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Feb 24, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Corey Smale’

Good Fortune finds another home in Botanical Heights

Friday, September 29th, 2017




Good Fortune, the long-anticipated modern Chinese-American eatery from Bob Brazell, Ryan McDonald and Hannah Chung of Byrd & Barrel and Corey Smale, former co-owner of Strange Donuts, has found a new home once again.

Smale said Good Fortune will open for business at 1641 Tower Grove Ave., in the Botanical Heights neighborhood – just across the street from its former announced location at 1654 Tower Grove Ave.

“This is the third location we’ve said it was going to be at,” said Smale. “It’s been a long road. Although I would’ve liked to have been making money awhile ago, I’m thankful for the way that it’s going. I have so much confidence in this location and in the team.”

As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the building, which formerly served as the headquarters of Hoffmann Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., was recently purchased by restaurateur Ben Pormeba, who owns several restaurants in the area, including Elaia, Olio and Nixta.

Poremba said there eventually will be a total of three or four businesses calling the location home, though Good Fortune is the only tenant to have signed a lease so far. He said that construction is set to begin on the space next week. Poremba said as of right now, he has no plans to open another restaurant in the building.

Smale said the 1,500-square-foot space will have approximately 30 seats and should be ready to open by the end of the year.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Good Fortune finds a home in Botanical Heights

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017



{ Rendering of the future home of Good Fortune in Botanical Heights }


Highly anticipated Chinese-American restaurant Good Fortune has finally found a home. Co-owner Corey Smale announced today, Feb. 8, that the restaurant will open this July in the Botanical Heights neighborhood.

Smale, former co-owner of Strange Donuts, purchased a building at 1654 Tower Grove Ave., with attorney James P. Sanders and realtor Chris Hulse. The trio will be the landlords, with Good Fortune as the tenant. The upcoming eatery is also co-owned by Bob Brazell, Ryan McDonald and Hana Chung of Byrd & Barrel.

Good Fortune announced its inception last year and was on the hunt for a location for several months. The team hosted several pop-ups and collaboration dinners around town, introducing people to its takes on Chinese-American fare.

J.P. Burcks will provide arts and graphics for the project, and Gabe McKee and V Three Studios will handle architecture duties. The building, which was constructed in 1954, was most recently a day care facility. Smale said there’s a lot of work to be done before the doors open.

“It’s pretty gnarly right now,” Smale said. “We’re going to keep the bricks and floor and whatever we can. We’ll make it ours.”

While construction is underway, Good Fortune will host some more pop-up events to whet the public’s appetite, including a 12-course collaboration with chef Mike Randolph at Half & Half in Clayton on Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25.

The Scoop: Big Brothers Big Sisters to open rooftop event space, ground-floor restaurant this fall

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016



Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri will open Anew, a ground-floor restaurant and rooftop event space, at 501 N. Grand Blvd., as reported by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Creative director Corey Smale (the formerly of Strange Donuts and co-owner of forthcoming Good Fortune) said the restaurant will serve counter-service breakfast and lunch options Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The 35-seat space will operate as a test kitchen for area chefs, who will provide tight menus on four-month rotations.

Meanwhile, Anew’s event space seats 80 people inside and another 80 people outside high above on the rooftop. It will be used for Big Brothers Big Sisters and community events; it will also be available to rent for private gatherings. “The space will work for everything from Yoga Buzz to black-tie events,” Smale said.

Catering services for Anew’s event space will be available through Dave Bailey of Baileys’ Restaurants, Holly Cunningham of Hollyberry Catering, Kelly Spencer of The Social Affair and James Allen of Celebrations Restaurant and Bar.

Smale said Anew’s event space is slated to open the first week of October, and the restaurant is expected to open the following month.


The Scoop: Strange Donuts to open third St. Louis location in Central West End, Strange Trap Kitchen

Thursday, October 9th, 2014


{From left, Strange Donut co-owner Corey Smale, corporate chef Mary Boehne and co-owner Jason Bockman}

As Strange Donuts prepares to blow out the candles on its first birthday done, owners Corey Smale and Jason Bockman announced the coming of its third St. Louis location in the next few months. Strange Trap Kitchen, a pop-up kitchen concept, will open inside Brennan’s at 4659 Maryland Plaza in the Central West End, as reported by Liz Miller of Feast. The announcement comes just a few weeks before Smale and Bockman open their sophomore Kirkwood location on Oct. 22 and just days after the news that another Strange Donuts location will share storefront space with Seoul Taco in Columbia, Missouri.

Strange Trap Kitchen will feature doughnuts with new ingredients and “elevated flavors,” the handiwork of Strange Donuts corporate chef Mary Boehne, Smale said, as well as the possibility of hot chocolate, juices and Kaldi’s coffee. The CWE address aims to capture a morning commuter crowd with early hours of 7 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. The new shop gets its name from trap music, a subgenre of hip-hop.

