit of something for every palate, from Instagram-worthy Nutella-filled kitties to sophisticated, flaky croissants that rival those hailing from the best French patisserie.

nerstone of Takenaka’s complex and remains one of the most loved and lauded Japanese fine-dining options in Columbus.

Pre-pandemic, the shop’s seating area buzzed with a United Nations of guests vying for space to savor coffee, tea and baked goods. These days, however, tables and chairs are put away and French music chimes in the background while guests in face masks queue to pay for to-go fare. Construction is underway to house additional retail products, including sandwiches, in the former dining space.

Takenaka hails from Japan and emigrated to the U.S. in 1972, settling in New York City. It was there that he met his wife, Francoise, a French immigrant. An entrepreneur at heart, Takenaka wished to open a restaurant and researched locations for his potential business in his new homeland. He stumbled on Columbus and, after studying the region’s demographics and business environment, he and Francoise moved west. Marysville’s Honda automotive plant and its significant Japanese expat population supplied a bevy of first customers. Now, more than 30 years later and with an American populace swept off its feet by Japanese cuisine, Takenaka’s businesses are consistently booming, embraced and treasured by the Central Ohio community.

Hailed in 2018 as “one of America’s best Japanese bakeries” by Food & Wine magazine, Belle’s Bread was launched in 2011 as the fifth business (there are six in total) at Japan Marketplace at Kenny and Old Henderson Roads. The sprawling slice of Japan is the three-decade-old brainchild of Takashi Takenaka and includes several Japanese restaurants, a grocery, the bakery and a gift shop. Akai Hana, the enterprise’s first institution, opened in 1987 as Restaurant Japan. It’s the cor-

“It’s a nice combination to have both of them in charge of this place since it incorporates their backgrounds,” says Mika Lecklider, the Takenakas’ daughter. She’s the manager of Belle’s Bread, which borrows traditions from France and Japan. Though bread has a long history in Japan, the root of the options vended in most Japanese bakeries today can be traced to a baking culture that exploded in the country after World War II and was heavily inspired by French technique.

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CULTURE Mika Lecklider

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Demonstrating the fusion of the two cuisines, pastries like cream puffs, matcha roll cake and mango mousse line the cold case near the checkout. Nearby, venerable loaves of pillowy squareshaped white bread, known as shokupan, reside on shelves next to French-inspired croissants and Danishes. The shokupan at Belle’s Bread is made with fresh cream in a slow fermenting process that includes a low-speed knead. A slew of savory baked options like ham and onion rolls and curry and boiled egg donuts round out the selection, along with frank rolls—a hot dog wrapped in dough and baked, which Lecklider says is a modern Japanese bakery staple. In launching Belle’s Bread, Takenaka engaged the services of a trained Japanese baker working in New York City to instruct the shop’s employees. “My dad likes to have professionals come and teach us,” Lecklider explains. “He still visits regularly to make sure everything is as it should be and to ensure that we’re not taking any shortcuts,” she adds about the chef. The shop’s 20 bakers—sourced from the Central Ohio community— match Belle’s Bread’s clientele with an international array connected by a common theme of the appreciation of craft. “We try and find people who have a passion for home baking,” Lecklider says about the group, whose members have roots in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe, Japan, China and Mexico. Lecklider says many guests are attracted to the shop’s desserts due to their lack of overly saccharine attributes. She explains that in Europe, the Middle East and much of Asia, desserts traditionally feature less sugar compared to American offerings such as cupcakes laden with dense, sweet frosting. That makes Belle’s Bread’s confections especially appealing to those hailing from these parts of the world, not just Japan. “In the beginning, my dad was really tailoring things to the Japanese customer,” Lecklider says about Japan Marketplace and its 30-year history. “Now his focus is the general public—Americans, Asians, everyone—but with high standards so Japanese people know that everything is made the right way culturally.” “My dad thought Japan Marketplace wouldn’t be complete without a Japanese bakery for families to buy their bread and cakes,” Lecklider adds. “It makes the shopping center that much more exciting to visit, especially for kids.” To see the menu and get more information on Belle’s Bread, visit bellesbread.com. Nicole Rasul is a freelance writer covering food and agriculture. In addition to Edible Columbus her work has appeared in Edible Indy, Columbus Monthly, Civil Eats, The Counter, Modern Farmer, Eater, Salon, Forbes.com and others. You can read her writing at nicolerasul.com and follow her on Twitter at @rasulwrites.

