The Flourish Market: A Purpose Driven Boutique

How many of you have shopped at The Flourish Market boutique in Downtown Raleigh?

The Flourish Market is a unique shop that partners with 50+ brands that work all over the world, providing dignified jobs and fair wages to inspiring artisans and makers in vulnerable communities. “Their products serve a bigger purpose, just like you.” Owner, Emily Sexton, strives to empower woman and connect with her customers on a deeper level. Read the N&O’s article to see how this CEO got her start.

 

 

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article214445474.html  

 

 

Top 5 Picks for Convenient, Healthy Eating in the City of Raleigh

Trending as of lately is a strong focus on healthy eating in urban cities. Accessibility to healthy food is becoming more advocated to developers. As more studies and books about health and wellness come out, more people are aware of the ingredients they are eating and want to be served the best. There has been a demand for health focused restaurants all over the country, and right here in Raleigh. The healthy eating focus along with more people wanting to shop locally and support their communities, has resulted in many specialized restaurants catered to those who are concerned about their health and the environment.

 

There is a important link between human health and development, and communities need good health to thrive. Urban MJ has a real estate service practice that focuses on high walkability communities, especially downtowns. Easy access and walkability to these health focused restaurants is important to the community of the Triangle and urban cities around the country. As developing urban cities create more and more space for healthy eating, new businesses create unique product and initiatives. There are now juice bars, restaurants that use local, rotating ingredients, and even restaurants using grass-fed beef from farms in our state.

 

Here are our Top 5 Picks for Convenient, Healthy Eating in the City of Raleigh:

 

  1. Raleigh Raw

Located in the heart of Downtown, Raleigh Raw prides itself on their raw juice options and urban feel. They began delivering our 100% Raw, Organic, and Cold Pressed juices throughout the Triangle in 2013. As a nutrition and health coach, founder Sherif Fouad, has an obvious passion for bringing better health to his community and his juice bar is the manifestation of this passion. Raleigh Raw not only offers 12 bottled juices, perfect for on the go, but also has 3 juice cleanse options and a delivery juice subscription. “Raleigh Raw was created to inspire an optimal lifestyle through connection, acceptance and healthy highs, says owner Sherif Fouad,…We believe in the power of raw juice, pressing up to 5 lbs of produce into each 17oz bottle, which is the perfect way to get clean, healthy, and fast nutrition.” Check out their flagship store on 7 W Hargett St., Raleigh, NC 27601.

Follow along on social media at https://www.instagram.com/raleighraw/

 

  1. Clean Juice

Husband-and-wife team Landon and Kat Eckles also recognized the growing trend where people are now investing in their health, often spending more money on food than clothing. The entrepreneurs founded Clean Juice, the only USDA-certified organic juice bar franchise, with the mission of inspiring others to be healthy in body and strong in spirit. Products include acai bowls, juices, juice cleanses, smoothies, oat bowls, custom toast products, and other healthy snacks. There are now two locations in the Triangle, including one in the center of Park West Village, and one in Downtown Chapel Hill, walking distance to the college campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. If you’re in the Raleigh area, check out the Clean Juice in Park West Village, conveniently located beside Orangetheory Fitness!

Follow Clean Juice to check out their options at https://www.instagram.com/clean.juice/

 

  1. B Good

Now with a brand new location in Downtown Raleigh, one in North Hills and Park West Village, B. Good has become a delicious option in walkable distance from many offices and other retail stores. B. Good is the perfect place to take a lunch break or head to dinner for burgers. They offer chef created, real food made in partnership with NC farmers including seasonal salads, grass-fed burgers, and veggie bowls. They also have a catering service perfect for work events or parties! What is special about this place aside from the convenient locations is their amazing work with local farmers. Raleigh is a city all about community. Partnership is what makes the job get done. Follow along! https://www.instagram.com/bgoodraleigh_nc/

 

  1. Fiction Kitchen

Meet Fiction Kitchen, a local food revolution! After years of work in the food industry and their successful pop-up food events, The Fiction Kitchen has successfully make their dream come true: to open up a 100% vegetarian restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina. Conveniently located in Downtown Raleigh, Fiction Kitchen serves your favorite dishes, but made vegetarian and vegan style. They specialize in vegetarian cuisine that is uniquely fresh, creative, locally sourced and carefully prepared. It is not just your plain jane veggie burger. They are also known for their fabulous brunch that varies between traditional brunch fare like French Toast, “bacon” and huevos rancheros to Thai food, “crab” cakes and southern classics like biscuits with gravy and pulled “pork” BBQ…. all made vegan!! They are located on 428 S. Dawson St., with close proximity to the art and warehouse district, the Depot and other downtown Raleigh nightlife, and the North Carolina State Farmers Market and the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market which allows them to offer seasonal menu changes and create daily menu specials based on the freshest local produce available. Check out their beautiful food photography on their social media! https://www.instagram.com/thefictionkitchen/

