Small Biz Shout Out- Ice Cream

ice cream

Hello friends! Today’s edition of Small Biz Shout Out is all about ice cream!! I know that everyone buying their Pumpkin Spice flavored treats in full force and is embracing sweater weather but that doesn’t mean that we can stop the hankering for a cup of ice cream and if you’re lucky it may be Pumpkin flavored. We’re lucky that we live in a city that is willing to satisfy our cravings in a variety of unique ways year round…if only snowball places would catch on!

Taharka Bros Ice Cream– Taharka Bros are everywhere! You can find them in some of the best restaurants in Baltimore, scoop shops, local colleges, festivals in the Change Maker Mobile (their recently crowdfunded mobile ice cream shop complete with a retail area for some thought provoking literature…they make it smart to eat more ice cream!), and most importantly in pints in the freezer section of many local markets. Attention White Marsh folks…they are available at Richardson Farms!!

I have devoured every flavor of their ice cream that I’ve had the pleasure of trying. One of the amazing things about Taharka Bros is that they have strong social beliefs and they use the popularity of their ice cream as a platform for their message. Once I read their story on their website I was no longer just a fan of the ice cream, I became a loyal member of the Taharka family. I admire them for standing up for their beliefs, following their passion, and bettering the community in their own special way. They close the above video with the quote, “It’s local, fresh, dope, revolution, empowerment…it’s family.” Here at Sweet Tea Cooking we’re all about family and we welcome Taharka Bros to the Sweet Tea Cooking family.

taharka-bros

Here is their story exactly as it reads on their website:

Having launched as a Benefit Corp. in 2010, the Baltimore based Taharka Brothers Ice Cream Co. is a for-profit and for-community social enterprise managed and operated primarily by college aged young adults. We use our award-winning ice creams, sorbets, and business initiatives to champion the fight for a better, brighter, and more “Taharkafied” world. Our offerings serve as a vessel for the continuous flow of cultural understanding, economic and social justice, civic involvement and, of course, good times!!!

Repping various parts of a city steeped in struggle, we’ve thought deeply about friends, families, futures, hopes, ‘hoods and heroes asking ourselves hard questions. Could we promote peace, social and economic justice to communities both local and non-local via an ice cream business? Could we make a good living and have crazy fun? We also thought on things that have inspired us, both sung and unsung human rights warriors that have made our world a more just place. We meditated on the struggles in the ‘hood, the music that maintains us and the writers and poets that sustain us. And of course we contemplated food – good food – and yes, those who go without food. We believed we could create a little sumthin’ that might, if done right, make a big difference (in a sweet way) in both our lives and the lives of others.

This is our contribution.

Welcome to the funkafied family, loved ones!!

With mad love,

Your new big Brothers

baltimore-charmery

The Charmery– The Charmery is located on the corner of 36th St and Chestnut in Hampden. This shop has the most adorable old school ice cream shop feel but the flavors are far from old school. According to the International Ice Cream Association member companies (which I just discovered is a thing!),vanilla is still the most popular flavor of ice cream in the US. The Charmery offers Pure Vanilla but I dare you to actually order it with all of the other delights that are available. Personally ordering Vanilla (unless it’s going on top of a warm brownie) is a sin…my husband does not share this opinion. Old Bay Caramel, Tell Tale Chocolate, Maryland Mud, Berger Cookies and Cream, Lemon Stick, Coffee by Spro, Duckpin Ale Chocolate, and Crunch Davis, are just a few of the decadent flavors that are available with a Maryland twist. For those of you that do not crave ice cream in the cooler months they have you covered with a variety of hot chocolates with homemade marshmallows that are absolutely divine! I cannot wait to score a hot chocolate at the end of a Terrific Lady Day.

