Live Oak offers something new

Christopher McGeorge

Live Oak Market at 119 E. College Ave. has recently undergone some changes: a new owner, expanded offerings and a new vision. Kimberly Massey, new owner of Live Oak, sees the market as a way to “provide better-for-you foods and at the same time specialty foods that you can’t find other places.”
Before purchasing Live Oak, Massey spent 10 years as a development director, leading fundraising for such nonprofits as the Boys and Girls Clubs and the American Red Cross. Maintaining her interest in such endeavors, she is trying to include and support local products, such as specialty coffee that is locally roasted, and donates profits to just causes, such as a shelter for the homeless.
True to this vision of better-for-you foods, Live Oak has recently added a salad bar with a wide selection of high-quality salad toppings. They are also offering a variety of gourmet pasta salads and sides as well as featured entrees of the week.
Modestly priced at $5.49, I enjoyed homemade spinach, squash and ricotta cheese ravioli with toasted pecans and Parmesan cheese in a white balsamic garlic sauce with a side of steamed broccoli.
Kaleigh and her mother, Ginger, are the creative forces in the kitchen. Kaleigh has been at Live Oak since it was previously owned, while Ginger joined with the change in ownership. However, this mother/daughter duo is no stranger to working together in the kitchen.
“We’ve actually been catering and cooking together for a long time,” said Kaleigh. They offer some playful interpretations on classic offerings, such as dark chocolate and walnut brownies that are baked cupcake style and frosted. The shape helps to give them a chewy edge that surrounds a dense middle. Massey hints that customers can look forward to a wider selection of baked goods in the future.
Live Oak still offers the same quality sandwiches and carries Boar’s Head deli meats and cheeses. In addition to the house-made offerings, Massey is proud of the new variety Live Oak is offering, including a wide range of vegan, vegetarian and gluten- free products such as Moo Moo’s Cuisine — a brand of frozen vegan and gluten-free entrees.
In addition to these offerings, you can find an assortment of cheeses ranging from the more basic, such as Gruyére, Asiago and Gorgonzola, to the unique, such as a goat’s milk jack cheese with balsamic vinegar and black olives.
If you are looking for something to quench your thirst, you will also find a good selection of beer and wine. Lawrence senior Brighton Fowler, who has worked at Live Oak since last January, finds the wine to be not only affordable, but also good. With most of the bottles falling in the $10 to $15 range, one can find a quality wine for a reasonable price.
Massey, always looking for new quality products, said she really tries to listen to Lawrence students and provide them with products they like, want and are familiar with from home. With its new offerings and delicious treats, Live Oak deserves a visit.

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