 

  1. Living Kitchen

Started in Charlotte, NC in 2012, Juliana Luna and Stephen Edwards discovered they shared a passion for plant-based cuisine. Both believed strongly in the positive benefits of living foods and felt that the city of Charlotte needed a restaurant that prepared organic, plant-based dishes of the taste, quality and presentation they desired. Juliana, with the creativity of a master chef, designed a plant-based menu that would surprise and delight the most discerning palates. The historic Atherton Mill in Charlotte’s South End proved an ideal location to design a restaurant that complimented the artistry of the food, and a neighborhood institution was born. Building on the success of the original South End location, Living Kitchen opened a location in Raleigh in 2016, followed by Chapel Hill. The Raleigh location is conveniently located in North Hills.

https://www.instagram.com/living_kitchen/

 

As you can see, healthy eating is only a few minutes away. These places are walkable from many apartments and homes, and are located in walking distance to some great fitness locations and retail stores! Boost your wellness by walking to your dinner and then eating a healthy meal at one of these delicious places! Cheers!

From Tap to Table – Craft Breweries Revitalizes Communities

From Tap to Table – Craft Breweries Revitalizes Communities

By Emily Allan with Marcus Jackson

 

Introduction

The creation of beer dates back to 5th Millennium BC and has been argued to be responsible for humanity’s ability to build and expand civilization. Over this time, we witnessed the production of beer evolve from Artisanal to Industrial and back again to Artisanal. To this day, craft breweries continue to be the catalyst in building up civilization and building our community. It begs the question, “if you build a craft brewery, who will actually come?”


Overall NC statistics

North Carolina boasts the largest number of craft breweries in the American South, with more than 258 breweries and brewpubs.  There are 56 breweries in the Research Triangle, an increase over the prior year of 43. In the past year, 4 have closed but were immediately replaced by new breweries. See all 56 of the breweries here: Triangle Brewery List 6-1-18 (1). What is it about North Carolina that provides a stable and thriving atmosphere for breweries to thrive? Or, maybe we should ask ourselves, what is it about breweries that create a stable and thriving environment in their community?

 

Community Building

As I sit outside one of my favorite craft breweries in Durham, Ponysuaurus, I notice all walks of life coming and going.  To the left of me is a gathering of families with kids running about as the adults unwind and catch up. To the right, there are couples accompanied by their furry friends. Everyone is engaged. Everyone is mingling. No one is looking at their phone. No one is distracted by a wall of TV’s, mainly because there aren’t any. It dawns on me, I am the odd one out as I sip on my Plum Saison and peer over my computer screen.

 

A group of people in running gear start to gather inside the fence and my interest is piqued. I walk over and inquire. Fleet Feet organizes a group of runners who gather at the pub, every Thursday, and head out for a 3 mile or 5-mile jaunt around Durham. They circle back at the end and treat themselves to a lovely beverage and more chit-chat. This got me thinking, who else uses their local pub as a place to gather? I am looking at their Facebook events page and start RSVP’ing to just about everything. The diversity of gatherings is impressive. The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival has a preview party planned which is open to the public. I scroll further. May is Foster Care Month and Ponysaurus is hosting an event to support foster care families as well as educate the community about additional volunteer opportunities within the foster care system. As I review past events, a pattern is blatantly obvious and that is that each event circles around community building. A brewery is not just a place to go grab a pint, although by all means, that is perfectly acceptable! It is a place that provides a forum for emerging artist to showcase their work, it provides ample opportunities to volunteer and gives back. Essentially, it is the cornerstone of the community, itself.

 

 

Three Brewery Tours
On my visit to Ponysaurus, I found out when it first opened in 2016, it was the only consumer establishment in this gritty east side area of Downtown Durham.  Now suddenly, it is being surrounded by economic vibrancy. Smashing Boxes, a 10-year-old high growth tech company, just renovated a 1930’s built former Canada Dry bottling facility into its new headquarters, which it moved from the American Tobacco campus. The Fruit, housed in a former 1920’s-built fruit and produce company, opened down the street a New York style arts and entertainment center.  And restaurants and offices are being quickly announced all around Ponysaurus. Scott Howell, the famed restaurateur, just announced a move here.

