Regan Reid (Left) and Greg Mullen
Chef Greg Mullen knows exceptional food. As one of the founders of Artisan Cattle, Mullen doesn’t just talk about wholesome, healthy food. He works with it daily, often on horseback, on the sprawling Marion County ranch with hundreds of acres of pastureland where his Wagyu cattle—the same breed as Kobe beef—roam freely.
His newest venture, Dish Fine Grocer and Eats, was born of this dedication to all-natural. Mullen and his partner Mary Gary, along with Chef Regan Reid, wanted to create a European-style marketplace in Ocala that would offer only fresh and natural beef, poultry, eggs, cheese, oils, and salts; fresh farm produce; and, of course its namesake, prepared dishes.
“We’re really focusing on local ingredients,” Mullen says. “Our goal is to gather a collection of products from known and trusted purveyors and farmers, those committing themselves to healthful products as pure and natural as possible without synthetic additives or pollutants. Everything is all-natural and organic when possible.”
The store, currently being remodeled on Highway 27, will have a warm, home-like ambiance, allowing customers to relax while they shop. In fact, Mullen and Reid hope customers will stop in daily to pick up fresh ingredients for dinner or choose a dish that’s already made. For those who want to cook at home, the marketplace will offer just what they need to create an exceptional meal. Dish will also carry a limited assortment of essential culinary tools, beers, and wines from smaller, artisan-style producers.
Fortunately for Dish customers, Marion County is replete with farmers, and many local growers have already committed to selling their products at the new store.
“We’re bringing in heirloom, heritage-style breeds from producers who practice sustainability, the conservation of resources, and care about their animals,” says Mullen, who will also sell his own Artisan Cattle beef. “We have someone in the Wildwood area who’s producing Mangalitsa pigs—the Kobe beef of pork—and we’re currently looking for someone to raise Blue Foot chickens. Another farmer is providing turkey.”
Once the remodeling is completed later this month, Dish will be open from 8am to 7pm Tuesday through Friday and until 5pm on Saturday, and early next year, the store’s exceptional demonstration kitchen will be completed and ready for culinary classes and events.
Ocala is ready for Dish, Mullen says as he looks out over his grazing herd.
“Both Regan and I know that if you start off with the best ingredients, that’s most of the battle,” he stresses. “We’re getting back to good food, back to basics.”
Dish Fine Grocer and Eats
6998 Hwy. 27, Unit 111, Ocala