From the Kitchen of
The Blue Dog Cafe at Lowcountry Store
By Laurie McCall Photography by Lindsay Gifford
Meet the owners:
It all started with the Lowcountry Chairs. Ed and Rindy Jerue once owned a NASCAR imaging company, and they made wooden chairs on the side that they donated to be sold at charitable events. The chairs were bringing in $300 to $500 each. Ready to try something new, the couple sold the imaging company and began their Lowcountry adventure. They needed a building for constructing the chairs, and that’s when they found what would later become Lowcountry Store. Before long, the store was filled with all kinds of locally made items—furniture, home décor, art, pottery, books and the chairs, of course.
The Jerues have always loved to entertain a crowd and good food is a must! Ed started making gumbo and a few other meals they began packaging and selling, and soon the couple decided to open a café in the back of the store—Blue Dog Café. Ed developed the entrée recipes, while Rindy worked on pies and desserts. Recently they added a young cook by the name of Carina Papallardo, whom they say is a natural.
Whether you are busy working and raising kids, or busy fishing and enjoying the beautiful weather, you might be surprised to discover that Blue Dog Café has Meals 2 Go 4 Two—cheaper than you can make it, and without the hassle. You can choose between gumbo, vegetarian chili, linguine with meatballs, home-style lasagna, she crab soup, mac and cheese with bacon or tomato pie. In addition, Ed and Rindy started making dinner deliveries to Dataw Island
From Farm to Table:
One of the things that makes Blue Dog Café so special is their commitment to using locally grown, fresh produce in their dishes. Most all of their produce is SC Certified, with the exception of tomatoes from Florida during late winter. The rest of the food comes from farmers on St. Helena, namely Otis Daise. You can find Otis’s produce stand just outside of the Lowcountry Store. Sometimes if Otis doesn’t have something they need, they go down to Henry Farms, also on St. Helena. Those fresh-from-the-farm ingredients combine to create a full-bodied flavor you just can’t get from the grocery store.
Feel the Friendly Vibe:
Ed, who grew up in Hawaii, says he hopes the café has an “aloha spirit” to people who stop by. When asked what that means, he said, “Friendly. We want everyone to feel welcome.” Both the store and the café have that down home, laidback kind of atmosphere where sometimes people who’ve never met before find themselves sitting at a table together swapping stories. To help customer’s feel at home, Ed and Rindy make variations of meals to meet dietary needs, including vegan and vegetarian meals. Where better to eat comfort food than at a place that feels like home?
Wish you made gumbo with ingredients straight out of the garden, only you didn’t get around to planting one this year? Why bother when you can get that full robust flavor from Blue Dog Café? Once you try a piece of tantalizing tomato pie smothered in cheese, or a bite of delicious gumbo bursting with a myriad of flavors, you’re sure to be back!
when you get hooked but you still live in ohio:
Blue Dog Café ships its gumbo, jams, jellies, chow chows, chutneys, pickles and hot sauces throughout the US and Canada!
Fruit pies are prepared daily and available by the slice or large whole or small pies for every appetite. In addition to the key lime, apple, peach, and sweet potato pecan pies, Blue Dog Café also makes chocolate chip cookies and Charleston Crunch—a recipe developed by the owners’ son Tristan, who lives in Charleston but worked for a Swiss chocolatier in New York.
When You Get Hooked but You Still Live in Ohio:
From Blue, of course! Blue is Ed and Rindy’s fifth Irish setter, four of whom have been named Blue. Blue’s whole name? Blue Gone Blue. He’s the store greeter and an all around great dog!
Little Known Fact:
Blue Dog Café caters. Whether you want to order 30 to 40 tomato pies at Christmas time, or gumbo for a dinner party of 20, give Ed and Rindy a call! The café can also accommodate groups for dinner. Sometimes tour busses come through and stop by for a Lowcountry meal.
Stop by Today:
736 Sea Island Parkway, St. Helena Island, SC
843-838-4646 • www.lowcountrystore.com