I was so amazed at the Ponysaurus beer, the fun social experience, and the amazing community impact, I continued my brewing investigation.  Next stop, Bond Brothers Beer Company, where Jay and Jeremy Bond, Whit Baker and Andy Schnitzer, have established an award-winning brewery in the rapidly revitalizing Downtown Cary.  While the founders were brewing first in a shack behind someone’s home, the Town was heavily investing in its downtown’s infrastructure, to include a revitalizing Academy Street and a new urban park along with a Town Theatre.  

Jay, Jeremy, Andy and its Certified Cicerone Brewmaster, Whit Baker, performed so well, they decided to locate in a spot where a dumpster and a flower shop once stood.  When talking with the owners, I was so curious as to why they picked a low visibility location and heard “We liked it because of the lack of visibility….it created a sense of gathering together in a more private setting.”  

And on opening day, they were met with immediate excitement and beer success.  Over 6,000 people attended which were brought here only by word of mouth, social media and the fact that the Bond brothers belong to a large running group….1,100 strong.  The Bonds already had roots in Cary. On opening day, they easily had over 50 volunteers to handle the crowds….just amazing! They were struck by the diversity of the crowd, including a mom’s group of about 20 with their strollers and kids.  “This was a pivotal moment, as we knew we created a safe and inclusive place for everyone.”

Since opening day, Bond Brothers has added an events room, countless events and restaurants are opening nearby….one can get a pizza next door at Pizzeria Faulisi or at the Food Trucks that serve the crowd.  Check out the video of the Bond Brothers Fall Festival.  And their beer only gets better.  It offers a wide variety of beer styles – from IPA’s to Stouts, Berliner Weiss to Cream Ales.  They even offer locally made sodas from their friends at Brood and white and red wine for those wanting something a little different.

 

A Trip to Wake Forest

Only fitting that I visit a diversity of locations from the hyper-growing Durham downtown; to the downtown of the long-established RTP (Research Triangle Park) bedroom community of Cary; to the booming northeastern Raleigh suburb of Wake Forest.  So nice to talk with Dino Radosta, the Founder of White Street Brewing, the beer with a Small Town Soul.  

Dino is unique in the local craft brewing industry, as he did not have a prior career or interest in brewing.  He was a successful software entrepreneur with a passion for the charming, historic downtown of Wake Forest. He had been frustrated that no one had wanted to experience downtown, so he set out to turn the lack of interest around.  He first wanted to develop a community establishment in the historic former car dealership that he decided to purchase. He even thought about a restaurant and settled on a brewery. He then set out to hire the best brewmaster he could find, which has turned out be his biggest key to success.  He likes to also say he “makes beer that lasts”, just like the charming downtown. And he further says “if you do something, you must do it right”.

Opening day was September 12, 2012. The Town had provided proactive help in his meticulous rehabilitation of the old car dealership. Dino continues to compliment the Town’s effort to ensure his business success. The Town also made infrastructure improvements to produce a more pedestrian friendly White Street.  But, construction was still ongoing on opening day. In spite of the sidewalks being incomplete, the crowd waiting to consume their first taste of Wake Forest beer was 100 feet deep. Since opening day, White Street Brewing has grown from its initial 4,000 sf facility to a total of 60,000 square feet, including a new production facility off-site.  It now distributes statewide and several of its beers have won national and international gold and silver medals.

Dino has since become a downtown leader and in fact, co-sponsors Friday Night on White, which occurs every second Friday evening during the Spring and Summer.  Two years ago, the first one attracted 6,000 and these days, attendance is close to 10,000 and is a major economic boost for all of downtown.  

Like Downtown Durham and Cary, Wake Forest is undergoing a renaissance and is already a highly walkable suburban downtown.  A new 160 unit urban-style townhome community with rooftop terraces is currently under construction in downtown by Stanley Martin Homes. And how wonderful that the B & W Hardware Store, established in 1949, is thriving in the face of big box competition.  The family co-owner, Josephy Kimray summed up craft brewing’s economic impact on local small business by saying:

The presence of White Street Brewing has made a tremendous impact on our business. Although we have been in this location for almost 70 years, the brewery’s presence has allowed us to reintroduce ourselves to the community with updated product offerings for the new customer demographic that is now present. These new customers are not just out-of-town visitors, but also local residents that now have a renewed sense of pride in our Historic Business District. Since the opening of White Street Brewing in 2012, our annual total sales figure has more than tripled; and we have become the largest dealer of Traeger Wood Fired Grills in the state of North Carolina. Much of this is due to the added exposure and foot traffic we have seen since the brewery’s opening.”


