The coolers in the former Richard’s Kitchen still house prime-grade New York Strip, tenderized and rubbed with spices.
Cuts of wild sockeye salmon are chilled among muscles, scallops and giant shrimp. Delicate greens such as rainbow chard have been washed and are ready to eat.
But instead of Franklin chef Richard Goss cooking it up for customers, his newest business venture is providing it to people to sauté grill, roast and serve it themselves.
Goss has transformed the space previously occupied by his high-end Richard’s Kitchen restaurant into a foodie-centric marketplace. At Richard’s Market, the goal is to foster the growing trend of gourmet cooking with local residents, offering food that otherwise isn’t available to area epicureans.
He ultimately wants to teach people to use those ingredients with restaurant-quality techniques for their own gourmet fare.
“It’s exciting to work with people on a menu for dinner, and working on their technique so that they feel comfortable about producing a meal for friends and family. Raising their comfort level is a fun kind of challenge,” he said.
Richard’s Market will bookend Goss’ other eatery, Richard’s Brick Oven Pizza. The pizzeria will continue to operate its normal hours just south of the market.
Goss opened Richard’s Kitchen in 2004. The chef had received his training at the Philadelphia Restaurant School, and after graduating in 1989, worked in restaurants from Colorado to Vermont to Tennessee.
The decision to morph from a full-service restaurant to a casual marketplace came about as Goss re-evaluated his priorities and his time. With a 10-year-old son, he wanted to be able to spend more time with him.
Running a full-scale gourmet restaurant didn’t match up with that goal.
“I was spending all of my time here, so we needed an alternative,” Goss said.
From his time in the restaurant talking to customers, he remembered that people constantly wondered where they could get the supplies, ingredients and food that Goss served.
For area gourmets and connoisseurs, finding specialty steaks, rare foreign cheeses, and fresh seafood such as Prince Edward Island muscles and giant scallops meant driving to Indianapolis or beyond.
But Goss has envisioned a new business to fill that void locally.
“I had all of these connections via the restaurant to access this stuff. The alternative, then, was to offer these great ingredients to the public and then offer them tips on preparation and how they could get restaurant-quality meals in their own home,” he said.
Goss has tried to tap into the foodie trends that he sees every day.
His marketplace offers free-range chicken with no hormones or antibiotics. Fresh seafood is flown in weekly, including Chilean sea bass, rainbow trout, cod and scallops.
In making the transition, Goss also listened to his restaurant customers about what they wanted. He found a great demand for rare cheeses, such as the Maytag blue cheese, awarded and recognized as the best blue cheese in the U.S.
Another request was piave cheese, a yellow cheese with a nutty flavor similar to Parmigiano Reggiano. Drunken goat cheese, so called because the rind is soaked in wine, has become a popular option.
Cured meats such as salamis and prosciuttos that are hard to find in traditional markets also been have requested. Gluten-free pastas, crackers and breads cater to people looking to cut gluten out of the diet.
“It’s almost a partnership with people, instead of just offering them what I’m cooking. It’s bringing together and expanding their culinary skills and horizons,” Goss said.
To pair with the food that Richard’s Market offers, his wife, Meg Jones, has put together a modest but complete wine room. Jones chose offbeat bottles and varieties, fitting in with the theme of the market.
Every bottle is about $20, making it an affordable flourish for any meal that customers might be fixing, Jones said.
A library of cookbooks will be available for people to search for recipes that match the ingredients Richard’s Market offers, Goss said.
The market officially opened in May, and Goss is still trying to get a feel for what to offer. Once he has the marketplace established, he plans to start offering weekly demonstrations and themed dinners using the ingredients available.
Recently, he put on a small trial dinner where he roasted Gerber chickens and rainbow chard, fixed Georgian stone-mill cheese grits all together. He has plans to do a chicken and fish paella.
“We’d limit the dinners to about 20 people, so it’ll fill up quickly. But it will be an intimate thing,” Goss said.