Drink Local: Ouzon All-Natural Soda.

{Photograph taken from www.greeksoda.com}

OUZON

OPA! ORIGINALS GREEK SODA

FACEBOOK ALL NATURAL | WEBSITE 

“What about an ouzo flavored soda?”

~Phil Broikos, co-owner

WHO: Anastasia + Phil Broikos

WHAT: All natural Greek Soda. Makings in Dundee, NY. Non-alcoholic. Pairs nicely with alcohol. (Submit cocktail concoctions online!)

WHERE: Made in Dundee, NY (syrup)

WHY: Where ingenuity meets culture meets calculated risk meets why not

BUY: Grocery Stores. Restaurants. Check by Location Here. I found mine at Abundance Cooperative Market! Also at Wegmans (all of Monroe County).

SAY: OUZON (pronounced “OO-zone”).

EVENTS: Like on Facebook: OPA! Originals. Check for all Events. 

Greek Fest – Going on Now! 

Annunciation of the Greek Orthodox Church on East Ave: Thurs | Fri | Sat | Sun

Natural. Refreshing. Unique. Delicious. Anastasia Broikos, co-owner of OPA! Originals along with husband Phil, is everything Ouzon Soda oozes. Add to this: Effervescent. Inviting. Sweet. I met Anastasia at Abundance Cooperative Market during Earth Day Birthday. Tiny table near the entrance of bulk foods. Crowds clamored. Like me, I’m not sure they knew what for. I suppose exuberance. It flowed. From Anastasia, the petite woman originally from Queens, with a genuine smile + boisterous laugh. And from her clear, bubbly cups. At that juncture, it was Grand Central. Photographs. Pleads from Abundance for more. Old people. Young people. Laughter. I pressed the cup to my lips. Dainty bubbles fizzed. In that moment, I felt like family.

Family. Because Ouzon Soda is family. Engineered in 2009. Incorporated into OPA! Originals by 2010. Winner 1 year later in 2011 of the Beverage World Bronze BevStar Award for Best Carbonated Soft Drink. Managing a household with 2 beautiful girls, now 4 + 6.  Anastasia + Phil, Greek-Americans with complex ties to their heritage, truly run a family-owned company.

“I’m constantly pulling Barbie dolls out of my files,”

~Anastasia Broikos, co-owner

Both successful professionals (Anastasia in print media + Phil, a lawyer), put aside these careers + pursued a vision. As Phil explains, the Broikos’ decided to “give it a year.” With “calculated risk” as their strategy and “value judgement” as their guide, Anastasia + Phil navigated this epic endeavor. I’m tempted to say that Ouzon Soda was inspiration from the gods. But well, I think Phi’s father had more of a role.

“What is uniquely Greek?”

Go Greek. Phil is a Rochester native, + his dad worked as an engineer at Xerox. Happening upon a Greek inspired premium soda was a journey–a calculated one–before anything else. I’m no marketing major, but with 2 simples questions it’s evident that Phil carved out ingenuity by identifying a niche product with existing platform.“What is unique?” “What is the speciality [to each culture]?” Next, he + Anastasia invented. “What is uniquely Greek?” Oregano. Feta Cheese. Greek Wine. Greek Whiskey. Greek flavors. Greek ingredients. Greek products. Non-Greek still-popular products. Anastasia + Phil populated this matrix and, after ditching their diaper truck idea (someone sniffed it out 1st), they imbibed the ingenuity behind Rivella, a famed Swiss soft drink. Thank. God.

A Greek Ouzo Liqueur Inspired Soda.

Invention. Phil doesn’t actually love the taste of ouzo, an aperitif that is practically the national liqueur of Greece. The connection? Ouzon Soda tastes the way ouzo smells. (Genius.) More importantly? Both Anastasia + Phil love all-natural. The About page on their website www.greeksoda.com explains it best:

OUZON (pronounced “OO-zone”) soda is a premium all-natural sparkling beverage based on the flavor profile of ouzo, the unofficial national liqueur of Greece. The proprietary syrup for OUZON is meticulously handcrafted using pure cane sugar, and is infused with certified organic star anise to impart subtle notes of licorice.

By wishing upon a star is exactly how Ouzon Soda went from promise to pop. Ouzo liqueur smells refreshingly crisp, but the heavy taste doesn’t follow. Anastasia + Phil needed to capture a way to project this signature taste from anise, a Mediterranean herb responsible for the licorice undertones, and had to do it naturally.

All Natural. Made Local.

No Corn Syrup. Anastasia + Phil came up with the recipe for Ouzon Soda in their very own kitchen located in Penfield, NY. (Official headquarters of OPA! Originals. Unless you also count Starbucks.) They needed star anise, the Asian spice (not the Mediterranean herb), and they needed it to make a tea. When Phil reverse engineered this, the rest flowed. Cane sugar creates an all-natural syrup and: Opa!  …Too predictable? Well, Ouzon Soda is not.

