Finding An Edge
Crispy Edge attempts to redefine the delicious world of potstickers.
David Dresner is a man of many—and varied— business ideas. In the short time since he graduated with a business degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2010, he has gone on to create three businesses that he runs concurrently: custom coffee sleeves through Sleeve a Message; an intimacy kit and lifestyle brand, Vers; and his most recent project, a gourmet potsticker company called Crispy Edge.
Dresner is passionate about expanding this simple dish into exciting and enticing possibilities—a mission evident in recipes such as chorizo, date and goat cheese stickers available at Siam and a Thanksgiving recipe comprised of roasted turkey with a pork-andveal stuffing wrapped up in thyme dough. More of a sweet tooth? Try the bourbon-pumpkin pie flavor. There’s a strong chance you’ll be stuck on them after the first bite (we certainly were). ALIVE sought out Dresner to find out, in his own words, how it all began.
The Mission Crispy Edge strives to make the most delicious globally inspired potstickers available to all people throughout all the lands (in other words: through grocery stores and food service of all kinds: restaurants, bars, catering outlets and universities).
Behind The Name A potsticker that doesn’t have a crispy edge is a crime.
The Secret Ingredient The perfect potsticker has wholesome, delicious fillings with a thicker, handmade dough. I couldn’t find the perfect potsticker anywhere: High-end attempts would have great fillings with horrible dough, and the handmade dough would use very low-end ingredients filled with preservatives. Crispy Edge is all about the perfect combination.
Finding His Edge [It takes] lots of experimentation and thousands upon thousands of potstickers made by hand. There are many stickers that were too “avant-garde” for the public. For instance, being a Chicago native, I did a collaboration with Kelly Eisenberg [gourmet deli products] company and made a Chicago-style sticker. We did a poppy-seed dough filled with their kosher bison dog, gourmet pickled relish and peppers, onion and tomato, garnished with a dill pickle and yellow mustard. It was delicious— don’t get me wrong—and I must have eaten 100 of them, but we left them for visitors of our kitchen and have not done a mass production just yet.
The Launch The business was self-funded between the founding partners and close family. In terms of distribution, we are serving Missouri and will expand nationally. Our team consists of four people: David Dresner (chief executive), John Michael Rotello (founding partner and chief operating officer), Brenden O’Guin (chief of sales) and Zane Turpin (chief of marketing). [Rotello] and myself are the chefs. While we are not formally trained chefs, we are perfectionists. Trial and error has been a useful methodology in perfecting our recipes.
A Favorite The “sticker-bob”—where a potsticker meets the kabob. I invented this to have the perfect pairings easily accessible.
Technological Edge [We use] Podio for project management. We also custom-built an online customer management ordering system that both our chefs and admins use.
Hindsight [We wish we would’ve known] the level of regulation that has gone into ensuring consumers have safe food to eat. Right now, we are in a unique space where lots of food trucks operate. We really had to work with local regulators to make it meet all the strict requirements. Accordingly, there were quite a few modifications we had to make to our private kitchen space. We are excited to grow into a larger USDA factory, but right now we are quite proud of Sticker Headquarters!
In The Works We’re working on a gluten-free line and new Oriental offerings, such as a lemongrass chicken and a shiitake tofu sticker.
Next Bite We’ve excited to have just begun supplying to Melt (2712 Cherokee St.). Next: Grocery stores, here we come! Crispy Edge should appear on local St. Louis shelves as soon as April 2015. Future expansion will be geared to moving into other states, which will require an upgrade into a USDA facility. We are also interested in opening retail locations.
Photo credit: Attilio DAgostino