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The Scoop: Di Olivas to open third location in CWE

Friday, November 18th, 2016



Owner Robert Palleja has set plans in motion to open a third location of his olive oil and tasting vinegar specialty shop, Di Olivas. Located at 115 N. Euclid Ave., in the Central West End, the shop is slated to open sometime between mid-December and early January.

This will be the Palleja’s first move into St. Louis proper. The two other Di Olivas locations are located in St. Charles and West County. “My wife and I had been looking to make this move for a long time. It was just a matter of timing and of finding an appropriate location,” Palleja said.

The Central West End location will offer the same products as the other two, which includes roughly two dozen different olive oils (flavored and unflavored) and about three dozen vinegars. The shop is also going to feature hand-painted ceramic tanks used for pressing olive oil from Deruta, Italy, and a designated space for cooking demonstrations.

“What makes this store so special is our commitment to finding and buying the best products. Not only do we sell award-winning olive oils, we also try to participate in the actual production of the products as much as we can,” Palleja said.


Read more on Di Olivas
• The Scoop: Di Olivas dips deeper into olive oil market
• The Scoop: Di Olivas to bring premiere olive oils, vinegars and more to historic St. Charles

The Scoop: Fleur de Lilies closes in Soulard

Friday, November 11th, 2016



{The Creole-Korean fusion Wagyu bulgogi burger at Fleur de Lilies}


After nearly a year-and-a-half in business, Fleur de Lilies has closed its doors for good in Soulard. Its last day in business was Saturday, Nov. 5, as reported by the Riverfront Times. The Creole-Asian fusion restaurant was the brainchild of owners Misha Sampson and Lina Kim. Sauce reviewed the restaurant in January.

Sampson said while the cultural culinary mashup proved successful, there were “difference in direction” that the business partners could not overcome.

Kim said in addition to creative differences, financial mismanagement also led to the closure. “It was a big loss for me and everybody else (who) was working,” Kim said. Sampson declined to comment on the issue.

Kim said she was grateful to former executive chef Michael Gipson and front of house manager Jeremy Deloach for their work. While she entertains the idea of a new project, she will focus on BBC Café & Bar in the Central West End, which she has owned for 10 years.

Sampson said she is going into business with Fleur de Lilies’ most recent executive chef Ceaira Jackson. They have launched a catering company called Culture Movement that will also provide consulting projects for other restaurants. They are toying with the idea of opening a food truck.

“Most of the dishes at the restaurant were my family recipes,” Sampson said. “People will be able to order these dishes, and others, at Culture Movement.”


Editor’s note: This post was updated on Nov. 14 at 2:30 p.m. to include comments from Lina Kim.


-photo by Jonathan Gayman

The Scoop: Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream headed to Maplewood

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016


Laurie and Eric Moore are bringing East Coast sweets to Maplewood. As reported by 40 South News, Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream is expected to open in the former I Scream Cakes location at 7326B Manchester Road on Nov. 1.

When the space became available, Eric Moore, a native of The Garden State, saw an opportunity to bring a piece of his childhood to Missouri. “We weren’t planning on opening a shop like this,” Moore said. “Things just happened.”

Customers choose up to four flavors that are pressed between two house-made Belgian waffles, cut into triangles and dusted with powdered sugar. “These sandwiches were a staple growing up on the East Coast, but we’re going to take the idea even further,” Moore said. “I want our product to represent Missouri.” To that end, Moore plans to source its 16 flavors of ice cream from Webster Groves ice cream shop, Serendipity. They will also offer waffles in rotating, seasonal flavors.

Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream plans to turn out ice cream sandwiches from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to midnight on weekends.



The Scoop: Fitopia to bring fast health-focused fare to Fairview Heights

Friday, September 30th, 2016



Michael and Elizabeth Lee aim to inject health-focused fare into fast food with their new concept inside the St. Clair Square Mall in Fairview Heights. Fitopia opens Oct. 1.

Elizabeth Lee said she wanted to embrace the best parts of a fast-food eatery – the price and speed – and leave the burgers, fries and milkshakes behind. “This concept has been on my mind for 16 years,” Lee said.

Customers at Fitopia step up to the counter and build their own bowls, salads or wraps with a base of white or brown rice or quinoa, a protein of their choice and one of four vegetable and dressing blends: classic, Southwestern, Thai or Mediterranean. Fresh fruit smoothies, breakfast options and soups are also available, as are snack-sized cups filled with veggies, fruit or protein like grilled chicken and black beans.

Lee said they hope their concept catches on quickly; the couple already has their eyes on expansion. “We want to be able to turn Fitopia into a chain that will be featured on every street corner,” Lee said. “Hopefully mothers will eventually be able to take their kids through a Fitopia drive thru.”

Fitopia will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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