Ukrops in Kroger, Gelati on the Blvd, and Perk! blows out the candles

KRO-KROPS

With the closing of area Martin's grocery stores, the fate of the Ukrops Homestyle Foods brand was uncertain. Where would people be able to find their beloved White House rolls and rainbow cookies once the retailer made way for Publix? Turns out, due to the dissolution of an exclusivity agreement with Martin's, Ukrops Homestyle Foods can now be sold at several area stores, including Kroger, Libbie Market, and Wegman's. Takeaway Lesson: When one door closes, three more doors pop open!

ON THE BOULEVARD

The newest Gelati Celesti store opens today at 1400 N. Boulevard. Governor Terry McAuliffe joined owners Steve and Kim Rosser and a bunch of friends, family, and employees last night for a preview party. The space carries over some of the great details from other stores -- like milk bottle light fixtures and a vintage ice cream scoop installation. It also boasts an impressive 8 ft neon ice cream scoop fixture made by Big Secret. 

Steve Rosser says the Scott's Addition location has inspired the ice cream makers to create collaborative flavors with nearby businesses like Ironclad Coffee, Buskey Cider, and Reservoir Distillery. Rosser says more collabs are in the works, so stay tuned.

 photo: Whisk

photo: Whisk

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

Valentine's Day is a mere 5 days away, and if you haven't locked in on some plans for how you'll spend it, might we suggest these 3 easy options:

  • Grab some Treat Boxes from Whisk. Get one to share for $25 or one to give (and not share) for $14. The latter includes: Two Vanilla Bean Marshmallows, Two Hand-Rolled Dark Chocolate Truffles, a Salted Caramel Blondie, a Double Chocolate Brownie, and a Strawberry Chocolate Macaron. Or, if you're not so lovey-dovey, Morgan and the crew will be rolling out snarky Valentine's Heart Cakes with sayings like "Feeling Myself" and "Can U Not?" starting on Saturday, February 11th.
  • Hit up King of Pops' Pop Making Valentine's Class. Learn the magic behind making your favorite pops with THE KING, Paul Cassimus, and then make a few of your own. You'll walk away with a dozen of your very own pop creations. $75 for two, includes snacks and jokes. Multiple dates available.
  • Do a beer thing at The Veil! On Valentine's Day, The Veil will tap a pin of their Never Sufficient gose, which evokes the flavors of chocolate covered cherries with Montmorency cherries, black lava salt, and organic cocoa nibs. Plus, you can grab a bouquet or two from Strawberry Fields and a box of chocolates from Gearhart's and make it look like you totally planned it that way. It's also fresh can release day and the premiere of two new DIPAs. 

THE PLACE FOR PIZZA

This week, Travel + Leisure told us something we here in RVA already know: Richmond is a damn fine place to eat pizza. T+L gave shoutouts to Nota Bene, Belmont Pizzeria, and Bottom's Up. If only they knew about 8 1/2, Dinamo, and Mamma Zu--their minds would've been totally blown. Want to delve even further into the RVA Pizza Scene? Richmond Magazine goes deep(dish) for you.

THE PERKS OF BEING A TWO-YEAR-OLD

Perk! Coffee & Lunchbox turns the big 0-2 this weekend, and they're celebrating on Sunday from 9:00 to 3:00 with tastings of Mother Shrub drinking vinegar, Vegtabowls, and Craft Brew Bread. Plus, the backpack storyteller will be around at noon to entertain the kiddos; drip coffees are $1 all day; and, if you play your cards right, you might just win yourself a slick new Hario Pour-Over Kit. 

We're super proud of our friends Christophile and Liz (and their awesome staff) who have made Perk! a great place for families and friendlies in Bon Air over the past two years. They've transformed the Buford Road Shopping Center with their events and gatherings, including playing a key role in the Over the River Makers Mart. Kudos, ladies; keep up the good work!

IT'S A GIVEN

The local podcast Two People sat down with the hardest working woman in gelati, Barbara Given, of Stoplight Gelato Cafe. Given chats about her experience opening the gelateria, her upbringing, and her thoughts on life and death. Give it a listen.

SIP: GINGER JUICE'S CASHEW MILK

If you love milk but hate the idea of bothering all those cows, try Ginger Juice's new cashew milk, a blend of raw cashews, dates and water with a hint of vanilla and sea salt. Grab an 8 oz. bottle for yourself on Free Juice Day (aka Valentine's Day).

BITE: PIMENTO CHEESE

This isn't the first time pimento cheese has been my Bite of the Week, and for good reason. The unofficial official cheese of the south is some life-giving stuff. This week, Richmond Magazine talks to three pimento cheese lovers and makers -- Christophile Konstas of Perk!, Robin Allen of Birdie's Pimento Cheese, and Jason Alley of Pasture -- to hear their stories behind the beloved spreadable edible.

I never grew up eating the stuff, turning my nose up at all things Southern until a "this is who you are" epiphany hit me in my 20s. Now, I joyfully eat it with Ritz with alarming regularity. Nothing like making up for lost time! Here's my recipe. Yes, banana peppers! GET INTO IT!

Ganzhaus Pimento Cheese

  • 24 oz. Shredded Cheddar (I use Kraft pre-shredded if I'm in a hurry, or I'll grate Cabot if I'm not.)
  • 1 cup Duke's Mayonnaise (Dukes or GTFO)
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Chives, chopped
  • 1 (4 oz.) jar Pimentos, well drained
  • 4 oz. Banana Peppers, chopped; plus more for garnish
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Spread it on a Ritz, and top with extra banana peppers.

GRAM: @EARLYMOUNTAIN

Located in Madison County, VA, Early Mountain is a family-owned vineyard with a devoted following and a gorgeous IG feed.

Stephanie GanzComment