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Feb 21, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Cindy Higgerson’

Four St. Louis-area businesses win Good Food Awards

Friday, January 26th, 2018


The winners of the 2018 Good Food Awards, which honors businesses committed to socially and environmentally conscious food, were announced on Jan. 19. This year, four local purveyors took home awards, proving that St. Louis is more than just good at good food.

Blueprint Coffee, Larder & Cupboard, Perennial Artisan Ales and Still 630 Distillery all received awards. They were chosen from among 2,000 entrants in 15 different categories, including coffee, preserves and beer.

Larder & Cupboard won in the preserve category for its Strawberry Lemon preserves and its Apricot-Lemon Thyme preserves, and Blueprint Coffee earned an award for its Ethiopian Hambela. Blueprint Coffee co-owner Mike Marquard said this award is a great honor, not just for the local roaster but also for the Hambela Estate, which produced coffee.

“We partnered with them originally because of their quality, but their social and environmental programs are great,” he said. “They are doing outgrower programs for things like better education and better farming practices. It’s a great honor to have our African company recognized.”

Perennial Artisan Ales was recognized for two beers: Savant Beersel, which uses grapes from Charleville Vineyards in Ste. Genevieve, and Glitter & Gold. Perennial on-premise operations and event manager Katie Godoy said this award highlighted the importance of social and environmental responsibility. “It’s really nice to be recognized for the efforts we are doing, but a lot of people may not know about,” Godoy said.

Still 630 Distillery earned an award in the spirits category for its Expedition Rum. Owner David Weglarz said the award validated his hard work. “It’s a recognition of all the things we’ve done and our attention to quality and to detail,” he said.

Larder & Cupboard owner Cindy Higgerson did not return requests for comment.

Editor’s Note: This article incorrectly attributed a quote to Perennial owner Emily Wymore. It was updated at 7:40 p.m. Jan. 26 to correct the error.

Photo courtesy of Blueprint Coffee

Claire Ma is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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Guide to the Holidays 2016: Cheese for Dessert

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016



Nothing says class like an after-dinner cheese course. “Cheese can be a decadent treat that satisfies your need for something creamy and sweet to finish out a meal,” said Larder & Cupboard general manager Cindy Higgerson. “It’s a nice way to end an elegant dinner.” A good cheese board should have a couple sweet accompaniments like honey and dried fruit, some savory choices like pickles and nuts, and crackers or crusty bread along with three to five cheeses. Ask your cheesemonger for help choosing a variety of milks, ages and styles. We asked Higgerson to build us the ultimate cheese course.

1. Green Dirt Farms Woolly Rind aged sheep’s milk cheese
This creamy, decadent Camembert-style is made locally in Weston, Missouri. $18.

2. Kenny’s Farmhouse Awe Brie
A bloomy-rind, soft cheese, this brie goes great with preserves and fruit. $14.

3. Baetje Pumpkin Walnut goat cheese
This fresh goat cheese is nutty and sweet. “It’s good crumbled on ice cream,” Higgerson said. “I’ve even had customers put it in cannoli.” $11.

4. Milton Creamery Flory’s Truckle aged cheddar
With more of a bite, this clothbound aged cheddar offers nice contrast to the creamier cheeses. $27 per pound.

5. Kenny’s FarmhouseBlue Gouda
This is milder than most blue cheeses, offering some funkiness without overpowering. $23.50 per pound.

6. Quince & Apple figs and black tea preserves
Figs and cheese are a classic combination. This fruity preserve pairs especially well with the Truckle. $9.

7. La Quercia Speck Americana
Similar to prosciutto, speck offers a bit of saltiness to contrast and balance the sweeter cheeses and preserves. $11.50.

8. Potter’s crackers
These Wisconsin-made crackers are hand-rolled and hand-cut. “The Classic White pairs with almost any cheese, without question,” Higgerson said. $7.

9. Quince & Apple pear with honey and ginger preserves
The sweet punch of this honey-ginger pear preserve is well suited for dessert. $9.

All products available at Larder & Cupboard

More about Larder & Cupboard

What I Do: Cindy Higgerson of Larder & Cupboard

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015



Cindy Higgerson left a nearly 30-year career as a histotechnologist (“We’re the people who run the tests on a biopsy.”) to manage Larder & Cupboard, a new specialty food shop in Maplewood. An unexpected move? Not when you learn she’s the face behind food fanatic @MCharcuterie on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Meet the exuberant home cook who’s bringing boutique foodstuffs to The Lou.

Why did you leave your job to be the GM of Larder & Cupboard?
I had done it for so long. It’s not where my passion was anymore. This is like turning a hobby into a career.

