Just a few days before this issue hit the presses…
I was having a conversation about culinary publications with an acquaintance who wanted to let me know about a magazine she’d picked up.
“I really love the photography… the way they told the stories… it just had such a different vibe to it than most publications.”
She was having trouble placing the name, so I pressed on and talked about what we were planning on putting in this issue.
Then, it came to her:
“Ooh, Stock & Barrel!”
I actually thought for a second we were about to enter some weird “Who’s on First?” version of local journalism, but the confusion was legitimate. She actually didn’t know we were talking about the same magazine. Once I realized she was inadvertently throwing a little shine our way, I stood up and gave her a giant hug. This compliment, and the confusion preceding it, made me realize two things:
One—this magazine, in the little alleyways that exist between monthly (614) deadlines, is a special undertaking, and when you’re right in the middle of wrestling all those pages into submission, even the smallest compliment puts plenty of gas in the tank. Two—it occurred to me that the fact that it wasn’t immediately associated with its parent magazine isn’t an altogether bad thing.
It’s been a year now since we embarked on this editorial encore, a tribute to the booming food and drink scene in Columbus, and in that time, it has developed its own personality very organically.
We’ve been fortunate to see such growth to the extent that we’ve had to build a new blueprint, with a different philosophy than the monthly. This edition is filled with stories we probably wouldn’t have even considered a year ago, let alone given the green light.
Danny Hamen, former intern and Tinder field reporter, wants to write a romantic essay about ranch? Nah. Gross.
Jill Strominger wants to ride along with an ice cream truck? What are we, stoners?
Chris Manis wants to advocate for drinking in a public park? Dicey.
Kim Leddy wants to make a salad from a stranger’s backyard? Kim, you don’t need to do that. There’s a grocery store down the street from the office.
Wait, Chris, you also wanna make cocktails with Jägermeister? What the hell is happening around here?
What’s happening is Columbus keeps stretching its boundaries, and we are gleefully riding shotgun. In fact, Stock & Barrel has even become a more extended guide detailing the producers and providers beyond the outerbelt.
We discovered there’s Maine lobster in Mount Vernon.
There’s essentially a cheese-based amusement park in Ashland.
Oh, and there’s a bunch of bourbon in Kentucky.
Well, we already knew that, but it felt very irresponsible not to gas up the car and head south to conduct first-person research. We take our duties very seriously. I mean, if you’re going to also drive all the way to Meigs County to meet a stranger you asked to rent a tux and drink milk from a martini glass, you better not be there just to dick around (photo above aside).
That’s just the kind of publication we’re running over here, and we’re pretty darn proud of that fact. Stock & Barrel represents an opportunity to stretch our wings and give food and drink the type of creative and thorough coverage it inspires and deserves.