DLM Difference: Authentic Coffee

We don’t just sell coffee at the DLM Coffee Bar. I mean, we do sell coffee, but there’s more at play with each pour. And this past January, myself and the three DLM Coffee Bar managers, Holli Kiser, Chris Hatfield, and Amy Bodish, traveled to the mountainous terrain of the Tarrazú region in central Costa Rica. It’s here that Hacienda La Minita is nestled. Along with some friends from Dayton’s Boston Stoker Coffee Company, including owner Henry Dean, we got to take our understanding of coffee to a new level. We not only soaked in knowledge during our five day stay, but we experienced it: we picked, we sorted, we smelled, we tasted, and we came back with a deeper understanding and appreciation for each sip, each bean, and the fine people who make it possible. —Scott Fox, VP of Bakery & Coffee Bar

“It’s one thing to sit in a room learning about coffee,” says Chris, DLM Springboro Coffee Bar manager, recalling his time in barista school. “But, it’s another seeing it in person.” The trek to where the coffee cherries grow at Hacienda La Minita is rugged terrain and the work is hard. On the first day the DLM team arrived, they strapped the picking baskets to their waists and got started alongside the pickers. They learned what to look for (red and yellow cherries) and that if you pick them too soon or too late, they won’t meet the La Minita grade. “They only pick what is ripe, so that means that they are picking four to five times from the same tree—it’s like a typewriter,” says Scott.

After the allotted picking time was up, everyone took their haul and circled around a large truck where two men stood in the bed. One would be handed a picking basket full of coffee cherries. He’d weigh the contents, shout a number, and the next man would throw money into the emptied basket before handing it back to its picker. As a Fair Trade coffee, the workers are compensated fairly, are permitted to live on the plantation, and have access to a clinic and dentist for free.

Same is true for migrant workers who come seasonally to work. After all that was harvested that day was gathered and paid out, time was ticking. It’s important for the processing of the coffee cherries to happen 24 hours from being picked before
quality diminishes. First, the haul must make its way to recibidores, or receiving stations, before continuing through the mountains to the mill. To get there, Chris, Scott, Holli, Amy, and friends rode in the back of the truck among the cherries,
“hanging on for dear life,” Scott jokes.

At the receiving station, they are weighed again—making sure what was paid out matches what is coming in. A much larger truck then picks up everything that needs to make it the mill where it is all weighed again. From there, a tedious multi-step process begins resulting in only about 20-22% of what was picked meeting the La Minita grade. The rest will be sold under a different banner.

There are layers to the coffee cherry that encase the bean within: the skin, fruit, a sticky layer called mucilage, and a thin parchment-like covering on the bean. At the mill, the beans undergo cleaning, depulping, sorting, fermentation, washing, and drying. Nothing is wasted along the way as the removed parchment feeds a fire that aids in the drying process. The travelers from DLM are witness to this all.

At the sorting stage, DLM Oakwood Coffee Bar manager Amy recalls a phrase that “every bean has a home,” even the ones that do not make the cut for La Minita. About 50-60 inspectors await, knowing just what to look for. “They are pulling out anything that is damaged, not the right color,” says Holli, DLM Washington Square Coffee Bar manager. “The biggest and most dense beans are what becomes La Minita.”

This is just one of the coffee varieties roasted locally at Boston Stoker, which we feature at the DLM Coffee Bar. The same care in finding a high quality and ethical source is taken with other varieties as well that make their way to Boston Stoker and then to DLM. “At the end of the day, La Minita is a top notch company, from their ethics and the way they do things to the quality of their coffee,” Scott says, “And Henry Dean (Boston Stoker) is incredibly well respected in the industry and knowledgeable.”

DLM Difference: FRESH Seafood Starts with Trust

DLM realized many years ago that we needed to source the very best products for our customers. At the time, most seafood sold was frozen or whatever distributors in Ohio wanted to sell you. The first step was to teach our seafood specialists all about fresh seafood. What to look for, how to handle it, how to hold and display it, and most important, develop that passion about what they sell. This passion was contagious and it did not take long to develop the trust with our customers that our seafood was truly different. When it comes to the secret behind our Seafood department, there are three legs to the stool: The freshest fish possible, the most knowledgeable fishmongers in town, and the customers who trust us to do the right thing and bring high quality seafood to Dayton, Ohio. This is the DLM Difference. —Jack Gridley, DLM VP of Meat & Seafood

TRUST THY FISHMONGER
When I walk in the door for work, my mindset instantly goes to a portion of the DLM Mission Statement that says “To make our customers happy by providing Honestly Better® food & service—every time.” Sure that involves things like smiling and knowing my customers on a first name basis, but it really involves honesty and integrity, meaning that I always tell the truth. If someone asks me “what came in today,” I tell them. Prior to coming to work at DLM 17 years ago, I was on the vendor side for a combined 27 years in this industry. I know that trust is so important, and it makes me proud to be able to deliver answers because we get the best, allowing us to serve the best. —Mike Kirkland, DLM Washington Square Fishmonger

 

