17 June 2016

Grove East Provisions carries on the brick-oven artisan bread tradition established by Red Fox Baking (Saint Louis)

Chris Sheets of Red Fox Baking during brick oven construction at Grove East Provisions
On the corner of Arsenal and Minnesota in the Tower Grove East neighborhood of the city of Saint Louis, Barry Kinder operates Grove East Provisions, a bistro-style neighborhood eatery and bakery known for sandwiches, wood-fired pizza, beer and wine by the glass, bottle or six-pack, liquor, Sunday brunch and the artisan bread of Red Fox Baking. Provisions first opened its doors in June 2014 and just celebrated two years in business.
Kinder (left) and Sheets during construction of the brick oven
Barry Kinder in front of the lit brick oven

Quite a following has grown up around the bakery's crusty, naturally leavened loaves, which are produced in the brick oven designed by Red Fox co-founder Chris Sheets and constructed by Kinder and Sheets with the bakery's other two founders (Jenny Wilson and Jake Marks, who departed the business a year ago). The bread is used in Provisions' signature pressed sandwiches, including the BLT, Meatloaf Melt and Grilled Veggie, and also accompanies Barry's famous chicken soup (named one of the 100 best dishes in Saint Louis by the Riverfront Times).

Ever since the recent announcement by Sheets that Red Fox would close at the end of June, customers have inquired about the future of their favorite bread and sandwiches, in addition to expressing best wishes for Sheets as he moves on to his next challenge.

Barry Kinder wants his customers to know that their bread fix is not going away. In the absence of Sheets the brick oven still remains, and Kinder has been learning the art from Sheets to ensure both continuity and quality. In the two years since opening Provisions, Kinder, a European-trained chef, has made it his business to serve his fellow Saint Louisans with the high-quality, delicious comfort food they crave. In that time he has also gotten well acquainted with the brick oven he and Sheets built - and turned out many products from it, including the wood-fired pizzas that draw crowds every Friday and Saturday, and a range of other baked goods.

"The amazing bread of Red Fox Baking has been integral to this restaurant and its offerings from the start," said Kinder. "It's been an honor, a pleasure and a great learning experience working with Red Fox, especially Chris Sheets, who is a true artist of the grain and a real professional. I'm grateful to him and I'm going to miss him. He set a high bar for quality and Provisions will uphold that."

Grove East Provisions is at 3101 Arsenal St. (corner of Minnesota), Saint Louis MO 63118. Open 11 am to 8 pm, seven days a week. Tel. 314-802-7090. Also on Facebook

Note from the author: Local restaurants are not my usual beat - normally I cover theme parks, museums and visitor attractions - but Grove East Provisions has been part of my life since it opened and made my neighborhood a better place. See my first article about Provisions from November 2014. -- J.R.

11 January 2016

Where to find Judith Rubin

At the 2015 TEA SATE conference in Pittsburgh. TEA COO Jennie Nevin is on the left.
I have been busy as usual writing, posting and publicizing, but not so much on here. Please look me up on Twitter @judithrubin and on Facebook (Judith Rubin Etc.) as well as on LinkedIn. You can also find my posts regularly on the TEA website www.teaconnect.org and InPark Magazine www.inparkmagazine.com.