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THE BUTCHER AND GROCER: MEAT WITH A MISSION Owner Tony Tanner provides small farmers a place to sell their best meats—and customers a place to buy them By Nancy McKibben | Photography by Reilly Wright

T

ony Tanner, the 49-year-old founder and owner of The Butcher and Grocer, is a proud lifelong East Sider, having lived in Columbus, Pataskala and Eastmoor, but “never on a road that didn’t intersect with East Broad.” After an initial phone interview, we have connected at his shop. Tony is six feet tall, broad-shouldered, bearded and affable. Former high school athlete? “Wrestler,” he confirms. After growing up in a politically engaged family, Tony took a sociology degree at Ohio University and spent the next 11 years immersed in local and state politics and government, jobs that included serving with State Auditor Dave Yost. He even met wife Kristi, a Governor Voinovich staffer, while working on the re-election campaign. Then, on election night of 2014, Tony’s life changed. A close friend died of a rare cancer that he believed was linked to his diet. “Once he died, I started doing my own research about health and food and food processing.”

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“ We’re just a little butcher shop trying to provide Central Ohio with the best beef, lamb, pork and chicken you can get.

Tony Tanner at TB&G Meats

“The marketing of meat in particular was not what I would call always honest,” Tony says. With a reformer’s zeal, Tony decided that if he couldn’t find a butcher shop that sold the kind of local, farm-raised meat that he wanted to buy, then he would open one. Kristi’s response— “Are you out of your *** mind?”—might have daunted a less-determined man, but Tony pressed on.

A neighborhood feel In the meantime, he began his quest to find local farmers who raised their meat the way his research told him was healthiest: “pasture-raised, non-GMO fed, and antibiotic and hormone free.” After more than a year of sourcing Ohio meats and foods, Tony opened The Butcher and Grocer with two butchers on July 5, 2016, in Grandview Heights, in a quaint row of stores “with a neighborhood feel.” On board as his producers were one beef farmer, two pork farmers, one chicken farmer and as many Ohio-made products as he could find. (Spoiler alert: Tony now has six beef, seven pork and three poultry farmers, which guarantees him a steady supply of meats.) He is unstinting in his praise of the farmers he works with. “They’re the hardest-working people I know,” he says.

“They put their entire lives into farming,” Local customers flocked to the new store; those from further afield urged him to open a shop in their own neighborhoods. My youngest son, Justin, formerly a grill cook at Worthington Inn, raved to me about Tony’s meats: “the best in town!” The wholesale side of Tony’s business grew quickly as farmers continued to contact him about selling their meat. To further showcase the shop’s meats, he purchased a neighboring restaurant when it closed and reopened it as Cleaver. The ultimate accolade came in November 2020, when a Food & Wine magazine article named The Butcher and Grocer one of the “Best 100 Butcher Shops and Meat Markets in America,” illustrated by a photo of the shop’s morcilla (Spanish blood sausage) links in the shape of a heart. “It was so exciting,” Tony says. “It still is. We’re just a little butcher shop trying to provide Central Ohio with the best beef, lamb, pork and chicken you can get.”

Pandemic times The business was flourishing and ready to expand when the pandemic struck. As the owner of an essential business, Tony counts himself lucky. “The biggest obstacle is that the shop is small,” allowing |

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only two staff and four customers in the front of the store at one time. But, Tony says, “The customers have been so accommodating. Sometimes there’s a line of people standing outside.”

shelves crowded with pork and beef. “Chicken is the only thing that comes in frozen,” Tony tells me. “That’s because they’re all raised from May to October. We get about 1,200 chickens at a time.”

That’s the plus side of the ledger. On the minus side, the wholesale business has plummeted from 30 clients to eight. And like the rest of the restaurant industry, Cleaver struggles.

Opposite the meat counter are pastas, sauces, spice rubs, crackers, pickles from Ohio, Columbus and Southern Ohio craft beer and wine from all over, which customer Kellen Shields describes herself as “obsessed with.”

