There is much more going on at The Wedge Table than meets the eye. Literally — as only 40 percent of the building is open to the public. Behind the “staff only” doors is where our commissary kitchen, bakehouse and catering businesses operate.
In total, about 70 staff are employed at 2412 Nicollet Ave. They are the talented folks that create our signature coconut soft serve, bake our croissants to flaky perfection, press our organic house-made dough into chewy tortillas, and create our dreamy macaroni and cheese that are available at our Linden Hills, Wedge Lyndale and Wedge Table retail stores. The first step to get our from-scratch-made products on the shelf is recipe development. In the commissary, Leah Korger, Tashi Gleason, Nick Nelson, Tim Kastner and their teams all have a hand in the process. These incredibly hardworking folks toil tirelessly to improve dishes, introduce new flavors and try out new techniques.
Menu inspiration comes from current trends in the food industry, customer requests, and the unique vision of our talented chefs. For example, this spring after many customer and staff requests, we sought to improve our hot dog and hamburger buns. After a lot of research, a little food science, and a ton of patience we have a better product on the shelf that is softer and lighter with a nice chewy crust.
Once our recipes are perfected, the next step is getting them into production. In total, we make about 150 products at our Nicollet facility. Our staff churns out dozens of deli salads, sandwiches, entrées and sides, dips and spreads, breads, pastries, and cakes that are then carefully packaged and transferred to be sold in our stores. Each day, we are making just under 300 pounds of food for our hot table alone. That is a whole lot of tikka masala, Tunisian fish stew, baked French toast and macaroni and cheese!
You might wonder where all those ingredients come from. Well, at least 80 percent of our produce comes from Co-op Partners Warehouse and local farmers. For dairy, we use Organic Valley cooperative milk and local Hope Creamery butter. Animal products and proteins are only sourced from local producers such as: Kadejan, Thousand Hills, Beeler’s and Larry Schultz. Even our seitan is made in house with local vital wheat gluten from perennial favorite Whole Grain Milling. By sourcing locally, we are able to support our nearby farmers and producers directly and keep money within our local economy.
And we are working every day to grow our impact on the local food system by expanding our wholesale program. In partnership with Co-op Partners Warehouse, we sell items from our kitchen and bakery and distribute products to local co-ops and restaurants. You can find our baked goods and deli salads at the following local businesses:
Seward Co-op — South Minneapolis (Friendship & Franklin stores)
Eastside Co-op — Northeast Minneapolis
Harvest Moon Co-op — Long Lake, Minn.
River Market — Stillwater, Minn.
Bisman Community Food Co-op — Bismark, ND
People’s Food Co-op — Rochester, Minn.
SIMPLS — Downtown Minneapolis
Bad Waitress — Northeast and South Minneapolis
MEET THE TALENTED LEADERS
LEAH KORGER, Commissary Kitchen Manager
3 Years with Wedge
Favorite WedgeMade item: “Froco hits the spot!”
Inspired by: “the beautiful local produce we source and the life experiences I’ve had”
TASHI GLEASON, Commissary Kitchen Supervisor
6 Years with Wedge
Favorite WedgeMade item: “Chana Masala”
Inspired by: “local and seasonal ingredients – finding new ways to use or combine ingredients”
NICK NELSON, Catering Supervisor
1.5 years with Wedge
Favorite WedgeMade item: “Greek Orzo Salad”
Inspired by: “taking a concept and figuring out a way to make it work with local ingredients”
TIM KASTNER, Bakery Manager
8 Years with Wedge
Favorite WedgeMade item: “Our Baguette”
Inspired by: “learning something new and playing with new ingredients”
Back to Cultivate Fall 2017 articles
View Cultivate Fall 2017 PDF