Keeley Ardman DeSalvo
I was born and raised in Hot Springs, and have been fortunate to have lived in wonderful cities with diverse and rich food cultures. Following graduation from Southern Methodist University with a degree in finance, I worked in Dallas as a stockbroker before moving to Washington, D.C, where I served as an advisor to two presidential campaigns and, later, as a policy advisor to the Department of Energy during the Clinton administration. After returning home to Arkansas, the idea of a specialty food store began to take shape. I couldn't find the special items I wanted to use in my own kitchen and give as gifts that at one time had been readily available to me! At that time, choices in Arkansas were limited. Thankfully, that has changed and, as the array of Arkansas products we offer at The Savory Pantry indicate, we now have an impressive variety of thoughtfully made, delicious foods coming from producers across the state.
I grew up surrounded by good food, having been exposed to the restaurant business at an early age through The Pancake Shop --my family's business in downtown Hot Springs since 1966. My mother was the driving force behind the business, establishing a nationwide customer base by providing excellent food and extraordinary service. I've always been proud--and grateful--that we continue to have lines out the door on any given weekend. It made sense to me to draw upon the legacy my mother established at The Pancake Shop and extend it further, and in 1998 I opened The Savory Pantry, right next door to the restaurant. I am thankful that, just as customers understood my mother's vision of what the world's best breakfast could be, our customers look to The Savory Pantry for the very best in specialty foods and gourmet food gift giving.
Growth:The Savory Pantry has developed a loyal clientele coast to coast and, in 2012, I started to consider another location. I was immediately attracted to Saratoga. The similarities between it and Hot Springs are many: a historic race course with some of the finest thoroughbred racing in the country, a vibrant arts scene, natural spring waters, the mountains and lakes, and a sophisticated, small town feel. Add to that the proximity to New York City, Boston, and Montreal, and it seemed an ideal choice. In 2014 we opened The Savory Pantry Saratoga on historic Broadway Avenue. I truly have the best of both worlds, splitting my time between Arkansas and New York.
Stocking The Savory Pantry:We tenaciously source the most extraordinary foods in the world for our customers, always with quality and value in mind, and are constantly reminded that reaching the pinnacle of quality and success in any endeavor isn't possible without an unbeatable team--a team that is deeply committed to and driven by its mission. The Savory Pantry Team begins with our producers and ends with our customers. We choose producers who dedicate their lives to being the best at their crafts and who distill years of care and knowledge into their products. We want you to know not only where your food comes from, but who makes it and what motivates them to do so. Beyond stocking our pantries and yours through our storefronts in Hot Springs and Saratoga, and lovingly sending products and gift baskets across the nation to those who matter most to you, we brainstorm, consider, and create at all hours of the day and night, remaining curious about the latest movements in food and doing whatever it takes to ensure an unparalleled customer experience. We love what we do, and hope that you'll taste the care, enthusiasm, and expertise of our entire Team in every bite.
Favorite Pantry Products:Gilles Hervy Fleur de Sel, a finishing salt which is hand-harvested by Gilles Hervy and his family in France; it can seriously transform a dish! Grove 45 EVOO, a spectacular oil from California made by two inspirational women I'm proud to call friends. I love using our Lemon Agrumato for roasting poultry and fish. And finally our Spicy Plum Chutney from The Virginia Chutney Company is my entertaining go-to. Serve with a wedge of Manchego and a good bottle of wine --you're set!
I was born in Dallas and have lived in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and now Hot Springs, where I've worked at The Savory Pantry for over a year.
Stocking the Savory Pantry:I love specialty foods and working in The Savory Pantry because I've been bitten by the travel bug. I love to see new things and try all kinds of foods, and The Savory Pantry is a great place to learn about food from all over the world. When I am traveling and I read a restaurant menu I know what I am ordering because we might sell the product or one of the ingredients in the store, and I feel confident to order what I think I'll like or try something completely foreign. I love working at the Savory Pantry and meeting new people every day, from our neighbors in Hot Springs to people from all over the world. We bring stories to our customers' dinner tables; we share the story of a particular product, then they share with their families and friends, and the story spreads. In this way, "every taste tells a story"!
Favorite Savory Pantry Products:Sarabeth's Hot Chocolate Parisienne--the closest to hot chocolate from Paris you'll find; the collection of simple syrups from Pink House Alchemy made on the campus of the University of Arkansas; and Dr. Pete's Praline Mustard Glaze, especially baked on Brie!.
Stacy De Garay
I was born in Queens, New York, and lived there until my family moved to Saugerties, New York, when I was about ten. I have called Saratoga Springs home for the last 20 years and that's where I've been a member of the sales staff since August 2015.
Relationship with Food:I come from a traditional Italian family, so of course food has always played an important role in my life. We celebrate with food; we grieve with food. "What are we going to eat?" is always the most important question to be answered. I love to cook and nothing feels better than preparing a meal I know my family and friends will enjoy. I'm always looking for new and creative recipes to try out, so being able to work in an environment that exposes me to so many specialty foods is very exciting. It feels like Christmas morning every time we get a new product.