Smale sees Strange Donuts’ rapid expansion – four locations, dozens of events and catering clients like the St. Louis Rams organization – as the mark of a great team. “We’re not intimidated because we know we got the right people to do this,” he said. “When you think to yourself, ‘What would I do without them?’ that’s when you know you have a great staff.”

-photo by Adrian O. Walker


The Scoop: Strange Donuts confirms second location in Kirkwood

Monday, April 21st, 2014


Kirkwood is about to get a little stranger. Strange Donuts co-owner Corey Smale confirmed that its mysterious second location will open at 107½ E. Argonne Drive, in Kirkwood, as reported by Real/TimeSTL and Feast.

The popular Maplewood doughnut shop, known for unique flavor collaborations with local chefs, announced its second shop in March. Since then, rumors of its location have flown around Twitter. Smale initially intended to keep the address hidden until opening day, but now that the secret is out, he spoke highly of Strange Donuts’ new home.

“When we came to Maplewood, we were very lucky in the sense that we were welcomed into a community that is very supportive of small businesses,” he said. “Kirkwood was the right opportunity at the time … The space was right and the community over there is really strong and they are pro small business.” Smale plans to open doors in Kirkwood sometime in July.

-photo courtesy of strangedonuts.tumblr.com

The Scoop: Strange Donuts nabs former Pastaria chef to take doughnuts to a stranger level

Thursday, March 20th, 2014



Strange Donuts never does anything in a conventional manner, and people love its innovative doughnuts. The little shop in Maplewood sells more than 5,000 doughnuts a week – from PB&J-filled orbs to far-out savory collaborations called Strangers, only available late-night on weekends. And Strange Donuts only looks to get stranger now that chef Brian Moxey has joined its team.

Moxey, formerly executive chef at Pastaria, has come aboard Strange Donuts as its chef consultant. “Brian is going to take on this role of creative director of the kitchen,” said Strange Donuts co-owner Corey Smale. “We need someone who can take us to the next level.”

The Strange crew got to know Moxey last fall when they worked with Pastaria on one of the first doughnut collaborations. “We found some of our best success on some of the crazier things we’ve done,” Smale said. After Moxey’s recent departure from Pastaria, Smale said the timing was right. As a consultant chef, Moxey will work a few days a week in the shop and meet regularly with the bakers to help Strange continue making new and adventurous creations.

Moxey has already begun to get flour on his hands. The St. Patrick’s-themed Colcanndone (pictured) was Moxey’s creation. The colcannon-inspired doughnut had the flavors of kale and potatoes and was glazed with Jameson Irish whiskey. For this week’s Stranger, Moxey is mixing up a savory doughnut that honors the Lenten fish fry tradition. The Holy Done will feature cornmeal in the doughnut mix and will be topped with fried fish and slaw, with the requisite slice of white bread on the side.



The Scoop: Strange Donuts to open second location

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014


{Bit of Italy, a Strange Donut collaboration with Pastaria}


Somewhere in the St. Louis area, a small storefront is about to get strange. Strange Donuts co-owner Corey Smale confirmed that he and his business partner Jason Bockman are planning to open a second location of their popular Maplewood shop this summer, as first reported by Nancy Stiles of the Riverfront Times  – but Smale is not saying where. “Our intent is to not tell anyone until the day it opens,” he said.

Smale did say the 400-square-foot space will have a kitchen and is smaller than the current shop at 2709 Sutton Blvd., which opened just six months ago. Demand for the fried confections, served daily in the mornings and late-night Thursday through Saturday, pushed the owners to seek a second location. “Right now, we are always at capacity, which is such an awesome and humbling thing,” Smale said. “We’re always running out, especially on weekends … If we’re going to do it, let’s double-down right now.”

Since opening, Strange Donuts has collaborated with several St. Louis chefs like Rick Lewis of Quincy Street Bistro, Gerard Craft from the Craft family of restaurants, Qui Tran of Mai Lee to create uniquely flavored doughnuts. “It’s grown so quickly, I haven’t had time to think about how big it is,” he said. “It’s humbling to be welcomed by the community so strongly, especially by people with many more years experience.” Smale also said the Maplewood shop will also receive an exterior facelift with a new blue-toned paint job and outdoors speakers to keep the lines entertained while they wait.

-photo by Michelle Volansky

A Chat with: Corey Smale and Tyler Fenwick of Strange Donuts

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013


Corey Smale and Tyler Fenwick aren’t your typical doughnut shop owners. The entrepreneurs have a background in advertising and marketing, not in making long johns and fried rounds of jelly-filled goodness. Since the spring, they’ve held tastings (and pog tournaments) to build a buzz about their concept, Strange Donuts, opening in the coming weeks in Maplewood. Here, everything you need to know about the wacky world of Strange Donuts.

