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May 19, 2010 | Blue Heron Café, Wholesale | Mike "Ollie" Oliver

The Blue Heron Café is now open!

By Mike "Ollie" Oliver, Blue Heron Café Director & Wholesale Sales Representative

With the recent opening of the Blue Heron Café, I have been splitting my time between that and Wholesaling. Of course, this falls at a time when I have many scheduled ride-alongs with our distributor’s representatives.

Between interviewing perspective servers and kitchen staff, ordering food, and trying to find what is missing, life has been a bit hectic lately. Highlighting my recent activity, I executed a staff tasting for the new Café menu. Following our staff meeting at the beginning of May, I, with the help of Mr. Brian Barry, wanted to prepare all of the menu items that we will be serving at the Café. The downside to this venture was that I made way too much food, and soon discovered that the staff was full before I was able to finish making the dishes! I guess it’s a good thing that I hadn’t made desserts too…

To follow up that week, the winery hosted TasteCamp, a regional meeting that took place in the Finger Lakes including wine writer and bloggers. I prepared a vast selection of food for lunch, from the Chicken Caesar and Calabrese Wraps to Fruit and Pasta Salads. The entire staff pitched in to make the event happen, which was greatly appreciated.

May 15th marked the first official day of the Café serving lunch for the season! We were honored to host an editor from the New York Post. It took a bit of scrambling and 11th hour work, but it went off without too many hitches. Kelsey Baker returned to serve for the grand reopening, and her efforts were well received. It is definitely early to call it, but it seems like the Cuban Panini and the Caribbean Pulled Pork Sandwich will be vying for the title of most popular dishes.

In the realm of Wholesaling, I have had some very prosperous days lately. While working with Southern Wine & Spirit reps, I have been able to place wines in new stores and restaurants. On my own, I have been making some definite headway in the local market. Look for some new wines to be served at the Switzerland Inn, The Lakeside and Sarassin’s, all on Keuka Lake!

I have had the chance to pour tastings at some amazing events lately too. Savor Syracuse was a benefit for the Food Bank of Central New York which was held at the Hotel Syracuse. The Binghamton Regency hosted a Catholic Charities fundraiser. Paws and Pairings, arranged by the owner of Bottles & Corks in Corning, was a benefit for local SPCA chapters held at CMOG. Coming up in the near future, look for Heron Hill to be featured at Slow Foods of Syracuse, GCP in Horseheads, Good Spirits in Geneseo, Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua, Taste of the Nation in Ithaca and Alfred University (if you are an Alumnus!).


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