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Meet Chris Goodson, founder of Fields Foods

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Joe O'Toole Fields Foods Chris Goodson

Few would argue with CWEnder Chris Goodson (photographed with CWEnder Gwen Sims) who describes himself as a risk taker. Opening a 9,000 s.f. grocery store at the corner of Delmar and Euclid was risky business, but the decision was not out of the ordinary for Goodson, the founder of Fields Foods. Two other stores (and soon to be a third) are in neighborhoods Goodson describes as having few if any options to purchase fresh foods.  Though Aldi is at the corner of Kingshighway and Delmar, Goodson said, “We are not in competition with nearby grocers, we are filling a need.”

“Don’t get me wrong,” Goodson continued, “I want to make a profit, but I also want to help bridge the divide and drag the excitement from the CWE’s central corridor across Delmar to Fountain Park and beyond. This corner is the definition of diverse and we want to be part of that.”

Fields Foods is also committed to hiring employees from the neighborhood who can walk or take the bus to work.

During our meeting in the store’s dining area, Goodson added that Cullinan Properties, who renovated 625 N. Euclid (Fields Foods is on the ground floor) were fabulous to work with. The renovation of what is now called Lofts@Euclid into 87 apartment units was top-notch and now includes a tenant-only entry to the grocery store, touting the tongue-in-cheek (I hope) possibility of picking up a latté and hot breakfast sandwich or rotisserie chicken dressed in your pajamas. Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Joe O'Toole Fields Foods Chris Goodson

Getting into the grocery store business was not on Goodson’s radar when he, his wife, and 4 daughters lived in Lafayette Square years ago (they have since moved to the CWE). He got into development fixing up abandoned churches and converting them into condos, and then tackled the renovation of the former City Hospital which was slated for demolition. The main hospital building was converted into 104 condominiums, an event space, a rock climbing gym and a facility for a catering company.

Goodson soon realized that the surrounding area, which includes the Darst Webbe housing project, lacked basic amenities such as a grocery store, and this might be a deterrent to the success of his project.

“Black, white, rich, or poor, everyone wants the same things. A roof over your head, food in your belly, and a feeling of safety,” Goodson said. Fields Foods, his 38,000 s.f. foray into the grocery store business in Lafayette Square, which opened in 2014, brought an amenity to an area that was blighted, and spawned the expansion of the business into other neighborhoods. A second Fields Foods opened earlier this year in Downtown West, followed by the recent opening of the CWE store, and very soon a 4th Fields Foods will open on the site of a former lumber yard in Dogtown.

Over the years Goodson has given back to St. Louis in other ways as well. In 2005 he was appointed to the Board of Police Commioners by Governor Matt Blunt, and he served on the board of the city’s Land Clearance Reutilization Authority for 20 years. He is currently a member of the 22nd Circuit Judicial Commission appointed by Governor Parson. Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Joe O'Toole Fields Foods Chris Goodson

The CWE store was designed to evoke an old-fashioned corner grocery. The main section includes fresh produce, including lots of organic selections, a large carryout section, cheese case and a small selection of bulk foods.  There is also seating in the front window or at a counter (see top photo). Basics are toward the back of the store, see below left.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Joe O'Toole Fields Foods Chris Goodson

Fields Foods’ CEO Joe O’Toole was able to fit everything the 38,000 s.f. Lafayette Square store stocks in the 9000 s.f. CWE store, just in smaller quantities. Goodson said that Fields Foods is known for its wide selection of craft beers.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Joe O'Toole Fields Foods Chris Goodson

Most of the items in the middle of the store’s take-out section are made on site. Alpheia, above, is the pastry chef whose specialties are cakes and sweets for any occasion, see display case below. As you can see in the top photo, there is a coffee bar, beer on tap and wine available by the glass for those inclined to sip while they shop.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Joe O'Toole Fields Foods Chris Goodson

Meet Glenn, a Fields Foods butcher, above. The store makes several flavors of seasoned bacon and sausages. I understand the chicken wings and rotisserie chickens are hot items at the CWE store.

 

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Joe O'Toole Fields Foods Chris Goodson

Fields Foods has a large selection of wines, liquor and the aforementioned craft beers.

Improvements to come: Awnings have been ordered for the windows along Euclid and Delmar, which will help identify the store; parking should be available once again on the lot directly across the street on Euclid; and Fields Foods will be accepting food stamps (EBT) any day.

Cullinan Properties and Fields Foods have done a masterful job bringing new vitality to the southwest corner of Delmar and Euclid. There is a lot going on north of Delmar too. I have been reporting on that progress over the past year. If you missed one of those recent posts, read it here.

Fields Foods, 625 N. Euclid, (314) 944-2940. Open 7 days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

inktober2019 to the rescue!

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  St. Louis Art Supply inktober2019 Carson Monetti

photos courtesy of Carson Monetti

Exhausted by the news and the recent hot weather? Take your mind off all that by joining in inktober2019, a sketch-a-day exercise using the 31 prompts shown on a board at St. Louis Art Supply, above.

Utah-based artist Jake Parker dreamed up inktober 10 years ago as a way to increase his drawing skills. The idea spread and now  artists around the world post their work on social media during the month of October.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  St. Louis Art Supply inktober2019 Carson Monetti  St. Louis Art Supply co-proprietor Carson Monetti  shared some of the sketches that have been posted on instagram since yesterday, October 1. The prompt for the first day was “ring.”

Why don’t you give it a go. Use your favorite ink pen—St. Louis Art Supply has a great assortment of fountain pens, which are back in vogue (some contend they have never disappeared), and follow the prompt for each day. More instruction can be found on the inktober website.

