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Combined Passions

A couple’s curious culinary cooperative in Denton

By Tracey F. Johns

Photos by Maire Mcardle and Stephen Walker

Leslie Grove and Taylor Hale, owners of Luck & Love Homestead showcase their wares — roasted coffees, house-made grab-and-go meals and pantry offerings from small-scale producers.


Leslie Grove and Taylor Hale are sharing their culinary passions through the Denton store that honors what brought the couple together — luck and love.

Luck and love also drive the couple’s culinary curiosities, which are apparent in every cup of roasted Night Kitchen Coffee, package of spice blend, and house-made dish created in the comfortable spaces of Luck & Love Homestead.


The delicious aromas of bread baking and roasting coffee greet those visiting the store on South Third Street, just off Market Street. An antique wooden door leads inside to bright pink floors and original tin ceilings in the 1917-era building. Large windows fill the space with morning light and there are cozy tables for dining in.


Customers can purchase roasted coffees, house-made grab-and-go meals and pantry offerings from small-scale producers. Those choosing to dine in will find a menu offering items including freshly made breads, soups and individual quiches. Locally raised meats and dairy, brewed Kombucha and artisan wares are also available for purchase.


Hale says the food products are provided by local farmers, producers and artisans that are within a 30-mile radius of the store. Luck & Love Homestead also serves as the retail outlet for its sister company, Night Kitchen Coffee, which offers small-batch, single-origin, direct-sourced coffee and house-made spice blends.


“Traceability to the farmer in what we eat and drink is more and more important,” Hale says. “Local food is important because you get the taste of the land through what you eat and what you drink. Ultimately it’s about tasting what’s local.”


“Most of our friends work in the food chain,” Grove adds. “Farmers, growers, restaurants — it all starts with connecting our customers to the soil. We pass along many of our farmers’ stories to our customers to help them know more about where their food is sourced, for example, and who they are supporting with their purchases.”


Grove and Hale have lived in Preston for more than 15 years, after meeting and living on the western shore. Grove is from York County, Pennsylvania, and is the creator of many of the recipes used at Luck & Love. “Leslie reads cookbooks like novels,” Hale says.


A rocket scientist, Hale has worked for more than 30 years at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. He’s also a serious foodie and his creation of the store’s spice blends is influenced by many of the places where he has lived, including Canada, Arizona, California, and Maryland’s Chestertown. “Taylor is the master at researching and creating our spice blends,” Grove says. “He researches an ethnic blend of spices, and then plays with it.”

Hale’s passion for engineering combined with his love of drinking coffee led to an interest in roasting coffee beans and so he established Night Kitchen Coffee in Cambridge in 2014. The couple moved Night Kitchen Coffee to the building on South Third Street in 2016 and then expanded to open Luck & Love Homestead during the summer of 2019.


Luck & Love Homestead also offers online ordering and ships dry goods to destinations throughout the U.S. Charcuterie trays, espresso bread, and a mushroom and ginger confit are some of the local favorites available for pick-up in Denton, with the menu also featuring specials like the miso ginger chorizo stir-fry offered recently.


On Oct. 10, Luck & Love Homestead will hold a chili pepper festival at its Denton location from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Check the store’s website, luckandlovehomestead.com, for more information.


Luck & Love Homestead

12 S. 3rd Street

Denton, Maryland

410-703-5981

luckandlovehomestead.com


Open: Wednesdays – Fridays, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Saturdays, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Closed: Sundays - Tuesdays

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