Rind & Wheat spinoff opens shop in old Fery’s Catering spot
Morsel offers to-go lunch, pastriesApril 21st, 2022
A spinoff of bread and cheese shop Rind & Wheat has opened on the southeast edge of downtown.
Morsel by Rind & Wheat, which had been scheduled to open earlier this week, primarily offers sandwiches, salads, and pastries, says owner and chef Ricky Webster, who operates both shops as trade names of Raw Eats LLC, of Spokane.
For years, the 1,500-square-foot space at 421 S. Cowley was home to Fery's Catering & Take-Out, owned by Iranian refugee and Spokane restaurateur Fery Haghighi. Webster says Haghighi brought up the idea of Rind & Wheat expanding into the Fery’s space last year. She was planning to retire, and Webster had been considering an expansion. He says Haghighi compared Rind and Wheat’s offerings to the early days of Fery’s Catering.
Webster considered the idea, and soon reached out to the Haghighi family to begin the process of leasing the building.
Morsel initially will be open 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, though Webster says hours likely will expand to include Saturday this summer. Webster says sandwiches vary based on seasonal ingredients, but Morsel typically will offer grilled cheese, hot-pressed, and some cold sandwiches.
“I'm going to celebrate my Portuguese heritage, because there is a small Portuguese community in Spokane, and there's not many places to get much of anything Portuguese,” Webster says. “We have a sausage in Portugal called linguiça, and I'm going to make the traditional linguiça sandwich, or bifana, which is a traditional Portuguese lunch or little snack on a traditional Portuguese roll.”
He adds, “All the bread we use will, of course, come from Rind & Wheat.”
All of Rind & Wheat’s pastry operations will be moved to Morsel.
“With the space here, we could quadruple pastry production,” Webster says. “Plus, there's a walk-in fridge and freezer and a 10-burner stove. The only stove we have (at Rind & Wheat) is an induction burner.”
Webster says some employees have moved to Morsel from Rind & Wheat, and he’s hired two additional employees. Morsel has six total employees.
Morsel will offer many of the pastries that have been sold at Rind & Wheat since the bakery opened in October 2020 at 1516 W. Riverside.
“We have a lot of the same ones we have over there, like our staple ham and cheese croissants, our ... house croissant with a slightly sweet and buttery crumble, (and) a chocolate croissant,” he says.
In the new space, Morsel will expand its pastry offerings. Webster says muffins have been a customer request since Rind & Wheat opened and will be on the menu at Morsel.
“We'll have a berry jam bar or something of that nature to fill that afternoon pastry snacking desire, along with a couple of different cookie options,” he says.
Webster says there were multiple reasons for expanding Rind & Wheat’s concept to a lunch and snack spot that also offers catering. A major factor in the decision is that Rind & Wheat’s first year wasn’t profitable. Webster says he hopes expanding and diversifying will help buoy the business.
“Things have to change if we're going to stay in the community,” Webster says.
The size of the Rind & Wheat space has hampered the shop’s growth, he says.
“The space we're in on Riverside is really small,” Webster says. “If I have the idea to make a quick refrigerator pickle, the whole place smells like vinegar immediately. That's not necessarily the smell you want when you walk into a bakery.”
Webster originally had hoped to offer some sandwiches and small-scale catering at the bakery but found it impractical.
“To be able to grow the numbers and profit, we need a space that can work with us, that I can grow in.”
With pastry operations at Morsel, Rind & Wheat will be able to double its bread options, Webster says.
“There's no bread oven (at Morsel) like we have over at Riverside, which is why we'll continue to make bread there,” he says. “What that looks like is for me to zoom back and forth every morning, picking up pastries (from the Morsel shop) at Cowley, and delivering them to (Rind & Wheat at) Riverside, and picking up bread from Riverside and bringing it back to Cowley.”
Rind & Wheat likely will start selling whole-grain bread, as well as an Italian loaf.
Morsel will offer some small-scale catering, Webster says.
“We hope to push the catering, where we can come up with pastry boxes or sandwiches or lunchboxes,” he says.
Morsel won’t offer seating. Most of the people working in the neighborhood are on the go, he says.
“It's in the middle of the hospital area, so there are a lot of nurses and doctors, and we're right next to Inland Imaging,” he says.
Morsel’s name is a play on words, Webster says.
“It's just this little morsel. It sounds special. It sounds like a treat,” he says. “It's also more-sell. I have to sell more, which is why we opened this in the first place. If we want to continue doing business, we have to sell more.”
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