WE GO STRAIGHT TO THE BEST FOR THE BEST
A huge DLM Difference is our fantastic suppliers. We go right to the source, which gets the product to our stores quicker than most, meaning that there is less time spent out of water. Plus, they are fabulous people who have become part of our DLM family. We have gone through many ups and downs of life together and they always look out for the very best our industry has to offer. These are some of the people who we talk to almost daily, and they bring fantastic seafood to our stores. There is Karl in Alaska, LaDawn from the Columbia River Valley, Frank in Boston, John up in Northern Ohio near Lake Erie, the Ready Brothers in Maine, as well as our industry friends Becky and Emily who have a vast network. My family has even spent some time with Karl’s family in Alaska touring their facility! The relationships with these small family businesses are real—we are not just an invoice number. This is a key part of our success. —Kim Swing, DLM Washington Square Seafood Manager

SCOUTING FOR THE UNIQUE
When I call my contacts to place orders, I’m always asking questions like “hey, what’s new,” “what’s popular in the industry,” and of course, “how is the fishing going?” Whether it be sourcing oyster varieties to feature that week or bringing in any number of products, these types of questions help me in my quest to pick unique items. Or, sometimes these conversations unlock preparation and serving ideas that I can tell customers about or filleting techniques. I really think that curiosity that all of us managers have is something that sets us apart. It also leads us toward new finds, and in the case of our revamped Poke bars, something truly unique.   —Jon Lemaster, DLM Springboro Seafood Manager

FRESH NEVER FROZEN
You may be asking yourself, “How is fresh (never frozen) seafood possible in midwestern Ohio?” We receive fresh shipments of seafood seven days a week from the Boston area, Washington state, and even as far as Alaska just to name a few areas, and this is thanks to our tight-knit industry relationships. We also choose air-freight to minimize that time spent out of water. In fact, long-time DLM associate Wayne Chrisman even picks up fresh fish deliveries from the Dayton airport for us. We also strive to reflect fish that is in season so we are always focusing on what is fresh now. Speaking of fresh, don’t miss our semi-annual fresh Whole Salmon Sidewalk sale this summer where we can cut the fish to your liking! —Nick Budding, DLM Oakwood Seafood Manager

FARM RAISED THE RIGHT WAY
Growing populations and less wild stock in the oceans collide with over fishing, warming of the ocean, acidification of the water, and an overall growing love of eating seafood. It’ll continue, and farm-raising seafood is part of the answer, but only if we do it to the best of our planet’s interest. We made a stand many years ago by only sourcing farm-raised seafood done the right way, with those principles practiced by our organic and “all natural” land-based farmers and ranchers taken into consideration. We look for low stocking densities, no antibiotics or growth promotants, and sustainability and responsibility of the resources used. There are so many certifications out there for farm-raised seafood, but the most important thing is to “trust thy knowledgeable DLM fishmonger.” We only deal with responsibly raised farmed seafood. —Jack Gridley, DLM VP of Meat & Seafood

Bundt, Bundt Baby

The beauty of the bundt cake goes beyond its sleek curves. This is a cake, after all, that has to stand alone. Although it may be finished with a chocolate coating or shower of powdered sugar, depending on the flavor, the rich, moist cake must be so good that the memory of a thick coating of icing is washed away.

It’s with this challenge in mind, that the masterminds and DLM pastry chefs Amy Brown and Lindsey Lucas, have crafted an exquisite new line of DLM Bundt Cakes. True to the bravo of bundt cakes, we bake these rich, dense, moist cakes in aluminum pans.

Not only are they a sight to behold, but each unlocks a whole new flavor profile. Approximately 6-inches and one pound each, mainstay flavors will be Hummingbird and Cinnamon Walnut.

We’ll also feature a third seasonal flavor as well (like this month’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Bundt Cake). The size makes them perfect for a hostess gift, small get-together, or an addition to your brunch or party spread.

Cinnamon Walnut Bundt Cake

Rich coffee cake layered with brown sugar and walnut streusel.

Hummingbird Bundt Cake

This delicious cake is filled with bananas, pecans, and pineapple then dusted with donut sugar!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bundt Cake

Chocolate bundt cake with peanut butter chips encased in a peanut butter chocolate shell.

Made Right Here Bakery Favorites

When you bite into a piece of Grandma Tobias Pie or slather butter on a fluffy Bakehouse Roll, do you ever stop and ponder what “Made Right Here” really means? When it comes to the DLM Bakery’s signature holiday items, we are proud that they are made with top-notch ingredients in our very own DLM Bakehouse. So as you plan your home-cooked, hassle-free holiday, be sure to reserve these favorites for your table.

GRANDMA TOBIAS PECAN PIE

We use an all-butter crust with a traditional pecan pie filling that’s sweet, gooey, and chock-full of pecans.

BREAD BASKET

The perfect edible centerpiece, we make these beautiful bread baskets by hand that are piled high with two dozen assorted rolls.

GRANDMA TOBIAS PUMPKIN PIE

So good, it’ll impress even the most discerning mother-in-law. We start with an all-butter crust and fill it with traditional pumpkin pie filling that’s creamy and smooth to taste.

