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DRAPER FIRST

November 2020

A Special Publication by City Journal, Draper City, and South Valley Chamber of Commerce

Savor cornbread, collard greens and catfish at Southern Kitchen By Linnea Lundgren | linnea.l@mycityjournals.com

J

ulius Thompson believes in the Golden Rule. He’s also a firm believer in the lesser-known, but closely related, “Chef’s Rule”: “Feed people the way you want to be fed,” says Thompson, the chef and owner of Sauce Boss Southern Kitchen. “You need to put love and energy into the food you prepare.” Equipped with a lot of energy (he’s also an author and dad to five kids) and a love of good cooking, Thompson delivers up Southern delights like fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and spiced corn with blackened butter for Draper residents to enjoy. “Southern cooking is a celebration of American cuisine,” Thompson said. Soul food, a cuisine developed in the American South, was born of necessity. Many dishes originated with enslaved West Africans who were brought against their will to America during the colonial period. They were given rations of cornmeal and “thrown the odd piece of meat”

Cornmeal-coated catfish with candied yams. (Photo by Jack Berry Photography)

by slaveowners, explained Thompson, with which they had to construct hearty meals in order to keep up work in the fields. Recipes were passed down generation to generation by example. “It’s [a cuisine] that came from pain and anguish, but turned into something that’s truly American, that’s celebrated and truly beautiful,” he said.

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Thompson’s love of cooking started with his grandma. Born in the 1930s, she raised 10 kids in a Chicago housing project and fed them on Southern dishes she learned to cook from her Arkansas-born parents. Thompson remembers sitting in her kitchen, quietly observing her coat catfish with cornmeal and hearing it sizzle on the skillet. For a treat, she’d sauté green apples in butter and brown sugar. Today, he uses caramelized apples blended with cream cheese to top his bread pudding. But it was his grandmother’s cornbread that was truly extraordinary. She’d bake it in that quintessential Southern cooking tool, a cast-iron skillet, which gave it a dark, buttery and salty crust. “Muffin tins don’t produce that kind of crust,” Thompson explained. “That bitter-salty crust adds to the experience of the rest of it. Bitter is a flavor profile…people forget that sometimes.” In a childhood torn apart by a crack-addicted mother, the early death of his father, homelessness and hunger, he found comfort and stability in his grandmother’s kitchen. After high school, Thompson studied to be a pharmacist. He had seen the destruction drug addiction had caused in his mother’s life and wanted to be on the other side, where drugs could help people heal. Also, it was a career he believed would bring financial stability after growing up in poverty. But when he questioned what was important in life, he knew happiness was found at his

Broccoli kale salad at Sauce Boss Southern Kitchen in Draper. (Photo by Jack Berry Photography)

grandma’s place, where the refrigerator was always full, and at school, where he could eat breakfast and lunch. “I remember how happy I was when I got a meal, when my grandma cooked for people and I saw their faces when they took their first bite. I wanted to cook to bring happiness to myself and to others,” he said. He enrolled in culinary school, where he excelled at making sauces (hence, his nickname “Sauce Boss”) and graduated top of his class. After working at various restaurants, he started a food truck specializing in pasta and sauces, and then finally opened Southern Kitchen. “I love all the different foods Utah has, but for some reason, American food isn’t celebrated so much,” he said. “[At my restaurant,] I wanted to showcase a cuisine that is truly American.”

Shrimp and grits at Sauce Boss Southern Kitchen. (Photo by Jack Berry Photography)

He draws on his grandmother’s cooking legacy, making everything from scratch, including the five sauces he sells: barbecue, tartar, ranch, maple hot sauce and soul sauce. He’s frugal like she was—instead of discarding tough collard green stems, he softens them in his stews. And he supports other small American businesses, buying his catfish—a lean, mild-tasting fish—from a Mississippi farm, not from abroad as is com-

