Excursion: Arkansas Goodies

 

You may be surprised to learn that many food products you enjoy for breakfast, snacking and at gatherings are made in Arkansas.

Research by Grace Heflin :: Illustrations by Chad Maupin

 

Take a look through this sampling of some of the state’s delicious goods. Take a drive to shop in person or go online and indulge your culinary wishes.

Cheese

Cheese & Dairy

Kent Walker Artisan Cheese
Artisan Cheese
323 S Cross St., Little Rock
www.kentwalkercheese.com

White River Creamery, LLC
Artisan Cheese
11701 S. HWY 16, Elkins
www.whiterivercreamery.com


Kent Walker Cheese

Cheese Connoisseur Kent Walker took his ardent love of food and cheese production to the drawing table to the up-and-running business of Kent Walker Cheese in Little Rock in 2011. The array of cheeses that are served along with wine, beer and meat pairings — are crafted from locally sourced goat, cow and sheep milk. Kent and team “…believe that working with local farmers and keeping animal welfare a top priority creates a better cheese and sustainable people-first model of business.” Enjoy a weekend tour with local music or have the aged delectables delivered straight to your door — either way, you’re in for a true artisanal experience.


Coffee

Coffee & Roasted Beans

Westrock Coffee
Coffee
30 Collins Industrial Pl., North Little Rock
www.westrockcoffee.com

RoZark Hills Coffee Roasterie
Gourmet Coffee
5898 Arkansas 36, Rose Bud
www.rozark.com

Sweet Bay Coffee Company
Coffee
7908 Rogers Ave., Fort Smith
www.sweetbay.coffee


West Rock Coffee

West Rock Coffee is the quality grain that is the product of the hard working hands of the Rwanda Trading Company’s farmers in Rwanda. West Rock Coffee is the firm in North Little Rock that provides different businesses (from restaurants to universities) with the roast, as well as equipment, accessories, and other brews. What makes West Rock Coffee exceptional is their humanitarian drive to lend a hand to the coffee farmers and their families in East Africa — through the provision of life — enhancing opportunities such as education. From beginning to end, the catalysts at West Rock Coffee are fully involved, and fully dedicated – making a difference in more ways than one.


Meat

Meats & Charcuterie

Burge’s Hickory Smoked Turkeys & Hams
Smoked Turkeys and Hams
526 Spruce St., Lewisville
www.smokedturkeys.com

Hillcrest Artisan Meats
Natural and Organic Meats
2807 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock
www.facebook.com/HillcrestArtisanMeats

Mason Creek Farm
Pork
15620 Black Oak Quarry Rd., Fayetteville
www.masoncreekfarm.com

Petit Jean Meats
Smoked Meats
51 Blue Diamond Dr., Morrilton
www.petitjeanmeats.com


Burge’s Hickory Smoked Turkeys and Hams

No matter the occasion, Arkansans turn to Burge’s for their smoked meats.  You may already be lucky enough to have enjoyed sandwiches and meals featuring Burge’s offerings at restaurants in Lewisville, open since 1962, or a second location in Little Rock that’s served as a Height’s neighborhood fixture for almost 40 years. With its origins beginning with founder Alden Burge smoking turkeys in his smokehouse in Lewisville for family and friends since 1953, the desire to enjoy the various smoked meats has required a website for families and businesses across the country to meet their craving for Burge’s turkeys and hams.


Snacks

Snacks & Munchies

Abbey Brittle
Brittle
www.countrymonks.biz

Iron Works Kettle Corn Co.
Kettle Corn
535 Tanglewood Dr., Russellville

J&M Foods
Gourmet Snack Foods
9100 Frazier Pike, Little Rock
www.jm-foods.com

Juanita’s Candy Kitchen
Brittle
47 Stephenwood Dr., Arkadelphia
www.juanitascandykitchen.com

My Brother’s Salsa & Chips
Salsa and Chips
www.mybrotherssalsa.com

Wicked Mix
Trail Mix
2321 Cantrell Rd., Little Rock
www.wickedmixes.com


My Brother’s Salsa & Chips

Helen Lampkin, the founder of ‘My Brother’s Salsa & Chips’ was raised with an appreciation of food and a strong worth ethic – which she pours into her flavorful recipes — namely, salsa. She was given a salsa recipe by her oldest brother (hence the name), which she tweaked to make her own. After much positive feedback from family and friends, Helen launched her site in 2003. The original recipe has perpetuated into nine different varieties of salsa, which you can find on the site, along with instructional recipes and other complementary products such as her corn tortilla chips!

Wicked Mix

You may have seen Moonlight Mixes’ ‘Wicked Mix’ grace the stands of your local Kroger, and if you have tried this tasty snack — you probably keep it in tow. Brent Bumpers founded Wicked Mix in 2013, following his discovery of what he calls a “… ‘Wicked’ blend of spices that give our snack mixes their distinctive and bold flavor.” Wicked Mix creates and distributes three tasty varieties, allowing you to pick your poison — Chocolate Laced, Spicy Original and Smoky Hot Chipotle. Whether hitting the trails or the tailgate this season, the delicious mix will have you geared up in goodness and snacking right!


