Going Against the Grain
Paleo Baking Company
Passionate about health, Hannah Dorn, who comes from a family of entrepreneurs, launched the Paleo Baking Company in March. The recently married Hannah found the timing right for her new business venture, which is dedicated to creating baked goods for people with special diets and healthy lifestyles. The “paleo” of Paleo Baking Company pays homage to the preagricultural, hunter-gatherer diet associated with paleolithic humans. Paleo diets eschew processed foods, sugars, grains, processed oils, legumes and dairy. Paleo foods are considered anti-inflammatory and include natural ingredients that are locally sourced when possible. Hannah’s inspiration for her logo came from cave paintings in France, where early humans would use natural ingredients and splattered paint around their hands on cave walls. Paleo Baking Company products are gluten, grain, dairy, refined sugar and soy free. Muffins, the current focus, are available in a variety of flavors such as chocolate, dark chocolate, hazelnut, pumpkin spice and lemon poppy seed. A favorite with customers is her coffee cake muffin.
Paleo Baking Company products are available at Tomato Tomato. Since her launch there has been strong support for her products, and she is looking to expand her online retail presence. You can follow the Paleo Baking Company on Facebook, Twitter and on the web at PaleoBakingCompany.com.
Farm on Wheels
Truck Farm Omaha
Truck Farm Omaha is a farm on wheels that shares a common mission with other Truck Farm projects (25 so far) around the country. That mission is to teach people about growing food.
The concept originated in Brooklyn, New York, where director Ian Cheney of Wicked Delicate Films wanted to plant a garden. Without land, he had to get creative, so he built a garden in a truck. His truck attracted lots of attention and quickly grew into a mobileeducation center.
Truck Farm Omaha is a project of filmmakers Dan Susman and Andrew Monbouquette, who were inspired by the Truck Farm projects they encountered in Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon while they were filming their documentary Growing Cities. Their truck is now touring the Greater Omaha area through September, visiting schools and organizations. Their education coordinator, Chelsea Taxman, whose background is in horticulture and organic farming with a certificate in Permaculture Design, is sharing her passion by teaching healthy food choices, celebrating community and sustainable gardening.
The mustard-yellow 1975 Chevy C10 pickup hosts a 5-by- 8-foot planting bed filled with seasonal vegetables such as lettuce, arugula, radishes, beets, Brussels sprouts and tomatoes. The plants being grown vary based on the season, and get their start at the Metropolitan Community College greenhouse or from Dan or Chelsea’s backyard gardens. When Chelsea pulls up to her events, she often sees as many as 100 kids. She gives out samples to eat, right from the garden. She also distributes vegetable seeds to each child and encourages them to plant at home in an old toy truck or neglected pot.
To find Truck Farm Omaha, or learn how to bring the farm to your organization, visit TruckFarmOmaha.com. You can contact Chelsea directly for youth program information at 402.740.6479. Follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/truckfarmomaha. (Photo by Roger Paulman)
Cohousing Urban Farm
New Omaha Neighborhood Concept
Currently in the planning stages, Omaha’s first sustainable, multiuse, cohousing development is being designed with the goal of creating a close-knit neighborhood governed by the residents. Similar to old-fashioned neighborhoods, cohousing communities bring together the value of private homes with the benefits of more sustainable living. Benefits of cohousing include readily accessible food; walkability; a tight-knit community culture; diversity of residents; sustainable energy and green construction methods; and smarter economics through sharing.
The Omaha plan includes the conversion of an existing barn into a common house for meals, meetings, guest rooms and storage. The urban zone will have components such as a child development center, small local retail shops and an urban farm. Each of the elements have been designed to be within easy walking distance from the 30 planned private homes, which will be smaller and more energy efficient in comparison to a standard suburban home. An additional 20 barrier-free homes will be available for seniors.
Located near 72nd Street and Highway 370 in Papillion, Nebraska, the 19-acre site is comprised of an existing five acre farm and an adjoining 14-acre unfinished subdivision. To move into the next phase of development, 10 to 15 individuals are needed to make the commitment to be part of the cohousing community. If you have an interest in learning more about the community, please contact Jack Round at 402.630.5492 or visit the website at Papillion Cohousing.com. (Photo by DR Brown)
The French Bulldog
Arrives in Dundee
A Proper Charcuterie
Like fine sausage, like saucisson, a restaurant is only as good as its ingredients. When an Omaha team combines whole-animal butchery, local fare and global experience, the result tastes like a 24-month aged prosciutto. With their new Dundee charcuterie, the French Bulldog, co-owners Bryce Coulton, Phil Anania and Anne Cavanaugh offer a high-end addition to Omaha’s famous meat scene.
