Instagram: Instafun! How to Be in the Know, Be Present, + Be Local.

SUMMERTIME IS

Instagram.

HERE.

You might say Social Media is the Antithesis / Antichrist of all things … Social. Like: Being Present, Being Active, Living your Real Life, just to name a few. Au Contraire. Social Media, when used responsibly, enhances all things Social. I’m going to provide 3 Simple Guidelines { because who like Rules } + use Rochester, NY to tell you how! Because, after all, #YOLO.

Vibe With Your Community

How does one strike that delicate balance between SM junkie + SM savvy?? Listen here:

1. Be Discreet. Only check Instagram when on the toilet.

  • Insta picture junkie, I am + I admit. I have a very narrow filter for when I do + don’t post pics because, well … Instant. { However, anything that requires major editing, I wait. }
  • Scrolling / Liking / Commenting junkie, on the other hand, I abstain. I save the big-read for very private, alone times. Such as when I first wake-up. Or when I pee and … Just kidding! But you get what I mean. { And also, don’t do that. That’s gross. }

Why is this important? We don’t want SM to consume our actual social lives. Talk to your friends. Listen to their conversations. It’s fun. Promise — real socializing is pretty great.

2. Be Free. Let Instagram reflect the most pure you.

  • No one’s judging. Unlike Twitter, Instagram has no lists. Give yourself permission to be select with who you do + don’t follow! It’s also okay to Follow individuals who post incredible content, even if you don’t know them.
  • Wear your heart on your sleeve. It’s also okay to Like! Tap that heart, baby. Leave comments when inspired. Don’t be shy. This is what SM is for.

It’s for getting to know your fellow community.

{ And for anyone — me! — who is confused about Post Notifications + the new Inst-algorithim-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, or Understood, … read here. }

Why is this important? For several reasons. The biggest being: Social Media should enhance our identity + individuality. You have control over that. Harness SM to hone You. 

3. Follow Local. Restaurants, Organizations, Stores, Events, Local Bloggers — follow, follow, follow!

Why is this important? Because the more you know, the more you grow. The more you share + interact, the more your community grows.

So get on it! 
Follow your community on Instagram.

And Follow Me! Because Child, there’s even more than that happening in the Roc this week!

  1. South Wedge Sip & Shop: This Thursday!! And every 3rd Thursday until October. { Thank you Thread for this Insta. }
  2. South Wedge Third Thursday Concerts: Also this Thursday + every 3rd until October. { Thank you South Wedge + Star Alley Park … next to Lux. }
  3. Lux Lounge Events: Always a Party! Game Nights, Dance Parties, PB+J, B Movie Wednesdays. { If you’re bored, you’re boring because Lux + Chill. }

So … Go Out, Get Out, Insta-Responsibly, Be Present. And, always, Be Local.

#YOLO.

#bepresent.

#belocal.

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.