Tony laments the difficulty of running a business when the rules keep changing. And he is “disappointed in everybody in Washington for not putting relief where it needed to be, especially with service workers, who are pretty much out of work. It’s sad.”

Inside story Outside the shop, a few customers, well-bundled against the cold, wait their turn beneath an old-timey wooden sign displaying a butcher’s cleaver. Inside, a gleaming 12-foot-long meat counter beckons, replete with roasts, chops, steaks and cutlets. Tony gestures. “Everything in the meat case is from Ohio. The tasso and mortadella and capicola are made in-house. So is the terrine. The meat is ground fresh every day.” I stare at and later purchase from an enormous sausage display: lemon prosciutto, Mexican sweet corn, triple jalapeño and black bean, green chorizo, cheesy Texas toast, carbonara, rice pipian, sweet Italian, hot Italian, honey breakfast, blueberry breakfast, spicy annatto. Sausage maker Nathan Killen’s hashtag is #sausagescientist. I would add #sausageartist and #sausagewizard. Cheeses, largely from Ohio, are displayed in a case at the back. Shrimp and salmon were originally purchased to help restaurants that needed to dispose of their inventory in the first lockdown, but have since become a fixture for customer convenience. The very back of the store is the butchers’ domain. Tony employs both butchers and butchers-in-training. “It’s nice to know we’re expanding the footprint of trade butchers by training new, homegrown ones here.” Grandview resident Jeff Schleeter, choosing his order at the meat counter, agrees. “It’s like going to an old-school butcher,” he says. “Their meat is fresh, I know it’s good and it’s cut to order. And it’s all local Ohio.” In the meat locker, I see whole lamb carcasses dangling amidst

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“The wine selection is incredible,” she says, but it was the “unique flavor” of the sausages that first won her heart, as well as the “customer service” and “amazing people.”

The future is now Not one to wait on a pandemic to expand his business, Tony is in the midst of opening a 4,000-square-foot wholesale facility in a former brewery on James Road, near Port Columbus, to be called TB&G Meats. Four butchers will break down whole animals there, then distribute smaller cuts to their butcher shops. “Our sausage production will be there, too, to keep everything consistent. And we’ll have an indoor smokehouse to smoke large cuts of meats like hams.” Still in the planning stage are two new Butcher and Grocer shops, one to be in Shawnee Hills in the Dublin-Powell area and the other slated for The Trolley District, the new development near Franklin Park. When asked how he first knew that The Butcher and Grocer was a success, Tony laughs ruefully. “I’m pretty serious about this. We’re only five years in. We’ve had success, but we haven’t reached our potential. I see every new day as a day to get better, to grow.” The Butcher and Grocer: 1089 W. 1st Ave., Grandview Heights, 614-372-5376. Check thebutcherandgrocer.com for hours. Cleaver restaurant: 1097 W. 1st Ave., Grandview Heights; 614914-8507. Check hours at cleavergrandview.com. Nancy McKibben is happy to combine her loves of eating and writing with the opportunity to advocate for sustainable agriculture in the pages of Edible Columbus. Her latest project is Yucatecan Lullaby, a bilingual (English and Spanish) children’s picture book. She is also a novelist, poet and lyricist, the mother of six and wife of one. View her work at nancymckibben.com; contact her at nmckibben@leader.com.


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ROASTED CARROTS WITH YOGURT, WALNUTS AND MINT Makes 4 servings

Fresh carrots are ample in spring farmers markets, and this recipe from Christina Musgrave of Tasting with Tina makes them the star of the dish. Roasted carrots with yogurt, walnuts and mint is a deliciously different recipe. The tang of garlicky yogurt, the sweetness of roasted carrots and earthy toasted walnuts make this a delightful spring treat. Ingredients For the carrots: 1 bag carrots, peeled 2 tablespoons olive oil Pinch of salt and pepper For the yogurt sauce: 1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt ½ tablespoon lemon juice 1 clove garlic, minced Pinch of salt and pepper For the walnuts: 4 ounces chopped walnuts 1 tablespoon olive oil Pinch of salt, pepper and cinnamon Mint leaves, for topping

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Directions Heat oven to 450°F. Toss carrots in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange carrots on a baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes. While carrots are baking, make the yogurt sauce. Mix yogurt with lemon juice, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside. Next, warm a pan on low heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add walnuts and pinches of salt, pepper and cinnamon. Cook on low heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. After the carrots have cooked for 20 minutes, flip and bake for another 10 minutes. To serve, line carrots on a large tray and top with yogurt, walnuts and mint. Enjoy! You can find more of Christina’s recipes at her website (tastingwithtina.com) or on Instagram (@tasting. with.tina) or Facebook (facebook.com/tastingwithtinablog).


