Countless recipes. Thousands of taste testers. Bacon. All of these ingredients were essential in Alissa Leinonen’s plan to make her dream of producing a line of fresh salad dressings a reality.
Leinonen’s light, flavorful dressings—which are included in the popular boxed lunches created by Gourmondo Catering, her 15-year-old South Park company—have long infatuated locals, who clamored to buy them directly. For a time, Gourmondo bottled and hand-delivered dressings to patrons, but was then inundated by requests.
“The response was overwhelming,” says Leinonen. So, this summer, she set out to spread her dressings, including the beloved bacon balsamic, far and wide. “We knew we needed to find a partnership with a local retailer,” which they recently found with Metropolitan Market.
Leinonen’s chefs, formerly of the likes of Campagne, Milagro Cantina and Bis on Main, all emphasize sustainability, and use organic ingredients and locally farmed herbs when possible. To ensure the dressings stay fresh and the natural flavors are preserved, Gourmondo cold-packs the dressings in small batches and ships them directly to distributors. “Our dressings are not obscure, untested family recipes, but the result of listening to our customers’ requests and taste preferences,” says Leinonen.
Gourmondo’s classic balsamic, Tuscan herb vinaigrette, Cyprus citrus and the popular bacon balsamic dressings are available at local retailers, including Metropolitan Market’s multiple locations, such as Queen Anne (1908 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206.284.2530; metropolitan-market.com).
Gourmondo Catering: South Park, 309 S Cloverdale St., B24; 206.587.0190; gourmondocatering.com.