The revamped 24/7 grocery operation comes to Crossroads.
Story by Lauren Rutherford
After a year of waiting, Howard’s Grocery, Cafe and Catering is harvesting what it planted.
Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign in late 2014, Howard’s began work on a new location in the Crossroads district. The store began its soft opening for the cafe portion on Wednesday, Sept. 16, and has been dishing out a selection of sandwiches over the lunch hour ever since.
The Howard’s Crossroads location will offer grocery service, a continuation of the catering business, a cafe and a rooftop garden. So far, only the cafe and catering are up and running, but owner Craig Howard plans to soon fill the garden with salad greens and vegetables to use in the cafe.
For now, the cafe menu features a few salads and handful of sandwiches. Howard says the menu will always remain small so quality stays a focus. The lunchtime lineup will have mainstays, such as burgers, a chicken sandwich and a grilled cheese, but will change based on which ingredients are in season. The Howard’s burger, which comes topped with American cheese, has been the most popular item so far.
“We make a housemade American cheese that people have been really liking,” Howard says. “You can get those qualities that are good about American cheese but leave out the bad stuff that goes along with it.”
The original 24/7 grocery concept was called Howard’s Organic Fare and Vegetable Patch and lived in the City Ice building. In fall 2014, the store’s lease ended early when the building was bought and scheduled for demolition.
At the veggie patch, members could purchase a year of groceries and around-the-clock access to the storehouse for $60. Howard says the outlet had mainly meats, eggs and vegetables. Nearly all the products were local. He estimates that around 250 people utilized the store.
Howard says the new space will allow for more grocery offerings—such as condiments, frozen pizza and grab-and-go convenience food—all sourced from quality ingredients.
“The new space is getting the grocery, the cooking and serving, and catering all in one space,” Howard says. “The main thing is just having the kitchen on the same property, so we can get it all together”
For now, Howard plans to continue working to get the grocery portion of the operation opened. You can grab a bite to eat from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Friday at 1708 Oak St.