dsmWeekly: August 3, 2021
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August 3, 2021  |  VIEW AS WEBPAGE
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Our next unveiling will be held at OL Guild at Fourth and Maple streets in West Des Moines on Sept. 1.


Our unveiling parties are back in action! Join us for an outdoor celebration Sept. 1 at OL Guild at Fourth and Maple streets in West Des Moines' Valley Junction. Hosted by Silent Rivers Design + Build and Olson-Larsen Galleries, the event will be from 5 to 7 p.m., with a short program and the unveiling of the September/October issue at 6 p.m. As always, there will be plenty of food and drinks, as well as plenty of fun. The event is free but registration is required, which you can do here. We look forward to seeing you there!
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A rendering of the upcoming "Heads Up" artwork, in which the duck will sit heads or tails up depending on water levels.


Writer: Luke Manderfeld

A new piece of artwork will make it easier for recreation enthusiasts to see water conditions as they consider entry into the Des Moines River. "Heads Up," created by internationally renowned artist Matthew Mazzotta, will feature a floating duck that will sit tails or heads up depending on water levels. The installation, planned for summer 2022, is part of the Shoreline Signals project aiming to integrate public art along Central Iowa's water trails. "Heads Up" will be funded through a $125,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, provided to Polk County and Bravo Greater Des Moines.

We chatted with Mazzotta, who has earned numerous international architecture awards and was selected from a pool of dozens of applicants, to get his thoughts on the project. Mazzotta grew up and works in Canton, New York, just south of the Canadian border. The interview has been edited for length.

What excites you about this project?
Having an artist at the table to actually design things to help a city succeed, that's interesting. I'm always thinking on that scale. Even though I'm an artist, it has always been activism and urbanism. How do people make what they have come together in a better way?

Why did you decide on a duck?

That one was strategic in that multiple audiences have to read an indicator. You could do it with lights, you could do it with beacons. Our thinking was how do you make something that was both whimsical, so you're attracted enough to look at it, but also super easy to read? It's either heads down or heads up. And how do you get different communities to sign on to it by picking a duck that would be the most interesting to them?

What are your long-term hopes for the project?
It's probably the hopes that many people have, which is that you give people who don't have a connection to the river access to talk about it. People will be going down the road on the highway, and they will see the duck with the tail up. But then one day the head is up, they'll probably go to work that day and [talk about it]. It was just one entry point for someone to say, "I have information about this, too." You wouldn't have that information otherwise. This is making it way more obvious.
Macarons are just one of the many sweets Jess Andersen whips up at her business, Jess Desserts.


Writer: Karla Walsh

If your kitchen is too hot to handle this summer, Jess Andersen, owner of Jess Desserts, has your back. Actually, she has your homemade macs, biscuits, scones, toaster pastries and so much more. Her baked-good products are made from scratch and use locally sourced ingredients. And many of them are a nod to her childhood.

“I grew up in a family of bakers and chefs, and my love for baking started when I was 9 years old,” Andersen says.

She later decided to turn her hobby into her career and honed her skills while receiving her culinary science degree from Iowa State University. Andersen officially launched Jess Desserts as a side project in September 2018. For the first year and a half, she established her brand by selling at Nosh, online and at local pop-ups (all while developing recipes for food publications by day). She decided to take the leap into making this her full-time job early on in the pandemic.

“My inspiration comes from all over," she says. "Some items are things I grew up eating and making. Others are based on my favorite things or seasonal items and flavors,” such as the crunch cone-inspired macarons she sold at a recent
Des Moines Downtown Farmers' Market (where you can find her every Saturday). “I also get inspired by talking with friends, family and customers.”

In addition to her weekly farmers market appearances, Andersen offers an online menu for custom orders and also creates almost-too-pretty-to-eat dessert boxes each month for preorder via direct message on Instagram @jessdessertsdsm. That’s also where she announces the featured baked goods and pickup or delivery details. I ordered the May box to give to my mom for Mother's Day. She and I were both blown away by the quality, the value and the clear attention to detail—not to mention the flavor hidden inside the fully loaded box of cinnamon rolls, scones, muffins, macarons and biscuits, all for $25. If you want the expert's pick, Andersen's current favorite is the homemade toaster pastry, her version of a Pop-Tart. Otherwise, she loves the lavender-honey macaron.