RECIPES

DILL DEVILED EGGS Makes 12 deviled eggs

Dill Deviled Eggs are perfect for spring! And according to Hannah Lewis of The Beard and the Baker, these are the absolute best deviled eggs around. Pick up some fresh dill at your local farmers market and make a springtime family favorite. Ingredients 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 6–8 cups cold water 6 eggs ¼ cup mayo 2 teaspoons yellow mustard 2 teaspoons fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill Salt and pepper to taste Directions Add apple cider vinegar to cold water in large pot. Stir, then add eggs and bring to a boil. Boil for 1–2 minutes, cover, then remove from heat and let sit covered for 11 minutes. Remove boiled eggs from hot water and put in an ice bath for 5 minutes to stop cooking. Remove from ice bath and dry the eggs. Gently crack the boiled eggs and remove the shells. Rinse the peeled eggs off just in case there are any lingering shells. Slice the hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the egg yolks and add to a bowl. After you have removed all egg yolks, set sliced egg whites aside. Add mayo, mustard, dill, and salt and pepper to egg yolks and mix with a fork until totally combined. Continue to mash until desired consistency. Using a spoon, fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture until full. Top with additional dill, if desired. Eat immediately or refrigerate until ready to enjoy!

Find more of Hannah’s recipes at her blog (thebeardandthebaker.com) and on Instagram (@thebeardandthebaker) and Facebook (facebook.com/TheBeardAndTheBaker). |

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MUSSELS AND CHORIZO Makes 6 servings

Laura Lee Pendy of Cuisine & Cocktails celebrates spring with Mussels & Chorizo. This lovely dish can be served as an appetizer, but we recommend making this the center of the meal with some crusty, toasted bread.

Directions Prepare mussels according to directions in post. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large, deep skillet heat olive oil over medium heat.

Ingredients 4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded (detailed instructions in blog post) 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for bread 1 shallot, diced 3–4 garlic cloves, minced 1 pound chorizo sausage (ground or with casings removed) ½ cup dry white wine 1 (32-ounce) can crushed tomatoes ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like more heat) 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon fresh-ground pepper ¼ cup heavy whipping cream 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped 1 loaf French baguette, for serving

Once warm, add shallot and sauté 3–4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes more. Add chorizo and cook all the way through, breaking up with spatula. Add white wine, stirring well. Cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir well. Bring to a slight simmer. Stir in red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Turn down heat and simmer for about 6 minutes, or until sauce cooks down and thickens. Add mussels to skillet and cover. Cook for 6–8 minutes. Meanwhile, cut bread into desired size and brush both sides with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Once mussels are done, they should all be open. Discard any that remain closed. Turn off heat and stir in heavy whipping cream.

You can find more of Laura’s recipes at her Cuisine & Cocktails website (cuisineandcocktails.com) and on Instagram (@cuisineandcocktails).

Toss in parsley and basil and stir well. Serve with bread and enjoy!

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HONEY ROSE MINI BUNDT CAKES Makes 12 mini Bundt cakes

Local blogger and baker Autumn LeAnn utilizes dried rose petals to make Honey Rose Mini Bundt Cakes. These sweet and beautiful mini cakes are perfect for spring. We recommend picking up some local honey for this recipe.

Directions Preheat oven to 350°F and spray your Bundt cake pans with nonstick pan spray; set aside.

Ingredients ½ cup unsalted butter, softened 1 cup natural honey 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 2 cups cake flour 1 cup whole milk ¼ cup dried rose petals, food grade

In a mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until evenly mixed.