Why doughnuts?
CS: We love doughnuts. Doughnuts are fun. You can’t even take doughnuts seriously. It allows us to have fun t-shirts and sunglasses.
TF: We saw what was going on in doughnuts in cities like Portland and Austin. We’ve also seen what’s happened with cupcakes. They’ve just blown up. Why not with doughnuts? Nobody else is around here is doing the Voodoo or Gourdough’s thing.

So you see doughnuts as the next big thing?
TF: It’s not here yet, but it’s out there in other places.
CS: The big thing right now is cronuts. Cronuts are out of New York. There’s one bakery in the country that makes them. They’re like flaky layers of dough and they make them into doughnuts. We may try to do them this summer.

Why did you choose to open in Maplewood?
TF: They welcomed us with open arms.
CS: What Rachelle [L'Ecuyer, director of community development for the city of Maplewood] is doing for small business in Maplewood is such a powerful thing. They really invest in creative businesses: bakeries and beers and bars and cakes and pies and chocolate. It made us feel immediately comfortable and confident in this business.

Where did you come up with the name Strange Donuts?
TF: We were going to be Dogtown Donuts because it was going to be in Dogtown. When we decided to move to Maplewood, we had to change the name. [Smale] came to me with the idea of Strange Donuts. I was like god, no. Terrible name. I went from hating it to absolutely loving it. It describes the product. It doesn’t turn people off like I originally thought.

What kind of weird doughnuts are you going to offer?
TF: Gooey butter, creme brulee.
CS: We have a red velvet we’ve been working on. We’re going to do peanut butter and jelly. We’ll inject it with the jelly and put peanut butter chips on top.
TF: We want to eventually get into a pizza doughnut or a breakfast doughnut with bacon and eggs.
CS: Bacon is the easy link to get you to the savory world.

Where do you get inspiration for flavors?
TF: Sweet stuff plus sweet icing plus random filling equals magic doughnut.

Do you have any experience in the food or restaurant industry?
CS: We have a baker, Sweet Will. He has experience.

Where did you find Sweet Will?
CS: He’s my brother-in-law’s cousin. He did the cupcakes at my wedding last year. He does his own thing called Sweet William’s Custom Cakes. He was at The Cup and he studies [pastry] at Forest Park [Community College].

Does he like to be called Sweet Will?
TF: We just started calling him that.
CS: Then we got him business cards that say “Sweet Will.” So I was like, “Well, you’re going to have to be Sweet Will.”

You’re totally marketer-branding guys.
CS: This is heavy cardstock.

What makes you think you can do this?
CS: We put our idea out there when it was just a logo. Then we started building it. We did events, then we did the Kickstarter. The Kickstarter thing was huge: 324 backers gave over $12,500 dollars.
TF: And we asked for $10,000.
CS: I’m broke all the time.
TF: It was cool getting our friends and family to give us money, but when we started seeing people from New Zealand and Russia – people we had never met before, who don’t even know where Maplewood is – to have them give us money is just crazy.

-Photo by Ashley Gieseking 


The Scoop: New doughnut shop in Maplewood might shipwreck your diet come May

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Maplewood is getting a doughnut shop. But it won’t be your typical glazed, chocolate long john or sprinkles doughnut shop. This one will be strange. Literally. Strange Donuts is opening at 2709 Sutton Blvd., as reported yesterday by the Riverfront Times’ Ian Froeb.

The strange concept is to “pay respect” to old school doughnuts that everyone knows and loves but also to bring the national trend in “new and wild and creative” doughnuts to St. Louis, explained co-owner Corey Smale, who is opening the shop with business partner Tyler Fenwick. “St. Louis is a crazy good place for doughnuts … but we haven’t seen people do doughnuts like what we’ve seen in other cities. People have heard of Voodoo Doughnut in Portland or Gourdough’s in Austin. We want to give the people of St. Louis that kind of destination.”

Strange Donuts will offer an ever-changing selection. The shop will always have a dozen varieties on hand – six classics and six unconventional ones. Among the latter, Smale named the following as possibilities: red velvet; peanut butter and chocolate pretzel; crème brûlée (because they want to put a blowtorch to use); and Smale’s idea for “The Shipwreck”: a jelly-filled donut with Captain Crunch cereal on top. “We want to have absolute fun with this,” he said, noting that Strange Donuts will likely use social media to involve the public in the doughnut decision-making processes.

When it’s time to make the doughnuts, the early riser on staff will be a fellow who goes by the moniker “Sweet Will.” The Strange Donut baker studied pastry at Forest Park Community College, according to Smale, and worked at The Cup in the Central West End.

While there is currently no doughnut shop in Maplewood, the primary reason Smale and Fenwick opted to open their business in that municipality is because, “They [Maplewood] are supportive of small businesses,” Smale said. He expressed his excitement about the strength of the business community in Maplewood and the continued growth of independently-owned companies such as his.

Smale and the Strange crew will soon commence building the kitchen in the space formerly occupied by a hair salon. Doughnuts are expected to rise on May 1.

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