“There’s a million points to do on this life. You truly would possibly choose one thing,” says Jack Flaccus of Sq. Root Meals. “In all honesty, I sort of fell into this. It sounds cliché to say, nonetheless our enterprise grew very organically.”
Flaccus is one amongst three householders at Sq. Root Meals. Flaccus, along with Bryan Lubbehusen and Brian Konefal – the sooner proprietor of the Coppa Café – run Sq. Root Meals and their new enterprise, The Tot Subject. From its location on seventh Avenue, Sq. Root Meals sells domestically sourced bake-and-take meals, year-long pickled, canned and up to date produce, cheeses, breads, espresso and additional. It’s a one-stop retailer for domestically sourced and produced meals. The crew moreover sells wholesale devices equal to burritos and pastries which yow will uncover at many native espresso shops spherical Flagstaff. The Tot Subject is a rebranded effort from their genuine meals truck, Sq. Root Burger. The meals truck sells do-it-yourself mashed potato tater tots and does not have a eternal location.
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The three met years prior to now when Flaccus and Lubbehusen ran a farm that purchased to Konefal on the Coppa Cafe. Flaccus graduated from NAU with a stage in Environmental Science and a minor in meals sustainability. Lubbehusen on the time labored inside the medical self-discipline.
“It was late nights talking with Brian [Lubbehusan] in regards to the place meals comes from and having loads of complaints about it nonetheless unlikely understanding what it takes to change that,” Flaccus says. “So we purchased into this property and commenced from scratch, tilling the land. We had no devices and no precise experience, we merely wanted to find out what it takes to offer top of the range meals that’s not mono-cultured, that’s not for big commerce or makes use of pesticides or inorganic fertilizers. It’s so fascinating because of from that one seed you plant it brings 100 totally different utterly totally different parts to farming that every one should work with each other in a cyclical relationship. From there, we ended up elevating pigs and chickens and geese and lamb and sort of integrating all these points into the one farm.”
In the end, Flaccus and Lubbehusen closed the farm to focus on their meals truck with Konefal. Whereas they beloved their farm, there have been many elements along with the house from markets which have been robust to take care of up whereas managing the meals truck collectively.
“We’ve got been on the purpose of shut down the farm,” says Lubbehusen, “when [Konefal] had the idea of starting up the distinctive meals truck – the meals thought we started with – that was Sq. Root Burger. We started out as a vegan truck after which started incorporating additional meat and sustainable trend meat. We sort of merely moved solely into meals.”
Earlier to Coppa Cafe, Konefal had had an prolonged occupation inside the restaurant enterprise. In 2002 after graduating from NAU, Konefal left for culinary school in Italy the place he labored at a Michelin star restaurant after graduating. After Italy, he moved to a unique restaurant in Barcelona sooner than returning to the states the place he labored inside the Bay House, which led him to work in New York with Daniel Humm. After a few years in New York, Konefal opened a restaurant initially of the recession in Boston.
“It was good. Nonetheless it was the recession, and it was a extreme end restaurant. So I decided to go away for financial causes. I didn’t want to make meals merely to earn a residing,” says Konefal.
An older brother launched him once more to Flagstaff to help open a model new restaurant sooner than Konefal and his partner opened Coppa Cafe, a seasonal European cafe with freshly made pastries. Konefal’s partner handed away as he began his journey with Lubbehusen and Flaccus. He purchased Coppa and began his focus on the meals truck.
Flaccus says, “We started going to festivals and doing native events, after which, COVID occurred. All of our events nearly received right here to a halt much like all consuming locations. All people wanted to get truly inventive.”
Sq. Root Burger reopened as Sq. Root Meals and began to advertise frozen prepared meals. The trio took loads of inspiration from the Coppa Cafe of their methods of preserving, pickling, drying and processing meals with domestically sourced or foraged parts to ensure the longevity of their merchandise. They expanded to the brick and mortar location in 2021 the place they promote domestically crafted and farmed merchandise alongside their very personal take-and-bake meals.
“We now should rely upon totally different native farmers,” says Flaccus. “Correct now our assist for native farms has elevated rather a lot because of everyone knows how robust it is, nonetheless everyone knows how rather a lot higher it is, too. I imagine that assist desires to come back again from all people. Flagstaff does a incredible job doing that, and now we now have the facility to do it on a much bigger scale.”
The selection to utilize native was easy. Flaccus and Lubbehusen had grown up in Flagstaff and had many connections to native farmers and totally different meals purveyors, and Konefal had made many connections all through his time at Coppa.
“I want to put together dinner native meals and need people to type the flavors that exist on this space,” says Konefal. “It’s important, and it’s how we technique all of our meals, whether or not or not it’s foraging for mushrooms to have wild mushroom lasagna all yr. We’re always contemplating of the best way so all of that is staying native, whether or not or not inside the monetary system or the farming or the group and people who work with us and want to keep on with us.”
Whereas their bodily location sells meals and produce, their meals truck is able to promote do-it-yourself mashed potato tater tots, rigorously made in-house at Sq. Root Meals.
“The product that we now have now has an unbelievable amount of potential. So, we’ll run with it and see the best way it goes. Potatoes are a staple, even those who don’t like greens like potatoes,” says Lubbehusen.
The connection to the group, to the world, and to at least one one other keep the crew persevering with. Konefal remarks that they’re going to’t do it alone. They hope to proceed establishing relationships with native farmers and meals purveyors and persevering with to assemble their brick and mortar location.
“Within the occasion you don’t desire it, merely depart. I actually like cooking, and the day I don’t desire it, I’ll stop. Within the occasion you don’t adore it, it’s not value your time,” says Konefal. “It’s not for money.”
You’ll uncover Flaccus, Konefal, and Lubbehusen on the brick and mortar Sq. Roots Meals Tuesday by Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Purchase one thing on-line with an identical day pickup. The Tot Truck may very well be found at big seasonal events, along with widespread events on the Orpheum Theater and on the Snow Park Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Adjust to them on social media @squarerootfoods to stay up to date.