Howard’s Grocery, Café & Catering
We first began hearing about dreamer chef Craig Howard when he opened his seemingly fantastical market Howard’s Organic Fare and Vegetable Patch in 2012. It was an incredibly trusting outlet for local produce and products based on an honor system in a store without a staff. And it worked. But after two-and-a-half years the landlords of his space decided to demolish the building and Howard had to find a new space. His new business, Howard’s Grocery, Café and Catering began with a Kickstarter campaign and has finally become a reality. It opened in the Crossroads at 1708 Oak St. Business partner and girlfriend Cory Imig shares his vision, and the couple is assisted by general manager Allison Muller. The new space is comfy—obviously a great amount of artsy-cool DIY and help from friends and family, such as the reclaimed wood tables made by Howard’s father using wood from their old deck. But he didn’t have to make too many tables because seating is limited to about 20 guests.
The Café menu features his painstakingly researched burger made with beef from Golden Rule Meats in Walker, Missouri, his own house-made American cheese, pea shoots, a sauce—based, I think, on BoysGrow ketchup and house-made mayo—with pickled vegetables, and organic tomatoes, all sandwiched between a Farm to Market potato bun. Other standards include a veggie burger, a seasonal burger, a free-range fried chicken sandwich with local greens and pickled carrot, two daily salads and a pasta. Howard’s is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Tuesdays will be added later this year, and he also may add a weekend brunch. Special event dinners are in the works as well. Since it’s in the Crossroads, he’ll stay open until 9 p.m. on First Fridays and feature his signature burger. Customers who are in a hurry may email their lunch orders to the café for pick up, a feature designed to help the grab-and-go business lunch crowd in the neighborhood. The rest of the week he’ll focus on the already thriving catering aspect of the business. His grocery, based on the same concept as his original venture and CSA program will grow out of the café business. howardskc.com