COMPLIMENTS OF RUSSELL'S
Out-of-towners, don't fret: You can now have your gooey butter thanks to Russell's.
As we creep closer and closer to the end of this abominable year, a glimmer of hope gives us reason to believe brighter times are ahead: Russell's is now shipping its gooey butter across the country.
As owner Russel Ping explains, the idea to ship the restaurant and bakery's signature gooey butter has been on his radar for a while, but the pandemic accelerated the timeline. After taking over the space next to the Russell's Fenton location with plans to expand its dining room footprint and production capacity, Ping was preparing to (safely) open his doors to customers this November. It was the very day St. Louis County enacted its latest round of restrictions on indoor dining.
"We knew we had to do something to keep business generating and decided to make something good out of a poor situation," Ping says. "We figured, OK, let's fast-track this gooey butter thing and get it going before the holidays and see if this would be a way to use the space as well as we can."
Russell's began shipping its gooey butter on December 14th with an ambitious goal: To bake 1,300 of them before the Christmas holiday shipping cut-off of December 21. This includes the original flavor as well as six other flavors such as chocolate chip, triple berry and snickerdoodle. And though he recognizes that his treats are perishable, he insists they have a better shelf life than other baked goods, such as cookies.
Already, Ping has been inundated with orders, with a large concentration of them coming from New York and Florida. He says that many of his customers are based in St. Louis, but see this as a way to send an edible part of St. Louis to loved ones who live out of town.
In fact, Ping has been so pleased with the response that he intends to keep the program going for as long as he can, even after dining rooms reopen.
"I'm betting we will begin to hear things from people who aren't even from St. Louis," Ping says. "Maybe that will happen after the holidays, but we don't see this as just a seasonal thing. If this does well, maybe we could do it on a larger scale."
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