Place the whole milk and rose petals in a blender and blend until completely smooth; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft. Add in the dark brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Pour in the honey and mix until incorporated. Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract. Add in 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture; mix until combined. Add 1/3 of the rose petal milk; mix until combined. Continue adding 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture and 1/3 of the rose petal milk until everything is combined. Pour the batter into the mini Bundt cake pans, fill each one about 2/3 full.

Check out all the great recipes on Autumn’s website (autumnleann.com), and follow her on Instagram (@theautumnleann) and Facebook (facebook.com/ theautumnleann).

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Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Garnish with rose petals and honey as desired.


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Traveling the expanded Columbus Ale Trail Latest edition of passport program features more breweries, extra time By Scott Gowans

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DRINK

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eeling stuck at home? Grab a passport or download an app, and set out for pints unknown.

Whether you’re homegrown or new to the area, programs such as the Columbus Ale Trail, the Coffee Trail and the Made in CBUS Trail highlight some of the things that make Central Ohio unique. They showcase small businesses while providing an enjoyable opportunity to explore the new normal. The Ale Trail launched in 2015 and has grown in popularity each year. The official kickoff for “Volume 6” was January 1, and this year’s ending date has been extended until April 2022, recognizing that people are reluctant to get out as frequently as in years past. You can pick up a free copy of the Columbus Ale Trail passport at any participating brewery. Participants can earn prizes for visiting a variety of craft breweries and taprooms (and buying carry-out beer counts as well). For breweries, participation is a no-brainer. “The traction you get is undeniable,” said Joe Wilson, CEO of Homestead Beer Company in Heath. “We got a ton of traffic who may not normally want to drive 45 miles to Heath.” Additional destinations outside of Columbus include breweries in Delaware, Lancaster, Granville, Newark, Buckeye Lake and Marysville. One of the event’s cofounders, Cheryl Harrison, explains that since 2015 the number of participating breweries has more than doubled, from 20 to this year’s 53. “We have had over 500 people finish the trail every year—meaning they visit and spend money at every brewery—and thousands of others participate and visit as many breweries as they can.” (Two participating breweries remain closed as of press time: Columbus Brewing Company and Taft’s Brewpourium.) Present your Columbus Ale Trail book at any participating brewery after making a purchase to receive a stamp. Prizes can be redeemed at the Ohio Taproom, 1291 W. 3rd Ave., or the Experience Columbus Visitor Center at Easton Town Center. Prizes start with an Ale Trail patch, earned with four stamps. For all 53 stamps, the reward is a limited-edition screened print designed by local artist Timothy Brennan. If you download the Ohio On Tap app from the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, which has a prize system of its own, you can double dip, getting credit from both the app and

the passport for visiting a single brewery. The app, which has 230 listings (and more than 47,000 downloads), offers rewards such as T-shirts, koozies, hats, flags and much more. Harrison explains, “One of the reasons we’ve stuck with a physical passport instead of a digital app for the Ale Trail is that it really fosters the community aspect. When Ale Trailers spot someone else at the bar getting their passport stamped, they often strike up a conversation, exchanging tips and must-try brews and breweries with one another.”

One of the first Jim Ellison, who also helped to launch the Columbus Ale Trail, said the goal of the event is to “support local businesses that really need support right now. [The Ale Trail] was one of the first of its kind in the country, and it is considered to be among the best as far as local support and sustainability. Many families and small groups of friends use it as an incentive to get out of a rut and try new places.” Homestead’s Wilson observes that Columbus is still young in terms of the craft-beer industry. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the city was home to only three breweries. By the 2000s, there were about a dozen. Even 10 years ago, there were only a handful of local craft breweries in Central Ohio. “In Denver there are over 100 small breweries, and you can go out of business quickly because there’s so much competition,” he said. “We don’t have that cutthroat mentality. Brewers constantly trade secrets, because there’s a futility in secrecy. Nobody is in this business to make money. It’s about passion and art.” Just how many participants hit the trail in 2020? More than 50,000 Volume 5 Columbus Ale Trail booklets were distributed, and almost 600 people completely finished the trail, even with the pandemic in effect for the last few months. Harrison noted, “A lot of people do [the Trail] as a group social activity with their co-workers, friends or partners, but all who participate seem to appreciate discovering new taprooms and new beers.” Find the full list of breweries participating in the Columbus Ale Trail at cbusaletrail.com. Learn about the Ohio On Tap prize program at ohiocraftbeer.org/app.

