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Mar 24, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Marquard’

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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Blueprint Coffee will open new location in Lindenwood Park

Friday, August 11th, 2017


{  Blueprint co-owner Kevin Reddy }


Lindenwood Park will soon become a destination for those in search of a quality cup of coffee. As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Blueprint Coffee co-owners Mike Marquard and Kevin Reddy have announced they will open a second location at 4206 Watson Road this November.

“The two things that attracted us to the space is its an area that we feel is pretty primed for specialty coffee, and it’s an area where some of us live,” Marquard said. “I’m over there a lot for my kid’s soccer tournaments at Lindenwood Park or Francis Park.”

Marquard said the building, which used to house a brake repair shop, measures approximately 1,100 square feet and will have 20 to 30 seats inside with an additional 10 to 20 seats outside. Marquard said it won’t take much work to get the building coffee-ready, since there won’t be roasting facility at this location, unlike Blueprint’s original spot on Delmar Boulevard.



{ Blueprint’s original location on Delmar Boulevard } 


“It’s kind of a blank canvas right now,” he said. “It’s just a matter of digging some trenches to run plumbing and drainage and building the bar and adding the bathrooms. There’s not too much structural work we’ll be doing to the building. We’re going to try and keep it an open and breezy space.”

The breeziness should be facilitated by the building’s five garage doors, two of which will open onto the bar to facilitate walk-up service and one that will become the entrance to the rear patio space. Marquard said he’s particularly excited about the patio possibilities, something the Delmar location lacks.

The coffee and food menus will also be different than those at the Delmar location.

“We won’t have a full kitchen, but we’ll have some good prep equipment and be able to do some food,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re capturing what is and isn’t in the neighborhood, so we’re not overstepping too much on things that are already there and also bring in something new.”

Construction is scheduled to begin next week.

Reddy photo courtesy of Blueprint Coffee; Delmar photo by Jonathan Gayman

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Month in Review: March 2013

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

After nearly a foot of snow kept us cooking soups and braises far after the official turn of the season, today’s gorgeous weather makes us want to climb up to the sunny rooftop and scream: Spring is here! Spring is here! As we get ready to reveal our new issue, we take a look back at some of our favorite stories, recipes, dishes and drinks from March. You know what they say: Fall back, spring forward.

Coffee connoisseur Mike Marquard led The Scoop with news of his new coffee shop; we paid our respect to the grande dame of the kitchen: cast iron; Meatless Monday columnist Beth Styles gave spring a warm welcome with a veggie-lovers pizza; art director Meera Nagarajan shared her love for everything Home Made; we went green for St. Patty’s; New and Notable reviewer Michael Renner visited Ben Poremba’s new restaurants, Elaia and Olio; Vegetize It columnist Kellie Hynes took the schmaltz out of matzo ball soup; we reveled in Cary McDowell’s recipe for cast-iron sea scallops; we got to meet one of our favorite Top Chefs; we proved that great salads need no lettuce; we had breakfast for dinner; Gerard Craft got another nod from James Beard; we made pot pie in less than an hour; we chatted with the guy behind the guys (and girls) in STL’s restaurant kitchens; we peeked into a new deli downtown; we offered a darker take on canapes; we gave rotisserie chicken the respect it deserves; we made shakshuka at 2 a.m.; and managing editor Stacy Schultz embraced her inner sweet tooth with a 1-dollar wonder.


The Scoop: Going full circle with a cup of coffee, a pub and a good pie

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Blueprint Coffee is coming to The Loop, as reported by the Riverfront Times’ Ian Froeb recently. And it’s the names behind the caffeinated project that are jolting local coffee nerds.

Blueprint, to be located at 6225 Delmar Blvd. (between recently opened Chubbies and Thai Country Cafe), is a six-partner venture by Mike Marquard (pictured), Kevin Reddy, Andrew Timko, Norah Brady, Mazi Razani and Brian Levine. Marquard is the coffee director and GM at Half & Half. He was among Sauce’s Ones to Watch class of 2011, having made coffee waves in 2009 and 2010 at the U.S. Barista Championship. As Froeb noted, Blueprint’s ownership group has numerous ties to Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co. Marquard rose within the company to become education and customer service leader; Reddy is a retail manager for Kaldi’s; Timko is a former Kaldi’s roaster; and Brady and Razani are both baristas at Kaldi’s and Kaldi’s-owned Kayak’s.

