Thank you to Cheri Olerud for providing this meeting recap!
Tom Brossart, Digital Architect, gave about 20 members and guests an excellent private tour of the Food Building on Wednesday, March 22nd, located at 1401 Marshall Street NE, a renovated historic edifice of incredible food businesses. We were able to view firsthand, the art, craft and care that goes into each of the foods they produce.
The Twin Cities has greatly benefited from Kieran Folliard, the founder of this brainchild, a brilliant innovator generous with his time, talent and money since his arrival from Ireland 22 years ago. Inside the 27,000 square foot Food Building is event space, upstairs offices for the six who form the legal, financial and marketing team (including Kieran’s oncology dietitian wife, Lisa), and three distinct businesses.
From the tables and benches (built in a very unusual pattern) made from wooden pallets to the barn door and livestock ear tags hanging from the ceiling, the décor is also very lively, meaningful, fun, functional and one-of-a-kind. FCS Professionals members loved the architecture of space and whimsical artwork by Nora Wildgren.
Although no processing was happening on the other side of the glass while we were there, Tom, himself a producer of homemade sauerkraut, shared and thoroughly explained the usual Food Building production happenings.
The first business is award-winning Red Table Meat Co. Red Table is one of the smallest USDA whole hog production facilities in the country. At the sixth annual Good Food Awards in San Francisco, Red Table recently won for two awards for their cured meats and smoked ham. What an honor!
A second business creation is The Lone Grazer Creamery . The cheese made at this urban location used milk from MN grass-fed cows, and the washed rind cheeses used locally inspired flavors including 11 Wells Rye Whiskey and 2 Gingers® Irish Whiskey. Sadly, this business is now closed and the equipment is setting empty, while the Food Building owners decide upon the next concept that pairs well with meat and bread.
The Drafthorse restaurant, a lively, industrial-chic bistro, bar & deli, is the third ingenious idea, serving great food with a retail counter for Lone Grazer cheeses and Red Table meats. It’s also the business holding the liquor license for events in the building.
The fourth business endeavor, Baker’s Field Flour and Bread, a stone-milled flour and naturally leavened bread company, is headed up by Steve Horton, who founded Rustica Bakery a decade ago and is a 3-time James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef and Outstanding Baker. Steve is using his experience and connections growing Rustica to launch Baker’s Field Flour and Bread. Years of experience working with dozens of flours to make hundreds of breads have inspired Steve to connect farmers, millers and bakers to create exceptional flour and bread.
What else is in store for this cool building that has the meat, beer and bakery business covered, plus 76 solar panels and bee hives on the roof? There’s 10,000 sf more space in the adjacent lot and Folliard has secured the domain name FOOD BLDG. He told us not to be surprised if, someday, we see FOOD BLDG somewhere downtown. As he told it, of course it stands for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Grab & Go!
If you’re sad you missed out, and curious to see this space and meet these interesting food artisans, self-guided tours are offered every Tuesday through Friday. Several comprehensive chalkboards throughout the building offer descriptions of what you’re looking at. Check out the very thorough and easy-to-navigate website: http://www.foodbuilding.com/ for details, history and lots of photos. The only thing the website won’t get you is the tasty food we got at the end of our tour: Salumi—dry cured meat
from Red Table Meat Co. (from MN pasture-raised pigs), cheese from the Lone Grazer Creamery (from MN grass-fed cows) and naturally leavened bread from Baker’s Field.
See how enthusiastic FCSP members and guests were about the Food Building tour, as the comments from the evaluations below demonstrate:
1. “This was an excellent tour and presentation, Tom was great!”
2. “I would never have known about this industry without this meeting. It’s fun to know what’s in our neighborhood.”
3. “I loved the architecture of space, artwork by Nora Wildgen, barn door and pallet furniture. I can’t wait to go again with friends!”