Deciding big cities weren't their thing, these food entrepreneurs are pursuing their dreams in the quieter places where they grew up.

By Food & Wine
Updated March 31, 2015

In this article:

Market Visionaries

Lexington, KY: Andrea Sims & Krim Boughalem

© Rosco Weber

"We couldn't even find a place to buy a quart of milk," says Andrea Sims, describing the dearth of food options in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. She and her French husband, Krim Boughalem, had moved from New York to her hometown with plans to open a bakery. But after they arrived, they saw that the city needed something more ambitious. Three years later, they own Wine + Market, a grocery that sells farm-direct produce and natural wines, and a bistro called Table 310. Now they're turning an old Pepsi factory into Provisions, an 8,000-square-foot space with a butcher, fishmonger, cheese counter (made with marble salvaged from the city's courthouse), bakery, wine shop, brewery and restaurant. "Dean & DeLuca in Manhattan is still the ultimate for me," Boughalem says. "It's the perfect size and layout—so that's my model."

© Rosco Weber

Artisan Boosters
Andrea Sims and her husband, Krim Boughalem, own both Wine + Market and Table 310 bistro, which is Sims's father's old office building. Here, peanut butter pot de crème with shortbread toast at Table 310.

© Rosco Weber

Kentucky-Raised Meats
"Guests can come to the restaurant and learn how to use ingredients we sell at the market," says Boughalem, who has local charcuterie at both Wine + Market and Table 310.

Comfort-Food Revivalists

Clarkston, MI: Curt Catallo & Ann Stevenson

© Erich Lines

"There isn't a beer truck driver in Oakland County who hasn't seen me write a check in my bathrobe," says Curt Catallo. Such is the life of a restaurateur in a small town, and it's part of the reason Catallo moved back to Clarkston, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit), after graduating from college. His father's real estate investments played a part, too: "My dad bought the old church on Main Street, and it seemed like a good idea to put a restaurant in it for downtown Clarkston." Catallo transformed the stained glass–windowed church into the Clarkston Union in 1995, and it soon became famous for its mac and cheese and notoriously long waits for tables.

© Joe Vaughn / Wonderful Machine

Since then, Catallo and his wife, Ann Stevenson, have added the Union General store (they live with their kids in the apartment above it) and, last year, opened a modern barbecue joint down the street called Union Woodshop. "We set out to create the neighborhood we wanted to live in," Stevenson says. The small scale of the town is a good fit. "I can see both of the restaurants from our bedroom," Catallo says.

© Joe Vaughn / Wonderful Machine

Union Workers
Curt Catallo and his wife, Ann Stevenson, own Union Woodshop, where Chef Aaron Cozadd makes everything from wood-fired pizzas to pulled pork. "There's so much comfort in smoked food," Stevenson says.

© Scott Lane

Reinvented General Store
At Union General, Stevenson stocks everything from cookbooks and gifts for kids to house-made cupcakes.

Farm Fashionistas

Durham, NH: Ryan & Emerson Fry

© Jorg Meyer

The scene is a whimsical tea party in the snow. She's dressed in a leopard-print coat; he's wearing a fancy fabric boutonniere. This isn't the typical image of a New England farm, but Ryan and Emerson Fry aren't typical farmers: They're staging a photo shoot, wearing clothes that Emerson designed, for their online company, EmersonMade. The duo, who met in high school, have embraced country life since moving from Manhattan back to their home state, New Hampshire, a few years ago.

© Courtesy of EmersonMade

On their 100-acre property in Durham, Ryan & Emerson Fry raise chickens, pigs and cows, cure their own meat and harvest honey and maple syrup—items they've begun to sell on their website. But their main business is translating their DIY lifestyle into preppy-with-an-edge clothing and housewares, like a monogrammed linen table runner (left; from $48); an expanded line of home designs is in the works. Running a company, going on frequent sourcing trips and taking care of a farm is a lot of work. "The biggest challenge is having enough time to do all the things we want to," Ryan says, "but it's good to be home."

© Courtesy of EmersonMade

A Model Farm
Ryan and Emerson Fry shoot the EmersonMade catalog on thier farm. It's also where the couple raises cows and chickens, and where Emerson finds inspiration for her table runners and clothing designs.

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