Call 385-434-CHEF FOR TAKE OUT ORDERS


Sauce Boss Southern Kitchen 877 E 123rd South Draper, Utah

Chef Julius Thompson of Sauce Boss Southern Kitchen in Draper. (Photo by Jack Berry Photography)

monly done at other restaurants. Southern food is a new taste experience for many in Utah, so Thompson talks with customers and helps educate their palates by offering samples. He’s converted many to the delights of collard greens with onion and bacon, but blackeyed peas have been a more difficult sell. “A lot of people had them poured on their plate from a can and were told to eat it,” he said. Luckily, such bad culinary experiences vanish once people taste Thompson’s slow-simmered, savory black-eyed peas in a rich broth. Oh, there’s bacon in there, too. Like many small businesses, his restaurant has been affected by the pandemic, with food sales down 60%. With a newborn at home and a child with asthma, he’s been cautious about reopening and currently offers only takeout.

Customers can order off the menu or try a family dinner-to-go, which feeds four-to-six people and offers the options of blackened pork chops ($40), boneless chicken-fried chicken ($45) or crispy, breaded catfish filets ($55). Family dinners include two sides and cornbread. Despite the toll the pandemic has taken on business, he says it has also made people focus on the important things in life like family, home and food—especially food that warms both stomach and soul. “Southern food, soul food is truly American. It’s ours,” said Thompson. “It’s comforting and loving and it makes people happy.” Sauce Boss Southern Kitchen, 877 E. 123rd South, is open for takeout Tues.-Sat., 12-8 p.m. Call 385-434-CHEF for take-out orders.

OPEN Tuesday-Saturday 12-8 pm


RELAX Self-care in a stressed-out world By Linnea Lundgren | linnea.l@mycityjournals.com

I

n this age of selfies and self-indulgence, the idea of self-care—the practice of taking action to improve one’s health—is often overlooked.

Luckily, a mother and daughter have designed their Draper business, Cradle Your Soul, around self-care and, in these stress-filled times, offer ways to take action to help reduce stress, be kind to oneself, and thrive. Everything they do is about self-care, from offering a variety of massage modalities and yoga classes to creating a community where people feel they belong. “Self-care is self-love [in the best sense],” said Carly Warner, the mom and the creative force behind the business. Daughter Mekayla, 25, whose background is in management, handles the business side. Their philosophy is, “the more that you take care of your physical body, your emotional body, your mental body, your spiritual body, the more wholehearted you will live.” Going into their fourth year, Cradle Your Soul started when Carly, a massage therapist, developed a runner’s injury, that despite doctors’ treatments, didn’t improve, except for when she started practicing yoga. “I fell in love with yoga. Not just how it helped my body feel better, but how it helped me inside,” she said. She recalled having a strong sense

to start a yoga and massage business, and it helped that Draper didn’t have many. “This [business is] literally my two passions—yoga and massage—in one place,” she said. Mekayla spent months begging her mom to consider her for a job managing the business, which she finally got. “It has turned out better than I could have ever imagined,” Carly said. “There is no way I could do this without her. She brings passion and dedication.” They joke that the only issue has been discussing business while on family outings, which they try their best not to do. When pandemic restrictions shut down their business this past spring, they adjusted by putting yoga classes online with the user-friendly MindBody app (and now offer classes in-studio with physical distancing protocols in place). As for their massage therapies, as soon as restrictions lifted, massage bookings “exploded.” That’s no surprise to Carly. “As human beings, we are supposed to have contact with each other,” she said. “With one-on-one touch, having that nurturing care, that physical relaxation has been so beneficial for our clients.” Cradle Your Soul offers a variety of massage therapies, including ones that are not often found at corporate-owned massage therapy businesses. There’s ashiatsu in which the client rests on a low table and the therapist uses their (clean) feet to massage. “The foot is a broader space, so they use a broader surface to massage out the tension, there is no specific point of pressure,” Carly said. Weightlifters and athletes especially like the broader, deeper pressure.

