Kaylen Wissinger, owner of Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop – the artisan bakery formerly known as Farm Fresh Cupcakes – won't open the doors of her storefront on Cherokee Street until well into October, but you won't have to wait that long to sink your teeth into her talent.
While she's working furiously to get her shop open at an as-yet-to-be-determined date, she's simultaneously whipping up original baked and frozen treats for the 21st annual Best of Missouri Market at the Missouri Botanical Garden in October.
“It's a little daunting, but I'm excited to do it,” she says. “I like chaos, so it's good.”
Whisk joins more than 30 new vendors among the lineup of 120-plus Missouri food producers and artisans at the Best of Missouri Market. This year’s events will take place from 9am to 5pm on Sat., Oct. 6, and Sun., Oct. 7, with the garden’s day-early sneak preview event set for Fri., Oct. 5, from 6 to 9pm.
Every year, visitors to the Best of Missouri Market discover the finest of what the area has to offer, including country stands filled with fresh produce, herbs and spices, meats, candies, bottled, canned and baked goods from more than 120 of Missouri's finest farmers and producers. Artisans offer one-of-kind, handcrafted items, such as furniture, home goods, custom jewelry, toys and ornaments.
It's Wissinger's first crack at the Best of Missouri Market and she's busy putting together local, seasonal flavors just for the occasion.
“I'm doing a bunch of fall-flavored, fun things,” she says. “I'm definitely doing cupcakes, and I'm doing popsicles. I rolled that out in the summer, and it was a huge hit.”
She's still playing with recipes, but Wissinger says her focus on “fall-y flavors” has led her to zero in on a vegan pumpkin chocolate chip cupcake and an apple-spice cupcake that are sure to warm the cockles of any heart on a chill autumn day. She's also fine-tuning a salted caramel apple popsicle that perfectly captures the season. The trick to this treat is that it starts with stewed apples and ends with salty-caramel-y goodness.
And if you like surprises, Wissinger's hand pies will be right up your ally.
“I love mixing savory and sweet, so I'm experimenting with a savory-sweet crust,” she says. “Maybe something along the lines of cheddar-onion-sage-apple flavor. Those flavors just work so well together.”
Admission to the Best of Missouri Market is $12 for adults, $10 for visitors ages 65 and older and $5 for children ages 3 to 12, with free admission for ages 2 and under. Garden members are $5 and members’ children ages 12 and under are free. Admission prices cover both general garden and market admission and a copy of the Best of Missouri Souvenir Directory.
The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. Free parking is available on garden grounds or on the lots one block east of the garden at Vandeventer and Shaw, with continuous free shuttles to the garden. For more convenient parking, garden representatives suggest arranging a carpool or use MetroLink and Metro Bus transportation.
Best of Missouri Market at Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., 314.577.5137, mobot.org