Archive for the ‘Blogroll’ Category

An Autumnal Southern Wedding Shoot (With Bourbon Bar And Honey Tasting!)

Thursday, September 11th, 2014


A stiff drink and a side of sweet: it’s everything we love about the South rolled into a crisp fall wedding shoot! Steal-worthy ideas include a sophisticated bourbon-only bar and a genius honey-tasting hor d’oeuvres table. Small floral arrangements from Salt Harbor Designs have a heavy helping of just-picked greenery to  keep the vibe rustic yet refined. Get in the Southern state of mind with these gorgeous shots from Millie Holloman Photography, y’all!

Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog

Tip: Instead of a single overflowing centerpiece, go for a few lower ones that allow guests to enjoy the venue’s natural beauty.

Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog


Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog


Tip: Just because you’re having a garden wedding doesn’t mean it has to be an English-themed one. Loose and unstructured floral arrangements placed in ceramic vases have a look that feels homemade, adding a touch of down-home Southern charm.

Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog


Tip: For a truly Southern touch, set up a tasting table with a few types of Bourbon (a Southern staple), instead of serving a signature cocktail. Be sure to include the correct accoutrements, such as decanters and specialty glassware.

Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog


Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog


Tip: Go with a fresh idea when it comes to your hors d’oeuvres; one is a Southern honey-tasting table. Serve with sweet and savory bites to please everyone’s tastes.

Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog


Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog


Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog
Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog


Tip: For a spin on the typical bridal bouquet, use more than flowers. By including lots of greenery, you not only add unexpected color and texture, you end up with a cheery product that has a just-picked look.

Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog


Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog


Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog


Tip: Having multiple cakes can add some depth to an otherwise mundane dessert table. Keep the look interesting by varying the design on the sweet treats. While the two side cakes are decorated with a honeycomb design inspired by the vases, the middle one mimics the linen instead.

Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog


Photo: Millie Holloman Photography // Featured: The Knot Blog


(From the album: Southern Spirits — A New Twist on Tradition)


Check out The Knots blog at:





Support Local Retailers

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Our president Richard Nix Jr. recommends this article below from Sophisticated Living Magazine. Nix endorses the perspective of his friend, Craig Kaminer that was published in this months edition of SLM. Kaminer leads the article with the importance of supporting our locally owned retailers and will continue to encourage people to buy locally.  Kaminer said, “No matter where I travel this year, I’m buying everything in St. Louis, and I encourage everyone I know to do the same.”


Click on this link to read more about the article

bp blog 2


SL Article (1112x1500)




Celebrate National Honey Month

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Don’t forget to Celebrate National Honey Month!

Watch Chef Chuck Friedhoff talk about his passion of raising honey bees as he shares one of his tasty honey creations!

Check it out!

Celebrate your milestone birthday in style

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

All birthdays are special, but perhaps none more so than those ending with the big zero: 30, 40, 50, 60 and beyond.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably hit one or more of those fabulous milestone events.

Families celebrate other milestone birthdays, too, such as 13, 16, 18, 21 and 75.

Milestone birthdays are fun and memorable. Eighteen, for example, has a special meaning. You’re legal. Twenty-one is the legal drinking age, and at 30, birthday girls and boys begin to plan their future: family, purchasing a home and choosing a career path to get through the next milestone birthdays.

And then there’s 50. You’ve reached the half-century mark. Turning 50 is a huge milestone worthy of a big fancy celebration.

Milestone birthday parties go above and beyond a typical birthday bash of food, drinks, balloons and gifts. They’re the birthdays where memories are a special occasion.

Themes and activities are high on the list for milestone birthday planning. It’s an event to pull out all the stops. It’s the best excuse for a blowout party. Top themes this year include Era parties, James Bond and World’s Fair parties. In St. Louis, caterers are seeing a rise in neighborhood themed parties, such as Soulard-themed and the Hill-themed parties.

As director of sales and catering at Butler’s Pantry in Lafayette Square, Melody Buckner and her team have thrown their share of spectacular milestone birthday parties.

