Cookie-focused company settles into new home

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Found. Market Co., which doubles as a remade furniture workshop and bakehouse, specializes in cookies as well as farmhouse-style baked goods such as muffins and tea cakes. Photo by Tom McGovern Found. Market Co., which doubles as a remade furniture workshop and bakehouse, specializes in cookies as well as farmhouse-style baked goods such as muffins and tea cakes. Photo by Tom McGovern

Calling all cookie monsters: Found. Market Co. at 221 Carlton Rd. (the former Kathy’s Produce spot) is here for all of your cookie needs. In addition to functioning as a gathering space and remade furniture workshop, Found. is a bakehouse specializing in cookies—pick up some salted rosemary shortbread, a batch of classic cookies or frozen cookie dough to scoop and bake at home whenever a cookie craving strikes—as well as farmhouse-style baked goods such as muffins and tea cakes, plus comfort foods like Bavarian pretzels, chicken salad and pub cheese.

If that salted rosemary shortbread sounds familiar, it should—Found. started as a wholesale bakery under the name The Bees Knees Kitchen, and it’s been selling shortbread-style cookies at Feast! and Blenheim Vineyards for a few years. The Bees Knees Kitchen eventually grew out of its certified home kitchen and into this larger, industrial-sized space and new name, says co-owner Kelsey Gillian.

Having managed an organic farm for the last 16 years, the Found. team’s “nature is to cook and bake from the field, gather for family dinners and share good food with friends,” says Gillian, adding that it’s all about creating homegrown, handmade “tasty food, imperfections and all.”

New food pairing

Charlottesville has plenty of cuisine options—Mexican, Italian, French, Indian, American—but even in our chock-full-o-restaurants city, it’s rare to find two very different cuisines under a single roof.

Vu Noodles and Pearl Island Catering have teamed up to serve lunch at the Jefferson School City Center café at 233 Fourth St. NW from 11am to 2pm Monday through Friday. (Don’t worry—Vu Noodles will still be served at The Spot/Greenie’s, and Pearl Island isn’t abandoning its catering.)

The menu is a relief for those who can’t decide on just one type of cuisine for their midday meal (or is that just us?). Vu Noodles’ spring rolls, the banh mi sandwich, tofu caramelized onions and various noodle dishes are on the menu alongside Pearl Island dishes such as the Caribbean-seasoned, slow-roasted pulled pork, Haitian-inspired sweet and spicy chicken with gravy, Creole beans and fried plantains.

One more Reason to love beer

In a town where breweries rival Starbucks in numbers, yet another place to imbibe in new brews will open in June.

Childhood friends and Charlottesville natives Patrick Adair, Mark Fulton and Jeff Raileanu are teaming up to open Reason Beer in a warehouse space next to Costco. Adair, director of sales, says the more breweries the better.

“Charlottesville is getting a reputation as a beer town, and that’s awesome,” he says. “We are fortunate enough to be at a time when craft beer seems to sell itself these days.”

To understand the brewery is to understand head brewer Fulton’s background as former head brewer at the venerable Maine Beer Company. In the early days of craft beer there was a focus on making IPAs as bitter as possible but breweries like Maine Beer Company were pioneers in producing beers with balanced hop and malt profiles. Fulton will bring this perspective to Reason, where they will focus on low-alcohol, fresh, hoppy beers.

The brewery is installing a 30-barrel (that’s 930 gallons) brewhouse and will also put in a bottling line that will package 16.9-ounce bottles, a format Adair says is just the right size for drinking by yourself, but also big enough to share.

“I think our focus on balance, approachability, innovation and food pairing will be what distinguishes Reason Beer,” says Adair.—Derek Young

The toast of Tom Tom

Six of Charlottesville’s top chefs went head-to-head in the Iron Chef City Market competition for which each had to create a 100 percent locally sourced dish with a budget of $50, 20 minutes to shop and 30 minutes to cook. Chef Chris Jack of Wild Wolf Brewing Company took the title with a dish of pan-seared duck heart, spicy chocolate granola-crusted duck liver and sautéed oyster mushrooms with purple scallions, wilted arugula and spicy strawberry rhubarb jam.

In the craft cocktail competition at the Tom Tom Founders Festival, Patrick McClure of Lost Saint won over the judges with his Lil’ Rhuby Fizzle, made from sweet strawberry juice from Agriberry Farm, tart rhubarb juice from Radical Roots Farm, Boar Creek Appalachian whiskey and Homestead Creamery cream and egg white. The Flora, a Baker’s gin, strawberry shrub, mint and basil syrup, lemon, cava and cracked pepper cocktail concocted by Oakhart Social’s Brendan Cartin, was the crowd favorite.

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