New Vegan Bakery Now Open
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August 31, 2022

Kitchens are so often the heart of the home. Our kitchen designs and kitchen remodels have created hundreds of happy clients. Whether building new or remodeling in Des Moines or central Iowa, Silent Rivers offers timeless design and durability that add value to your home. Read more.
Marti Payseur (pictured) bakes the sweet treats found at Thistle's Summit. The bakery specializes in creating vegan and gluten-free snacks. Photos: Duane Tinkey.

New Vegan Bakery Opens Downtown

Writer: Karla Walsh

Scroll through the images Marti Payseur posts on the account for her bakery, Thistle’s Summit, and you’ll spy clouds of cream stuffed between two warmly spiced oatmeal cookies. Ooey-gooey, frosting-crowned cinnamon rolls. A sweet-salty peanut butter, pretzel and chocolate bar cookie that’s pretty much all of our (OK, at least my!) childhood dreams come true.

By the looksand, I can confirm, the tasteof Payseur’s creations, you’d never guess that they’re vegan and almost always gluten-free. And now you have more opportunities than ever to sample them . Previously based out of Kitchen Spaces and available at select farm stands, coffee shops and via pre-orders only, Thistle’s Summit has opened a brick-and-mortar shop at 340 S.W. Fifth St., #122. Payseur shares the space with her astrology-pro partner, Ash Bruxvoort. (Learn more about the origins of Thistle’s Summit and how Ash was a major inspiration in our October 2021 story about the brand.)

The bakery is open Thursday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Payseur expects to add more hours later on.

“Everyone's favorites [are] still on the menu—oatmeal cream pies, bar cookies, cinnamon rolls and other cream-filled cookies—but I am excited to expand,” Payseur says. One of her favorite menu additions is the “Zodicake, or mini snack cakes that are inspired by astrological signs. Each season will have new flavors and decorations inspired by the current sign. It is a nice way for the baking to tie into the magic that Ash creates.”

Thistle’s Summit will also sell vegan and gluten-free snacks from other local and national artisans, with an aim to be “a one-stop shop for people with dietary restrictions, allergies or just really good taste in snacks,” Payseur says. “We are also very much looking forward to being a safe space for the queer community, a place where people can be their whole selves, regardless of how they eat or who they love.”

Find more information on Thistle’s Summit’s website and Instagram @thistlessummit, and follow Ash on Instagram at @ashgravity.
Maestro Joseph Giunta will lead the Des Moines Symphony in two free concerts this weekend featuring songs from Whitney Houston and classic movies. Photo courtesy of the Des Moines Symphony.


See 2 Free Concerts at Water Works Park

Make it a weekend of music! The Des Moines Symphony will perform concerts at the Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park on Saturday and Sunday. Both are free to attend.

On Saturday, hear the music of Whitney Houston performed by the symphony and Broadway star Rashidra Scott. On Sunday, experience the magic of Hollywood as the symphony performs tracks from “The Wizard of Oz,” “Jurassic Park” and other classic film scores. Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

There is no reserved seating, so get there early to find your perfect spot. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs. Pack a picnic or purchase dinner from the variety of food trucks available. Click here to see more details on each performance.
Custom Upholstery Sale

Our most popular custom sofas, sectionals, recliners and chairs are on sale. Thousands of leathers and fabrics. Thru Sep 11th.
Read more.

First Friday at Mainframe (Friday, 5-8 p.m.): Enjoy open studios, meet artists, see a fashion show and experience the second annual “Paint It Plein Air” juried exhibition. The fashion show will feature three local Mainframe designers focusing on sustainability, while the juried art exhibit will showcase artworks created during community outdoor painting events recently hosted by Mainframe.

“The Sweet Delilah Swim Club” opening night (Friday, 7:30 p.m.): Tallgrass Theatre Company opens its newest production, “The Sweet Delilah Swim Club,” this weekend. Centered on five college best friends and spanning 33 years, the play tells the story of enduring friendship and the bond between women. Tickets for opening night can be found here. The play will run through Sept.18.

Multicultural Festival (Saturday, 2-10 p.m.): Enjoy food trucks, art vendors, live music and dancing as part of the “Taste of the Junction” multicultural festival in Valley Junction. The outdoor free event will take place at the music pavilion and feature performances from the Sumpin Doo Band and the Orquesta Alto Maiz Band.

