Meet Missoula by Mike Gillette
The Buttercup Market and Cafe located at 1221 Helen Avenue is a magical gathering spot in the heart of the University District. Named after Buttercup Jacob, Molly’s grandmother and the matriarch of a Helena dairy farm, her spirit is instilled into what the market and cafe actually is. Buttercup was a Locavore before it was cool. She had the responsibility of feeding all of the hired hands and making everything from cheese to yogurt from scratch, using the best ingredients to get the best results. A recipe for quality.
What makes strong communities like Missoula are the areas we hold in common; are able to gather and communicate with each other in person during a time when people are isolated. The market has a commitment to zero waste and conscious choice policies. This means sourcing food from across Montana, leaving the smallest possible carbon footprint & getting to work with two legs and your heartbeat.
The building which houses the current businesses was built in 1914 as a market when this area was intended to be a commercial district. Since then there have been zoning wars whose dust have recently settled enabling Buttercup to thrive as a made to order food service joint. The place has a nostalgic vibe that harks back to Freddy’s Feed and Read, a co-op market and bookstore that was here from 1973 to 1998. The best chefs in town all had come through the doors. Many others had since tried their hand running a business at the address, and it was not until 2010 that the current ownership spent a full year renovating the building to its updated condition and had the zoning changed in 2013.
To be well liked and loved within your neighborhood seems to be a common element that threads it way through this town like the rivers. The Buttercup has other functions than just serving coffee and tea or a fancy brunch on a man bun; it serves the current needs of the regular customers who frequent and depend on the place. There is an area upstairs in the original apartment which can be rented by the hour, or day as an office or meeting room that has served the purpose of university classroom and political campaign headquarters. An aged Wurlitzer piano sits in an adjoining room for anyone who feels the need to hammer away at the keys. The piano shares a room with a book binder who also shares with groups who meet to knit or discuss hot topics around the campfire.
Learn more about their menu and events at: http://www.thebuttercupmarket.com/
This business is currently FOR SALE and offers the best of the past and is set it up to succeed in the future. Contact me for more information about this Windermere RE listing
Edited by – Hillary Logan
Meet Missoula by Mike Gillette
I needed some shade, it was the hottest day of the year and the heat was radiating from the road. This is Railroad Street, the closest you get to quaint, cozy cobblestone streets in Montana. Soon to be known as Distillery Row, a red brick road about as smooth as a do-it-yourself tile job. Hard to say a 5 block by 5 block downtown has a seedy side, but the atmosphere has changed for the better since just a few years ago.
I needed a drink. Something that didn’t make my breath stink of microbrew when I came home to the sheriff and her three little deputies. I ducked into a gin joint, the Montana Distillery, where Woody dead ends at the yard.
A cucumber vodka with a splash of soda and a drop of lime in a tall glass of ice is just what the doctor ordered. The doctor is my alter ego, who sits there listening to the story of Montana’s oldest distillery. Originally the Flathead Distillery, located in Eureka, and one of only 50 in America. Once they heard it was for sale, the current owners took to the Yaak in a 1984 Winnebago known as the brown turd and did a Max Cady until it was theirs. Mark started home brewing beer while working as a HazMat air compliance officer at a refinery, realizing that the process is the same. Now they can make a product and get positive feedback, despite having to prove themselves everyday and having to fix the still at 2 o’clock in the morning.
You might be sitting next to who knows who, as you judge the panhandler who has been dodging bulls all day; pawning his hard earned coin collection for a Moscow Mule. Little do you know he could be a Grammy Award winning country artist. Then you realize that your differences are positive, and that as much as you impact someone’s life, they in turn impact yours.
The owners take great pride in working this trade for the love of it, and for being a living part of the downtown heritage. If you would like to learn more about their eau de vie, take your south end and head north on Sunday for a Bloody Mary/ Caesar bar. Or, hang out with Mark and Sharie on a Wednesday for Ladies Night (fellas), they would love to tell you the tale of how it all started and the challenges they face now; from bottle caps to serving caps. Check out their website http://www.themtdistillery.com to see more about drink specials, events, and lineup of award winning spirits.
Meet Missoula by Mike Gillette
Alex and Christine are owners of Taste Buds Kitchen in Missoula. They are a mom and pop shop located at 131 East Main Street since 2015 with a business demographic as varied as their menus. Offering everything from Thai to Steak House items and desserts, they bring the kitchen learning experience to everyone from children to adults alike. Have your own cooking competition judged by Alex or Christine themselves at a birthday party, a family cooking class or join them twice a week for an adults only BYOB bake off. Private classes can be booked, school and group classes are also offered, but to the displeasure of teachers, alcohol is not allowed for these events.
Christine and Alex live with their four year old daughter in the South Hills because of the view, the community is cool, schools are awesome and has a great trail system with easy access to Fort Missoula Park. Not to mention four golf courses at the foot of the hills.
Catering to the professional level, they offer seasonal company parties, team building classes, and client relations evenings. Imagine for a moment, instead of taking your clients out to dinner, you can have them make their own meal. Then be judged and have to eat it! Alex says that the children’s entries usually end up tasting as they should according to the recipe, but that every once in a while the adults turn in a shocker. Too much salt bæ, not enough pepper. No loser is ever chosen, and no one is ever voted out, but there is a winner every time.
Taste Buds is currently registering their Summer Camps for kids, with a new theme every week.
When asked what advice he would give to anyone starting their own business: do their research and look for something that is missing from the market. Perhaps a new franchise trending nationally with a long term business plan. Taste Buds is the only franchise this far west and located in a non metro area.
The thing Alex, a native of Kalispell, likes most about Missoula is, “The people and the river through town. Mostly just the weird people”. If you are looking to move to Missoula Alex recommends checking out the Kim Williams Trail and Downtown. Co-worker Julia throws in her two cents and mentions to get a bike.
Call Taste Buds Kitchen at 406 616 2837 or check out http://tastebudskitchen.com/missoula/ for more information