Is there any connection between histotechnology and running a food shop?
The lab training relates a lot because we had to meet FDA standards, and a lot of the things you have to do for refrigerators and freezers and storing antibodies is very similar to the food industry.

How do you decide what products to carry?
It has to taste good. I’m drawn to unique ingredients, things you can’t find in St. Louis, things that I found when I traveled and love and I’m frustrated when I can’t get (them) here, (things that have) won a Good Food Award or a Sofi Award.

Does it have to be a small-batch item?
That’s definitely one of my criteria. I don’t want to call up a distributor and say, “Hey, back your truck up to my store and unload the Wind in the Willow dip mix that everyone is carrying.” I’m really drawn to the small-batch stuff, the small producer where I have to contact them directly and the same guy who makes it is packaging it, mailing it.

Why is that so enticing?
They’re following their passion. They’re putting their heart and soul in it. A lot of them are also using their local ingredients just like our local producers do.

What products at Larder & Cupboard are you most excited about?
The shrubs from Wine Forest, the syrups from Quince & Apple, P&H Soda syrups – those are small batch out of Brooklyn.

How do you find out about products?
A lot of the products I have here I tasted during my travels with my histology job. I always sought out ingredients I couldn’t get here. I would come home with tons of food product. One time, I packed my computer and all my paper stuff in my suitcase and I hand-carried $400 worth of foodstuff on the plane because I didn’t want the food to get lost if my luggage was lost.

You’ve also traveled to chef competitions in Memphis.
I went to the first Heritage BBQ and to Cochon 555, the one that Kevin Nashan (of Sidney Street Cafe) competed at and that chef Kelly English (of Restaurant Iris in Memphis) won.

What compels you to drive so far for a food event?
The caliber of chefs competing. Trying all the dishes because they do unique and fun things. I like to eat. I like to come home and re-create stuff. I’m very adventurous in the kitchen.

What’s your specialty dish?
Probably pulled pork. I make the marinade and rub from scratch. I’m a big fan of meat.

What’s the backstory on @MCharcuterie?
An ex-boyfriend gave me the nickname Madam Charcuterie because I always had stuff curing in the refrigerator. I was making gravlox, jerky. The refrigerator was full of meat brining.

-photo by Ashley Gieseking

Hit List: 4 new places you must try this month

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014



1. Avenue: 12 N. Meramec Ave., Clayton, 314.727.4141, avestl.com

Chef-owner Bryan Carr’s Clayton restaurant is one part Pomme, one part Pomme Café and one part something new and different. While regulars of the now-shuttered Pomme will still find their favorites on the dinner menu (rainbow trout amandine, eggplant involtini and Apples for Olivia dessert, to name a few), Carr has added new entrees, small plates and even a daily selection of fresh oysters. Don’t miss a starter of wild mushrooms with burrata on toasted baguette, or a fresh kale salad sporting farro, snap peas, roasted apples and walnuts. With weekday breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. and a late-night bar menu of sandwiches and light bites (that you can enjoy with a classic cocktail, glass of wine or a bottled brew), Avenue has something to nosh almost any time hunger strikes.




2. The Side Project Cellar: 7373 Marietta Ave., Maplewood, 314.224.5211, sideprojectbrewing.com

The Side Project Cellar is the newest watering hole for those seeking well-crafted brews. Among the 24 taps, expect Belgian ales, rare brews and, of course, creations from Side Project Brewing, the gypsy beer operation by founder Cory King (also head brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales). The Side Project Cellar is serious about serving beer at its best. Consider: a three-temperature draft system that King built himself, 10 types of glassware and even traditional wicker lambic baskets to keep the bottle on its side so the yeast doesn’t cloud your glass. Beer nerds can camp out at one of two bars in this wood-heavy, 50-seat spot, along with whiskey drinkers who can swirl and sniff dozens of whiskeys served neat, on the rocks or with water. No mixers – this is a tasting bar, after all.



3. Larder & Cupboard: 7310 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.300.8995, larderandcupboard.com

Does anyone need artisanal barrel-aged fish sauce? Maybe not, but you’ll come up with plenty of reasons to stock up after a visit to Maplewood’s newest specialty food shop. Once an interior design showroom, the space is now filled with delicious small-batch goodies. While St. Louis-area labels such as Marcoot Jersey Creamery (cheese), SeedGeeks (honey, heirloom seeds and more) and Salume Beddu (cured meat) are represented at Larder & Cupboard, explore edibles new to The Lou like the unbelievably satiny Annabella Buffalo Creamery dulce de leche and sweet-tart Wineforest elderberry shrub. The shop even carries foodstuffs by producers who have earned national accolades for their sustainable production methods, which means you can fill your shopping basket to the brim guilt-free.