Scott Gowans lives on a family farm in Granville, where he tends a herd of dachshunds and a brace of cats. He can be reached at scottgowans@gmail.com.

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P R A H

F E I REL At The Finest Edge, there’s never a dull moment By Linda Lee Baird | Photography by Rebecca Tien 34

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I

f it slices, Lou Boyle can sharpen it. The Columbus-based master sharpener has restored everything from antique fabric scissors to bayonets and katana swords back to their original splendor. While these are some of his more memorable projects, it’s regular kitchen knives that drive the mobile sharpening business he’s built with his wife, Melanie. Today, the Boyles are finding innovative ways to keep Columbus sharp. The Boyles started The Finest Edge in 2016 while living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Although the business was new, Lou was no stranger to the industry: His father, Bruce Boyle, was also a master sharpener. Apprenticing under Bruce, Lou learned both the craft of sharpening and the ins and outs of running a business. It was under his father’s tutelage that Lou began cultivating clients in the local restaurant industry. |

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Lou and Melanie Boyle

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“We ended up getting drawn into the four-star [restaurant and] Michelin crowd all the way out through the [Interstate] 66 and 81 corridor,” Lou said. His dad had stressed the importance of building relationships with restaurants, and through word of mouth, The Finest Edge took off. Lou differentiated himself from other sharpeners by setting up his station inside a van and going directly to restaurants. The convenience of on-site sharpening, coupled with Lou’s meticulous work, earned him a loyal following among chefs in Virginia. Then, Melanie got a job opportunity in Columbus. The couple had to decide whether they were ready to build up a client base in a new city. Columbus’ booming food scene helped them make their choice. “We decided to move here to Columbus because it’s such a growing culinary capital,” Melanie explained. “It’s kind of the crossroads between [the] East and West parts of the country for food innovation.” As he had in Virginia, Lou started by working with restaurants and commercial customers (he’ll sharpen anything from stylist scissors to farm tools). Soon, The Finest Edge truck started visiting farmers markets and other locations with heavy foot-traffic. Melanie said their eye-catching van helped bring new business as well. “We would get random phone calls like, ‘Hey, we just saw this truck—uh, what do you guys do?’” The answer to that question sometimes takes explaining; the Boyles said that the idea of mobile sharpening is still “abstract” to many people. Yet Melanie emphasized that knife sharpening is a professional service necessary to maintain the life of an essential kitchen tool. “For most home chefs who cook at least two meals a day from scratch using their knives, we recommend having the knives professionally sharpened every six months.”

feedback also considered the balance and overall geometry. “It becomes a very technical skill, one that requires hundreds and hundreds of hours of practice,” Melanie said. Lou added that he went through “about a thousand practice knives” during his training.

Advice for home cooks While regular sharpening should be part of the routine for home cooks, Lou said that starting with the right knife is just as important. “I would not recommend buying a knife online ... you really need to have it fitted to your hand first.” Once you’ve made the investment, proper care at home will extend the life of your knife. Handwashing is crucial, as detergent is corrosive and spending too much time in water may erode the blade. Using a ceramic honing rod between professional sharpenings can help maintain the knife’s performance, but Lou cautioned against pull-through sharpeners, which can warp the metal. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Boyles said that you should love the knife you’re working with. “It’s worth the investment in a tool that could literally last for the rest of your life, and possibly your children’s lives, if you take care of it,” Melanie said. “There is so much more joy to be had in cooking in your home if you like the tools that you’re using.” Sharpening rates at The Finest Edge start at $1 per blade inch for standard knives. Visit finestedgesharpening.com to learn more. Linda Lee Baird is a Columbus-based freelance writer and educator. Follow her adventures in food, writing and parenting on Instagram at ms_lindalee and at lindaleebaird.com.

