Molly Patterson really knows how to wrap a tasty spring roll. She makes dozens of them each day, along with Asian salads, curry stew and peanut sauce covered vegetable and rice bowls at the Glover Street Market breakfast and lunch counter in Twisp. You might have to wait awhile to get a seat.
Patterson creates each dish as if they were high art. Each is beautiful as it is delicious. Her eclectic menu might come as a surprise to some looking for a burger stop on a drive through the Methow Valley. No cokes here, but you can get an mango smoothie or an apple, beet and carrot organic juice. The dishes are nutritious and distinctively Southeast Asian in style, in stark contrast to the parched dry foothills that surround the tiny town along the Cascade Loop.
But like the rest of the market she owns with her husband, Jeff, it's also fiercely healthy in intent and local in concept. With its wood floors and rustic wood trim, the store looks like a general store from a century past. It's aisles feature fresh garden produce, artisan breads and handmade cheeses made by local farmers and bakers. Bins of bulk foods, herbs and spices and a large homeopathic pharmacy appeal to the town's diverse and alternative community. So does the wine cellar with it's selection of quality, affordable wines and craft-brewed beers.
"We wanted to be the hub of the local food movement," said Jeff Patterson, who also works as a local contractor. The couple purchased the market three years ago. They wanted to keep the previous owner's arrangement of a co-op style market and health food store, but with improvements and premium products to attract a wider clientele of locals and tourists.
The Methow Valley's beauty and recreational offerings attracts a lot of interesting people, but it's a difficult place to earn a living, Patterson said. Many locals make an array of crafts, art, food and farm produce that help define the area. The store offers those local producers a central selling and gathering place while also providing gourmet items and personal service not expected in a small town store, he said.
"There a strong agri-tourism movement here and we want to support it. We're hoping to see it spread to other shops on the street," he said.
This is one of a series of stories Rick Steigmeyer found while traveling the Cascade Loop this summer for a story in Foothills magazine. For more information about the Loop and its many offerings, check out the website cascadeloop.com