People who want a deeper massage should try the unique ashiatsu massage in which the practitioner uses their clean feet to help relieve tight muscles. (Photo by Meili Dayton)


Another massage modality is aromatouch, a light-touch treatment that helps detox through the use of eight different essential oils. For moms-tobe, the pregnancy massage uses special bolsters that have open space for the pregnant belly and the chest. Thai body massage is done fully clothed. “It is more of a therapist moving to stretch you and then use compression to help relieve your tight muscles,” Mekayla said. A popular wintertime massage for skiers and boarders is the hot stone massage, which uses smooth heated stones to warm muscles and promote blood circulation. “Massage isn’t just to release muscle tension,” Carly said. “There are so many benefits to it: focusing on [calming the] the nervous system, lowering cortisol levels, and stimulating the lymphatic system.” Many clients leave a massage “with the feeling that everything will be OK,” Carly said. The Warners believe that part of what makes their business unique is that all therapists and yoga instructors are independent contractors. “We let them do their own thing,” Carly said and added that they emphasize continuing education for all practitioners. This combination lends creativity and variety to their menu. What has been most difficult about operating in the pandemic for Carly has been the inability to shake hands with or hug the people who walk through the door. “Our bodies thrive when there is human touch,” she said. “We already have stressful lives. Then this pandemic came and we have created more stress, more fear,” Carly said. “It has been a satisfying experience [for us] to help people flow out of that stress and that fear. Calm their nervous systems. Bring back a little bit of bliss, a little bit of happiness.” Cradle Your Soul is at 196 W. 12300 South, #105 in Draper. 801-5579888 or cradleyoursoulym.com Top Photo: Mekayla Warner, the manager of Cradle Your Soul in Draper. (Photo by Meili Dayton) Bottom Photo: Carly Warner, the founder of Cradle Your Soul in Draper. (Photo by Meili Dayton)


Choice Eye Care 800 E 12300 South 801.987.8698

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id you know that some vision problems can be corrected without glasses? Choice Eye Care in Draper, which is hosting a virtual grand opening in December, is excited to introduce new patients to vision therapy. “Vision therapy is not something that all optometrists do, but our office offers it. In addition to the typical services of eye exams, contacts and glasses, vision therapy is really our niche,” said Dr. Donna Melton, owner of Choice Eye Center at 12272 S. 800 E. Dr. Melton is a graduate of OSU and an experienced doctor of optometry. She’s worked in several states, moving with her husband during his military career. Now settled in the Draper area, she’s excited to meet people in her community. “I come from a family of opticians. I grew up working in my father’s optical business in Indianapolis. I learned from him to serve others with compassion. He focused on the needs of local community groups, including police and fire departments,” Dr. Melton said. An essential part of Dr. Melton’s team is her Board Certified optician, Victoria. Victoria is a local with more than a decade of experience as an optician. She’s also fluent in ASL, and is working to become a certified sign language interpreter.

“We’re proud to be able to offer sign language assistance to our deaf and hearing impaired community so they can have access to all of their eye care needs. To make sure we know you need this during your visit, please text us at 801.987.8698 or email us at choiceyecenter@gmail.com to schedule your visit,” Dr. Melton said. Despite not being able to have the full grand opening they were planning on in March, Dr. Melton has already gained loyal patients who post five-star reviews. “The care and knowledge were amazing!” said new patient Lori Champneys. “Dr. Melton was thorough and explained everything to me. I felt like I had finally gotten a good eye exam. I’ll be going there from now on,” Champneys wrote. “We sincerely appreciate those kinds of amazing reviews. We wanted to have a proper grand opening, but the pandemic prevented that. So we’re having a virtual grand opening Dec. 1 – 5. We’re doing everything we can to keep our patients safe while staying open and available. This is just one more way to do that,” Dr. Melton said. During the first week in December, you can go to Choice Eye Center’s Facebook page. When you like or share, you’ll be entered in drawings for free prizes like sunglasses, and

