The recent boom in foodie-focused developments at the intersection of Pickwick Avenue and Cherry Street has Springfield, Missouri's Rountree neighborhood seeing green – literally, because the minty-hued Culture Counter is the latest to join the neighborhood after its official opening on Tue., June 2.
Owner Bryce Gott opened Culture Counter on the site of the former Homegrown Foods, which closed in 2018. Like its predecessor, Culture Counter offers a market full of local and organic groceries, including fresh produce from Millsap Farms and Urban Roots Farm, dairy products and local cheeses from Terrell Creek Farm and Grison Dairy, local meats from Circle B Ranch and vegan meat alternatives from Jake’s Vegan Burgers, bulk dry goods and organic nuts (the store does not carry peanuts or any peanut products) and prepared products like mini Prairie Pie pies and pre-ground Mudhouse coffee.
The market, however, is only half the draw. Culture Counter is also a café led by chef Karen Brooks-Pender. The offerings include a juice bar with a walk-up window serving various green juices made fresh daily, Spring Branch kombucha on tap and housemade ice creams (including a vegan option) made with Ozark Mountain Creamery dairy and eggs from Hickory Hill Farms. And if you can’t decide between a cone or a cup, maybe drinking your frozen treat is more your style. You can plop a few scoops into a glass of Springfield Brewing Co.’s housemade root beer, also on tap, or head over to neighbor Cherry Picker Package x Fare for an affogato made with Culture Counter’s ice cream.
To satiate a bigger appetite, Culture Counter has full breakfast and lunch menus. Breakfast includes a waffle bar with rotating sweet, savory, vegan and gluten-free waffles with protein, salad and parfait add-ons, while lunchtime brings a salad bar, hot bar and soup bar. Although the café does have a seating area, during COVID-19 restrictions, food is to-go only with all breakfast and lunch bars transitioning to employee-served stations.
Through its foods, the Culture Counter team is championing a zero-waste goal, using imperfect produce and reimagining food scraps into new uses. Brooks-Pender has blitzed “ugly” cilantro into a nut-free vegan pesto, turned veggie scraps into broth and soups and whisked the egg white byproducts of the ice cream–making process into frittatas.
All market items are available for pre-order online at Culture Counter’s website, and you can also pre-order juices for pickup. If you’re shopping in-store and like what you see, most décor at Culture Counter is also for sale.
Culture Counter is open Tuesday through Saturday from 7am to 9pm and Sunday from 9am to 5pm.
Culture Counter, 607 S. Pickwick Ave., Springfield, Missouri, 417.861.3287, culturecountercommons.com