“One that we just did this past weekend was an ’80s throwback ball,” says Buckner. Their customer was celebrating her 40th but decided to celebrate the era instead of the big 4-0. Guests were decked out in ’80s attire, and even the Butler’s Pantry staff was dressed in ’80s garb. A platform at the door was designed by Exclusive Events, and guests traveled through time viewing icons and events from the ’80s. Food from the period was served, including a Tater Tots bar with different cheeses and peppers, pizza pockets and even Pac-Man cupcakes (adult style).

Recently, Buckner and her team planned a celebration for two women celebrating 50. The number 100 was present throughout the celebration with a giant 100 used as a backdrop for photo opportunities. They also designed a cake in the shape of 100.

“Group parties are high on the list, too,” adds Buckner. You can split the bill planning a party together.

“I celebrated for 30 days straight before my 30th birthday,” says Dawn Lynch of St. Louis. Her best friend secretly organized “30 Days of Dawn.”

For the 30 days leading up to her birthday, family members and friends each took one day and planned a surprise or event.

“After a few days, I put the pieces together of what was happening and was in suspense every day for what was to come,” she adds.

Her surprises included: showing up for a hair appointment and being told it was already paid for, edible arrangements and flower deliveries to her house and office, coming home to a clean house and presents everywhere, dinners, drinks, brunch, ice cream and lunches.

“One day I got a video sent to my phone every hour.” She was blown away at the time and effort put in by each person who was involved. It was all capped off with an incredible and memorable party.

“You never need a reason to travel and explore, but traveling in celebration for milestone birthdays has grown in popularity,” says Marcie Boyle, president of Travel Leaders Chesterfield (owned and operated by RSVP Events & Travel).

She plans milestone birthday trips every week for every age: 21, 30, 40, 50, 60; they’ve even helped a client celebrate an 85th birthday on the Rocky Mountaineer, a Canadian train tour company.

“The biggest trend we see in group celebration travel is the all-inclusive resort destinations such as Jamaica, Punta Cana, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Maya,” she adds. These types of trips offer amazing resort options that cater to all ages, budgets and preferences. “Travelers love all-inclusive options because all expenses are included for one price, and they can celebrate their special day without worrying about the cost of a celebratory cocktail or dessert.”


Photo collages

• Christine Stark owner of Picket Fence Crafts in Bourbonnais, Ill., creates custom collage numbers and letters for milestone birthdays. “Each number tells a story,” Stark says. The story comes from the photographs that customers send her.

Digital photos are sharpened, laser printed, resized, hand cut and arranged on high-density fiber board. The numbers can be hung by Velcro or placed on an easel.

Each number is about 13 inches high and 7 inches wide. You’ll spend about $199 on two numbers in black and white, or $250 for color.

• A birthday photo collage, designed by a pro, can be a treasured gift. Using a collection of Polaroids, photographs or digital files, ProCollage artists will work with you to create a personalized keepsake. An 18-inch by 24-inch black-and-white photo collage, with 24 pictures, is about $230.

Money tree

A money tree is a hot item on Pinterest and other sites for milestone birthday gifts. We created our own version of a money tree. It took about 20 minutes from start to finish. You’ll need:

2 small branches with lots of mini branches



Dollar bills

Paper clips

1. Find two small branches with lots of small branches to fit inside a gardening container. Remove all leaves from both branches.

2. Tie the two branches together (we used a rubber band). Stand the branch inside a flower pot and fill the pot half way with small rocks. Add enough sand to hold the branches in place.

3. Attach a dollar bill with a paper clip to the small branches. Repeat until every branch is filled.

Art prints

• Take a stroll down memory lane with Birthday Street art prints. The personalized print starts at $395, unframed and $465 framed for a 10-inch-by-20-inch) at 


August 31, 2014 11:00 am  • 


Sales Team Learns from In-House Florist

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

This afternoon, our sales team ventured across the parking lot to the studio of our in-house florist and Director of Visual Design, Brian Blasingame.  They were thrilled to learn how floral arrangements can vary in shape and size and how much of an impact they can make on the look and feel of different environments in which they are placed. Brian and his team work tirelessly making these gorgeous arrangements to commemorate the most significant moments in life. Every member of our sales team works to keep up to date on the latest trends in our industry and having Brian here to assist us is priceless.

