By Pamela Brown
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then Blueprint CT Kitchen is at the heart of your lifestyle. Ideally located on the Litchfield Green, the delightful shop offers the best local and globally conscious-made, organic, non-GMO products. “The impetus for the store was to add to the kitchen concept—to not only provide a service to the community but help people expand their repertoire,” says owner Louis Lemieux who also owns Louis CT, an interior shop & design studio. “Today, people are coming together with family and friends around the dinner table to experience something new.”
Blueprint CT is a collaboration between Lemieux and his mom, whose friendly, welcoming demeanor is reflected in her nametag, ‘Therese, a.k.a. Mom.’ “She and my dad were true adventurers, serving overseas in the Foreign Service for 36 years and their influence is felt in the shop,” says Lemieux. The shop is a global smorgasbord inspiring every imaginable culinary adventure. “We offer customers access to items they’ve never experienced—an experiential opportunity to dazzle their senses. They can increase the range of their palate and have a full-on experience in a particular culture,” says Lemieux. Having traveled through 45 countries, he introduces customers to a vast selection of specialty foods and kitchen products ranging from oils and vinegars, pesto, herbs, and pasta, to linens, small appliances, Sardel pots and pans, stunning handmade chopping and presentation boards, and more. A Gift Basket program allows customers to pick-and-choose items for any occasion. Lemieux also features CT-based items, including house-made scones and breads from nearby Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar and locally-sourced farm fresh eggs.
New this year at the shop is a spice market featuring Lemieux’s private label. “It’s really exciting,” says Lemieux who just returned from Thailand and Dubai with a plethora of exotic spices. Stop and stay awhile in the whimsical Tea Room, complete with cozy furniture and butterflies dotting the ceiling, to browse a global tea collection, including JusTea, farmer-direct tea from Kenya that creates sustainable employment for small-scale Kenyan farmers. Most of the shop’s products are sourced from purpose-focused vendors. For example, the manufacturer of The General’s Hot Sauce creates jobs for veterans and donates a percentage of profits to veterans. Apolis bags are handcrafted in Bangladesh by mothers who receive Fair Trade-certified wages, and Sustainable Threads provides micro loans to women artists all over the world to create hand-blocked linens. “When we sell the products, it refunds the program for another woman artist,” notes Lemieux. “We raise social consciousness around quality ingredients and natural products that go toward improving the quality of life.”
Lemieux’s mission is to bring people together. “We like to talk to customers, give them recommendations, explain about a product, share our histories, and get to know them. The shop is very interactive. Strangers meet and talk, neighbors come in, and it creates a sense of community and inclusion. After COVID, people are seeking that,” he says, grateful to offer such a positive space. “There’s an old railroad bench I repurposed and it’s in the entry. People sit and take it all in. Food is universal and connects people.”
43 West Street, Litchfield, shopblueprintct.com, 860-361-6789