even a television. There are lots of other fun surprises and giveaways, so make sure you enter. “We want people to feel comfortable coming into our office for services, especially vision therapy, also called developmental vision. Over the course of several weeks, vision therapy can be used to treat people with lazy eye, eye tracking and post-concussion issues. “We like to make people aware of these services because sometimes kids have trouble in school and their parents don’t realize that it’s due to vision issues. So if your child is having trouble reading or seeing the board, please bring them in for an exam so we can see if it can be helped with vision therapy. We want to see them succeed,” Dr. Melton said. Choice Eye Center in Draper accepts many insurance plans. More information about insurance, their products and services can be found on their Facebook page or website, www. choiceeyecenter.com. Dr. Melton’s office is tucked into the southeast corner of Dillman Square, which is just off 800 E. 12300 S. To find it, go down 800 E. just north of 12300 S. Turn into the parking lot and Choice Eye Center is right there. You can also get in by turning off of 12300 S. just west of 800 E. behind the Draper Animal Hospital.


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1 dental service

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www.fallingcreekdental.com

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801-980-9697

www.freshcoatpainters.com

$100 off

Health Coaching

EXPIRES 11.30.20

385-210-0160

129 E. 13800 S. In Draper

THE SUSHI Japanese Cuisine 10% off any service

801-845-2502 www.saltylashandbrow.com 715 E. 12300 S., Ste. C in Draper

20% OFF

ANY TREATMENT Cannot be combined with other offers. Valid through November 30, 2020.

801.849.1604 | www.sparhea.com 656 East 11400 South Suite N., Draper, Utah 84020

FREE SUSHI ROLL with orders $30 or more expires 11.30.20

684 E. 11400 S., Ste. G in Draper 801-998-8565 • www.thesushi.net

Draper’s Best Kids Programs • Transported After School Program • Martial Arts • Summer Camps • E-learning Camps

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892 E 12300 S. Draper, UT 84020

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117 E 13800 S • Draper amysmartialarts.com


PIZZA PIE “We’re as mom and pop as a franchise gets.”

A

re you in love with pizza? If so, you’re in luck. The staff at Pier 49 Pizza at 1178 E. Draper Parkway love pizza, too. They think their San Francisco style of sourdough pizza is the best around, and they want to make a believer out of you. The restaurant has been in the Hidden Valley Shopping Center area for 26 years. Co-owner Jeff Gibbs is a more recent addition. “A few years ago I wanted a change of pace. After a career in IT, I wanted to do something where I interacted with people,” Gibbs said. Gibbs spent a year working in the restaurant, and it was a great fit. He loved the product and the people who came in to eat. It’s in a convenient location in Draper, with good hours Mon. – Thurs. 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM, and Fri. – Sat. 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM, closed Sundays. There’s a culture of customer service where people can dine in, order online at www.pier49.com, or call them at 801.576.8780 for delivery. Manager Brad Klein shares Gibbs’s enthusiasm. “Brad and his wife fell in love with it. It’s really become a family affair. Their influence gives it a mom and pop feel – it’s like ‘Cheers’ but for pizza. We really do know our customers by name,” Gibbs said. Love of the pizza and staff is a theme among online reviewers. “Five stars for two reasons: the best pizza in town, and they have a well thought out… system to keep customers and employees safe during the pandemic,” wrote Josh B.

Kids eat Free

One child per adult. Expires 11/30/20

519 East 12300 South • Draper 801-998-8155 sweetlakefresh.com

Another online review by Steven Mitchell reads, “I had never been [here] before… and came out very impressed. The manager helped us out by accepting an expired coupon. The pizza was tasty, well cooked, and worth much more than we paid for it. I am now a major fan!” If you’ve never had a sourdough pizza before, it might become your new favorite. “It’s an artisan approach. Making our sourdough takes 24-48 hours, but we’re well-organized and the customers aren’t affected by the long process,” Gibbs said.

24 months 0% interest

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801-566-1130

783 E. 12300 S., Ste. B in Draper www.ogdensflooring.com

1 Jumbo Specialty Pizza 6 Sour Dough Twists 1 Pumpkin Dessert Pizza 2 Liter of Soda

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4500 (a $58 value)

Located in the Hidden Valley Shopping Center

1178 Draper Parkway in Draper 801-576-8780 • www.slicelife.com

Profile for The City Journals

Draper First Newsletter | NOV 2020  

Draper First Newsletter | NOV 2020