Made in Charlotte: Food & Drink

After years of spreading out, something is stirring within our city limits. Regular people are making extraordinary things with their own hands.
The roastery at Boquete Mountain Coffee in NoDa is open for tours for people who want to learn how their coffees are made—or for those who just want to smell the blends.

Charlotte was built on big money and worldwide deals. But after years of spreading out, something is stirring within our city limits. In studios and shops and basements all around town, regular people are making extraordinary things with their own hands. With each stitch, they not only give us the ability to buy quality things from our neighbors—they add flavor to Charlotte’s identity

Boquete Mountain Coffee
The owners of Boquete buy the beans for their single-origin coffees and blends directly from growers, and then roast them in small batches in their brick warehouse on North Davidson Street. You can pick up a bag or two at Whole Foods, Healthy Home Market (all locations), and Pasta & Provisions—or drink it at Crepe Cellar, 5Church, Rooster’s, King’s Kitchen, and Harvest Moon Grille. To really immerse yourself, however, sign up for a class through their specialty coffee school. 704-243-8900,

Magnolia Coffee Company
Magnolia founder, director of coffee, roastmaster, and native Charlottean Jay Gestwicki is the mastermind behind the special, custom blends. Gestwicki specializes in finding beans from coffee-growing regions that aren’t represented by any other roaster or shop in North Carolina. He creates unique roasts for several local shops, including Amelie’s French Bakery, Common Market, Terrace Café, and Threes. But Magnolia’s artisanal, retail-only roasts can be found at Julia’s Coffee, Whole Foods, and Reid’s Fine Foods.

Enderly Coffee Co.
Becky and Tony Santoro fell in love with coffee as caffeine-fueled teachers and launched their boutique roastery in 2012. Named for the couple’s west-side neighborhood, Enderly Coffee roasts beans in small batches every day and donates a portion of its proceeds to community development through 704-448-3799,

Delicate Delites
Shirley Baunach founded Delicate Delites in 2010 to share her gluten-free cookies and reduced-fat, reduced-calorie truffles and confections, which she makes in her Huntersville kitchen. It’s a second career for Baunach, who spent more than 10 years in the finance industry before heading to the kitchen professionally. She donates 25 percent of her profits to charitable organizations. Find her sweet treats at Java Joe’s, Pasta & Provisions, and Common Market. 980-333-3302,

Helen’s Kitchen
Launched in 2008, Helen’s Kitchen got a boost with an on-air mention of its cookies on MSNBC during the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Founder Helen Burns has created a cult following with her chewy, oversized cookies (chocolate chip, chocolate chip peanut butter, and chocolate chip toffee) made with high-quality chocolate and dusted with a sprinkling of sea salt. She bakes the cookies in her Myers Park kitchen. Find them locally at Reid’s Fine Foods and Arthur’s at SouthPark Mall. 704-679-4105,

Cloister Honey
Cotswold-based Cloister Honey has grown from two hives in the backyard of husband-and-wife beekeepers Joanne Young and Randall York into an operation that gathers honey from hives across the Piedmont—including the rooftop of the Ritz-Carlton uptown. Find their sweet stuff at Dean & Deluca, Whole Foods, Pasta & Provisions, Berrybrook Farms, and in shops across the Carolinas. What makes them special is the range of styles and infusions—from bourbon honey to arbol pepper-infused honey, or whipped honey flavored with cinnamon, lemon, chocolate, or pumpkin spice, and more. Prices start at $3 for sampler jars. 704-517-6190,

Dukes Bread
Founded in 2010, this small, University-area bakery from Adam and Ellen Duke specializes in fresh, daily breads made from scratch using simple, natural ingredients. Incorporated into each loaf, from Rosemary Asiago Foccacia to the Cinnamon Cranberry Round, is the bakery’s 200-year-old sourdough starter, which is aged for up to 24 hours before baking to develop its signature flavor. Find them at local farmers markets, Whole Foods, Reid’s Fine Foods, and Pour Olive. 704-313-8537,

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