Maude's Market and CSA Calls It Quits

Maude Bauschard in front of her Dutchtown shop. | Mabel Suen
Maude Bauschard in front of her Dutchtown shop. | Mabel Suen

After three years, Maude's Market (4219 Virginia Avenue; 314-353-4219) is closing. The market and CSA was a locavore's paradise in Dutchtown, but owner Maude Bauschard tells us she just couldn't make it work anymore.

See also: Maude's Market: Recipe for Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash

"Essentially it plateaued. I never reached my goal of getting the number of CSA customers that I wanted to get," Bauschard says. "So at a certain point you just need to realize that it wasn't going to be viable anymore."

The CSA -- community supported agriculture -- actually ended in December, and Bauschard has been gradually selling off her inventory the last two months. Bauschard says she had great customer loyalty and a 70 percent customer retention rate, but ultimately it wasn't enough.

"I ran into a customer of three years the other night and she gave me a huge hug and said, 'I feel like I just went through a breakup,'" she says. "It was a great experience, but the community just couldn't support it with the number of customers I needed to keep it going."

Bauschard does own the building on Virginia Avenue, but she's not sure to whom she'll lease it. She says she'd be interested in a long-term tenant, but she also has some ideas for short-term leases to new small business who perhaps have an idea they want to try out.

Bauschard will still be involved in the Dutchtown community; she has accepted a new job as community district manager at the St. Louis Development Corporation, a nonprofit run by the city to stimulate economic development.

There is still some inventory to be had at Maude's, and Bauschard encourages people to call or e-mail if they're interested in buying some great local food in bulk. "If anyone wants really good deals on frozen berries, amazing local honey or Amish canned produce, I still have quite a lot!" she says. You can inquire about remaining inventory at 314-353-4219 or by e-mailing [email protected].

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter.

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