We are very thankful to have such a hard working in-house florist team on-site with us. They even let our sales team take home these gorgeous arrangements! We cannot thank Brian and his team enough for their hard work and dedication in keeping our office welcoming and beautiful!

Check out these stunning arrangements!


Butler’s Pantry’s Chuck Friedhoff Raising Natural Bees

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Whenever people ask Butler’s Pantry’s chef de cuisine Chuck Friedhoff why he makes his own natural honey, his first response is always in jest.

“I tell them, ‘I don’t make the honey; the bees do,’” he says.

Friedhoff and his wife and Rhubarb and Honey blogger, Kimberly Henricks-Friedhoff, currently have a full hive. They started out with a quarter hive with a queen, called a nuc (pronounced nuke) in beekeeper slang, that was gifted to Friedhoff by Kimberly and her parents for his birthday in January.

Friedhoff always felt the draw of natural beekeeping as a proponent of the slow food movement and taking the extra time to monitor what goes into your body. After the apartment-dwellers finally moved into a house big enough to raise bees in October 2012, it was an obvious next step.

Friedhoff and his wife took a natural beekeeping class at Local Harvest through Isabees last June, and they soon found themselves amazed at the technicality and preciseness of the bee’s work.

“We couldn’t believe how well they manage themselves,” Friedhoff says. “There’s a queen, obviously, but they can tell if she’s doing a poor job and will start rearing a new queen. There are bees specifically for cleaning cells, for making honey, for capping honey, for making comb. Every bee has its place.”

Friedhoff and his wife manage their hive in the backyard of their home near Fenton, where their duties include checking the bees and screen bottoms for mites, monitoring the eggs, grooming the bees when necessary and much more.

They use photography to minimize the amount of time they spend in the hives for inspection. Zooming in on the photos on their computer allows them to see almost as much detail as in person, but it doesn’t disrupt the bees’ work.

Using photography, they’ve occasionally discovered mites on their bees, which is a backyard beekeeper’s biggest pest – literally. Mites, by comparison, would be the equivalent to a frisbee-sized tick on a human, and are an ongoing issue with beekeeping.

“It’s a question of when, not if, your bees are going to get mites,” Friedhoff says.

Friedhoff controls the mites on his bees with natural essential oils rather than chemicals to get rid of mites, adding spearmint, lemongrass and – when the mite numbers get too high – thyme, to the simple syrup of the bees’ feed to combat the mites, rather than harmful chemicals. The mites dislike the ingredients in the essential oil, so they find something else to latch on to. The thyme is more aggressive and actually kills the mites, so it’s used less often to protect the bees, as well.

This process is one of many that Friedhoff uses to ensure that his beekeeping is done naturally. He sprays olive oil on the solid boards underneath the screen bottoms of his hive to catch the debris that falls for 24 hours once per month. Any pesticides he uses are organic.

“Beekeeping in itself is unnatural,” Friedhoff says. “Bees in nature find a tree for their hive, not man-made boxes. I believe that raising natural bees helps them manage themselves and makes a stronger bee.”

For him, it’s not about the honey being produced. Of course that’s important, but Friedhoff would rather raise a hive that can support itself and grow large and healthy over the years. This past spring, he didn’t even cultivate any honey so that the bees would have enough for themselves to make it though this winter. Plus, there would be less need for them to gather and build up in the spring.

Next spring will be the first time Friedhoff will be able to taste the honey his bees make. The first year, he plans on giving away about half of his honey to neighbors and friends who have put up with his hive. Eventually, though, the plan is to raise hives at or near Butler’s Pantry to use the honey in cooking.

“The true sign of a strong hive is the ability for a colony to split itself, or what we call swarming,” Friedhoff says. “So this spring we’re hoping that process will happen and eventually can set up these split hives somewhere at Butler’s Pantry.” Butler’s Pantry currently uses local honey from Double Star Farms in Bluford, Illinois.

One of the new friends Friedhoff has made is Ralph Samples, his bee mentor and fellow hive-owner. Friedhoff found Samples, who maintains about 40 hives, on a Facebook forum for Missouri beekeepers, and he’s been instrumental in keeping Friedhoff’s hives running smoothly.