Stocking The Savory Pantry:My best friend Sharon has been with the store since it opened and loves it so much that when an opening became available, I jumped at the chance to join the team. I love it here at The Savory Pantry. How blessed am I that work never feels like a "job"! I had been a stay at home mom for many years, but now that my children are both in high school (one leaves for college in the fall) I knew it was time to return to what I love to do. There is nothing like meeting people from all over the country (and the world) who come in the store, and hearing their stories. I have always thought that everyone has a story to tell if only you are willing to listen. The team at the Saratoga store is a small, close family made up of people I am so happy to call my friends. I think we all have strengths in different areas and complement each other well. I enjoy working with each one of these women and feel as though together we offer the customer an experience that is unlike one you would get anywhere else. We know the products, we know the stories, and we genuinely care that our customers leave happy, with everything that they came for... and maybe with some new ideas. Whether they are locals or people who are only visiting the area for a day or two, I want every customer to feel as though they have found their go-to resource for entertaining ideas, gifts, or maybe just a little treat for themselves. I love that so many of our customers stop by on a regular basis just to taste what's new!
Favorite Pantry Products:I love the stories behind what we carry and that each producer provides ideas for how to use those products, often in ways you never would have considered. I love the entire Beekman 1802 line, but I would have to say that the Beekman 1802 Lemon Creamed Honey is my favorite. I use it in my tea, on toast, and have even used it to baste a turkey breast. Try it! My favorite go-to has to be Jan's Farmhouse Cranberry Pistachio Crisps. I try to keep them on hand at all times, but they go pretty quickly in my house. I love them for a quick snack with some sharp aged cheddar and thinly sliced Honeycrisp Apples. Yum! My list wouldn't be complete without A L'Olivier Porcini & Truffle Olive Oil--a great partner to the bread basket on any table!
I'm originally from Lehighton, Pennsylvania, where I grew up a farmer's daughter. Even though I didn't "work the farm," we had a family garden that fed our family of 7 for the entire year. Now, more than ever, I appreciate having grown up with natural foods before it was cool. I've worked for The Savory Pantry in Saratoga since mid-December 2014. Having been a life-long physical educator and a substitute teacher, I was looking for a job that combined my appreciation of healthy foods and healthy bodies.
Stocking the Savory Pantry:I love meeting people whose origins are as diverse as our foods! The Savory Pantry provides a special place to find new and interesting products or old favorites. We always offer the perfect gift for family, friends, and anyone we want to make happy. I've lived and traveled many places and love to share with interesting folks. I am also fortunate to work with people I consider friends as well as co-workers.
Favorite Pantry Products:I love the newly pressed olive oils, and our variety of vinegar infusions and their versatility. Fleur de Sel finishing sea salt really makes food pop!
I'm from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and have worked for The Savory Pantry for three and a half years in both locations.
Relationship with Food:I consider myself a foodie and love cooking as much as eating out. I was quite a picky eater growing up and even through college. I did like native Louisiana cuisine but that was as adventurous as I got. I moved to New York from Louisiana right after college and quickly expanded my taste for all types of food. From low brow to high brow, New York was a new world of foods. I worked in a diner for the first two months I and learned what a "bialy" was as well as a "scooped bagel." Then, I worked as a hostess at the (now closed) French restaurant Capsouto Freres where I had my first dessert souffle (which the restaurant was quite famous for). While I adore a night of fine dining as much as the next gal, my weaknesses are NY Style (thin crust) pizza and champagne. I have almost no self control around either.
Stocking the Savory Pantry:I appreciate the exposure to new food trends and we work hard to keep our customers aware of the latest and best in food. I enjoy watching The Savory Pantry play a role in supporting other small businesses by carrying products made in small batches and always knowing the origins of the products!
Favorite Pantry Products:Grove 45 Olive Oil and Ritrovo Six-Year Balsamico. I was once visiting Keeley in Arkansas, and she made me a salad with Ortiz Tuna. I was sold. Who knew jarred tuna could be so good!
I was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. My parents are Yankees--both from Cleveland, Ohio. I love to travel, but hope to always call Savannah home.
Stocking the Savory Pantry:I've been working in the specialty food industry for years, and have worked with Keeley for a couple years now, first through another company and now my own -- IFP Marketing. It's a real joy to work with a business owner who is so passionate about her brand and what she wants to accomplish. As a foodie, this work perfectly marries two things I love: food and online marketing. In a market fairly saturated with food interest, The Savory Pantry has a unique angle in sharing stories behind products and connecting customers with foods they love and might not find out about on their own.
Relationship with Food:I can't really cook, so I made sure to marry someone who can! We probably spend entirely too much money eating out (less so now that we have two little ones) but really enjoy good, interesting food with good red wine. I'm very close with my parents (thankfully my husband loves them too) so we spend a lot of time together...usually eating and drinking wine. Saturday and Sunday afternoons are often cheese plate and wine time. My kids are addicted to Humboldt Fog and manchego versus cheaper cheeses. I also have a ridiculous sweet tooth. I don't think I'm capable of eating dinner without having dessert, and love making cookies with my son.
Why do you think customers depend on The Savory Pantry?It provides a place to locate new and interesting products--to learn about them and ways to use them. I think it's a great source for people who love to cook, not only the everyday cook or someone just trying to feed their family, but also the person who is truly passionate about cooking who wants to learn new dishes and flavors. I'm excited that we are becoming more of a gifting destination, because it's something we're good at. Especially when you are looking to give something unique rather than running to the mall or getting a gift card, we have fantastic and beautiful products for just about anyone and any occasion.
Favorite Savory Pantry Products:The various olive oils. A good olive oil is incredibly versatile; yummy by itself with a loaf of bread and a sprinkling of parmesan.
I'm originally from Hot Springs and have lived in Little Rock for nearly ten years, following living in Atlanta most of the decade prior (where I lived my other life as an attorney).