Breads

Grains & Baked Goods

Boulevard Bread Company
Baked Goods
1417 S. Main St., Little Rock
www.boulevardbread.com

Neighbor’s Mill
Baked Goods
1012 Highway 65 North, Harrison
www.neighborsmill.com

The Pancake Shop
Pancake mix and Specialty foods
216 Central Ave., Downtown Hot Springs
www.pancakeshop.com

Riceland
Rice, Soybeans and Wheat
503 E. Superior St., Stuttgart
www.riceland.com

War Eagle Mill
Flour and Meals
11045 War Eagle Rd., Rogers
www.wareaglemill.com


Sauces

Sauces & Seasonings

Cavender’s Greek Seasonings
Seasoning
306 N. Industrial Park Rd., Harrison
www.greekseasoning.com

Cothams in the City
Southern Gourmet Food & Seasonings
1401 W. 3rd St., Little Rock
www.cothams.com

McClard’s Bar-B-Q
Bar-B-Q Restaurant and BBQ Sauce
505 Albert Pike Rd., Hot Springs National Park
www.mcclards.com

Monk Sauce
Hot Sauce
Subiaco Abbey
www.countrymonks.biz

Townsend Spice & Supply
Spices and Rubs
725 E. Main St., Melbourne
www.townsendspice.com


Cavender’s Greek Seasoning

It’s a special business that is owned and operated by the founders’ third generation. Cavender’s Greek Seasoning is one of those rare family businesses. The beginnings can be credited to Spike and Katherine Cavender who moved to the Ozarks in the late 1940s to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. An avid outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman, Spike also had a secret Greek seasoning that was a hit with his friends and family. A successful entrepreneur, Spike took the chance to expand the sharing of his seasoning with the start of Cavender’s Greek Seasoning, a staple now found in grocery stores and dinner tables far and wide.

McClard’s Bar-B-Q

The multiple award-winning barbeque joint in Hot Springs, Ark., was founded by Alex and Alice McClard in 1928, and has a story that could be made into a movie. The family business began as a tourist court — complete with a gas station and a diner that served goat. A chance encounter with a traveler who couldn’t chalk up the bill bore the lasting success that is McClard’s today. As stand-in for his debt, the wayfarer offered up a recipe for “the world’s greatest bar-b-que sauce.” The sauce proved to be no transient’s bluff — it was perfected and developed into the famous staple of the barbecue eatery, which is proudly run by fourth generation McClard’s today.

‘Monk sauce’ Habañero Pepper Sauce

When Subiaco Abbey is discussed, the thought is of St. Benedictine monks in prayerful silence or students attending the academy is what comes to mind. Hot Sauce probably not. But, it should. Returning from Belize in Central America more than a decade ago, Fr. Richard Walz, OSB planted seeds from Habañero peppers brought with him. The climate of the monastery was perfect for the peppers providing a bountiful harvest. The peppers provided the perfect addition for the Abbey’s special Habañero Pepper Sauce. As evidence of the peppers’ heat produced by the climate, it rates at 250,000 Scoville Heat Unit scale. That’s 35 times hotter than Tabasco (trademark) Habañero Pepper Sauce! Not at all for the heat sensitive.


Sweets

Sweets & Treats

Fischer’s Honey
Honey
2001 N Poplar St., North Little Rock
www.fischerhoney.com

Grapette
Soda
1852 Industrial Rd., Malvern
www.grapette.com

Hello Cocoa
Artisan Chocolate
4170 W Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. #2, Fayetteville
www.hellococoachocolate.com

Martin Greer’s Candies
Candy
22151 US-62, Garfield
www.martingreerscandies.com

MaryClare Macarons
Macarons
www.maryclaremacarons.com

Lambrecht Gourmet Candy
Gourmet Candy
www.lambrechtgourmet.com

Loblolly Creamery
Ice Cream
1423 S. Main St., Little Rock
www.loblollycreamery.com

Le Pops Gourmet Ice Lollies
Gourmet Ice Lollies
5501 Kavanaugh, Little Rock
www.lepops.com

Stonebrook Fudge Factory
Fudge
116 W Main St., Mountain View

Two Dumb Dames Fudge Factory
Fudge
33 S. Main St., Eureka Springs
www.twodumbdames.com

Yarnell’s
Ice Cream
205 S. Spring St., Searcy
www.yarnells.com


Riceland

The town of Stuttgart can claim fame as the headquarters for Riceland, the world’s largest miller and marketer of rice. Seven mills process rice, including its largest one in Jonesboro. The company provides half of America’s supply of rice thanks to more than 6,000 farmer members in Arkansas and Missouri. Riceland rice and auxiliary products are sold worldwide. The varieties of rice blends including white, brown, parboiled and flavored options are found on tables in Arkansas from breakfast to dinner.

Grapette and Orangette

What Arkansas picnic or family reunion is complete without ice-cold Grapette or Orangette sodas?  Did you know they originated in Camden? Since its founding in 1939 by lumberman Benjamin Fooks, the purple Grapette and Orangette’s popularity has expanded beyond the United States to be enjoyed across the Caribbean, Latin American and Pacific Rim countries. While the international market expanded, the 1970s saw a disappearance of the soda from a competitive market in America. During a meeting with Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, Grapette’s International chairman, Brooks Rice, heard Walton’s desire to have Grapette in his stores. While it took a few years and business changes, the soda was on Wal-Mart shelves in 2005 as Sam’s Choice Grapette and Sam’s Choice Orangette. The soda is sold exclusively through Wal-Mart.

Two Dumb Dames Fudge Factory

You are in for a treat when visiting Two Dumb Dames Fudge Factory, the family run business that was firmly established in Eureka Springs, Ark., in 1980. The original ‘Dumb Dames’ are Hallie McGowan Chambers and Jonell Powers Sullivan, a mother-daughter duo. This Willy Wonka Factory of the Ozarks yields mouth-watering candies and fudge that are hot off the press and best enjoyed savored. All of the candies are original and come from venerable family recipes and new ones are constantly being created. Dames will even deliver but only on certain days and through priority mailing to ensure freshness. Can you say confection perfection?!


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