Greeting Text

Following twenty years of farmer's markets selling locally grown vegetables, native fruits, and local honey Linda created Marianne's Kitchen in Shoreview, MN, an oasis of good food, conversation and laughter in a suburban food desert. Operating from 2011-2017 the cafe offered home made soups, fresh bread baked daily, great sandwiches and treats and a complete line of gluten-free soups, pickled products, jams, jellies, salsas and locally sourced soups, honey and grains.

The Marianne's Kitchen of sharing, conversation, and learning continues with ongoing commentary, food reviews and food finds as we grow, cook and eat our food and sample local restaurants.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

McCarron's Pub & Grill

Breakfast Search...
Finding a good breakfast option in Shoreview is difficult.  Today we headed south on Rice Street to McCarron's Pub & Grill just a bit south of Highway 36.   We've eaten there several times and while it is certainly a bar, the staff is friendly, service quick and the food presented is innovative and rewarding.

The Italian Benedict was recommended by the server and was certainly worthwhile.

Also recommended was the Italian Hash which featured a flavorful, not dry and nicely seasoned sausage.  The eggs, ordered 'over medium' were spot on.

Wiener Worthiness

My father worked at the Wilson & Co. meat packing plant in Albert Lea.  Our home was more or less downwind of "the plant."  Coupled with a few childhood tours, an adolescent reading of "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair and a job of my own at Wilson's I could live the rest of my life without eating another wiener or bratwurst.  One of the principals at Marianne's Kitchen is, however, inclined to appreciate the occasional wiener.

The local option at "5 Guys" as pictured was about nine dollars.  To be fair fries were included which I guess is a plus if you like fries.  We do visit Costco for certain items and find them a worthy "big box."  They pay their employees a living wage.  As such they are never a Wall Street favorite.  We try to make choices that favor locally-owned firms and places that are decent for their employees. 

While at Costco we realized it was late.  We needed to eat something and going back to MK (Marianne's Kitchen as we refer to it ourselves) was just not going to happen.  Linda had the hot dog and soda combo and asked me if I wanted a hot dog.  Obviously nothing goes to waste in a meat packing plant.  Some days you have a little extra of "this" and some days you have a little extra of "that."   The constants in wieners are the grind of the components and the seasoning.  All of this cycled through my head at the question regarding my interest in a hot dog.  Opting out I went for the pizza slice with more of everything on it.  The soda, hot dog and pizza was about $3.74.  Linda thought the hot dog was "just fine."  I thought the pizza and price was pretty good given that I had to sit about 18" from a hot dog.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Press Release (Thank you #Target)

During today's podcast Target announced their strategy for continued growth
and 'enhanced customer experiences.'  The executive staff at Marianne's Kitchen has been remiss for not sharing our strategy for continued growth and 'enhanced customer experiences.'  We're going to thank Target for leading the way in sharing and reminding us to do the same.

Target specifically mentioned Greek Yogurt as part of their strategic plan for the future.   Please note that Whole Foods Market dropped Chobani Yogurt for containing GMOs and MSN noted yesterday that most commercial Greek yogurt is made of poor quality milk from corn-fed animals injected with growth hormones...just saying.

We are planning no layoffs at the Marianne's Kitchen corporate headquarters.

Press Release

Marianne’s Kitchen announces its strategy for continued growth and ‘enhanced customer experiences’ in 2015.

Marianne’s is using a customer-focused approach to grow its business. 

Marianne’s has found that:


-speaking with customers helps us understand their desires and fulfill their lunch wishes (we use a complex survey methodology..."how did you like that?")

-future enhancements in learning customer’s names, asking them what they’d like, checking personally to see if we’ve met their dining needs, and sincerely thanking them has driven positive customer experiences and repeat business.  We try to learn our customer's names so we can say "Hello, yourname," "Thanks for coming in yourname," "Hey yourname, enjoy your trip to Florida!"

-we will improve our supply chain by:

a) planting more fruits and veggies that people want in their pickles and jams  (we actually do plant and harvest vegetables and fruits and keep bees)

b) adding more products from local small businesses and organic growers

c)  making room on the shelves for more stuff that you want (our technology here is pretty simple...we buy what tastes good...if the customer likes it, buys it and comes back for more...we keep it in stock...)

-our digital strategy includes letting people know what’s on the menu and when we’re running out of things they might want so they can get the things they want (We post stuff on Facebook and Twitter and our website and are starting on Pinterest.  We also write things on a dry erase board in the store)


-fresh sandwiches, made from scratch soups, crunchy salads with fresh fruit and real cheese, and cookies baked with real butter account for a high proportion of our revenue.  For 2015, creating more space so people can actually see the cookies, bars, and cupcakes will drive our revenue growth.


-we work daily to improve our analytics by:

1) asking customers what they like

2) picking up their lunch baskets and seeing if anything was left uneaten.  If there's something left John usually bluntly asks "what's wrong with you?"  We're training him to be less blunt.  Seriously we do look to see what's left.  We remain confident of our food quality given evidence from many, many "clean plate" customers.

3) checking to see if they need anything else to complete an enjoyable dining experience (this is high-level business, too...does the customer have their food?...does the customer have a fork or spoon as appropriately needed?...are they having a bad day and need a sympathetic ear or a cookie?)


Marianne’s expansion plans include:

-adding 1 or 2 more tables so there is more room for people to sit inside and eat their meal

-being open more hours as the weather gets warmer

-putting the patio tables outside when the snow is gone...we're shooting for the first warm day in March!

About Marianne’s Kitchen:

Marianne’s Kitchen is a small, local family-owned sandwich, soup, and salad shop offering fresh dining options.   We offer food for people seeking gluten free options, vegetarians, vegans, and people who want food that actually tastes good. 

Based on the idea that people may like to talk to a human being without the ‘does that complete your order’ script, Marianne’s seeks to make food you want to eat and we bring it to your table so you can talk to your friends and family while we’re making the food.  We do not offer free WiFi; we emphasize conversation and laughter.

Finally, we value dessert.  Buttery cookies, bars, cupcakes, and a mocha with whipped cream are all high-value proposition components of Marianne’s competitive strategy (this all started because we could not find a good place to eat in Shoreview...we eat here too so everything, especially dessert has to be good).

Marianne’s world headquarters and only location is in Shoreview, MN.  We have no expansion plans.  We are not closing any locations in Canada given that we have none.