“There’s no right answer for beekeeping,” Friedhoff says. “There’s a joke that if you ask 10 beekeepers the same question, you’ll get 20 different answers. Ralph is always there if I have a question, but he makes sure I’m doing my own research and usually answers my question with a question.”

Backyard beekeeping has been a project in patience, but it’s also a calming and rewarding hobby for Friedhoff and his wife.

“I lose track of time sitting and watching the bees,” he says. “It’s mesmerizing to see them at work.”

Butler’s Pantry, 1414 Park Ave., Lafayette Square, 314. 664.7680,


5 Hot Event Trends for 2014

Friday, August 15th, 2014

5 Hot Event Trends for 2014

From décor to themes to corporate event ideas, these five event trends are gaining steam in the new year. Discover what fun ideas are hot for 2014!

1. Marquee Signs
Whether it’s spelling out words like “LOVE” and “BAR” or exaggerating initials, marquee signs are being used all over in events and décor. The retro displays can be used as signage throughout the event landscape and as sweet announcements incorporated into any style event.



2. Events for a Cause
2014 may be the year where charitable events skyrocket in popularity. More and more event professionals are finding ways to incorporate charitable donations into their events, from using vendors and suppliers that offer incentive-based platforms to offering donations based on participation to organizing community events as part of their marketing strategies.

If you use philanthropy in your event plans, tell us about it! Take this quick survey and your ideas could be part of the Eventhropy session by Paul Wolman at #CSES2014.

3. Shapes and Patterns
Gone are the days of single color themes! Well, not really, but you can at least expect to see a greater use of patterns in the coming year. Geometric shapes, fun patterns like houndstooth, floral prints and polka dots are playing a role in many events as designers and clients work to create statement pieces. Color blocking is also transferring from the runway into more events, both with multiple colors and with simple black and white designs, making it a little easier to take those dramatically different colors and combine them into one cover-worthy event.



4. Rustic Modern Décor
The conventional idea of taking a rustic look and adding décor elements to create an upscale appearance is still going strong and will continue through the beginning of the year. Using mirrors, metallic centerpieces, marquee signs and feathers in your décor can add that modern touch to your traditional rustic event complete with mason jars, exposed wood furnishings and farm-to-table catering. Adding an industrial flair to traditionally rustic designs is also increasing in popularity, using rusted pipes, natural stone, chrome finishes and exposed engineering (think Steampunk) to create a modernized Industrial Revolution-style design.

5. Unique Venues
Traditional banquet halls and religious institutions may see a decline in event production as consumers look towards unique venues for their events. The Gatsby sensation of 2013 has turned clients on to venues with opulence and majestic features, such as old-style mansions and country clubs. Clients are also trying to make a statement with their venue by finding unique properties like museums, warehouses, concert venues and college campus hotspots.


2013 was a great year for new trends and although some major concepts have died down, they have lead to many additional spinoffs that will gain momentum in the coming year. What ideas or trends are you getting requests for this year?


To read more visit:




10 Hot New Wedding Catering Trends For 2014

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

By Amy Levin-Epstein for 

There’s so much more to wedding food than chicken and potatoes. From decadent cheese platters to push pops for dessert, spice up your reception with one of these unique ideas.

The Elevated Beverage Stand


Photo: Jen Huang Photography/The Knot

It’s nothing new to offer water or lemonade at cocktail hour and to have it displayed in a cute way (hello mason jars). But the new beverage bar for weddings is far more exotic with unexpected offerings like lemongrass infused ice cubes to fresh pressed ginger drinks and even loose-leaf tea bars where guests can mix and match their favorite leaves for the perfect blend.



Dim Sum and Dumplings


Photo: Eclectic Images/The Knot

Dim sum is now making its way into the wedding world. Imagine dumplings as well as other appetizers or small plates are rolled throughout the cocktail party on carts or served to each table for guests to pick and choose what they’d like. Pair them with mini sake shots or even lychee martinis.


