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The Buttercup Market and Cafe

The new neighborhood grocery and gathering spot "highlighting the best and freshest Montana fare" opened recently in the space once occupied by the legendary Freddy's Feed and Read.

Owner Molly Galusha is hoping to conjure the familiar feel of that beloved business, while adding her own inspiration to the shop.

The space has been completely updated and renovated. The new kitchen - it's where the bathrooms used to be - is being tended to by local chef Graham Roy, who will use local, seasonal ingredients to create the daily menu. The staff is full of current or recently graduated University of Montana students, and the newly installed coolers are being stocked with Montana-made groceries.

The walls are filled with local art and painted a soft, though vibrant, yellow, fitting for the market's flower namesake.

Galusha's grandmother, Buttercup (Jacob) Shumate, inspired the shop's name and in many ways the philosophy it's run on. Buttercup was what Galusha would today call a "locavore."

Buttercup cooked three full meals every day for the crews of her family's dairy in Helena. She got her ingredients from neighborhood markets. Meals were created with what was available that day, all homemade from scratch.

That essence, to live in the season and use simple ingredients of the highest quality, is the core of Galusha's shop.

Chef Roy, who grew up in the neighborhood, will cook with only regional, seasonal ingredients. The sustainable, local-first philosophy means Roy will have to experiment daily with the ingredients available. On Wednesday, Roy had a Russian beef and cabbage soup ready for patrons. The grain-fed beef came from a Dell rancher.

Locavore cooking is "the ultimate test is improvisation," Roy said.

Customers won't always know what exactly what will be on the menu, but they are always guaranteed to get the freshest, highest quality products, Galusha said.

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