Water Lantern Festival (Saturday, 5 p.m.): The Water Lantern Festival is bringing the enchanting event to Water Works Park this weekend. Decorate your own lantern, listen to stories of lanterns creating magic, hear live music and feast on food truck fare. Then watch as hundreds of lanterns are launched into the Raccoon River and light up the water. Purchase tickets to attend and find a guide to the festival here.

Yappy Hour at Peace Tree (Sunday, 4-6 p.m.): Head to Peace Tree Brewing on Sunday, and bring your pup-panion along. The Animal Rescue League is hosting a happy hour complete with Bark-cuterie snacks for dogs and beers for the humans. There will also be ARL merch and raffle prizes. Proceeds from sales will support the ARL. Register for a spot here.

R.E.O. Speedwagon and Styx (Sunday, 7 p.m.): Join the crowds at Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday to see R.E.O. Speedwagon perform  during the “Live and UnZoomed” tour co-headlined with Styx. The two American rock bands will be joined by their Canadian contemporary Loverboy. Tickets are still available here.
Cloris Award winners: The seventh annual Cloris Awards last Sunday celebrated theater around Central Iowa. Winners from 33 productions across 17 categories were announced at the ceremony, including Carousel Theatre of Indianola’s production of “Next to Normal” for best musical, and Iowa Stage Theatre’s “The Cake” for best play. For a full list of nominees and winners, check the Cloris Awards website. Photo: Salmon Photography.
New brew pub open: Barrel House, an Iowa brew pub chain, has opened its newest location in the East Village. The Davenport-based restaurant and bar serves American-style bar food, local beers and cocktails. Read more about the opening in this article from the Business Record, or check out their menu here.
Iowa artist presentation: The Terrace Hill Partnership will host a free educational presentation, “Grant Wood: Prairie Rebel,” Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. The one-man show will feature Iowa actor  Tom Milligan portraying the famous artist. Find more information about the show and register to attend here.
Winefest events announced: Tickets for the anticipated Winefest events Sips & the City (Sept. 23) and the Grand Tasting (Sept. 24) are now available. Network, unwind and enjoy appetizers and wine samples from a variety of Iowa wineries and restaurants at Sips & the City. At the Grand Tasting, guests will be treated to some of the best food and wine pairings in Central Iowa. Learn more about each event and purchase tickets here.
Movie magic: Des Moines Performing Arts announced a performance of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Concert” coming Jan. 27, 2023. Watch the iconic film on the big screen alongside a performance of the film score by the Des Moines Symphony live at the Des Moines Civic Center. Purchase tickets here.
Fall jazz: Noce’s fall lineup is out, and the jazz club is ready to get back into full swing after two years of altered scheduling. The fall schedule incorporates both regional performers and nationally recognized names. Highlights include New York City’s Benny Benack kicking off the season with Max Wellman Sept. 4 and Grammy nominee Karrin Allyson performing Nov. 25 and 26. See the full schedule of fall performances on Noce’s website.
Natalie Morrow sews all her bows and scarves on her own sewing machine and sells them worldwide on her Etsy shop. Photo: Joelle Blanchard

Meet the Maker: Natalie Morrow of Stansberry

Writer: Hailey Allen

Natalie Morrow is the owner and creator of Stansberry, a virtual boutique featuring a wide array of scarves and hair accessories. The name pays tribute to her mother and grandmother, Doris and Edna Stansberry, respectively. Based in Des Moines, Morrow designs and makes the accessories in-house on her own sewing machine, and her Etsy shop has generated more than 3,000 sales from around the world.

When did you start Stansberry?
I’ve always had a desire to have my own business, and I’ve had [Stansberry] for about 10 years. I started out in marketing and advertising, and had worked for a few agencies around Des Moines, but I wanted to take the chance and open a clothing boutique. That was unfortunately right around the 2008 recession, so I had to come up with another business idea after the boutique didn’t work out.

I knew I wanted to stay in Des Moines and keep working in fashion, so I started playing around on my sewing machine. That’s when I began making handbags, selling them at parties and having customers select their own fabrics. After a few years of doing that, [the business] evolved into [making] scarves and hair accessories.

How did you learn to sew?
I was actually in 4-H growing up. My mother and my sister helped me learn, and I did a lot of sewing projects for the club.

What are your most popular products right now?
Especially [for] summer, the cotton floral skinny scarves are the best-sellers. These scarves can be worn as a soft headband, knotted around the neck, tied around a bun, as a bow, on a handbag, you name it. I want to make each of my pieces as versatile as possible, and I think that’s what makes [the scarves] so popular.

Read more about Morrow’s virtual boutique, her personal favorite items and her selection of wedding bows in this dsm article.

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