Giving Local with honeygrow & Challenge Program

When honeygrow announced it’s expansion into Delaware, we were ecstatic. The Philadelphia start up offers fun and fresh “fast” food with locations in and around the Philly, New York, and Washington D.C. metro area. It approaches it’s menu with high quality, healthy food in mind. They’re dedicated to sourcing locally and even create in-house dressings.

In addition to the food, we love the authentic, industrial, and modern feel of honeygrow. In Delaware, you can see original photographs by local artist, Carlos Alejandro.

carlos alejandro photography

At their headquarters in Fish Town, Philadelphia, some of the furniture is handmade by the Challenge Program, which is an organization in Wilmington, Delaware, which provides vocational training for at-risk youth. The program seeks to empower them with the confidence and skills in order to help them achieve greatness. In addition to assistance in earning a high school diploma or GED, the Challenge Program offers on-the-job experience working with local restaurants and The Mill to create gorgeous, one of a kind pieces.

The Challenge Program created the coffee table at the honeygrow headquarters:

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Trainee from the Challenge Program working on a project:
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photos by Carlos Alejandro

As a result of their great effort, honeygrow has chosen the Challenge Program in their Giving Local Program. All day on Friday, February 17th, honeygrew will donate 20% of your check to the Challenge Program when you present this flyer at the Newark or Market Square locations.

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Mill Talk with Rich Roat

This past Thursday evening, we were fortunate enough to hear from the co-founder of House Industries, Rich Roat, at The Mill’s latest “Mill Talk” in Wilmington. House Industries is world renowned for their eclectic font collections and American graphic designs. Their work can be found in collaborations made for Jimmy Kimmel, John Mayer, Hermès, and The New Yorker, to name a few.

Mill Talk

Roat spoke so passionately about the history of design and left us with some food for thought. There are 7 basic principles that he likes to follow to do his best and long-lasting work.

First, The Process Is The Inspiration.

House Industries

Image via

He doesn’t like to get hung up, over-thinking about what to make for each client. He has a great team and together they get started on an idea and roll with it. They aren’t afraid to make changes and come up with crazy ideas in the middle of the process. Second, Bring Your Hobbies To Work. He is fortunate enough to be one of those people that LOVES what they do. Roat can be seen riding his custom bicycle engraved with the House Industries logo back and forth to the House studio in Yorklyn everyday. If that’s not bringing your hobbies to work, I don’t know what is.

Third, Sweat The Technique. You’re not crazy if you know how you want to do something and you won’t settle for anything less than just that. He stresses the techniques of his projects and ends up falling in love with each and every piece he makes. Fourth, Get Your Hands Dirty. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to use a material you have never used before. Jump in and give it your all, no matter how messy it might get. Fifth, Make New Friends. Roat probably mentioned 50 different names throughout his presentation, and you could tell they all meant a great deal to him. He even teared up talking about some members of his team that have been around since the company’s inception. He say’s that they’re so good at what they do, it makes him want to be better. And with each project he gets, he sees it as an opportunity to enrich his life with new ideas and new people.

Sixth, Tell It Like It Was. This one might sound like a bizarre sentiment, but is in fact very important. He was referring to the rich history of graphic design and even of the entire world. He uses not only new ideas, but old ideas and themes of the past to create his best work. Sure, the industry has grown and improved in many areas, but there’s something about simply picking up a paintbrush that no computer can ever truly mimic the control and beautiful texture of. Lastly, Embrace The Chaos. He says that life will come at you and certainly not in the order of his principles. It will be overwhelming at times and that’s when it’s most important to remember why you’re doing what you do. You love it. Work with the rushing water of the river you’re in; don’t try to fight it. In the end, you’ll have a piece of art so beautiful that it reflects every night’s sleep you lost over it, every drop of sweat and blood, and every tear. And that’s the kind of art that makes Roat say, “art can change the world”.

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Passion for Coffee: Cafe MonteAgua

Cafe MontéAgua is grown in the Antigua coffee region of Guatemala, a secluded valley between three volcanoes is continuing a story that began thousands of years ago. From the times when ancient Mayans celebrated Chaak, the god of rain, thunder, and the harvest, the precious crop has been coffee. We sat down to chat with founder Alejandro Castañeda to learn more about the inside story of this luxury coffee brand.

