Tag Archives: local

Keep it Local

When my mom was in town earlier this summer, she and I started the habit of getting up a little earlier on Saturday morning, grabbing breakfast, and hitting up the small farmers’ market at Market Square here in Tallahassee. It was a great way to pick up our produce for the week as well as support the local economy. It’s a wonderful ritual that I’ve found myself continuing even though my mom has been back in NC for more than a month.

I’ve become somewhat of a regular with certain vendors, and they greet me warmly every time they see me and are always excited to show me what they have to offer that day. While I’d like to think it has something to do with my dazzling wit, I suspect my purple hair is the likely reason that I’ve become so well known.  One of my favorite booths is the one by Serenity Farms. They’re a goat farm, and they offer everything from homemade cheese to soap. They even have goats milk half and half available at certain times of the year. While the vegan wannabe in me has a problem with dairy in general, I have a lot of respect for these guys. They fluctuate their offerings based on what the goats are producing in season and can tell you which goat was the provider for which ingredients. If you’re going to consume animal products, I think it’s important to acknowledge and honor the creature it came from.  The other highlight of this particular farmers’ market are the plants and fresh flowers available each week. There are several different plant vendors who offer everything from herbs and veggies to ornamental shrubs and all manner of flowering things. Not to mention the fresh flowers themselves; I mean, the sunflowers alone have been breathtaking the last few weeks. 

Farmers’ markets can be a lot of fun, even if they’re humble in size. I definitely suggest checking around your local area to see what is available. And hey, if you find yourself in Tallahassee, stop by, and maybe we’ll run into each other.


Craig’s Killer Coffee

One of the worst things about living in a college town is football season. I am one of the few people in the world who don’t care about/get sports, and although I am an FSU alumni, I have zero school spirit. This time of year I hate the hordes of fanatics that descend on the city every home game (even though I do have to admit they really help the local economy). This weekend was even worse because it was homecoming.

We were incredibly naive and tried to go out to brunch Sunday morning and found that every restaurant we usually go to had at least a 45 minute wait or a line out the door and around the side of the building just to put your name on the the wait list. As you can imagine after a couple of failed attempts, we were getting pretty crabby from lack of caffeine and hunger. We were driving around snapping at each other when we remembered a near by coffee shop that we’d been meaning to try, Criag’s Killer Coffee.

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The place was tiny and packed with regulars, but the staff was really friendly, and we ended up siting at the bar sipping on steaming mugs of chai  and sampling their quiche of the day and an saintly good broccoli cheddar corn muffin. We also loved the easy banter of the patrons and the baristas; it was one of lose places that makes you understand the importance of supporting small local businesses.

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We will definitely be going back; there was a counter of full of homemade pastries that we’re going to have to try, not to mention the antique shop they share the space with. My mom will be in town in a couple of weeks, and I think she’d love this place.


Lofty Pursuits

While my mom was in town, Andy and I decided to check out a local joint called Lofty Pursuits. Lofty Pursuits is a combination old fashion soda fountain and toy store. They also make their own candy: old-fashioned Victorian hand pulled candy to be exact. It was so much fun we ended up going 3 times during her visit.

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Our first trip was on a Sunday. We went simply for ice cream. Yes, the toy store was cool, and we did plan on checking it out, but mostly it was crazy hot outside, and we really really wanted some delicious local hand dipped ice cream.

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While we were perusing the ice cream selection, we noticed the candy counter and asked if they ever did candy making demonstrations. They do, but they were every Friday night from 4:30-9, so we’d missed the show for that week. My mom quickly put in her bid that we check out the next show. Of course, I agreed.

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As promised, we drove back the next Friday, purchased our ice cream, and watched entranced as the owner and his apprentice turned giant pots of boiling sugar into custom wedding candies. Both were natural showmen, explaining the process, answering questions, cracking jokes, and, most importantly, offering samples.

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I do need to take a moment and tell you about the ice cream. I went in a little skeptical, but it was really, really good. Since we made three visits, we got to try a few different flavors as well as note that, while a few of the most popular flavors were always there, they kept up a rotation of new flavors to keep things interesting for the customers. Plus, they had vegan ice cream and vegan ganache, which was perfect for someone who tries to keep her dairy intake to a minimum. We will most definitely be going back, and we’ll be taking any visiting family and friends with us.