My name is Kristine Anderson and I am the owner and founder of Papa Lou’s Dressing, LLC. My passion for both cooking and business runs deep in my veins and travels back to the history of my ancestors. When I reflect back on my life growing up with my family, both of these things were intertwined and woven into the fabric of our every day lives. In 2014, I began a journey to honor the legacy of my father, as well as so many of my immediate and distant relatives. I realized I had so many familial influences that unknowingly gave me this passion for food and commerce.
It was difficult to know where to start. My dad had taught me so much about cooking; primarily all the things he knew and learned along the way from his own mother.
I began consulting with the folks at Eastern Market Corporation. They played an instrumental role in helping me launch my product. They had so many resources to offer assistance for up and coming business owners like myself. Their first piece of advice was “Choose a recipe that holds the most meaning to you, that one recipe that has a story to tell, a history…” And just as those words were spoken, I knew it was our infamous salad dressing. It was also the recipe that I was most often asked to make by everyone I knew. I also liked that it was healthy, fresh, and made with pure ingredients.
As a kid, my parents made this dressing, from scratch, every single night. We never made it ahead of time; only for the current day's consumption. It is a recipe I have been making for as long as I can remember.
Papa Lou’s Dressing is a balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing, as well as a wonderful marinade, dipping sauce, and sandwich condiment. It is very nostalgic to me, as it has been in my family for many generations, stemming from my dad’s French Canadian grandmother. The recipe has evolved and been tweaked over the generations, each lending their own flair and interpretation to the original recipe. I have done the same, and my Papa Lou’s Dressing strikes, what I hope you’ll find is a perfect balance between the sweet and tangy. Balsamics can have a ‘bite, but I’ve found a secret to overcome that. No one in my family knows my exact formula – it is a mystery that will remain under the lock and key of my mind for the time being.
Papa Lou’s Dressing officially launched in June 2014, where it debuted at the Grosse Pointe Woods Farmers Market. I am extremely grateful for my customers. I have a very loyal following. The reception has been overwhelmingly positive. The support from the community and beyond has surpassed my wildest expectations. I am very thankful to have this opportunity, to share this product with the world.
My dear, sweet dad is Lou Radke and my mom, Pat. They have been married for 58 years. A longtime resident of Grosse Pointe Woods, he is 87 and now resides at Sunrise Vernier. His mother, Emma Radke started Radke’s Hardware in St. Clair Shores in the 1930’s. In the early 70’s, my father branched out into the (then Schwinn) bike business with my brother. In 1976, my dad and brother built Macomb Bike & Fitness, which my brother still owns and operates today with his sons. My dad’s sister, Norma Gilbert started Gilbert’s Hardware in St. Clair Shores in 1949 and my cousin Blair, has been the president and owner since the early 80’s.
It is all of these family members that have inspired me to do something outside of the norm. It is all of these beloved family members that I wish to pay homage to. They’ve worked so incredibly hard, they’ve built these pieces of history that hopefully will continue through our off-spring.
I am dreaming big too. I’ve learned that you have to envision the goal. It always must be present in the mind in order to get there. And so I really do see a Papa Lou’s factory emerging one day. I see the assembly line in my head and it is as clear as my memories of so many wonderful, sentimental days spent with my dad, in the kitchen.
I sincerely thank you for supporting me in this venture, and I truly hope you enjoy this product as much as I enjoy making it for you.
My kindest regards,
Thank you for visiting the Papa Lou's Dressing website! It is my passion and pleeasure to serve you this time-tested, family recipe. I appreciate all feedback, so if you have any comments or questions, please don't hesitate to complete the form below. My customers mean the world to me; I am truly grateful for your overwhelmingly postitive support! Thank you for buying local! -Kristine Anderson/Founder & Owner