Cafe MonteAgua 1. Why did you choose to start the Café MonteAgua brand?
“I decided to start the MonteAgua Brand because ever since I have been traveling to the US, I have felt that the coffee is pretty mediocre at best.  And coming from Guatemala, where some of the best coffees in the world are produced, that didn’t cut it.  So since I have been traveling to Wilmington for the last 25 yrs of my life, I started bringing coffee as gifts and so that I could drink this great coffee as well.  Shooting two birds with one stone if you will.  I started learning about the way coffee is commercialized in the US, statistics and processes.  Who the players are, and how the tendencies go as generations change.  So it became pretty obvious to me, that the time has come in which the US is now ready to enjoy the best coffees.  I am not competing against anybody, I just let my coffees do the talking themselves.  When people try them, invariably they notice the difference.  It is like a pleasant surprise to discover that coffee doesn’t have to be bitter.  That coffee doesn’t have to be cold brewed to take the bitterness away,  That MonteAgua coffees can be brewed, and if you like them cold, cool it and never come close to even wanting to use sugar on them, because they lack the bitterness.”

“You see coffee has a little bitterness to it, but is has to be a hint, not the predominant factor in it.  So I implemented the processes that reassure this.  Some of them are mentioned in an article written in the Delaware Today, Main Line Today, The Hunt and Westchester magazines.  But it is more of an art to me, then it is just a “get it out of the way” mentality. Most of the coffee out there doesn’t go thru such scrutiny.  And it is understandable because it makes it more expensive.  Pricier coffee, pricier processes and longer time to gently roast makes it a pricier option.  However, this is what a luxury item brings to the table. Also, the limited productions that are very carefully chosen gives you a wonderful raw material that exceeds all other.”

2. Can you briefly explain the steps involved in creating a single bag of Café MonteAgua Coffee?
The steps are simple, but flawless;
1. Very controlled and supervised milling process
2. Sun dried to perfection
3. Patient and vigilant rest of the raw beans
4. Careful transportation
5. Delicate roasting
6. Extreme tasting and development
7. Careful rest before packaging for immediate delivery

Cafe MonteAgua

3. What makes this brand more exclusive than other coffee brands out there?
The exclusivity of the brand I guess I explain in the no.1 bullet point.
-Limited production
-Super selected beans, more expensive
-Signature Premier Roasting
-Perfect timing in the fulfillment stage
Cafe MonteAgua
Café MonteAgua comes in three different varieties. No. 12 Premium Roast, No. 14 Premium Roast, and No. 23 Preminum Roast, all three with their own unique smooth and balanced taste for $24.99 a bag. These bags are available in single bag purchases or as a subscription plan where these fresh beans are delivered right to your doorstep. Cafe MonteAgua is available locally in Delaware at Janssens Market.
More on Café MonteAgua:
Website| Instagram | Facebook
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What To Wear: Kennett Brewfest

We all know us gals dread the moment when we stand, staring, at our closets for minutes on end hoping to pick the right outfit. What to Wear is a guide to help women with this decision-making process. This week features ideal fall outfits to wear to The Kennett Brewfest hosted by Historic Kennett Square on October 1st in downtown Kennett. Featuring chic denim, cozy flannels, suede booties, autumn lipsticks and fresh fragrances from local boutiques No. 109Ashley Austin, and Houppette; we create the perfect looks to wear for exploring the urban culture of the town and enjoying a day of craft beer sipping.

Outfit 1
What to wear: Kennett BrewFest

A rocker chic look, this outfit is made up of a basic white tee, a faux leather pant, and a comfy Rails flannel to either tie around the waist or slip on as the day gets cooler. The black beaded VSA necklace is the perfect way to accentuate the color of the pant. These open-toed wedge shoes are super stylish, yet comfortable enough to wear all day. Give the look a bit of glamour with a red berry lip from By Terry and a sexy fall fragrance from Diptyque.

Outfit 2 What to wear: Kennett BrewFestA more casual street look, this outfit is made up of a faux suede tank paired with a distressed Mother jean. The Taylor and Tessier teal bracelet and Christina Greene earrings add the perfect pop of color, while the brown leather Hammitt bag is big enough to carry the essentials, yet small enough to carry through a crowd. For those of us who prefer flats these booties are the perfect choice and they look great with denim! Top off the look with a nude Kevyn Aucoin lip gloss and a sweet rose fragrance from Fresh.

Outfit 3What to wear: Kennett BrewFest

This preppier look is a good pick for a chillier weather forecast. Layer a navy and ivory stripped Amour Vert basic tee underneath a Sanctuary vest to pair with a charcoal straight leg pant. The camel print infinity scarf will add just enough warmth on a brisk fall day. An open-toe wedge will add a bit of height to elongate the legs. Bring the colors together with a coral pink Click Stick from By Terry and feminine Tocca fragrance.

All clothing from No 109, all shoes from Ashley Austin and all cosmetics and fragrances from Houppette.

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