Radio Roasters

For the past year, Chip Grabow of Radio Roasters and I have emailed back and forth, always planning to get together for a blog shoot, but for some reason or other, never connecting. Until earlier this week, when we set a date on a Monday morning and I arrived and he was there. Perfect. Now let's have some of that coffee...

Part of the reason it took Chip and I some time to connect was because roasting small batch coffee is not his day job. He's an editor at CNN and does this coffee roasting thing on the side. Except it's not really just a thing- it's a big, ambitious, impressive thing. He does it for the love of coffee and Chip's passion is evident the moment I stepped inside his small roastery in Decatur, Georgia. He doesn't want others to just drink good coffee, he wants them to understand why it's good coffee. As Chip explained, "roasting coffee is an art form."

Coffee, at its origin is a food crop. Like a fine wine, the taste varies based on the soil it is grown in, the care the farmer provides, when it is harvested and how. The farmer who raised the beans now passes the responsibility on to those that roast and ultimately brew those beans. Chip savors the challenge. As he shared, "There are all these flavors locked inside a coffee bean that you don't realize is there."

During my visit, Chip roasted two of six coffee options that he is always rotating, depending what's in season and from where. The first up was Estate PB near Antigua in Guatemala which derives from the small bean known as peaberry-  which, if roasted just right, elicits a full bodied, sweet taste. The other coffee was Banexport from Huila, Colombia which showcases an apple crispness with a sweet, rich body.

It was so nice to have a cup of the Antigua coffee, roasted and brewed by a caregiver's touch. I told Chip, as I work in television studios and sets, I always hide my bad coffee with cream and sugar. But here I had the chance to drink a quality cup and really learn its depth and nuances. It tasted delicious and I learned a thing or two. Mission accomplished for Chip.

I also learned through our time together that Chip was a producer at NPR for 15 years (hence the name of his company). He's a man after my own heart as he loves a good story. And he continues to tell really good stories, whether he knows it or not, with each cup of coffee he serves.

If you live in Atlanta, you can purchase Radio Roasters coffee from Crafted Westside, Sq/ft or in Chip's online shop. As the formula goes, Chip roasts and you brew, so I recommend you check out his brewing tips for crafting a flavorful, quality cup. One that would make him and the farmer proud. 


Images: Whitney Ott, Sweet Peach     Content: Sweet Peach



The Lulie Wallace Lunchbox

It's been a long while since I've had a lunchbox but after seeing the recent beautifully designed boxes by Charleston artist, Lulie Wallace, I want one. Just like this. 

Lulie created her own lunchbox out of need. She brings her lunch to the studio every day so she figured, why not make it stylish? You may remember Lulie from her gorgeous paintings, which I blogged about a couple years I'm happy she's found new and functional uses for her pretty designs. Pick your favorite, here



Steve McKenzie's

Yesterday, I spent the morning at Steve McKenzie's, a home decor shop on the westside of Atlanta. Owners Steve and Jill McKenzie carry an eclectic and inviting mix of French, mid century modern and southern home decor. They love a mix of styles and textures or as Steve shared, "We only bring in what we believe in."

The space is one large, cozy room and a mix of furniture, textiles, tabletop, stationery and small goods. I personally liked to see all the Southern artists in the shop, including R. Wood StudioColsenKeane, Thimblepress and Rifle Paper Co.  

What's nice is every month, Jill and Steve pick a new Southern artist to showcase their artwork, which is then displayed throughout the space. This month, it's Decatur, Georgia based artist, Ruth Franklin. There are currently over a dozen of her acrylics on canvas and charcoal drawings in the shop to stop and take in- so stunning. 

Steve was a painter for 30 years and still dabbles today, as his entire fabric collection (about 44 different prints now sold throughout the US and Canada) are first all hand painted by him before reproduction. Steve is also an interior designer and lends his expertise for residential design, which has become a major aspect of the business. 

Steve McKenzie's is the largest stocking dealer in the US of Blenko glass and in this space, you'll find all you need for your tabletop. If you or someone you're buying for loves to entertain, this lovely and delightful shop is a fun spot to peruse. And if you're not able to visit in person, no worries, just check out the shop online, here.


Content & Images: Sweet Peach



Rye 51

I like the change in seasons. I've noticed I adjust what I eat, what I wear, what I blog about. Like today, I have a really good reason to talk about pocket squares again...

These handsome linen pocket squares with wood buttons come via Rye 51 of Dallas, Texas. In their online shop, you'll find over two dozen choices, many of which perfectly complement the darker, earthier colors and textures we see this fall. 

This bright blue check linen square and plaid linen square have my heart. A little boldness with a classic and cool pattern goes a long way... See all of Rye 51's pocket square options, here. 


Images: Rye 51     Content: Sweet Peach



Bannerproof Your Coffee...

If you're an avid coffee drinker, you may have heard of bulletproofing your coffee by now. It was designed by Dave Asprey and the basic idea is by adding healthy fats to your coffee in the morning, (via unsalted, grass fed butter and coconut oil) you will have more energy, boost your brainpower and curb hunger. So, since I live in Atlanta, which is also home to the incredibly delectable Banner Butter, I figured some taste testing was in order...

The recipe to Bannerproof Your Coffee is quite simple: Take a tablespoon of unsalted Banner Butter, a tablespoon of coconut oil and place in a blender along with your cup of hot coffee. Blend for a few seconds until frothy, then pour into a mug. Top with a sprinkling of cinnamon if you so desire and enjoy...

