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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Written by Amelia Jeffers


KOKOBORREGO CHEESE July/Aug 2014


Brother and sister duo Ben Baldwin and Lisa Sippel (of Sippel Family Farms, one of the earliest community supported agriculture farmers in central Ohio) have continued to churn out handmade artisan and farmstead cheeses that firmly hold their own against any other cheese in the country. The Sippels and Baldwin have maintained a focus on chemical-free, sustainable, and local farm production at their nearly 100 acre facility located on the Kokosing River in Mt. Gilead. My kids and I were members of the Sippel’s first CSA back in 2004, and I remain a fan of their ethics, practices, and products.


Find Kokoborrego’s craveworthy cheeses at the Worthington, Clintonville, and Granville Farmers’ Markets throughout the season, or visit kokoborrego.com.




PIZZUTI COLLECTION Jan/Feb 2015


The Pizzuti Collection has had a fair amount of coverage in Sophisticated Living Columbus, beginning with the “Don’t Miss” feature highlighting the art of the Campana brothers. When the eponymous, small and mighty museum approached its fifth anniversary, the founders (Ron and Ann Pizzuti) and their board considered the best path forward to preserve and protect their legacy as an artist-centric contemporary program. A decision was made to join forces with the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA), allowing management, guidance, and preservation to fall under one leadership. Along with stewardship of the museum’s vision and resources, the stunning historical building at 632 North Park Street in the Short North was gifted to CMA, making this one of the largest transformational gifts received in CMA’s history.


For more information, visit pizzuticollection.org




DISCOVER: PLAY POLO May/June 2015


Horace Henriot started playing polo as a thirteen year old in his native Belgium and went on to train with some of the best professional players in Argentina before becoming a pro himself at the age of 19. Now he and his wife, Tina head up one of the largest polo clubs in the country, called simply Play Polo. Since our story on Play Polo in 2015, the club has completed renovations and improvements on their home field, Los Gemelos, located just outside of New Albany and Westerville. The Henriots are aiming to make polo as approachable as possible, adding Friday Night Polo, a casual, family-focused weekly pickup match to the season lineup; and they continue to host regular practice matches at Ackley Field in Gahanna on Thursdays and their showcase tournaments on the Great Lawn of Bryn Du in Granville most Sundays. Continuing the focus on philanthropy, all public matches and tournaments include a suggested $20 per car donation at the gate (unless otherwise indicated on their website and social media). Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic, with traditional polo-style tailgating out of the back of the car alongside the massive field. Also lessening the intimidation factor is regular announcing that includes pro-tips on game rules, history and etiquette. Members of Play Polo LLC are treated to an authentic Argentenian asado annually and group trips to South America for an immersive polo experience.


For more information, visit playpolo.us




BRAVE BEGINNINGS Sep/Oct 2017


For twenty years every September, central Ohio families visited the great lawn of the gated residence of retail titan and philanthropists, Les and Abigail Wexner for the New Albany Classic, a worldclass equestrian competition coupled with family carnival and fundraiser in support of the Center for Family Safety and Healing, an affiliate of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. In 2018, facing a crowded scene of rival horse shows around the country that represented stiff competition for attracting the best riders, the decision was made to end The Classic. Having raised over $32M for the Center, The Classic was the most successful fundraiser in the history of Grand Prix equestrian events in the country. At nearby Brave Horse, the 2019 show lineup will once again include a prestigious Longines FEI World Cup qualifier in earlier October as a part of the Split Rock Jumping Tour collaboration. Last year’s inaugural event at the multi-million dollar Johnstown show park attracted top riders from ten nations with 65 horses. With a top prize of $135,000 and total winnings estimated at over $400,000, the two week event will feature some of the best riding in the world today.


For more information about the Brave Horse Show Series, the Split Rock Jumping Tour, or the Longines FEI World Cup Qualifiers, visit brave-horse.com




DISCOVER: STUMP PLANTS Jan/Feb 2016


What started as a college research project for a national organization of landscaping and nursery professionals has turned into a successful business for Emily Brown and Brian Kellett. As an Industrial Design student at Columbus College of Art and Design Industrial Design, Emily recognized an opportunity when she and her cohort were challenged to find a solution to enticing millennials to become interested in owning and caring for plants. A casual conversation about the project with Brian (a like-minded entrepreneurial mind) led to the rapid development of a fresh, innovative take on the traditional plant-buying experience. In September of 2015, the first STUMP Plants location opened on east 5th Avenue. Four years later, the duo has opened two more locations: German Village and Philadelphia, PA, and are in the home stretch of launching store number four in the Van Aken District of Shaker Heights near Cleveland, with a fifth site soon to be announced.


STUMP’s team of shopkeepers remain at the ready to deliver on the original vision: simplifying while enhancing the plant-buying experience. From the guided build-your-own bar to a curated selection of both artist-made and production (by Burley Clay in Roseville, Ohio) and fun events and classes like “How To Make a Plant Love You”, the creative juices of Brown and Kellett should keep Stump Plants at the top of any list of favorite destinations - no matter the season.


