(Written by Thomas Crone and cross-posted from thesouthsideofluck.com.)
The South Side of Luck was originally intended to run over for the summer of 2011, featuring the video work of some Webster University students, lead by Tyler DePerro. The daily content stream stopped, even a bit shy of summer’s end, but the project continued with two more WU students in the fall of ’11: Andy Alton with seven more video pieces and Jamie Thomason with seven audio features. You can find all of those, easily enough, on the site; or you locate the videos on YouTube, the audio bits on soundcloud.com.
After not securing any student talent for the spring, it seemed that the site might be dormant for the semester. But, instead, we’ve struck up an official relationship with The Royale, which will keep a few videos coming over the next months. Many of them will showcase folks that do business in some way, shape or form with The Royale, but the focus will be solidly on these entities, rather than the restaurant and tavern.
As an example, yesterday, Steven Smith and I traveled just a few blocks down Kingshighway, to meet with Andy Ayers, who may be best known in St. Louis as the chef and operator of the long-running Riddles Penultimate. After leaving that Loop landmark, Ayers quickly moved into a new venture, Eat Here Saint Louis, which unites food producers with consumers. The short version is this: Ayers strikes up relationships with farmers, some on working farms, others making the best of small, urban plots. He brings the food to his near-South Side warehouse, then distributes the produce from there, bringing it directly to local restauranteurs. This way, those venues get local produce in their kitchen, without having to establish their own relationships with area farms. In the process, everyone makes a dollar, or saves a dollar, with all the monies tightly circulating within the region. There’s a lot to like about this.
Obviously, Ayers is taken seriously in this process because of his great reputation at Riddles, which included a heavy dose of local sourcing. We look forward to bringing that video to you shortly. We’ll also be visiting the Civil Life Brewing Company in another week, or two, and that video will soon follow.