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Hidden Gems Bring Big Flavor

Local Culinary Business Owners Bring Passion and Dedication and Spread Their Food Love in South Denver

High Point Creamery

Erika Thomas

HighPointCreamery.com

If ice cream trucks of yore are kitschy, banal pleasures, High Point Creamery’s motto “lavishly crafting joy” sums up the differences. Their aptly named ice cream truck, Big Pinky, replaces the tinny music and dulled images with brilliant, unusual flavor combinations. High Point Creamery was born from Erika Thomas’ trusty ice cream maker, and husband Chad Stutz’ love of eating ice cream. Founded in 2013, they opened their first shop in the Hilltop neighborhood. Big Pinky came next, followed by a catering cart and two more shops in Denver’s hippest neighborhoods.

Now Thomas and Stutz call Highlands Ranch home. They offer signature flavors, such as TinCup Whiskey & Pistachio Brittle, Cookies (3 ways) & Cream, and Salty Dog Chocolate. Seasonal flavors for autumn 2020 include perennial favorite Joan’s Pumpkin Pie and they are bringing back Zucchini Bread. New this year is Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Berry Crisp and Dark Chocolate & Espresso Beans. Lest you think these flavors are too high brow for kids, they also offer velvety Milk Chocolate and Vanilla Bean. But kids also love the unique flavor combos like, cucumber Mint Sorbet and Basil and Blackberry Swirl.

Their innovative flavors even caught the eye of the Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets. In addition to the ice cream shops and food truck, local residents can find High Point Creamery products at Whole Foods. They are also available for weddings, special and corporate events. Find their shops and Ice cream truck locations at highpointcreamery.com

Favorite item: Basil with BlackBerry Swirl, such a unique flavor combo, loved by gourmets and children alike.

Wave the Grain

Allyson Kulinski

WaveTheGrain.com

The proverb “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” epitomizes Wave the Grain’s beginnings. The seeds were planted in 2014 when Allyson Kulinski’s son was diagnosed with Celiacs disease. “What is a mom to do with a teenage boy, but now all of his favorite foods are suddenly off limits?” In typical mom fashion, she started baking. But this comfort food was grounded in purpose; to find baked goods that were the opposite of the tasteless, cardboard-like experience typical of gluten-free food. She started selling her goods at farmers markets, then opened the brick-and-mortar store in 2018. Wave the Grain’s kitchen is 100 percent gluten free in order to completely eliminate the risk of cross contamination. Multiple varieties of baked goods; bread, cakes, pastries and other desserts are available every day.

You can also pop in for an espresso drink and breakfast burrito or ramen to eat there or take to go. Wave the Grain features daily specials that change each day of the week, and are available as a special order any day of the week. Special occasion cakes, such as wedding or birthday cakes can be special ordered. They also offer a large variety of take away meals and home essentials like eggs and yeast. They even offer a wide variety of pantry stable and baked keto items. The cannolis are particularly delicious. Wave the Grain is open six days a week, and offer online ordering and delivery. Find them at 8127 South Holly St. or wavethegrain.com

Favorite item: cinnamon rolls. Allyson created the recipe for a friend who loved them as a child and wished to continue the tradition with her sons who are highly sensitive to grains.

Ornery Olive

Lindsay DiDonna

OrneryOlive.com

Upon first glance, Olathe, Kansas and Florence, Italy don’t appear to have much in common, but the Ornery Olive Charcuterie Co.’s Lindsay DiDonna found otherwise. Growing up in America’s heartland, her childhood home on 40 acres of farmland was frequently filled with family and friends. Her mother and grandmother entertained with lavish spreads of fresh vegetables, meat and baked goods.
It is no surprise then when she met her Italian husband, they shared the love of gathering with close friends and family to enjoy a meal and good company. Ornery Olive was formed in this shared history, then fostered during their honeymoon through Italy, where Lindsey became fascinated with cured meats, cheese, olives and fruit. Once at home in Highlands Ranch, she frequented markets to select the finest accoutrements and started creating charcuterie boards for their personal events. After many requests from friends for her boards for their own parties, in March of 2020, Lindsey made it official and started the Ornery Olive Charcuterie Co.
The name comes from the humble olive, a mainstay of Italian meals, but sometimes not a favorite in the US. As she was creating boards, she’d often get requests to omit the olives. To be true to Italian tradition, she couldn’t leave this important part out, but the name recognizes how ornery this little brined bite can be. In just eight months, business has grown exponentially through referrals and repeat business into a full-time job.

Ornery Olive is an Ambassador of Divina, which supplies all of her olives, as well as jams and spreads. Ornery Olive also partners with Murray's Cheese of New York, and other small enterprises to offer the finest ingredients on their boards. Find them at orneryolive.com or @orneryolive.

Favorite item: Caramelized Onion Jam and Chili Fig Spread paired with Fromager D’Affinois or any triple cream brie that is buttery and mild in flavor.

Epicurean Catering

Larry DiPasquale

EpicureanGroupCo.com

Even long-time industry innovators like Epicurean Catering have had to get creative when the food industry was so significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Founded in 1984, founder Larry DiPasquale wanted to create a different experience for his clients than was currently available from other caterers. He set out to freshly prepare food at the event location, instead of offsite as was the industry standard at that time.

Today, Epicurean is an award-winning industry leader which has branched out to be the exclusive caterer for top Denver venues, Professional Sports Hospitality, and restaurant concepts along side its traditional wedding and event catering.

No stranger to reinvention, Epicurean Catering has now also created a whole new way to reach its clients in these uncertain times. Meals on the Move is Epicurean’s answer to take away, served with the refinement and precision they are known for. The offering includes hors d’overs spreads, executive box lunches as well as individual meals, bowls and salads, Meals on the Move serves both business style gatherings, as well as home servings. At the very beginning of the pandemic, Epicurean fed 20,000 meals to front-line workers with their Feed your Community efforts. Coming up next they plan to offer frozen family-style meals. These meals are inspired by the nostalgia and comfort of TV dinners, elevated to Epicurean’s standards. Online ordering available, as is pick up and delivery. Find them at epicureangroupco.com.
Favorite Item: Noel Cunningham’s Spaghettini with Baby Clam Sauce, Larry’s favorite to cook at home. The recipe can be found in Epicurean’s upcoming cookbook.

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