For more information, visit stumpplants.com




FLIGHT CLUB May/June 2018


Columbus’ premier flight club, Capital City Aviation has now launched a sister site in one of my favorite american cities: Charleston, South Caroline. Built on the same cadre of services as the buckeye-based flight training school (instruction, fleet management and equipment rental), Coastal City Aviation also offers Columbus members a terrific and manageable destination for “parking” their plane over a short getaway. Membership to the lowkey flight clubs is ridiculously inexpensive: for a one-time fee of $150, and monthly dues of just $35, members have access to some of the most experienced instructors and training equipment in the state and, after thorough vetting, can make use of the clubs’ bevy of small aircraft, ranging from small Cessna Skyhawks to luxury choices from Cirrus. Plus, the instructors and members make a daunting hobby very approachable and fun.


For more information, visit coastalcityaviation.com or capitalcityaviation.com




DISCOVER: QUINCI EMPORIUM May/June 2016


Chef Deborah Quinci has found her groove (not that she ever lost it), stocking her eponymous Short North shop Quinci Emporium with a discriminating selection of luxe kitchen ware, handmade foods, and artisan gifts. For the epicurean enthusiast, Quinci Emporium is filled with crave-worthy products like linen aprons fit for a Vanity Fair shoot.


I’ve long been a fan of Chef Deb, meeting her first when she was Executive Chef at Freedom a la Carte, where she used her culinary talents (and big heart) to help with the rehabilitation of human trafficking victims. Under Chef Deborah’s watchful eye, women who had once been beaten, abused and abandoned learned to prepare and appreciate healthy, good foods; but they also discovered how it felt to be respected and acknowledged for a job well done. They slowly established trusting relationships and realized the benefits of surrounding themselves with a loving, supporting community. The work, she has said, was deeply gratifying.


What is deeply gratifying is to see the hard work and persistence of someone who has long lived her life for others begin to pay some dividends. Quinci Emporium is on the short list of best cooking classes in Columbus, categories of best learning experience and most authentic techniques. She feeds her own passion for cooking by filling the counters of her shop with delectable hand-made fare. And, her passion for teaching, sharing, and connecting? Quinci Emporium has hosted experiential group trips to her native Italy. When planning a jaunt to the ever-popular Short North, Quinci Emporium is a must-see.




DISCOVER: ROCKMILL BREWERY Mar/Apr 2016


Nearly 10 years into his unexpected career as a microbrewer, Matt Barbee has risen the ranks of central Ohio to become a benchmark for fine craft brewers. A serendipitous discovery on his family farm in Lancaster contributed to his success: the mineral content of water found on the land is almost identical to that found in Wallonia, Belgium, an area renowned for its brewing perfection. Matt’s passion for pairing beverage and food (he started with a passion for wine before making the jump to beer) with a warm and comfortable experience has helped Rockmill Brewery to not only expand production and offerings on the 20 acre farm. Just after our story was published, Matt and his team opened Rockmill Tavern at 503 S. Front Street, in the heart of Columbus’ historic Brewery District, where Matt’s kitchen team turns out a tasty menu that is updated seasonally. The modern bar fare includes a wide selection of charcuterie, cheese, and breads, with heartier options like sandwiches and salads. This isn’t your average tavern menu, though, so stay tuned for a larger feature in the future.


Back on the farm, expansion is under way that will move the public tasting room into barn space that has been previously utilized for production; production will move to a pole barn; and, the old farmhouse will be captured for events. The renovations mean that the tasting room will be consistently available to the public for the first time ever beginning late August (Thursday through Sunday hours). Back Country BBQ remains as an on-site food option, but patrons are encouraged to bring their favorite nosh whenever visiting the farm. Starting in late July, Sundays are earmarked for a concert series featuring local artists culled by established musician, Parker Louis. And, on nights when there isn’t something else going on, look for intimate coursed-out dinner pairings by reservation only. The farm at Rockmill Brewery is available for private events, and in addition to the Tasting Room, the property offers a chapel, barn and patio space.


For more information, visit rockmillbrewery.com




VERITAS TAVERN July/Aug 2016


When we covered Veritas Tavern in 2016, I was so curious to meet the man behind the tiny restaurant with the eccentric menu steps off the main street of downtown Delaware. The tasting dinner I shared with Chef Josh that night remains one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Like a real life Willy Wonka, Chef Josh delighted in delivering every dish, replete with detailed instructions for how to eat the item he had just placed in front of me. As soon as I took my first bite, his eyes would twinkle as he explained the process or inspiration behind each one.


Since our feature, a savvy developer sweet talked Chef Josh into a space on Gay Street where he reopened as only “Veritas”, dropping the Tavern. Though the location is larger and more upscale than the original, Chef Josh has maintained his commitment to challenging long-held dining traditions in the test market capital of the country. With the only exclusively tasting menu dining experience in Columbus, the only decisions diners need to make are which drink to have or when to come back - both decisions made more difficult by the extensive and impressive cocktail program and the unique dining experience that keeps the reservations book full.


Chef Josh is grabbing the attention of culinary critics across the country, with a recent article in Forbes magazine describing the menu as “daring,” Chef Josh as “innovative,” and the experience as “unconventional.” Some, including me, would argue those qualifiers to be understatements. I visited the new location for a friend’s 50th birthday, and the space is fresh, the food is nothing short of avant-garde, and the experience unrivaled in Ohio.


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