PUMPKIN CHEESE ROLL

Rich cream cheese folded between layers of pumpkin cake comprise this instant favorite.

BAKEHOUSE ROLL

Soft and pillowy, each bite of this yeast roll that’s Made Right Here melts in your mouth.

 

Pumpkin Checklist

Fall is here, which means bonfires, football, and pumpkin EVERYTHING! We’re big fans of this seasonal flavor and the wide variety of yummy pumpkin products available, so we’ve compiled a list of pumpkin must-haves to get your pumpkin fix. Let’s face it, is fall even fall without pumpkin treats?

How many of these pumpkin goodies have you tried?

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13 Must-Make Gluten-Free Recipes

Whether you’re looking to step into the world of gluten free, or you’re looking for new recipes to add to your repertoire, these mouthwatering gluten-free recipes are ones you’re sure to love.

1. Pumpkin & Ginger Spiced Muffins

2. Butternut Squash Soup with Garam Masala, Yogurt, and Lime

3. Instant Pot/Multicooker Steel-Cut Apple-Spiced Oats

4. Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

5. Gluten-Free Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette

6. Pad Thai

7. Gluten-Free Graham Crackers

8. Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Burgers

9. Best-Ever Gluten-Free Brownies

10. Hasselback Butternut Squash

11. Iced Lemon Cookies

12. Braised Bacon Kale with Roasted Vegetables

13. Nuts About Chocolate Clusters

 

Fall for These 10 Recipes

Fall is here! It’s time for hayrides, apple picking, pumpkins, and all of the foods that embrace this season of change. We want to welcome fall by diving into the quintessential flavors that make this time of year so delicious. Here are 10 fall recipes sure to have you fall-ing for the season.

8 Recipes to Fall For

10 Fall Recipes You’ll Love!

1. Honeycrisp Fall Sangria

This yummy recipe features the stars of fall: Honeycrisp Apples, Beaujolais Nouveau (available mid-November, but a strong red makes a great substitute), and DLM 100% Apple Cider.

2. Blondies

With cinnamon, nutmeg, and Honeycrisp apples, this dessert is the ultimate fall treat. Just one bite will have you craving all that this season has to offer.

3. Butternut Squash

Feast like a gourmand with this enticing butternut squash recipe. Chock-full of mouth-watering flavors, this is a recipe everyone will love!

4. Pumpkin Pancakes

The perfect weekend breakfast.

5. Braised Bacon Kale with Roasted Veggies

It’s time to get roasting! It’s an easy, simple, and delicious way to bring out some of the unpopular root vegetables. Roast at high heat so a lot of color and caramelization happens, and simply season with salt or pepper.

6. Butternut Squash Soup with Garam Masala

This warming soup has subtle sweetness and spice, and is full of unique flavor.

7. Pumpkin Gingerbread

The perfect edible gift for friends and neighbors.

8. Apple Cider Glazed Pork Chops

A hearty dish that is full of fall flavors. It’s one you’ll repeat all season long.

9. Butterbeer

This magically delicious beverage, perfect for fall parties and get-togethers, is sure to put a spell on you.

10. Pumpkin Gooey Butter Bars

Ooey, gooey deliciousness, these butter bars are ones to share.

 

3 Recipes that Celebrate Summer

As we move deeper into summer, we want to embrace some of those quintessential flavors that liven up your plate this time of year. From our Panzanella Salad recipe, which can be chock-full of local tomatoes, to our 5 ways to take your Brentlinger Sweet Corn to the next level, we’ve got you covered. Dive in below to these 3 recipes that celebrate summer and all its glory!

1. Panzanella Salad

2. Grilled Veggie Platter

3. Local Sweet Corn 5 Ways

Get Perfect Grill Marks in 3 Steps

Fire up your grill this weekend and soak in what’s left of summer! You may be thinking—so much to grill, so little time. Well, here’s an idea: DLM Natural Beef New York Strip Steak, as we’ll be offering a scrumptious Best of Market price while supplies last on U.S.D.A. Choice DLM Natural Beef New York Strip Steak. Did we mention that it’s lifetime free of antibiotics and hormones, vegetarian fed, and certified humane?

How to Get Perfect Grill Marks in 3 Steps

Once you grab those steaks, it’s time to get grilling. Perfecting grill marks is a skill that every grillmaster needs in their tool belt.

Step 1: Pre-heat grill and place food down at a 45° angle.
Step 2: Be patient—don’t turn too soon, but when you do, rotate 90°.
Step 3: Get the grill marks first on high heat and then adjust temp and finish cooking to your desired doneness.

Noodle on These 3 Thai-Inspired Recipes

Thai food encompasses several different taste components, such as hot, sour, salty, and sweet, with many recipes containing a combination of these. Some of our favorite Thai recipes revolve around noodles and the brilliant ingredients that Thailand is known for. Below are some easy and delicious ways for you to enjoy the flavors of Thailand at home.

1. Pad Thai

2. Yum Woon Sen

3. Chicken Pad See Ew