Blueprint Coffee will be both a roasting company and a place to grab a cuppa. “We will serve Blueprint Coffee, but we plan to have a guest coffee available at all times,” said Marquard. He added that the focus at Blueprint will be on “the ingredients we use and good preparation,” showing coffee drinkers that “execution, attention to detail” are “what make coffee great.”

Construction is slated to begin by Monday, according to Marquard, and is expected to take 60 to 90 days. The revamped space will seat 25, divided between a coffee bar and high-top tables and chairs. “It will be more focused toward the coffee commuter,” said Marquard. “We won’t have soft seating.” Blueprint will have a kitchen, but the food offerings are to be determined, as are the cafe’s hours. When Blueprint opens (The target date is June 1.), Marquard will remain Half & Half’s coffee director but not its general manager.

Meanwhile, next door to Blueprint Coffee, the restaurant owners at Mission Taco Joint are at it again. Brothers Adam and Jason Tilford are relocating their Clayton pub Barrister’s from its spot at 15 N. Meramec Ave., to 7923 Forsyth Blvd., next door to incoming The Libertine, as reported by St. Louis Magazine’s George Mahe. Look for Barrister’s to open in its new digs in early April; doors will remain open on Meramec Avenue through the end of this month.

Finally, The Scoop caught up with Mike Randolph, owner of The Good Pie. Randolph’s Neopolitan pizzeria was originally expected to open in the space next to Ginger Bistro in early summer. Randolph’s update on the timeline is that doors will be unlocked as early as July and no later than the end of August.

— photo by Carmen Troesser

The Scoop: Mike Marquard, formerly of Kaldi’s, goes to Half & Half to head up “progressive’ coffee program

Friday, March 18th, 2011

031811_halfnhalfMike Randolph, chef-owner of midtown’s The Good Pie, is finalizing the line-up for his soon-to-open Clayton breakfast and lunch spot, Half & Half. The latest addition is Mike Marquard, former Kaldi’s education and customer service leader, who will serve as general manager.

Marquard, who finished 6th in the 2009-2010 U.S. Barista championship, will be in charge of front of house services and will head up the restaurant’s “progressive” coffee program that’s set to feature a unique coffee bar and a rotating list of single origin coffees. Half & Half is scheduled to open at 8135 Maryland Ave., in April.

Kaldi’s does California

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

041310_baristachampThey’ll be jetting to the West Coast later this week to compete in the United States Barista Championship. In a sense, though, Kaldi’s Coffee’s Mike Marquard, Joe Marrocco and Micah Svejda began that journey months ago.

Last October, all three baristas placed in the Midwest regional competition held by the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the sponsor of this week’s event. And since February, they’ve spent 20 to 30 hours weekly prepping for the championship, which runs from Thursday to Sunday, April 15 to 18, in Anaheim, Calif.

That preparation has focused on mind-boggling drills – one of which we witnessed on a recent visit to the Kaldi’s roasting plant in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. There, under his co-workers’ scrutiny, Svejda staged a mock 15-minute presentation that he’s been refining for some time. It included a brief history of the coffee he was using, a description of the coffee itself and service at a carefully and artfully arranged table in the roasting plant.

“I went through many different versions of [the presentation] – I think this is like the seventh version,” Svejda noted. “If you practice it enough like we try to do, you get so that every movement you do is sort of scripted, so that there is a certain order. So at this time, I’ll turn around and talk to the judges, then I’ll turn around and pour my milk, then the next step’s to go to the grinder. So you have your whole routine planned out like that.”

Evaluating the contestants in Anaheim will be seven judges – four sensory judges, two technical judges and a head judge. They’ll assess each presentation in several categories, on an 870-point scale. Sensory criteria will include visual correctness, taste balance and tactile balance; technical criteria will include consistent dosing and tamping, station management and general hygiene.

Flanked by the technical judges, a barista will make an espresso, a cappuccino and a signature drink for each sensory judge. “The signature drinks have to have espresso – they can’t have alcohol, but that’s pretty much it,” Marquard said. “And those, I think, are where people get really excited. Because people walk in thinking they’re going to see a mocha and a caramel latte and a turtle latte, but what you’re seeing is people using thyme and lemongrass and lobster …”

The USBC’s Web site will be streaming the event live with an accompanying chat room, incidentally, so St. Louisans will be able to watch the Kaldi’s trio compete. Svejda and Marrocco will do so in the first round on Thursday at 4:38 and 6:32 p.m. CDT, respectively. Marquard, whose first place in the regional competition automatically qualified him as a semifinalist in the championship, will compete Saturday at a time yet to be set.

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