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"HIPPIE CHOW" AT THE ROOT CELLAR: Food with a far-out flair

Columbia's version of Whole Foods Market at a whole new location
 
COLUMBIA, 12/16/11  (Beat Byte) --  Very nearly legendary among Columbia's organically-minded shoppers, The Root Cellar needs no introduction.  But their fab new market just above the Artlandish Catacombs at 1023 East Walnut should be introduced to anyone looking for tasty, hard-to-find treats and eats.

Featuring Missouri-raised farm and food products, The Root Cellar is on its final weekend of local holiday food packages, from Patchwork Family Farms hams to pumpkin pies, dinner roles, pasture-raised turkeys, and cinnamon-roasted pecans (orders must be in this weekend for Thursday next week pick up). 
 
Meanwhile, Kansas City-based Hippie Chow immediately caught my attention on Root Cellar's shelves.  A cleverly-packaged granola that comes in original and exotic flavors (chocolate, Chai spice, peanut butter banana), Hippie Chow is owner Valerie Jennings and two interns:  Caleb Watts and Lauren Ziegler.   Waving aside life's commonplace things, "I have an irrational disdain for hostas and umbrellas," Jennings says, pointing out that she's both Hippie Chow owner and hardworking farmer.  

For those high-end epicures on your gift list, check out the Root Cellar's stash of Patric Chocolates, where the name, the packaging, the descriptions, and the chocolate maker's photo on the cover of every chocolate bar (when do you ever see THAT?) looks scrumptiously artistic (or is it artistically scrumptious?) 
 
Root Cellar has umpteen varieties of Patric's chocolate, from PBJ OMG to the Inimitable Bar, which I bought myself, shared with my kids, and all promptly devoured!  On the wrapper:  "Bits of my carefully-roasted Madagascan cocoa beans...adding chocolaty bursts of flavor to my smooth and rich 70% Madagascar dark chocolate." 
 
OMG!   But what else would you expect when the Columbia-based owner and chief chocolatier -- Alan "Patric" McClure -- puts his face on the wrapping?  Or notes that every scrumptious bite was "Made in the US, with American labor."  He's that proud of his handiwork.  And now at the Root Cellar, you can buy the perfect bottle of vino to go with that perfect chocolat! 
 
 
Artists and artisans featured in this story:
Valerie Jennings, Caleb Watts, Lauren Ziegler 
Alan "Patric" McClure
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