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Conversations with Elizabeth Barnhart

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Barnhart. 

Hi Elizabeth, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
My first job at 15 was in Food and Beverage and I continued to work in different areas of Food and Beverage all the way through college. I found a fulfilling and successful career in hotels for about 20 years that led me to the position of Director of Food and Beverage with Hilton Hotels and Hilton Restaurant Group. These amazing opportunities taught me the bulk of my knowledge with menu development, wine pairings, cost controls, marketing, guest relations, staff building, and everything else including the kitchen sink. I was lucky to have met famous chefs, food critics, professional athletes, musical artists, winemakers, vineyard owners, brew makers, restaurateurs, small business owners, mentors, culinary students, and countless guests and team members. As my career grew and developed, I would tell people that one day I would open my own little place that offered a menu with items for both people and their amazing dogs. Eventually, I started my search for the best location that would have plenty of outdoor dining to include as many wagging tails as possible. My Grandparents lived in Maplewood where my dad and Uncle went to school and I have always loved the area, so my search begin and ended right here in amazing Maplewood, MO. I purchased Foundation Grounds and began to meet the staff, new neighbors, and the coffee business. My background was never in coffee but I very quickly fell in love with the aroma, taste, and artfulness of the craft. 

I decided to adjust my dream a little and continue on with coffee as the community looked at me with their loving neighborly eyes asking not to take away their coffee, I am currently experimenting with new menu items, expanding hours, working on personalizing the décor, creating a dog welcoming patio, adding some amazing dog and neighborhood driven events and fulfilling my 20-year-old dream. We are now becoming Maplewood Deli and Coffeehouse! 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
As I look back on the years I have spent in Food and Beverage I have mostly good memories. I am sure that there were struggles along the way but I do not seem to remember them as struggles anymore. Looking back, I recall so many friends, customers, family, and coworkers that helped me learn, push forward, and land where I am today. I am the type of person that the more ridiculous the customer, staff, or situation is the more I laugh about it and the better the story gets each time I retell it. At home was myself, my daughter Rylee and our dogs and they all were very patient with my 50+ workweek hours, long days, and some missed Holidays. I had a strong support system with my daughter’s father, other parents, and family so my daughter made every sports game, event, and special occasion if I was working. I have also been gifted with dogs that have enormous bladders, so I lucked out there as well. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I love to create menu items and mess around in the kitchen with different ingredients until I come up with that one item that people remember. As I did not attend culinary school, I learned so much in my day-to-day operations. The years that I was with Hilton Restaurant Group and hotels I had the privilege of working with Executive Chefs, Pastry Chefs, Sushi Chefs, and countless creative Chefs in the making. I presented for many wine dinners where I took part in wine and food pairing and menu development, Wine Enthusiast awards, Wine Spectator awards, mentions by food critics, and many other accolades that fed my creative side. With hotels, I enjoyed creating events that I could have fun with. I did beer dinners, martini pairings, participated in The St. Louis Zoo’s Zoofari, weddings, and countless other events. The love of this type of creativity is what is driving me to continue events here at Maplewood Deli. I look forward to hosting Halloween Hot Chocolate, Doggie Drag Show, Doggie Snow Boot Parade, Pups in PJs, fundraisers and so much more. I shine when I am able to create an event that makes people smile and also fills their bellies (or their dogs’ bellies). 

We love surprises, fun facts, and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I am a pretty straightforward person that lacks a filter so all of my cards are on the table. 

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: maplewooddeliandcoffee
  • Facebook: Maplewood deli and Coffeehouse

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  1. Mary p checkett

    November 8, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    Impressive article demonstrating how the utilization of perseverance – discipline and hard work results in attaining specific goals
    Elizabeth’s examples of work ethics and and determination have achieved a desired effect
    Congratulations to Elizabeth and this article

  2. Ralph Barth / Dougie

    February 27, 2022 at 4:03 pm

    We are so proud of you! You always make your dreams come true. I should know, I was there for a couple! I was thrilled to find out you made your coffee house dream a reality. All my love to you and Rylee and or course JAKE!!

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