Sep 152010

Sapori d’Italia makes proletarian food for artisan crowd

By Evan Barker

Making proletarian food would seem like an odd move for a former financial advisor, but Jason Gresham isn’t complaining. Along with his wife Annarita and brother-in-law Giovanni Capezzuto, Gresham, 37, is hard at work building Sapori d’Italia, an “old world artisan Italian market” which sells handmade goat cheese at the Lexington Farmers’ Market and elsewhere.

Evan Barker

Gianni Capezzuto making cheese

Sapori d’Italia is most famous for its cheesemaking, headed by Giovanni, or Gianni (pronounced “Johnny”) – a Farmers’ Market mainstay. Gianni’s table is generally located at the center of a crowd of shoppers under the glass at Cheapside plaza. Continue reading »

Jul 142010

“Kids making a future growing fresh food”

By Beth Connors-Manke

There was a guy who kept coming back. It was three times, I think. The first time he was considering if he’d buy anything. He had 35 guys to cook for, so only the big pile of collard greens would be in his ballpark. But it didn’t seem like he’d cooked greens before so they didn’t tempt him. As for the okra, green beans, mint, and potatoes, there weren’t enough on the table for that size dinner. (The entire lot of tomatoes had sold out to a neighbor up the street.) He walked away.

A few minutes later he was back. This time he just wanted to give a donation to the kids and ask more questions. What were they doing? How did it work?

This was a Saturday morning, there was a table full of just-harvested vegetables, but this wasn’t the Farmer’s Market downtown. This was 7th and Elm Tree, right next to the East 7th Street Center, the home of Kids Cafe. The growers and sellers were a group of young northside do-it-yourselfers, part of the S.E.E.D.S. program. Continue reading »

Jun 232010

Building a basil economy

By Danny Mayer

Along with the downtown Farmer’s Market, which I patronize through all four seasons, I do most of my grocery shopping at Wine+Market (W+M), a shop located on the corner of Jefferson and Second Streets in one of Lexington’s oldest (and priciest) city neighborhoods. When I tell people this, I’m often met with measured skepticism. Compared to other grocery stores, W+M seems both too small—I’d guess it’s about 2% the size of a place like the Euclid Kroger—and too pricey to function well as a grocery store. Shopping there is a good idea, most observe, but not a particularly practical model for everyone.

Of course, most people I encounter do not give much consideration to the idea that any modern day shopper could get by on a daily basis using a small market store as one’s primary grocery outlet. Even for those who have considered such things, the assumption is often that shopping at such markets is not affordable. In the case of W+M, it is assumed that most patrons who use the store simply buy expensive wines, cheese, and lunchtime deli sandwiches. To my students, who comprise a healthy community college mixture of ages and world-views rooted in the middle and working poor classes, shopping at W+M inevitably classes me as “someone who could afford to eat at that type of place.” Others, my foodie friends who are vaguely aware of my community college salary (a stable though perhaps not outrageous $38,000 a year), are skeptical the other way around: they wonder whether I realistically could afford to shop regularly at such a place as W+M—no matter my idealistic reasons for doing so—on my take-home pay. Continue reading »