By SHANNON COGAN | WAVE 3 News
It’s always great to learn about local entrepreneurs who are expanding their businesses. And that’s the case with the man behind Bourbon Barrel Foods, which opened five years ago.
Matt Jamie has announced he will open Eat Your Bourbon Marketplace in the Crescent Hill neighborhood (2708 Frankfort Avenue) right next to the Bourbon Barrel Foods flagship store. It’s a new concept for Matt, bringing together Bourbon Barrel Foods products and gourmet recipes, including craft cocktails.
The 30-foot bar in the space is made from upcycled bourbon barrels and oxidized steel fixtures. There will also be grab-and-go prepared recipes, including sandwiches provided by Butchertown Grocery Bakery. Of course, you can also order a bourbon, but also beer, wine, and house tea. It will be open seven days a week starting Friday.
Here are my five questions with Matt Jamie.
1. How are you coming up with the food items you will be serving?
I picked my favorite recipes from my cookbook, Eat Your Bourbon, and I took them to our Chef in Residence, Chef Michael Crouch (formerly of Bistro 1860). I trust him to use our products authentically and showcase the beauty of high-quality, handcrafted ingredients. Chef has a great vision for the entire grab-and-go experience, and I know our customers are going to be impressed with the products we are offering.
2. What’s your background, Matt?
I started as a self-taught chef, but I would say that my background is in the gourmet food industry. As a chef, I had an idea. I wanted to make soy sauce and age it in bourbon barrels. The art and history of traditional soy sauce-making became my muse, and I continue to make all products with the motto: Slow, small, simple. I have expanded my product lines without fear or hesitation. My company, Bourbon Barrel Foods, now has over 100 products, and it’s still growing.
3. What’s the top-selling item at Bourbon Barrel Foods?
Soy sauce. Our flagship product is Bluegrass Soy Sauce. It has always been our most popular product and is our No. 1 selling Bourbon Barrel Foods product. It’s what we are known for and what I am most proud of still today.
4. How do you like to consume your bourbon?
I like to Eat My Bourbon just like our hashtag says, #eatyourbourbon. All of our products are bourbon-infused, Bourbon-themed or bourbon-centric.
5. Do you plan to expand to other areas?
This new Marketplace concept is what I feel the retail footprint should look like as I explore other markets outside of the Louisville area. The bourbon industry has grown and is much bigger than just Kentucky. As we consider other cities, we want to test this new Marketplace concept here in our home and ask our neighbors to come in and experience what we have to offer. Our flagship store at 2710 Frankfort Avenue has always been an evolving space as we continued to learn and grow. We knew we needed more space, and when I saw the space at 2708 Frankfort Avenue, I knew what I wanted to do with it and my team agreed. We feel that this space is a complete Bourbon Barrel Foods experience, the first of its kind and I am very excited to offer this to the Louisville community.