To make routine sharpening easier, The Finest Edge offers several unique packages. “Sharpening parties” are becoming popular, during which friends and family bring items in need of sharpening to a single location. Lou will drive to them and take care of everything on the spot. (The host receives a 20% discount on their own items, and a minimum of 10 items are required). To meet demand during COVID-19, Lou developed a system for contact-free sharpening, where items can be left in a secure location and paid for remotely. Once Lou collects the items, he uses his five-station sharpening tower to restore everything to its original state. Critiques by experts as part of his training prepared Lou to sharpen everything from regular kitchen knives to rare antiques. On the road to becoming a master sharpener, Lou received items in need of repair and was required to return them to their original condition in a certain timeframe. Then, experts would evaluate his work. They were interested in more than just whether the blade could cut; their |

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HERO

Kathryn Dougherty

Spritz Tea: Women Empowering Women Columbus-based start-up gives back to supportive community By Anna Kurfees | Photos courtesy of Spritz Tea

T

he table is set, dinner is made and a group of close friends is gathered to celebrate life, each other and friendship. By morning this same group will be up early training for the most physically demanding race of their lives: the Ironman Triathlon. While in training, toasting with alcohol was not ideal, but a celebratory “Cheers!” was still desired. Kathryn Dougherty went to her kitchen, made a concentrate of her favorite herbal tea, mixed it with sparkling water and served it to her friends in beautiful glassware. It was at this moment that Spritz Tea was born. The Spritz name comes from the representation of tiny bubbles to toast big celebrations or ordinary moments. Dougherty, founder and CEO of the company, believes everyone brings something to the table, and Spritz shows up with encourage-

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ment, inspiration and celebration. Spritz publicist Allison Bowers said that Dougherty wanted to create a healthy beverage that could be enjoyed at any point in the day, something more flavorful than sparkling water but with less sugar than a typical packaged tea drink. “Sparkling tea is a newer category in beverage with a lot of room for growth,” Bowers said. “We think Spritz is perfectly positioned to expand as the tea category does.” Bowers noted that “Spritz is lightly carbonated with no sugar, unlike many bottled teas that are often packed with sugar and fall flat (pun intended) for the health-conscious consumer.” The company promotes Spritz Tea as a morning alternative to coffee, a midday pick-me-up or a non-alcoholic alternative nightcap.


“With real benefits from real tea, zero sugar, zero calories, and being vegan, keto and gluten-free, Spritz stands apart from not only other teas in the category but from sparkling water as well,” Bowers said. Spritz Tea is available in four flavors packaged in 12-ounce cans. There is the bold and sweet Pink Guava, the complex Bright Citrus (with 50 grams of caffeine), the Wild Acai that looks beautiful in glassware and the Golden Peach for all the peach lovers out there. Beyond the innovation and delicious flavor profiles, Spritz is proud to be a female-founded business that keeps a seat open at the table for every woman. A key part of the company philosophy is giving back to the community through quarterly donations to female-focused nonprofits and gender-equality initiatives. “It was never just about tea. It has always been about celebration, empowerment and inspiration,” Bowers said. “By giving back to the community, we are opening up and holding space for other women. We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to pursue their dreams and that is why we donate 1% of all of our sales back to our community. We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for all the women before who saved a seat for us at the table. Now it is our turn.” Spritz has proudly supported the Women’s Small Business Accelerator, a training and mentoring organization for female entrepreneurs in Central Ohio, and looks forward to supporting

additional organizations as the company continues to grow. The Spritz team remains grateful for an incredibly supportive community in Columbus that has allowed them to continue their mission through a tough year. They also commend the Columbus community for banding around and supporting local small businesses. One advantage for any new business in Columbus is that the community has a multitude of savvy, accomplished business owners who are always willing to provide mentorship, partnership and support. For Spritz, the focus is on the future and finding ways to grow. Spritz Tea products can be found today in many independent retailers in the Columbus area, but the company is working with national wholesaler KeHE Distribution toward the goal of becoming a nationwide brand by the end of 2021. The company also has launched a new consumer-focused website and loyalty program. Consumers can have Spritz shipped right to their door while earning points towards free tea. Spritz will also be launching a new flavor in fall 2021, and Bowers promises that it will be worth the wait. Learn more about the company and find out where Spritz Tea is sold at spritztea.com. Anna Kurfees is an amateur chef, freelance writer and social media consultant. She is passionate about showcasing and supporting local businesses. You can find her on Instagram at @behind_themenu or via email at behindthemenu614@gmail. com. |