Post your drawings on your instagram account and tag #inktober2019 and @stlartsupply.  Monetti will gather them together and select a winner.  I’ll be keeping mine under wraps, but for those more talented, consider what a stress reliever this daily exercise will be, and then there’s the prospect of that $100 gift certificate.

St Louis Art Supply, 4532 Olive St., (314) 884-8345.

 

Snapshots from September’s gallery openings on McPherson

There’s still time to stop by the McPherson galleries to check out the latest exhibits which debuted September 13th.  Also, projects+gallery, 4733 McPherson, has an opening tonight, September 27, for Tom Friedman’s Eternal Return.

At Duane Reed Gallery 3 fiber artists are exhibiting their work which coincides with this year’s Innovations in Textiles 2019 event, mentioned in the previous post.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Sun Smith-Foret Rebecca Hutchinson Philip Slein Gallery Houska Gallery Ethan Meyer Duane Reed Gallery

One of those artist’s, Ethan Meyer, above, has covered every possible square inch of wall (and air space too) with a riot of colorful textiles he calls Solar Temple, a fantasy-land of fiber art.

Meyer, who says he’s color-deficient (i.e. color-blind), drew in pen and pencil in high school. He was intimidated by color until his freshman year in college when he discovered that he could use his intuition and find success with paint. He graduated from Webster University in 2013 where he majored in Studio Art studying photography, printmaking, painting, drawing, 3D & graphic design, as well as conceptual art. Meyer says this well-rounded arts education has benefitted him greatly in his evolution as an artist.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Sun Smith-Foret Rebecca Hutchinson Philip Slein Gallery Houska Gallery Ethan Meyer Duane Reed Gallery

Meyer grew up in a rural environment where his interests included studying spider webs, swinging from vines, foraging for morels, and picking wildflowers. These experiences became the foundation for crude sculptures he would build with yarns and threads from his mother’s sewing kit, and wood scraps from his father’s tool room. Years later, you can see those influences in Solar Temple.

It took a year to construct the installation. Meyer said he created the work without a blueprint, but as he worked on the project, he found his vision. “I trust my gut…to me, art is more about chasing an elusive goal than executing a fully fleshed-out plan,” he added.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Sun Smith-Foret Rebecca Hutchinson Philip Slein Gallery Houska Gallery Ethan Meyer Duane Reed Gallery

The skills manifested in Solar Temple include sewing, braiding, weaving, needlework, knotting, crocheting, and beading. “The therapeutic energy of working with fiber serves as a nice counterbalance to how cerebral painting is for me. They require different energy, which happens to be complementary.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Sun Smith-Foret Rebecca Hutchinson Philip Slein Gallery Houska Gallery Ethan Meyer Duane Reed Gallery

In Rebecca Hutchinson’s artist statement for her clever Navigating Borders, examples above and below, she said she “builds sculptural works made from clay and recycled materials, like old clothing and industrial surplus.” A close-up of her work is shown below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Sun Smith-Foret Rebecca Hutchinson Philip Slein Gallery Houska Gallery Ethan Meyer Duane Reed Gallery

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Sun Smith-Foret Rebecca Hutchinson Philip Slein Gallery Houska Gallery Ethan Meyer Duane Reed Gallery

Sun Smith-Foret’s, above, New Work in Amuletic Sculpture occupies the back room at Duane Reed Gallery.Her knotted work, above and below, is a “recent acquisition in my skill set and came from direct observation of the work of Jane Sauer, a former studio mate and decades–long friend and colleague.”Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Sun Smith-Foret Rebecca Hutchinson Philip Slein Gallery Houska Gallery Ethan Meyer Duane Reed Gallery

Smith-Foret “studied basketry of American and Canadian native tribes, global  contemporary basketry, and the earth-focused spiritual aesthetic of Australian aboriginal artists…”Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Sun Smith-Foret Rebecca Hutchinson Philip Slein Gallery Houska Gallery Ethan Meyer Duane Reed Gallery

Jane Sauer, above, moved back to the CWE from Sante Fe a few years ago. Her basketry is included in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

At Philip Slein Gallery, 4735 McPherson

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Sun Smith-Foret Rebecca Hutchinson Philip Slein Gallery Houska Gallery Ethan Meyer Duane Reed Gallery

Philip Slein, above right, is photographed in front of Andrea Belag’s Beachcomber 18.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Sun Smith-Foret Rebecca Hutchinson Philip Slein Gallery Houska Gallery Ethan Meyer Duane Reed Gallery

Douglas Melini’s oil and acrylic on canvas Starry Sky #8 is part of the gallery’s Stars exhibition,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Sun Smith-Foret Rebecca Hutchinson Philip Slein Gallery Houska Gallery Ethan Meyer Duane Reed Gallery

as is Carl Ostendarp’s Virgo, 2004, above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Sun Smith-Foret Rebecca Hutchinson Philip Slein Gallery Houska Gallery Ethan Meyer Duane Reed Gallery

Robert Sagerman’s dramatic oil on canvas 18,536, 2019 drew a lot of attention at Philip Slein Gallery.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Sun Smith-Foret Rebecca Hutchinson Philip Slein Gallery Houska Gallery Ethan Meyer Duane Reed Gallery

At Houska Gallery, 4728 McPherson, artist Cory Sellers, above, is photographed in front of some examples of his work Clearly Constructed. 

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Sun Smith-Foret Rebecca Hutchinson Philip Slein Gallery Houska Gallery Ethan Meyer Duane Reed Gallery

Artist Caleb Gebel’s “imagery is culled from past experiences and opinionated daydreams.” Find more about both artists, whose work will remain on view until October 12, on Houska Gallery’s website.