  • certified organic star anise

  • star anise tea made in upstate NY (Dundee)

  • cane sugar … made from scratch

  • natural citric acid as a preservative

No corn syrup. No sodium benzoate (an artificial preservative). No chemicals. Just pure, homemade, all-natural, premium ingredients. As crystal clear as the Ouzon Soda they create.

OPA! Originals

Godliness. When Anastasia + Phil started OPA! Originals + invented Ouzon Soda, they did not just become entrepreneurs. Anastasia + Phil–married, with children, starting a business–became an entrepreneurial deity. What do we get?? Ouzon All-Natural Premium Soda. Whose taste + purity + authenticity embodies the very standards + traditions, culture + nuances the Broikos family generates. Godliness. Infused into every single last drop of Ouzon Soda.

Drink Local

With OPA! Originals located in Penfiled, NY, the makings of Ouzon Soda started in Dundee, NY, and with Ouzon sold all over Monroe County: Anastasia + Phil Broikos make Rochester, NY a city among the gods. Truly, we thank you so much.

Opa!

(had to.)

Now head over to your nearest retailer + drink for yourself!

#drinklocal

#allnatural

#Ouzon

#OPAOriginals

XO.

Spokes + Ink Festival: June 7, 2014.

{Photo taken from Spokes + Ink Website.}

SPOKES + INK

SAT JUNE 7

BIKE & POSTER FEST

WHO: HOSTED BY GENESEE CENTER FOR THE ARTS + EDUCATION

WHAT: “ON THE AVE. OFF THE CHAIN.”

WHERE: 317 WILCOX ST. {That’s my last name. Please do not excuse the enthusiasm.} MONROE AVE, BETWEEN OXFORD + RUTGERS.

WHY: FOR THE FUN. FOR THE FOOD. FOR THE MUSIC. FOR THE RIDE. FOR THE #ROC.

WHEN: SATURDAY, JUNE 7, 2014. 12PM-6PM.

SPONSOR: DOGTOWN

12-6PM | WILCOX ST | MONROE AVE | FREE

“It’s a Monroe Ave block party mashup of cycling enthusiasts, local artists, cold beer, live music, unique vendors, and stuff for the kids.” –Facebook Event

I have been to Genesee Center. But I’ve never been to Spokes + Ink! Both are just down the street from where I live. Genesee Center for the Arts + Education (GCAE), member of The National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts + a community based non-profit on Monroe Ave {near 490}, “transforms lives” and our Rochester community. Celebrating its 4 year this June, I am seriously excited to finally check out GCAE’s Spokes + Ink’s Festival! Aside from general dopeness, here are my Top Pics:

SPOKES + INK TOP PICKS

LOCALLY MADE POSTERS

WHO: Locally produced prints by local graphic artists, letterpress artists, + photographers.

WHAT: All $20! This year’s? See examples HERE. {ALERT : High Level of Pure Talent.}

THE PICKPOCKETS

2-4PM

WHO: The Pickpockets

WHAT: Bootleg Ass Cassette Mixtape. I gotta find out more about these guys.

WHERE: 1st saw them live at 1975 Gallery for an event in partnership with The Little Theatre.

WHY: True musicians. Haunting music … that makes you dance!

SHOW ON MONROE

1-4PM

WHAT: SCAVENGER HUNT. Sign up now!

WHERE: All along Monroe Avenue. Get your FUNK on.

ROC CITY SKATEPARK

WHO: Skateboards. BMX-ers. Fathers. Athletes. KRUDCO. Community.

WHAT: Fundraising Initiative + Advocacy Group.

WHY: To get a “well-let, safe, outdoor, community center for the entire family” up in Rochester, NY.

EAT ME ICE CREAM

WHO: Amber Odhner + Catelyn Augustine

WHAT: Local + Organic artisan ice cream. Gluten free + vegan options! So delicious!!!

WHERE: South Wedge Farmers’ Market, Thurs 4-7 | Joe Bean Coffee Roasters, Fri 6-9 | Brighton Farmers’ Market, Sun 9-1 | Abundance Cooperative Market  | { My 1st time? At Rochester Brainery‘s Brainery Bazaar. }

LETTERPRESS ACTIVITIES

WHO: Printing + Book Arts Center

WHAT: Classes + Studio Access for “letterpress printing, bookbinding, book arts, paper making, + calligraphy.”

be a spoke, leave your ink

Spokes + Ink Festival spins the wheels of collaboration + creativity within Rochester, NY. Each organization, each shop, each band, each business that contributes to this fest is another spoke in the wheel of Rochester. Growing. Thriving. Connecting. Moving. Spokes + Ink is more than a festival and more than a block party. Spokes + Ink is a lifestyle. Spokes + Ink links us to our greater Rochester community. Ultimately, Spokes + Ink helps us to spin the wheels that keep Rochester moving.

