As members of the AgriMissouri team, we enjoy the distinct privilege of working with new and established Missouri agriculture businesses every day. It’s our job to meet them where they are and help them grow in the direction of their goals. Members receive support from the AgriMissouri program through training and connections, but they also learn a lot from each other. Businesses like “The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery” in historic Kimmswick, Mo., can be a very good teacher.
The Blue Owl, owned by Mary Hostetter, is a great example of what happens when passion meets hard work and tenacity. In 1983, “From the Kitchen of Mary” was a vendor business like so many others that only appeared at local craft shows, festivals and fairs. But it wasn’t long before the business became a standout for quality cakes, pies and homemade pastries. By Christmas of the next year, orders for 30,000 cookies and pastries pushed production nearly beyond the limits of Hostetter, who worked 21-hour days to complete the orders. Six months later Hostetter was shopping for her first commercial kitchen and The Blue Owl was born.
With five employees and a goal to serve 30 customers per day, The Blue Owl opened its doors in August of 1985. Today, a staff of 75 serves over 300 customers per day during the week and many more on the weekends.
These days, The Blue Owl is not just a restaurant, it’s a destination. The business has been featured in O Magazine. And they are renowned as the “Home of the Levee High Apple Pie.” They have also been featured in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Sauce Magazine, Show Me St. Louis, and endless other travel publications and news programs.
This month, we’ll feature The Blue Owl’s famous Levee High Apple Pie in our monthly AgriMissouri shopping guide. Each pie contains no less than 18 hand-peeled apples. It’s certainly worth a trip to the charming community of Kimmswick to see for yourself. But if the drive is inconvenient, a number of The Blue Owl’s specialties are available online.