4. Sugarfire Pie: 9200 Olive St., Suite 108, Olivette, 314.736.6300, sugarfirepie.com

Promising “Everything Pie,” pastry ace Carolyn Downs and the team at Sugarfire Pie needed some elbow room in which to bake – so they set up shop two doors down from sister restaurant Sugarfire Smoke House in Olivette. The hip interior (murals of aproned homemakers holding up pie, Twin Peaks memorabilia and Cyndi Lauper spinning on vinyl) seats 40 with room to stand at the glass wall and observe the pie production in the kitchen. Try the seasonal versions of baked creations like bread pudding, hand pies or whoopie pies, then move on to the candy bar-esque pie Hello Dolly or one of Downs’ decadent pie cakes (yes, pie baked inside a cake). For dessert (ha!), wash it down with an all-local float made with Excel soda and Ronnie’s ice cream, or hit up the self-serve frozen custard bar and its myriad toppings, including pie crumbles.


-photos by Michelle Volansky


Sneak Peek: Larder & Cupboard

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Those who scour grocery stores in vain for mustard-miso paste, elderberry shrubs or tart cherry grenadine, look no further. Larder & Cupboard, a specialty food store focused on small independent producers, officially opens Wednesday, Nov. 12 and will have all this and more on its shelves.

Owner Brian Pelletier, who also owns Kakao Chocolate, set up shop at 7310 Manchester Road in Maplewood, a 2,200-square-foot space that formerly housed an antique furniture store. Herringbone hardwood floors, a marble entry way and a working fireplace add to the shop’s artisanal charm. Upon entering, customers will see cupboards and shelves stacked with everything from small-batch bitters to Cool Cow Cheese to SeedGeeks heirloom seed packets.

As The Scoop first reported in August, general manager Cindy Higgerson is the woman behind the shop’s extensive inventory. Higgerson said her goal was to fill Larder & Cupboard with hard-to-find items from small, high-quality producers who source locally. St. Louis-area producers include Marcoot Jersey Creamery, Woodside Honey, Salume Beddu – and of course, Kakao. However, Higgerson said many products are new to the St. Louis market and have won or been nominated for Good Food Awards and Sofi Awards.

Area restaurants plan to add their wares to store shelves, too. Higgerson said Larder & Cupboard will soon carry fresh pasta and sauces from Pastaria, house-made condiments and sides from Juniper (currently featured in its Gift Horse holiday bags) and cuts of meat from soon-to-open Maplewood neighbor Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions.

Larder & Cupboard will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Here’s what to expect when the doors open this Wednesday:



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-photos by Michelle Volansky

The Scoop: Kakao Chocolate’s Brian Pelletier to open specialty shop in Maplewood

Monday, August 4th, 2014


{Clockwise from top left, Kakao chocolates, Salume Beddu sausage, Baetje Farms goat cheese, Marcoot Jersey Creamery cheese}


With Kakao Chocolate‘s third location is set to open in Clayton in two weeks, its owner Brian Pelletier is already embarking on another new business venture. Pelletier plans to open a specialty food store around Oct. 1 called Larder & Cupboard.

The shop at 7310 Manchester Road in Maplewood will sell condiments, sauces, preserves, grains, desserts, snacks and, of course, Kakao chocolates. Cheese will take center stage – including products from Marcoot Jersey Creamery in Greenville, Illinois, and Baetje Farms in Bloomdale, Missouri. The store will also sell cured meats from Salume Beddu in St. Louis and products that have won awards from the American Cheese Society, World Cheese Awards, Good Food Awards and Sofi Awards. Food will be sourced from small, independent producers.

Pelletier said store manager Cindy Higgerson, known on Twitter as Madam Charcuterie (@Mcharcuterie), is an expert at sourcing hard-to-find items. “She is well known in St. Louis food circles,” he told The Scoop. “She is known by a lot of chefs and home cooks and a lot of people who like to eat good food.”

He said the shop will complete the “foodie puzzle” in Maplewood. “This is the only thing really that’s missing in Maplewood to make it the food destination,” he said. “We’ve got chocolate, we’ve got tea, we’ve got oils and vinegars (Vom Foss), we’ve got spices (Penzeys Spices), we’ve got doughnuts (Strange Donuts) and we’ve got pies (Pie Oh My).”

He also mentioned the new Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions, set to open in Maplewood this fall by Chris Bolyard, former chef de cuisine at Sidney Street Cafe. Bolyard noted in February that people in Maplewood are very supportive of small boutique-type businesses.

-chocolate and charcuterie photos by Greg Rannells; cheese photos courtesy of Marcoot Jersey Creamery and Baetje Farms


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