Whether in his business or his Mission kitchen, Kerry Duffin knows how to roll out a production line. As the creator of the Lucy and Herman lifestyle brand — named for his parents — Duffin is bringing apparel production back to Kansas City with the January opening of the Garment Factory in the West Bottoms.
Duffin doesn’t fly by the seat of his pants in the kitchen, though: planning and prep work are important when he cooks up down-home meals using family recipes.
Q: You seem to be very hands-on in all that you do both in and outside the kitchen.
A: I am a person who enjoys life’s process and taking steps to the end product, whether it’s in business or baking bread. There’s something about starting with an idea or raw ingredients and nurturing things along to achieve a desired outcome. Growing up, my father was a general contractor, and my grandfather was a woodworker, so I’m drawn to create something people want.
Even though I travel, I am proud to be a Midwestern Kansas City boy. I admire my family, who shows no pretense with a sensibility still tied to our Kansas farm roots. That’s why I’m so proud to start this production of private-label apparel and to revitalize Kansas City’s garment manufacturing history. “Made in America” labels mean something to consumers again.
Q: Do you feel that people seeking locally sourced products also extends to the food they eat?
A: I believe people are seeking connection to the items they consume. They want to see the craftsmanship — they want to literally taste it. Farm-to-table dining is nothing new to Kansas City, and there are so many really great chefs here that cook seasonally.
Manufacturing our women’s line, Lucy Marie specially designed jeans, in our West Bottoms facility is also an invitation to other garment designers. Like in the food industry, “small batch” is also in demand in apparel, and the Garment Factory can do a run as few as 50 units, scaling up to 10,000. Like a professional kitchen requires people with many skill sets to make it work, I have about 20 talented people hired to make patterns, sew and finish garments.
Q: Do you have any plans for making culinary-inspired clothing?
A: I think this is what is so great about our apparel company — if someone has an idea and wants an article of clothing designed a certain way, we can do that. If a chef wants a special pocket on an apron for a certain gadget or knife, we can bring that garment to life.
We have talked about creating a line of denim aprons and are more than willing to do that eventually if there’s demand for it. The plan is to start small and grow organically, like the dough of cinnamon rolls rising.
Q: Lucy Marie is not only the name of your jeans brand, but it is also the name of your mother and recipe repository.
A: This cinnamon roll recipe does come from my mom, and like her, I appreciate quality, handcrafted items. Nothing will ever completely take the place of human hands, and that is especially true when you’re talking about rolling up cinnamon roll dough.
For me, there’s something really nostalgic about making this recipe. Yeast and kneading require time and patience, two things that can be lacking in our society today. For me, making these cinnamon rolls is like going back to a simpler time. It’s a simple production line, with delicious results.
Mary G. Pepitone is a freelance writer who lives in Leawood. She also writes a nationally syndicated home column. Email her at email@example.com to nominate a cook.
Made in KC
To experience Kansas City’s homegrown fashion, go to HomegrownBoutiqueKC.com.
Lucy Marie’s Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 16 rolls.
For the dough:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups chopped, lightly toasted pecans
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
To prepare dough: Into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix flour, yeast, sugar and eggs until well combined. Set aside.
On the stovetop over low heat, warm milk, butter and cinnamon in a small pot and stir until mixture reads 120 degrees using an instant-read thermometer.
Pour warm milk and salt into flour mixture. Replace paddle attachment on stand mixer with a dough hook and beat on low speed 2 to 3 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula. Beat on medium speed until a sticky but smooth and elastic dough is formed, about another 2 to 3 minutes.
Coat a large mixing bowl with cooking spray. Transfer dough to bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Allow dough to rise in warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
To prepare filling: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with nonstick baking spray.
Punch down dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface.
Roll out dough into a 16-by-12-inch rectangle. Spread butter over surface of dough, leaving 1/2 -inch border from the edge. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over butter, then top with pecans.
Starting from the long, 16-inch side, carefully roll up dough, jelly-roll style. Using a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into 16, 1-inch pieces and place 8 rounds into each of the prepared pans. Cover pans with clean dish towels and allow rolls to rise again about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Place in oven and bake until rolls are lightly browned, about 18 to 20 minutes. Place rolls on a wire rack and allow to cool slightly.
To prepare glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and salt together.
Drizzle glaze evenly over rolls and serve immediately.
Per roll: 397 calories (41 percent from fat), 19 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 48 milligrams cholesterol, 54 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein, 117 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.