Sean Sullivan used to peddle fish off the back of a truck on trips from North Carolina to Cleveland. That little venture led to Cleveland's Navillus Gourmet Fish Company (yes, puzzlemasters, that's "Sullivan" spelled backwards), a successful retail/wholesale operation that in 1998 merged with Euro-USA to provide import and specialty foods to Northeast Ohio, Pittsburgh, western Pennsylvania, southern Michigan, and eastern Indiana. Now Sullivan, a VP with Euro-USA, has launched another food business, this time on the Internet. His newest company, Gourmetfood4U, is an online specialty food vendor with one of the largest selections available from any web-based supplier. Not surprisingly, some of the approximately 2,000 food items -- everything from beluga caviar to Droste chocolate, from Copper River salmon to crème frâiche -- have a Cleveland connection, including a wide variety of offerings from Ohio City Pasta and affinage cheeses (carefully aged artisanal varieties) from Paul Minnillo's Baricelli Cheese Company. The hometown references extend to the website's "features" section, which includes profiles of chefs Michael Symon (Lola)and Vid Lutz (assorted Johnny's restaurants), along with recipes from each culinarian's private stash. The site (www.gourmetfood4u.com) was launched June 1. Through June 30, visitors can snag Belgian chocolate pâté, Gorgonzola wedges, or a pound of diver's scallops, among other things, at a 25 percent discount.
North Coast custard
The clever confectioners at Cleveland's own Pierre's French Ice Cream Company have outdone themselves this time, with a new line of pint-sized frozen custards. Based on the results of our most recent scientific survey (me and three buddies armed with spoons, crowded 'round the kitchen sink), the Classic Vanilla Thriller, with a remarkably pure flavor and a rich, creamy texture, makes a fine substitute for a cone from the corner custard shop, and the Amazing Waffle Cone Scrambler, loaded with crunchy peanuts, bits of chocolate-coated waffle cone, and fudge swirls, captures the transcendent goodness of those novelty "drumstick" cones, perfected to the nth degree. Other flavor options include Midway Cherry Arcade, Main Street Peanut Brittle, Boardwalk Butter Pecan, Carousel Chocolate, and Fun House Fudge Brownie. The line is available at most area grocery stores, or order from Pierre's website at www.pierres.com. Incidentally, the family-run business traces its origins back to 1932, when Alexander "Pierre" Bassett opened a homemade ice cream parlor on Euclid and East 82nd. Today, the company markets more than 235 different products and flavors, and ships to ice cream lovers all over the world.
The search continues for Jonni Clemett, the 40-year-old restaurant industry veteran who was last seen on the afternoon of May 27, leaving The Little Bar in the Warehouse District. Clemett's sister, Judy Monroe, has launched an all-out search for the popular 5-foot-7, 200-pound manager, who, she suspects, has been the victim of foul play. The blue-eyed blonde lives in Tremont and had worked at Shooter's in the Flats, Jake's in the downtown Marriott, and Harpo's in Strongsville prior to her disappearance. Clemett's car, a black 2000 Dodge Neon with Ohio license plate CQY 5786, is also missing. Monroe asks that anyone with information on her sister's possible whereabouts contact detectives at the CPD's Second District station, 216-623-5200.