Butcher + Baker Offers Meats and Fresh Breads

Ettie Berneking // Apr 4, 2016

Most people probably wouldn’t want to get hit by a Mack Truck. Katie Kring and Aden Watson are the exception. The way this culinary duo described things, they’ve been plowed over by that Mack Truck, but it’s "a Mack Truck of happiness."

Since opening Butcher + Baker in mid February, Kring and Watson have been swamped with business, despite the fact that the shop can only hold three to four customers at a time.

“We’ve decided this is the best place to meet somebody new,” Kring says. “It’s so tight in here, you can’t help but meet them… or meat them.” The butcher joke gets a big laugh from Kring and Watson, who are still adjusting to sharing the already tight quarters.

Located behind Homegrown Foods on Pickwick Ave., Butcher + Baker doesn’t have a huge sign signaling new customers of their arrival. Instead, the delicious and tempting aroma of freshly baked breads, homemade cookies, and hot-from-the-oven sausages tells you you’re in the right place.

Before joining forces with Watson, Kring operated the small storefront as Katie Made Bakery. Over the years, she’s developed a cult following of loyal customers, so when she partnered with Watson and brought a wide selection of sausages, steaks and charcuterie to the menu, the customer response was overwhelming.

“Opening weekend was like being hit with a Mack Truck of happiness,” Kring says. “It was both wonderful and stressful. We had hundreds of people come in, six at a time.”

Easter Weekend was another big seller for this corner shop with hot cross buns flying off the shelves and orders of lamb swallowing Watson’s freetime. One of the big draws is the variety found here. You never really know what you’re going to find, and that’s part of the excitement.

“People should come with an open mind,” Kring says. “We will always have chops, sausages and breads, but if you come with your heart set on one specific thing, it might be out. We ask that you trust us and come with an open mind to experience something wonderful.”

Besides a wide selection of cookies, homemade graham crackers slathered in a thick coating of chocolate, over-sized coconut macaroons and hot cross buns, Kring’s cramped kitchen is stocked with loaves of bread from wild rice and onion to asiago and Scandinavian seed bread. The meat selection is just as tantalizing with a shimmering cold case at the front of the shop displaying Watson’s handiwork.

Bright red pork chops, pork roasts, and beef ribeyes beckon customers as they walk in the door. There’s also a rotating selection of bratwursts, andouille, chorizo and North African sausage.

The first weekend open, Butcher + Baker ground its way through 11 pounds of brisket and 20 pounds of banger sausage used in its deliciously flaky sausage rolls.

The selection, which has a global breadth, has inspired Kring and Watson to make sausage passports where customers get a stamp for each country or region their meat is from. Head home with andouille sausage? Get a stamp for Louisiana. Bratwurst takes care of Germany, and kielbasa knocks off Poland.

Even if you’re not in the market for raw meats to take home, you can still fill up on the shop’s ready-to-eat goodies including the stuffed Bavarian pretzel that’s crammed with honey mustard, Swiss cheese and housemade ham. Unusual eats like this have helped make Butcher + Baker an instant success in Springfield – and the ideas keep coming.

“Today, I had an idea,” Kring says. “Because some of our meat pastry offerings are inspired by classic sandwiches like our Reuben Puff, I was thinking of making a Cuban-inspired croissant.” If things work out as Kring imagines, she’ll take the butcher’s leftover lard, use it to laminate her croissant dough and fill the flaky hand pies with housemade roast pork and ham along with thick pickles and tangy mustard.

“As soon as Aiden gets me a nice piece of roast pork, we’re in business,” she says.

Butcher + Baker, 607 South Pickwick Ave., Springfield, Missouri, 417.315.8602


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