Birch Market opening in O'Fallon, Ill. photo by michelle volansky

First Look: Birch Market in O'Fallon, Ill.

Birch Market, a new specialty food and prepared foods market is opening on September 4 at 227 W. 1st St. Suite B, O’Fallon, Ill. The market is the first brick-and-mortar space for co-owners Greg and Christie Maggi, who also run a catering business.

“My husband and I are from the O’Fallon area and we wanted a business in our home town. Since covid more people are eating at their dinner table at home but don’t necessarily want to cook,” operations manager Christie Maggi said.

The 1,400 square foot market carries a number of prepared foods that are made in-house or at their commissary kitchen. Executive chef Greg Maggi and market chef Rob Kamotas oversee the operations of the kitchen where they make fresh dishes everyday for customers to take-and-bake. The idea is that the food is cooked just enough so that when customers reheat dishes at home they won’t be overdone. “So many times when you get prepared food it ends up being dry when you reheat it, we want it to be perfect when you take it out of your oven at home,” Maggi said. Look for items like roasted broccoli, mac and cheese, ribs, pork steaks and smoked half-chickens.

Pastry chef Sarah Gibson is in charge of all baked goods like their brioche, cheddar and chive loaves, take-and-bake cinnamon rolls and everything in the dessert case. On Saturdays, look for Gibson’s croissants like caramel pecan or ham and cheese. During their soft opening, they are offering popular items including their ice cream cupcake, a blueberry gooey butter cake and their triple chocolate cookie that has semi-sweet, milk and white chocolates. “We try to offer 2 dairy-free and 2 gluten free options everyday,” Maggi said.

Separate from the prepared foods menu they also have a menu of 5 salads and 9 sandwiches that are made-to-order. “All the spreads and dressings, roasted veggies and roasted meats like the sirloin are made in-house,” Maggi said. The meats that are part of the Italian club – mortadella, coppa and salami – come from Volpi and all the sandwich bread is being sourced from Companion. Sandwiches range from rich and filling like the Beef & Blue with roast beef, caramelized onion spread, blue cheese, tomato, red onion and mixed greens to lighter options like the Summer Veggie with grilled onion, summer squash and red pepper layered with avocado, cucumber and roasted garlic hummus. The current salad menu includes a Caesar Salad with their black pepper Parmesan Caesar dressing and a Summer Harvest Salad with blueberries, strawberries, mandarin oranges, goat cheese, red quinoa and a poppyseed dressing. The menu will rotate seasonally.

For those who want to stock their pantry, the shop has several options from bottled condiments to jarred sauces to pastas and cocktail mixers. Also, local products like Giofre Apiaries honey ice cream, and local cheeses from Baetje Farms, Marcoot Jersey Creamery and Hemme Brothers Creamery. On the beverage side, they offer small selection of wines.

Birch Market will be open from Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.