Thank you to Genesee Center for the Arts + Education and to Communications Specialist Kate Edgerton for this indelible festival!!

See ya there!

#spokesandink

#printmaking

#bicycle

#artlocal

#printlocal

#ROClocal

XO.

Shop Local. Think Global. Nicole France-Coe for Noonday Collection.

I learned that entrepreneurship was sustainable and aid was not.
Fair Trade. Female Entrepreneurship. Shop Local, Think Global. Beauty. Sustainability. Faith. Handmade. Noonday Collection & The Noonday Story tell the story of one woman’s, Jessica Honegger’s (co-founder), love. Love for family & faith. Love for sustainability. Love for beauty. To read about her transformation into globally-inspired humanitarian, businesswoman, and Noonday Founder, read About the Founder. An intricate relationship between creativity, business, & faith, it is absolutely evident that the Noonday Fair Trade Trunk Shows extend from “family, community, [and] intentionality.”

I played soccer & attended primary/secondary school with Nicole. One year older & generations wiser (than everyone), always she was a rock within our team and throughout our social circles. A paradigm of strength, beauty, & inspiration, I know there is not one person who has crossed her path who could say differently.

A mother and Noonday Ambassador, herself, I encourage you to begin your holiday shopping here. In her own words, Nicole describes Noonday and it’s Fair Trade policy as such:

 we develop relationships with the artisans behind the jewelry and accessories we offer, paying a fair and just wage, collaborating and learning their stories to share with the customers here in the US…it is certainly a more just way to shop and be fashionable!

 

Absolutely, this could not be closer to the truth. While these jewelryprices surpass those of anything offered, say, Forever21, they also trump the originality of, say, Anthropologie. The richness of Home & Gift and Accessories is unparalleled. Both in story, quality, & in beauty, Noonday is richer. For anyone—mother, daughter, friend, wife, girlfriend, grandmother–interested in inspired jewelry with equally as inspired stories, both steeped in fairness & sustainability, you must contact Nicole. Her Noonday Collection speaks the language of 10,000 lives changed forever.  
Jewelry
Dainty Everyday
 
Mediterranen Sea Necklace 
 
Light Layers Necklace (Seagreen)
Evening Horizon Necklace
Bone Carved Polygon Necklace
Inca Steps Necklace (Coral)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Angular Earrings
 
Bengali Sunset Earrings
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Blooming Chandelier Earrings
Crocheted Juxtaposition Earrings
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Looped Drop Earrings
Mediterranean Sea Earrings
 
 
 
 
Carved Cuff
The Louvre Bangle
Tagua Seed Bracelet (Seagreen)
 
Escalera Block Bracelet
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Embira Seed Bracelet
Crocheted Bracelet
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Animalito – El Pollo
 
Handmade Stationary
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ruffles iPad Cover
Cups: Fiesta (White + Red); Gallina (Blue) Set of 2
Nahuala Oval Tray
Wola Nani Bowls (Set of 3)
 
 
 
 
 
Accessories
 
Phuket Shoulder Bag Sale (Purple)
 
Patchwork Clutch
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hamaca Scarf
 
Grey Whispers Cowl
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cuzco Wrap
 
 
Fireside Hand Warmers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(Not Pictured: Belts, Sandals, Hats)
All orders placed by Dec 16 will make it in time for Christmas!!
Shop Local. Think Global.
Nicole France-Coe for Noonday Collection.
.

Love. Laughs. Life. Local. Americana 4th.

Shivers.
Every time I hear:
O’er the land of the free,
& the home of the brave.
Flag from Schooner’s. Genesee River.
I hope that everyone enjoys a safe & celebratory 4th of July. Remember who fought & how. Respect the fight & the free. Never give into fear. And seek bravery, ever into the night. 
Full Moon from Lux Lounge. South Wedge.
* * *
Calabrese’s in The Flats. West Irondequoit. 
Farm House. Calabrese Studio.
Sitting on the Dock. Shannon & Devon.


Canoeing. Campfire. Matt.
Americana. Beauties. Shannon. Devon. Katia.
Thinkin’ & Talkin’. Shannon. Devon.
 Huggin’ & Wearin’ White. Katia. Shannon.
Walkin’. Backyard Camp. Shannon.
Tom’s Toes. Nicole.

 Charlotte Beach. Lake Ontario.

Seagulls. Sand. Sun.
Lake. Life Guards.
Lounge.

Home. West Irondequoit.

Klonk. Clothesline. Clothing. Butterfly Bush.
House Recipe. Neighbors. Brewed in Roc. Schooner’s.
Target.
 * * *
DumDum. PBR. PB&J. Lux. Sober. So. Happy.
…Happy 
4th of July.
& 
Independence 
We.