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David Dresner, the young entrepreneur who has started several businesses in St. Louis including Sleeve A Message (custom coffee sleeves), Vers (an intimacy kit and lifestyle brand) and Crispy Edge (a gourmet potsticker company), never stops building. What’s he up to next? Transforming a 120-year old building in Tower Grove Heights into a potsticker factory.
Dresner closed on the former Oak Hill Community Corporation building at 4168 Juniata, two blocks from Tower Grove Park, yesterday afternoon.
His primary plan for the 9,000-square-foot space is a USDA-approved factory for Crispy Edge on the first floor. The USDA designation will allow Crispy Edge, whose mission is to “bring delicious globally inspired potstickers to the people,” to sell across state lines in grocery stores.
The front of the building will become a restaurant with a full bar and indoor and outdoor seating. His ultimate vision is to open 8 to 10 restaurants that exclusively sell potstickers as a franchise.
The two-year-old potsticker company has been operating out of Downtown’s STL Venture Works. Having his own building, Dresner says, was critical to the next phase of his business.
“This building will provide us a real opportunity to enter the market and grow the brand,” Dresner told EQ on a call yesterday before closing on the property. Currently, he provides potstickers to Lily’s Social House on Jefferson Avenue and Melt on Cherokee Street in Benton Park.
Upstairs, his plans include three loft apartments and three office spaces, which he intends to lease to young entrepreneurs. He anticipates the factory will be up and running within three months and the restaurant within nine months.
Dresner runs Crispy Edge, Sleeve a Message and Vers concurrently. Dresner says Sleeve A Message is on pace to print 25 million sleeves in 2015 and, as part of its sustainability focus, has planted 10,000 trees to replace the company’s environmental footprint. He’s also rolling out Coast A Message soon, a custom coaster printing company.
The Tower Grove Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation has stated on its blog that its real estate committee was “impressed with Dresner’s enthusiasm, commitment to bringing the building up to code and improving it for years of continued service to the community.”
Follow Crispy Edge’s progress on Facebook.