My niece and I also tried Banner Butter's Cinnamon, Cardamom and Ginger, which goes great with regular coffee as well as Pumpkin Spice coffee- perfect for a chilly, fall day. A sucker for flavored anything, I loved this creamy, spiced version the best. 

Thirdly, we tried a mocha version using locally made Atlanta chocolate, Xocolatl. We melted a couple tablespoons in a double broiler, added that into the blender along with the coffee, butter and coconut oil, then drizzled some extra melted chocolate atop our finished cup. Ultimately, I'm not sure if I had any more energy or brainpower than a normal cup would provide, but I did feel satiated and I did love the taste...especially when there was melted chocolate on top. 

If you're in Atlanta and wish to buy a cup rather than make your own, stop by Caveman Coffee, on the BeltLine, which is offering two versions right now: Butter Coffee (with unsalted Banner Butter) and Autumn Spice Butter Coffee (with Cinnamon, Cardamom, Ginger Banner Butter, maple syrup, vanilla and almond milk)  Yum. 

And no matter where you live, have Banner Butter delivered to your front door, here. Via Scoutmob...


Images: Sweet Peach, Whitney Ott    Content: Sweet Peach



The All Purpose Bag...

I love a good all purpose travel bag and the colorful, earthy options by Butter Design Lab in Austin, Texas fit the bill...

Each bag is made with a durable, water repellant waxed canvas and the interior black lining is waterproof as well, plus the seams are triple stitched. This minimal, stylish bag is built to last- meant to travel with you and be there for you, without incident. I like that. Learn more, here.


Images: Food 52   Content: Sweet Peach 


The Shelter Collection

A couple weeks ago, my friend Erin Connelly over at The Commons in Charleston sent me some pics of something quite special....dare I say spectacular. Erin, along with her design and business partner, Kerry Clark Speake have produced their first collection of ceramic vessels and glassware. It's called The Shelter Collection and it is the only line of glassware manufactured exclusively in the South. 

Erin and Kerry were inspired by mud hut dwellings as they designed their simply stunning collection. Learning about their process I loved reading that the mud hut is "the strongest architectural shape using the least amount of materials." Together, Erin and Kerry work with local craftsmen and the nonprofit, STARworks in Star, North Carolina to see these beautiful vessels come to life. 

There are 14 different pieces in the Shelter Collection which include small, medium and large cups, glass pitchers, a coffee mug and tea (or beer) stein.

The pieces are made from clay sourced locally in Seagrove, North Carolina, the handmade pottery capital of the United States. This area pictured above is an historic pottery region known as the Michfield clay site, which has produced a light gray, chalky clay for hundreds of years. How wonderfully amazing is that? 

The pair experimented with dozens of glaze options before settling on this one. As stated on their site, "No detail was left unexplored from the finish of the ceramic glaze, selecting one that perfectly warms the hand with tea but does not burn, to the shape and feel of the glass opening and weight." 


What an accomplishment to set out to make your very own glassware collection that is locally sourced and made by hand here in the South. The NY Times recently featured their work in T of my favorites. This is inspiring work and a reminder that we can still make the South a thriving hub of beautiful, locally made goods. Learn more about The Shelter Collection, here. 


Images: The Commons, Sully Sullivan, Rinne Allen    Content: Sweet Peach 



Philip Juras

In search of more artwork for my home, I had to take a moment to admire the work of painter, Philip Juras of Athens, Georgia. I spied his work on my friend Nan's Instagram account the other day... 

What I love most about Philip Juras' work is that the majority of it showcases my favorite place on earth- Little St. Simon's Island, Georgia. Through my work at TBS, I've been so fortunate to visit this magical, private island a multitude of times. Whatever the reason, (which I gather has a lot to do with how protected and untouched this southern wilderness is) I feel nothing but happiness when I set my feet here- and I get the feeling Philip feels the same way. 

As shared on his site, "Philip focuses primarily on remnant natural landscapes that offer a glimpse of the Southeast before European settlement." Through my dozens of hikes with friend, Kathryn Kolb, I've come to learn first hand how special and fragile our Southern ecosystem is artists like Philip (and Kathryn) who remind us why it's so vital to stand up and protect it. 

See more of the lovely, southern inspired work of Philip Juras, here.


Images: Phillip Juras      Content: Sweet Peach 



Parrott Canvas

I like bags made with a specific lifestyle in this Carpenter's bag made with a removable, covered board to give structure to the bottom. Crafted with wax canvas duck fabric, it's strong and durable, plus it's built to be taken places where it may get wet, dirty, kicked around... do what you will, it can take it. 

The crew at Parrott Canvas, based out of Greenville, North Carolina, have been designing and producing manly totes and bags for over 20 years. These are my favorite of their stylish, functional bags but their shop includes hundreds of options for every carry need. Pick your favorite, here.


Images: Parrott Canvas     Content: Sweet Peach



Hayley Gaberlavage, landscape and portraiture

I have a bit of a crazed day today so I need to keep today's post short and sweet...but inspiring. So I chose one of my favorite artists, Hayley Gaberlavage of New Orleans. I knew she did amazing portraiture, but just realized this morning she also paints landscapes. I particularly like this one because it reminds me of the years I lived in Hermosa Beach. Busy streets, lots of beach houses stacked side by side yet always a palm tree every time you look up....

Hayley aptly describes her paintings as contemporary, humorous and slightly Southern. To see more of her work in both landscape and portraiture, click here.