Donut Bars


Photo: Nikki Closer Photography/The Knot

Maybe you’re not cake people or maybe you both have a serious sweet tooth. Either way, the idea of a donut bar (or even a cronut bar) is genius. If you do it to replace your wedding cake, stack up the pastries into a tower plan to cut into a donut for your cake cutting. Then serve up retro flavors — like cream and jelly filled donuts — alongside your donut tower. Or get fancy with it and choose never-heard-of-that-before varieties like white chocolate and almond or coconut and mango donuts.



Strolling Chef Stations


Photo: Kristen Marie Photography/The Knot

Instead of the expected passed appetizers on trays, the idea here is that servers or even chefs walk around the room preparing food to order for your guests. A few fun ways to bring the idea to life: Have a raw bar with a chef shucking oysters or a chef that rolls around to each table and prepares sushi right in front of your guests.



Apps Paired with Mini Drinks


Photo: Robin Procter Photography/The Knot

Wine pairings are always nice but the new idea is to match passed appetizers with a cocktail, beer, or even a shot. Imagine tiny lobster tacos with mini hibiscus margaritas, mini pastrami sandwiches paired with mini mugs of craft beer, or even caviar and crackers with mini shots of vodka on ice.


Cheese Sommeliers

Photo: Jenny De Marco Photography/The Knot

Cheese platters are getting the star treatment at weddings this year. Some couples are actually hiring knowledgeable cheese pros to teach guests about each cheese profile during the cocktail hour — making it far more interactive than the typical cheese setup. Beyond cocktail hour, consider switching it up and serving cheese after dinner alongside the cake!


Vegan Anything


Photo: Jennifer Lindberg Weddings/The Knot

It’s a given that you’ll have at least one or two vegetarian options at your wedding, but these days, more and more couples are serving vegan and gluten-free foods too. It’s not just to accommodate guests with food allergies — caterers are creating really incredible menus that even your meat eaters would try. A few of our favorite vegan ideas: vegan sushi, falafel sliders, and tomato risotto cakes.


Meatball Bars


Photo: Hudson River Photographers/The Knot

And on the other end of the spectrum, meat eaters can get excited because meatballs at weddings are big. We know one caterer who loves to serve lots of mini meatballs paired with a choice of creative sauces like peppercorn cognac sauce or sundried tomato pesto. Another idea? Ask your caterer about serving up mini meatball sandwiches at the cocktail hour or after-party.

Push Pops For Dessert


Photo: Jen Kroll Photography/The Knot

Remember push pops? Well some ultra-creative caterers have taken the idea up one big notch for weddings. We’ve seen everything from cheesecake to macarons, moon pies, and red velvet cake push pops. Hint: They also make for a cool groom’s cake alternative!


Breakfast Foods


Photo: Kathryn Krueger/The Knot

It’s your wedding, so why not choose your absolute favorite breakfast foods? Think about it: bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, pan-fried potatoes and even blueberry pancakes. The trick to pulling it off breakfast food is to make it look like it belongs at a wedding. So ask your caterer for ideas, but a few we love to get you started include bacon and fried egg cupcakes at cocktail hour, mini French toasts, or even jumbo shrimp spiked with Bloody Mary pipettes (trust us, it’s amazing).




Original Article:

Butler’s Pantry Recognized for Outstanding Support

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Last Thursday, I was excited to receive the National Award of Merit  from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Saint Louis.  Butler’s Pantry was honored to receive this award as an organization from outside the Boys & Girls Clubs that has provided outstanding support to the Club.  I was so proud to accept this award on behalf of our company. 


The History of what was the Old Herbert Hoovers Boys Club and now the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Saint Louis is so motivating.  For nearly 50 years the Club has provided activities and services that have improved the lives of many Saint Louis Children.  The stories are so inspiring and reflect how caring for our children at all levels can make a difference.


This award will be shared with all of our team members as a continued reminder that “it is our goal to steward relationships and work hard to improve the lives of children in our community”!

-Richard Nix Jr.


Gorgeous Wedding Reception at Piper Palm House

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

MaryBeth & Shelby’s Storybook Wedding from Millennium Productions on Vimeo.

1414 Park Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63104 / Phone: (314) 664-7680 / Fax: (314) 664-9866