Visit to learn more about how Andersen can make your next special day—or any day—a little sweeter.
Spacious new townhomes and apartments put you in the heart of Des Moines’ iconic Beaverdale neighborhood, less than a block from locally-owned shopping, dining and services... Read more »
The Iowa Brewers Guild will bring the Iowa Craft Brew Festival back on Aug. 7 at Water Works Park in Des Moines. Photo: Iowa Brewers Guild


One of the year's most anticipated beer events, the Iowa Craft Brew Festival, is Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m. at Water Works Park by the Lauridsen Amphitheater. More than 50 breweries will be on hand, along with live music from the Sheet and from Mike Vallely and the Complete Disaster. Tickets are $40.

If you're unsure where to start when you get there, here are three breweries outside of Des Moines that caught our eye.

Toppling Goliath: This Decorah gem has a national presence due in part to its popular Pseudo Sue pale ale. But there are plenty of other brews to try, like its flagship Dorothy's New World Lager. Or, if you're into sours, try the Dragon Fandango, blended with dragon fruit, mango and passion fruit puree.

Backpocket Brewing: This Coralville brewery north of the University of Iowa is beloved in eastern Iowa. Try the 9th Anniversary Russian imperial stout, aged on roasted coconut in bourbon barrels.

Marto Brewing: In Sioux City, this spot is known for its flagship American Girl cream ale. Other favorites include the Death Grip imperial stout and Lost in Spacejuice, a New England IPA.

Find the full vendor list here.
Strawberry cinnamon rolls from Baked Kind.


This story appeared in our July/Aug. issue. Read more stories here.

Writer: Karla Walsh

One of the biggest food trends to come out of the pandemic is an increase in plant-based eating. Sample wholesome bowls, rolls and other meat-free fare from these female-owned food businesses.

Baked Kind
This new kid in town—Brandi Ramus launched her plant-based bakery in November—is crazy-popular: Baked Kind’s pop-up events often sell out long before preorders close on her site. Patrons pick up the goodies at the shared commercial kitchens where she bakes at Kitchen Spaces (1139 24th St.) or at her pop-ups around town that are often in partnership with other vegan or female-run businesses. Ramus makes her vegan cinnamon rolls, baked doughnuts and other desserts with locally sourced ingredients and serves them in reusable containers. Learn more at

Beth Jackson dreams of opening a vegan and vegetarian cafe someday, but for now, she’s nourishing her passion for plants through her home-based business. After whipping up homemade hummus, salads, soups, chia puddings and more at a certified kitchen in Lucas (south of Indianola), she offers them at the Iowa Food Cooperative via online ordering at The pickup location is given at the time of purchase.

New World Kitchen
You might recognize the New World name as the East Village cafe that was Des Moines’ first vegan restaurant. Open from 2012 to 2015, it’s back as a pop-up, takeout-only brand featuring some fan favorites. Chef/owner Madeline Krantz’s cashew queso and mushroom, bean and millet “bacon” (which she calls “ALT strips”) are often part of the weekly rotating lineup, as are two-serving grain bowls, soups, and a vegetable- and nut-based “cheese” sauce for a plant-based mac dish. Preorders are available weekly for pickup at the shared commercial kitchens at the Mickle Center (1620 Pleasant St.). Learn more and order online at


Sitting in a prairie tucked away from busy city streets, this geometric home designed by Novack Design Group is the epitome of contemporary cool.

“The pristine form is punctuated and materialized, allowing sunlight to animate the simple white interior walls and bleached wood floors with shade and shadow,” Novack wrote in its 2021 Home Design Awards entry about the home.

Living spaces are located on the second level to maximize the verdant views. The neutral home serves as a backdrop for bold, colorful furniture and artwork, as well as the changing colors outside in nature.

This project was an entry to dsm’s inaugural Home Design Awards, announced March 9. See the winning projects at

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