New on Cherokee

Baked From Scratch

 

For many St. Louisans, Cherokee Street once stirred images of antique shops and Mexican fare. But, the neighborhood has been growing into a haven for independent business owners and artists looking for a place to call home. Two such entrepreneurs, both of whom got their starts operating solely as vendors at area farmers’ markets, are now moving to the neighborhood to open their own brick-and-mortar bakeries. Cherokee Street shoppers are in for a sweet treat this fall when Kaylen Wissinger opens Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop (2201 Cherokee St., whiskbakeshop. blogspot.com). The shop will offer the unique cupcakes, cakeballs and popsicles that Wissinger is well known for at her Farm Fresh Cupcakes stall at Tower Grove Farmers’ Market—in flavors like maple bacon, Vietnamese coffee and avocado. The new space’s expanded kitchen will allow her to add doughnuts, scones, cookies and tarts to the menu. Wissinger plans to source as many ingredients as possible from local artisan producers, including peanut butter from Mound City, jams and jellies from Centennial Farms and meat products from Todd Geisert Farms. In keeping with her sustainability plan, she’ll also grow her own herbs in a small garden behind the shop to use in popsicles, quiches and other treats. The space itself will utilize zero-VOC paints, LED lighting, upcycled seating and recycled paper products. Having grown up in the Soulard neighborhood, Wissinger says Cherokee Street was a natural fit for her unique sweets shop. “I love the diversity that is found on the street,” she says. “There is truly something for everyone along Cherokee, and it’s smack dab in the middle of St. Louis—which is my favorite city in the world.” Another farmers’ market favorite, breadmaster Alex Carlson made a name for himself preparing baguettes, focaccia and buns as the in-house baker at Five Bistro on The Hill, and at his stand at the Webster Groves Farmers’ Market. He’s also baked his handcrafted artisan breads for The Mud House, Salume Beddu, Big Sky Café, Franco and The Block. Soon, he’ll have a place to call his own, when he opens Red Guitar Bread (3215 Cherokee St., facebook.com/redguitarbread). “My offerings will initially be limited to a very tightly focused menu of simple breads, and I’ll expand the menu when I feel comfortable that what I’m doing is as good as it can be,” Carlson says. He intends to remain a one-man operation, focusing on the quality of his Old World breads over quantity. Once the shop is up and running, he’ll get back to his roots and continue selling at STL farmers’ markets. Given the possibilities the neighborhood offers, he doesn’t rule out the idea of expanding sometime in the future. “Cherokee is simply the place to be for St. Louis artists and craftspeople right now,” he says. “The community provides opportunities that are without peer in St. Louis. I’m a newcomer to the area, but I know the relationship will be a long and mutually beneficial one.”

 

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Whisk

 

Photo credit: Sara Swaty Roger

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