Warmer weather means St. Louisans will soon pack area farmers’ markets. Don’t feel like cooking? There’s a new pizzeria and a gas station with surprising food options open in Maplewood and Fenton, respectively.

It’s Farmers Market Season. The Tower Grove Farmers Market in Tower Grove Park kicked off its season on April 2. Earlier in March, the market held its final winter market of the season. The Tower Grove Farmers Market hosts a market every other week during the winter.

SOL Food Farmers Market will pick back up in May. The producer’s only market is located in the parking lot of the Living Room Coffee & Kitchen in Maplewood. On April 10, the SOL Food Farmers Market is sponsoring a fundraiser for Slow Food St. Louis and the World Central Kitchen. Proceeds will support local farmers and Ukrainian refugees.

Photo courtesy Wally’s

Wally’s opens in St. Louis — wallys.com — Wally’s first St. Louis location is now open. The Illinois-based gas station and retailer has opened a travel center at 950 Assembly Parkway in Fenton. The gas station has 72 gas pumps and six electric vehicle charging stations.

The 36,000-square-foot retail space includes Wally’s Cafe. The menu has barbecue, popcorn, jerky by the pound, hand-scooped ice cream, and other food items. Wally’s touts itself as the “Home of the Great American Road Trip.” The gas station and retailer plans to open additional locations throughout the Midwest.

New center to serve businesses in north St. Louis — StLouis-Mo.gov/sldc
The St. Louis Development Corp. board approved plans to open a center in north St. Louis which would provide training and resources to businesses and entrepreneurs. The agency wants to open the Northside Economic Empowerment Center in Sumner High School.

The location is pending St. Louis Public Schools’ review. About $1.5 million of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act monies will fund the project.

The project’s goal is to support growth in small businesses in north St. Louis.

To accomplish this, the prospective center will offer certification workshops, procurement education, digital training, and other resources.

The project has many partners, including the Small Business Empowerment Center, the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment, Missouri Business Development Agency, and St. Louis Lambert Airport Business Diversity Development.

Photo—Ivan Torres on Unsplash

Pizza is the Champion, my friends — pizzachampstl.com Pizza Champ is now open in Maplewood, at 2657 Lyle Ave. Customers can order in advance online and go through the drive-thru or walk-up to order. The pizzeria does not have indoor seating but will soon open a four seasons patio that offers space for about 60.

The menu has traditional marinara and triple pepperoni pies in addition to specialty pizzas such as taco pizza and buffalo fried chicken pizza. Pizza Champ began as a concept in August 2020 at Elmwood, a restaurant located down the street. What started as a month-long pop-up quickly became a staple for customers.

Now, Pizza Champ has its own space to call home. Meanwhile, Elmwood has temporarily paused service to focus on getting Pizza Champ established.