Encore October 2015

Page 16

savor encore

Culinary Kalamazoo

Five tasty finds at Beer and Skittles Tiffany Fitzgerald

Brian Powers

by

The greater Kalamazoo area has a number of small grocery stores, each with a unique offering of foods. This series takes a look at those stores and the unique foods savvy shoppers can find at them.

N

estled into a crook of East D Avenue overlooking Gull Lake, specialty artisan grocer Beer and Skittles has settled into the new location it moved to in January 2015. “It’s been good — and hectic,” says owner Christine Horton of the new store at 12448 East D Ave., Richland, which is the former site of the Bayview Market. “We have been lucky to have a lot of our regular customers who make the trip out, and we’ve also been kind of surprised to find out a lot of our customers are from this area to begin with. And we’ve gained a new customer base here at Gull Lake too.” The new location hasn’t changed the store’s business model, however. Horton and her husband, David Mitchell, maintain their enthusiasm and dedication to stocking Michigan-made foods, beer and handmade goods. “We didn’t necessarily mean to focus on Michigan products, but I love artisan products and I like to go out and find that one special thing, like that one person making really good caramels,” Horton says. “My approach has been, instead of having 20 kinds of chips, let’s find

16 | Encore OCTOBER 2015

Clockwise from top: Beer and Skittles owner Christine Horton fills a bottle with one of the oils available on its olive oil bar; olive oils come in many flavors; and a sampling of the Everything Nice spice, salt and herb product line.

three really good ones and sell those. By proximity, and what I was looking for, I found a lot of Michigan products.” For those trying out Beer and Skittles for the first time, or for regulars thinking of new things to try, here are five suggestions from