Barrel + Brine, Buffalo's homegrown pickle and fermented foods operation, is preparing to open a new location that includes a café and taproom.
The growth in demand for its beet caraway sauerkraut and other products prompted the search for a bigger space, said R.J. Marvin, who owns the company with his wife Lindsey. Barrel + Brine will be fermenting its kombucha in the same building in Black Rock that will hold BlackBird Cider, 155 Chandler St.
Thin Man Brewing Co. will also be opening a production brewery across the street, which is shaping up to be Buffalo's fermentation alley with the work of Rocco Termini, who's developing the buildings.
Barrel + Brine has its horseradish dills and kimchi available for sale in many area Wegmans supermarkets, all Feel Rite stores, Whole Foods, and both Lexington Co-ops, among other locations. It's also offered retail hours at its original site, 257 Carolina St., where its production takes place.
The Carolina Street store opened in December 2015. In the back, the Marvins have been turning mainly local vegetables into the sort of fermented foods your grandparents might have made to get them through the winter.
"The demand has been growing and growing, as more people reconnect with fermented foods," Marvin said. "Our production space is currently 350 square feet." The new space will have a walk-in cooler that's larger than that, he said.
"Lindsey's making 900-plus liters of kombucha almost every week. I'm producing almost 1,500 pounds of pickles, sauerkraut and other things a month," he said. "It's way too small for that sort of production." The new location will be just under 4,000 square feet, he said.
The Marvins expect to open by late summer. A café showcasing fermented foods, and a taproom pouring kombucha, local beer, wine and cider are in their plans. "Everything's going to focus heavily on local terroir, seasonal produce, and fermentation and preservation in general," Marvin said, "so that people can enjoy the things our farmers are producing year-round."
The Marvins are celebrating their announcement with a pop-up meal at their present Carolina Street location at noon April 8. The menu, from Grange Community Kitchen's Anthony Petrilli, will feature Korean-Canadian fusion, like kimchi poutine, and corn-scallion fritters with spicy maple syrup.
Fans and well-wishers can contribute to an Indiegogo fundraiser the Marvins have established to underwrite Barrel + Brine's equipment and capital costs.
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