The team calls the French Bulldog “a proper charcuterie,” where they butcher and cure in-house, serve a focused menu and sell some of their products on site. Carnivores can look forward to dry-cured salami, capocollo, prosciutto and pastrami. Everyone will enjoy the cafe’s grainy mustard, which boasts a tangy, unexpected crunch.
From three local producers, The French Bulldog sources its pork—antibiotic- and hormone-free, of course. The cheese comes from Shadow Brook Farm, Branched Oak Farm and from an Omahanative cheese monger who created a special Wisconsin cheddar specifically for the Bulldog. Produce originates from farms like Shadow Brook and Rhizosphere.
The co-owners have experience at La Buvette, the Dundee Dell, the Boiler Room, Pitch Coal-fired Pizzeria, V. Mertz, Sweet Magnolias, Ireland’s Ballymaloe Cookery School and London’s Petersham Nurseries Cafe. Phil and Anne also co-own Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob, which has become a Dundee cult classic of its own. All this promises an auspicious beginning for an upscale storefront, located in the heart of America’s steak region.
The French Bulldog, located at 5003 Underwood Avenue, plans to open midsummer and will be serving Monday-Thursday, 11am- 11pm and Friday-Saturday, 11am-midnight, with the kitchen closing an hour before closing time. Closed Sunday. Follow on Facebook, Twitter and on the web at FrenchBulldogOmaha.com
The Chocolates Bar
Omaha’s Newest Dessert Sensation
Bubbling with passion and energy for her love of all things desserts, Katie Murphy is humbled and delighted when a connection is made and a compliment is received. Katie is living her dream—creating edible art with passion. Katie’s small business, the Chocolates Bar, specializes in hand-painted artisan chocolates, cakes and desserts using the freshest ingredients, and buying locally as much as possible. She is constantly on the prowl at farmers markets to spark inspiration for her desserts, and has made goat cheese brownies and strawberry-rhubarb bars. She welcomes ideas because she is willing to try just about anything.
On weekends, Katie can be found making up to six of her specialty custom cakes—many for weddings or birthdays—each tailored to the specific request of the customer. She’s done Mario, Batman and Toy Story—to name a few— but the possibilities are only limited by the imagination of clients.
Hand-painted, small-batch artisan chocolates are gorgeously decorated and appear as inspiring pieces of art. Flavors such as s’mores, peanut butter & jelly and chipotle-cherry give customers a glimpse into Katie’s creative combinations. Chocolates are sold in prepackaged boxes ranging from the four-piece Chocoholic to the 25-piece Cocoa Therapy.
Katie finds inspiration in many sources, and her specialty desserts are always evolving. A favorite is the bacon and chocolate chip cookie with peanut butter filling. She has also developed a fun line of popsicles with flavors such as watermelon mojito, spicy mango, ginger peach and margarita.
With a baking and pastry degree from the International School for Culinary Arts at the Art Institute in Denver, Colorado, Katie is currently the pastry chef at CRAVE restaurant in Midtown. In addition, she teaches up to three dessert classes on a regular basis at Metropolitan Community College’s Institute for the Culinary Arts program.
With such a busy schedule, Katie is often surrounded by friends and family who support her dream by handling deliveries and helping with the ever-constant cleaning after the day’s baking session has ended.
Katie is full of optimism as the Chocolates Bar is growing faster than she imagined. She hopes to open her own store in Omaha in the near future, where she envisions a place to sit and enjoy her desserts with a friend and a cup of coffee.
For now, you can find her delicious products in Council Bluffs at Bloom Works Floral and the Sweet Stop. In Omaha, The Chocolates Bar chocolates are sold at Block 16 restaurant, the Localmotive food truck and at Wohlner’s grocery stores. Find Katie on Facebook or call 402.616.2163. (Photo by Juliene Marie)
Read moreSpilling the Beans Summer 2012