If you’re looking for high-end food choices, you don’t need to go to Clayton or Ladue. The City of Florissant is home to hundreds of small businesses, including several interesting, locally-owned specialty food establishments. Here are three of my favorites.
Decadence for a de.lish price
Craving a delicious slice of homemade cheesecake? Have a hankering for a Bavarian pretzel? Is a slice of quiche your ideal breakfast?
If the answer to any (or all) of those questions is "yes," head to de.lish Cheesecake Bakery and Cafe, which recently opened in the historic narrow gauge train station at the corner of New Florissant Road and St. Catherine Street.
The café has more than 30 varieties of cheesecake available for special order, with three or four types available for purchase by the slice daily. Two or three varieties of quiche are also available each day, including one that is vegetarian-friendly.
Jeff and Kris Mullersman, owners of de.lish Cheesecake Bakery and Café, have been married for 13 years.
The couple started making cheesecakes and pretzels for family, friends and neighbors, and the positive feedback they received led them to believe they could open the restaurant. These days, the couple makes everything fresh daily, and while Kris handles the cheesecake-baking, Jeff handles the marketing.
They named the restaurant “de.lish” in honor of Kris’ father, who tells her mother after each meal that “It was de-lish, my love.”
"We thought it would be a good name because it signifies the importance for families to sit down and talk to each other," Jeff Mullersman told Florissant Patch.
Fresh food, family values
John Goeke’s granddaughter Tricia Stout grew up in the produce business. She and her cousins are the third generation of Goekes working in the store. Stout’s mother, Karen Ormsby and three of Ormsby’s sisters took over Goeke Produce when John Goeke retired.
The family moved the store to 449 St. Ferdinand from its old location at 300 St. Ferdinand in 2009, and the business continues to expand.
“Goeke has always been family-owned and family-run for well over 50 years now, and we’re really just trying to serve the community and give then what they want,” Stout told Florissant Patch.
Goeke also carries local barbecue sauce, local honey and salad dressings, as well as many other Missouri-made products and Missouri Mercantile items. She said this was the direction her mother, Ormsby, had always wanted to go.
She noted that if customers want a certain kind of produce that the store doesn’t usually carry, Goeke is happy to stock it for them.
“We are even carrying ghost peppers and some spices by customer request,” she said. “That’s the hottest pepper in the world.”
A Good Cup of Joe
Alaska Klondike Coffee Company owner Steve Richards said that when he moved to Florissant from Alaska in the early 1990s, he had a hard time finding employment because he didn’t graduate from a local high school.
"I couldn't find a job to my taste, and I couldn't find a decent cup of coffee,” he told Florissant Patch.
That’s why he decided to open his own coffee shop and brewery in 1994, using the roasting skills he learned in Alaska. The coffee house has since become a popular place for java lovers and has won awards from the Specialty Coffee Association of America and the Taste of North County Food Fair.
Richards orders only the top choice whole bean coffees from farms in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Central and South America among other countries across the globe. Many of the farmers are personal friends and acquaintances from international travels through the years.
Richard does his own roasting to keep the coffee fresh. Roasting the beans in small batches and grinding them just prior to serving ensures that customers never drink coffee brewed from stale beans more than a week old.
In addition to coffee products, Alaska Klondike sells a motley assortment of gifts and supplies, from popcorn poppers to natural flavor syrups and from honey to hot sauce.
"We don't sell anything we don't try, eat or have personal knowledge about," Richards said.
The coffee house has won awards from the Specialty Coffee Association of America and the Taste of North County Food Fair.
What are your favorite restaurants and shops in Florissant? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below!