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small bites

A helping of news and updates from the Edible world

Pursuing ‘Top Chef ’ Prize

A

vishar Barua, the Columbus-born chef who earned national attention for his innovative cuisine at Service Bar, is taking his talent to TV to compete on the new season of Bravo’s “Top Chef” beginning April 1. Barua will be among 15 chefs from around the country competing for the title of “Top Chef”— and the $250,000 prize—in a series of culinary challenges in Portland, Oregon. The Emmy-winning cable series is hosted by Padma Lakshmi. Head judge Tom Colicchio said the new contestants “could be one of the best collections of chefs we’ve had on the show in 18 seasons.” The son of Bangladeshi immigrants, Barua is an Ohio State University graduate who attended culinary school and trained in New York City restaurant kitchens before returning to Columbus. He has been the executive chef at Service Bar since the restaurant opened in 2017 in the Middle West Spirits distillery in the Short North. Service Bar has chosen to keep its dining room closed while offering carryout food since pandemic restrictions began last year.

The Wizard’s Journey

North Market Changes

S

pencer Saylor, better known around town as the Wizard of Za, has been a busy man since we interviewed him for the Fall 2020 issue of Edible Columbus. At the time he was swamped with orders taken through Instagram for his Sicilian-style pizza, fulfilling them in small batches made in his home kitchen.

T

Today he has a pizza kitchen in the Clintonville location of FUSIAN, the fast-casual sushi chain, and is taking orders for pizza on a new website, thewizardofza.com. Saylor said he’s grateful that the partnership with FUSIAN has made it possible for him to accomplish his goal “to connect with the Columbus community through my cuisine every day, along with creating jobs in an industry where so many have been lost recently.”

The Downtown market has partnered with Mercato to provide grocery delivery service for customers staying close to home, and it has launched a happy hour from 3 to 6pm each Thursday with many of the 30-plus merchants offering deals on food and drinks.

Watch the website for further developments.

he North Market, where all the merchants are locally owned small businesses, posted a video on its website (northmarket.org) with various vendors offering thank-you messages to the customers who have kept them going for the past year. Sales were down and a few vendors closed up shop, but the market continued to adapt to circumstances and remains open daily except Mondays.

Market officials also moved ahead with their pre-pandemic plan to open a satellite operation in Dublin. North Market Bridge Park had a limited opening in November, and it has added tenants and hours as some construction continues. The 10 merchants who have opened so far also offer Thursday happy hour specials. The Dublin market remains closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Big Biscuit Energy

B

oxwood Biscuit Co. is a new venture being launched by people we profiled in different roles in the Spring 2020 issue of Edible Columbus. That magazine featured an article on Law Bird, the Brewery District cocktail bar opened by award-winning bartender Annie Williams Pierce and her husband, Luke Pierce. A separate article focused on the career of chef Tyler Minnis and the changes he brought to The Market Italian Village. Boxwood began offering made-from-scratch biscuits and breakfast sandwiches as a weekend pop-up business at Law Bird while bars

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were under pandemic restrictions. Its popularity prompted the Pierces and Minnis to start a crowdfunding campaign to open Boxwood as a separate shop. They found a location at 19 W. Russell St. in the Short North, a property already designed as a restaurant because it formerly housed the Belgian Iron Wafel Co., which closed in 2019. The menu at the new location will expand to offer Minnis’s Korean-style fried chicken in addition to biscuits, gravy and breakfast items. The trio plans a spring opening.


TOGETHER WE SUPPORT OHIO FARMERS

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Education

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From scholarships to networking, Ohio Farm Bureau keeps you updated and connected.

Members qualify for many discounts, including select Nationwide Insurance products, Ford vehicles and more.

Ohio Farm Bureau's team advocates on your behalf at the local, state and national levels.

Visit franklin.ofbf.org to learn more! franklin@ofbf.org

(800) 451-8908

@CentralOHFarmBureaus |

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telling the story of how the City eats anD DrinKs • no. 52 sPring 2018

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Member of Edible Communities No. 39 | Winter 2019

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Issue 45

Spring 2020 MARIN & WINE COUNTRY

Celebrating the harvest of Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties, season by season

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Profile for Edible Columbus

Edible Columbus Spring 2021  

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