Economic Impact

Small towns and blighted industrial areas in the larger cities are the prime locations for regeneration. Breweries serve as an anchor in these parts as they are usually the first business to put down roots. In addition to encouraging regeneration and investment of previously undesirable areas, breweries are one of the few sectors in manufacturing that shows job growth. Once a brewery is established, we see pockets of prosperity start to grow as other businesses gravitate towards these anchors.

As an advocate for growth and economic prosperity across the Triangle and Triad regions, I’ve seen firsthand the impact breweries have had on our communities. They are literally “game changers” time and time again for mostly forgotten and very old urban industrial districts and often on blighted housing surrounding them.  Instead of building new, these breweries are helping to propel the green movement by recycling old buildings and using local ingredients. Relationships and taking care of one another can strengthen a community. Businesses that support one another’s missions and goals foster growth. My goal is to continue to share those stories of success and provide a platform for others to share theirs.

 Urban MJ is an information hub founded by Marcus Jackson to connect citizens, investors, tenants, and those passionate about their walkable communities through intelligent discussion on urban investment in both existing and rising metropolitan areas. Through Urban MJ, Marcus utilizes his years of experience in mixed-use and urban assets to offer valuable insight into the practice of urban investment, adaptive re-use, and development.

A Continued Fight for Affordable Housing

UrbanMJ plans to post frequently about this subject and “take it on” directly.  I have thankfully had a significant amount of inner city experience, both as a developer and as a community advocate.  I intensely believe that revitalization should benefit all.  It is a tough subject and this article is all about a responsible developer “going the extra mile”, but still meeting with resistance.

Urban Farming

UrbanMJ has renamed urban retail to “street commercial” and will bring creative and leading-edge uses that are adapting to the rising urban population  Creative retail also serves as a magnet to draw suburbanites into downtowns.  Street commercial is no longer all about traditional retail, bars and restaurants.  Of all the locational varieties, high walkability locations are in the best condition to meet the intensely increasing interest in “experiential” retail.  There is also a rising demand for street-level office, particularly with tech companies.  And talk about innovative retail…downtowns are a magnet and include Food Halls, such as Morgan Street Food Hall soon to open in downtown Raleigh to Cat Cafes to the Ax Throwing Bar about to open in downtown Durham.
Urban Farming has been first rising in the gateway cities and now they are starting to sweep the smaller major cities, such as Raleigh City Farm in Downtown Raleigh.  Raleigh City Farm is on the street and serves both restaurants and is direct to consumer, thus benefitting the local population that literally walk to buy fresh produce.  The next evolution is rooftop urban farming.  Why not move street uses to the roof and full advantage of the sun!  The linked article is all about rooftop urban farming and all about efficient delivery to the local population.  In this case, this venture is “for profit” and is part of a wider movement to bring rooftop gardens and greenhouses to North American cities.  To borrow a great quote in the article “if you can grow a strawberry in January, you can charge whatever you want.”

 

Quickly revitalizing Downtown Greensboro

Announcing new urban mixed-use site: Quickly revitalizing Downtown Greensboro

Offering Memorandum at this link:

Union Square OM Web.pdf

Downtown Durham’s increasing national recognition

Hat tip to the forces behind Downtown Durham’s increasing national recognition….the Goodmon’s, Duke University, the City……

Bullish on the Bull City

Long overshadowed by its sister cities—Raleigh and Chapel Hill—Durham, North Carolina, is coming into its own

http://gardenandgun.com/articles/bullish-bull-city/

The Caffeine Connection

What do “Friends”​, Starbucks, the rise of the portable office and bootstrapping out of underemployment have in common?

What Made Coffeehouse Culture Go Boom?

A not-exactly-empirical analysis of how the cafe became a trademark of almost every city neighborhood.

http://www.citylab.com/navigator/2017/01/the-cafe-tipping-point/513656/

 

Innovation hubs that drive the entire economy

Innovation hubs that drive the entire economy….thank you Michael Goodmon for posting this.

Can cities create innovation hubs that work for the entire economy?

As startup districts proliferate, city planners aim to build tech hubs with a community focus

http://www.curbed.com/2017/1/10/14214842/startup-economic-development-innovation-cities-incubator

Getting a Driverless Car for Christmas?

Getting a Driverless Car for Christmas? Read this first!

Practical and fun article from MIT Technology Review: Uber thinks its self-driving taxis could change the way millions of people get around. But autonomous vehicles aren’t anywhere near to being ready for the roads.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602492/what-to-know-before-you-get-in-a-self-driving-car/