Shop One of Oprah's Favorite Things for 2016 at The Picket Fence

By Andrea Bosco Stehle | December 07, 2016
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Photographs from Big Bottom Market

For Pittsburgh native and PR professional Michael Volpatt, a simple gesture of gratitude can go a long way. One particular act of thanks landed his brand’s biscuit mix on Oprah’s Favorite Things List of 2016. As the co-founder of Big Bottom Market in Guerneville, Calif., and partner of two New York City restaurants, Follia and Carroll Place, Volpatt’s career experience includes working the digital media circuit at Hearst Magazines. Little did he know, this past November, his worlds would come together over hot, flaky biscuits. 

The beloved biscuit mix, a recipe perfected by his business partner Crista Luedtke and her mother, Sue Steiner, sold at Big Bottom Market, was first recognized by Cosmopolitan magazine last spring in a destination piece on the town of Guerneville. Months later, Volpatt was in NYC, where he and his team were executing summer pop-ups at his restaurants, which serve the biscuits for weekend brunch. As a tasty thank you, he decided to run an order over to the editors at Cosmo. “My PR contact introduced me to Raeann Herman, contributing style editor, and Adam Glassman, creative director, for O The Oprah Magazine. They absolutely loved them.” 

A month went by and Volpatt was unexpectedly being wheeled on a gurney in a New York City hospital for stomach pain when he answered a phone call. “It was Raeann calling to tell me that we were in the running for ‘the list.’ She asked me to bring hot biscuits to a specific place at a later date. She gave me a time and I thought, ‘Oh my God, Oprah’s going to be tasting my biscuits!’” he laughed. The biscuits indeed landed into the right hands, making the list and taking production from 50 bags of biscuit mix per month to 12,000 projected by the end of December.

“This designation is exciting for all of us here at the Market,” says Volpatt. “Getting it from in-store-only to what is now an incredible mix being recognized nationally is something that we are all very proud of.”

The mix is exclusively sold as a gift set with a few recipe secrets and a limited edition jar of orange blossom honey from a West Sonoma County apiary on amazon.com in the Oprah Store. Locally, the mix itself is available at The Picket Fence in Shadyside. It’s time to get our hands in the mix!

Big Bottom Market, bigbottommarket.com.

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