Friday, June 29, 2012

Shopping Local

Today was a little different for me.  I went to 3 local spots.  Shopping local is the best thing ever.  You help small businesses, you help your city, and hopefully you get great service. 

I love Pack & Paddle.  I love the owners, the staff, the service, the products, and whatever else there is to love about them.   Pack & Paddle feels like a home away from home.  If you have never been, seriously, do yourself a favor and go check it out.   They have more than just outdoor gear and equipment.  Ladies, they have shoes, cute purses, jewelry, dresses, etc.  All of their items are top quality and worth what you spend. If these guys ever decide to put a table and chairs in there, I'd probably never leave.   I wonder if I could talk them into it?  

Next, I went to check out the soft opening of The Lab.  It's a new hot spot in River Ranch, that sells coffee, tea, and sweet soft serve  (a mix between ice cream and gelato).  Be warned, don't go looking for strawberry, chocolate, or any classic sorbet/gelato favors of that sort!  The Lab's concept is exactly what the title says, the favors you will find are out there.  I choose the Lucky Charms flavor, and it did not disappoint! There was a watermelon mint, skittle flavors, and much more.  Now on the coffee part, it seems to be a 180, and he is going for a purest point of coffee.  

Part of what I love about local spots is the interaction with the owners.  I had a chance to speak with Thomas Peters at The Lab.  I really wanted to know if the black board walls were going free to draw on.  He and his wife are not completely sure yet, if it will be public domain or if they will just have an artist draw on and then seal them.  They are planning to have a small area, instead of a cork board, a chalk board.  So music shows, events, etc can put their information on there to share with the public, which I think is very cool.  We spoke for a while and I eventually asked if he'd be interested in meeting for my 30 Coffee's with 30 People project and he said yes.  So that will be coming after his grand opening of The Lab.  So if you have time swing on by for a cup of joe or ice creamy/gelato/sorbet goodness.

Finally, I remembered that Philippe's Wine Cellar, had a wine tasting going on and on a whim decided to pass by.  Of course I got the "can I see your ID" process.  Philippe himself carded me and joked around all in good fun.  I ended up speaking with the distributor from New Orleans, very nice man.  Found out how he started his business, and what brought him to that point.  Then went along to talk to one of the employees about a particular wine.  Well turns out, that was Sebastian, Philippe's first of two sons.  I found out that the whole family works there.  I love when business' are a family affair, although I'm sure there is struggle in that as well.  I also spoke with several others in there tasting wine.  Overall it was a pleasant experience, and something different to do.  

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