Food-loving couple Sara Timmer and Ryan Vansplinter have long shared the same passion—making dumplings and sharing them with friends. Experimentation in their home kitchen in Denver, Colorado, led them to host dumpling nights—what Timmer and Vansplinter explained as “the perfect excuse to gather loved ones, teach them how to fold, share cool wine and play Mario Kart.”
Along with the new reality of the coronavirus pandemic came an opportunity, and the duo catalyzed on a shared dream to turn their passion into a business. Thus, Oh Golly was born.
Let’s rewind. When COVID-19 hit in March of 2020, making dumplings was a huge comfort for the two. As people in their community started swapping favorite homemade goods with friends in hopes of adding a little joy during uncertain, difficult times, Timmer and Vansplinter began safely delivering their quintessential bite-sized pockets to friends’ doorsteps and received puzzles, sourdough starters and cookies in return. After receiving an outpouring of resounding positive feedback, they took the leap to create their joint dumpling venture.
In June of 2020, they hosted their first pop-up event at Run For The Roses, a popular Denver cocktail bar, where they sold out of 50 orders in an hour, equalling around 300 dumplings. At the time, 300 dumplings was a feat, and now, with many more pop-ups under their belt, an average event means fulfilling 200 orders for dine-in and takeout—roughly 1200 fresh dumplings.
The menu is an amalgam of cultural inspirations and seeks to feature as many local products as possible. Although menus typically change from event to event, always included are the crowd-favorite O(h) G(olly) gyozas—dumplings filled with local ground beef, purple cabbage, carrot and ginger, served with OG Sauce, a combination of Shoyu, Aji-Mirin, black vinegar and a handful of spices. Another staple is the Mini Hot Dangs, all-beef hot dogs covered in mirin poached mushrooms, pecorino romano cheese and a chili black bean aioli. They’re salty, sweet, a touch spicy and umami-rich.
Over the last year, the two have collaborated with local businesses, restaurants and friends to bring Oh Golly to life and they’re incredibly thankful for the support. “Each pop-up has varied in its style ranging from pre-orders only, full dine in, first come first serve take out and a mixture of both take out and dine in. Oh Golly wouldn’t be where it is today without the collaborations we’ve created with local business, restaurants and bars,” said Timmer.
Conceived as a way to deliver joy during a global pandemic, the venture is clearly all about community. As for the future, the two told Beyondish: “The ultimate goal for us is to open a brick and mortar, just big enough to entertain a few guests for counter service, while continuing to partner with local businesses within Colorado.
“Our ethos is simple—create food we love and emphasize our community of food purveyors and locally made goods.”
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