BB_exterior_signs

Broom’s Bloom Dairy– Broom’s Bloom is a delightful place and we lovingly refer to it as “the ice cream farm” in my family. Broom’s Bloom serves around 12-15 flavors of ice cream a day all made right on the farm until they sell out for the day. Which has heartbreakingly happened to me twice…when I was next in line! While Broom’s Bloom can be a hike for some folks just for a scoop of ice cream but they also offer quiches, sandwiches, soups, and salads so you can make a whole meal out of the visit. TJ has yet to experience the ice cream farm so I plan on taking him up there for dinner tomorrow! In addition to the amazing ice cream and meals Broom’s Bloom is a mini Farmer’s Market. They sell soap, cheese, eggs, and pork made on their farm from their animals as well as meats, milk, and produce from other area farms and vendors. I’m pumped to load up on all kinds of goodies while we’re there. Broom’s Bloom is open all year (hours change depending on the season) and they can be extremely busy during the summer months. Wait in the line, it’s worth it! I’ll be sure to post pics from our field trip on Instagram Sweet_Tea_Cooking and Twitter @sweetteacooking.

As Bobby Hill from King of the Hill perfectly put it, “I like my sundaes even on a Monday”. Well in this case it’s a Thursday but we feel you Bobby. Now go and get you some ice cream on this week!

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Small Biz Shout Out- Treat Yo Self Edition

I have to apologize for not posting as much this week. I’ve been feeling super run down and have had a migraine most of the week. I don’t know if it’s just the changing of the seasons or if I’m fighting off a cold. Resting up has been a top priority so I can in tip top shape for the full schedule of cooking sessions that I have scheduled this weekend. We have not spent very much time in the kitchen at all this week and I miss it. Yesterday I did throw some chicken in the crockpot with some Kaldi Plaki Cooking Sauce as soon as I came home then previously laid down on the couch to continue my Sex and the City marathon until TJ came home. By the time he came home dinner was almost done and all we needed to do was throw a bag of Basmati rice in the microwave. It was about all I had the energy for but it tastes so good and takes virtually no effort. I try to always have a bag of microwave rice and a jar of Kaldi Cooking Sauce in the pantry for these types of days.

Once I crawled back to the sofa I realized that tomorrow is Small Biz Shout Out and I need to buy some more Kaldi. This week’s Small Biz Shout Out theme is “Treat Yo Self”! All of these places are little splurges but hey, if we’ve learned anything from Tom Haverford it’s…

Tom HaverfordNeopol Savory, Smokery– I have had the absolute luck and pleasure of eating Neopol Salmon and only having to pay for it once! I used to work at Blue Moon Cafe and for Easter and Mother’s Day the owner would get a huge smoked salmon and we’d have a salmon, bacon, and cream cheese omelet on special. Well we of course had to do some quality control and make sure that it tasted good enough to serve…mother of pearl it always did! Neopol is hands down the best smoked salmon that I’ve ever had. I am getting hungry now just writing about it. Now that my luck has run out I purchased the smoked salmon tacos when I was at Belvedere Square last. Fry knows what I’m talking about

fry take my money

Seriously, I’m ready for a field trip out to Belvedere Square. Who’s coming with me?!

Gunpowder Bison & Trading Co. – I first found out about Gunpowder Bison when I received a pack of the ground bison in my CSA box from Mill Valley General Store a few years back. My brother around the same time started making drives directly to the store located on the Gunpowder Bison farm in Monkton, MD. He loves it! You can also purchase their products at a variety of farmer’s markets across the state. Gunpowder Bison & Trading Co. sells locally-raised, antibiotic- and hormone-free, dry-aged bison meat. Many people strongly feel as though bison has more health benefits than beef and have begun swapping that into their diet. We very rarely purchase any beef in our house. We’ve made the switch over to turkey but I do like to occasionally pick up a pack of Gunpowder Bison when I’m making Chili. Who’s ready for a field trip up the the store?

Choux: Ma Petite Shoe Cafe– Choux is located right next door to Ma Petite Shoe in Hampden. On the first Saturday of every month I have “Terrific Lady Day” that would Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle would definately be proud of. I start the morning with a massage at Missi Kibelbek Bodywork Studios (who I’ve been seeing for about 4 years. Make an appointment now!!), then I head out to breakfast so I can drink copious amounts of coffee and read before I head into my usual spots for some (mostly window) shopping. More often than not this means heading a few stores down to Choux for a dark chocolate croissant and a slice of quiche. Choux is also one of the few places on The Avenue with outdoor seating so that’s what first drew me in. Once I saw that all of the food was made in house, I was completely sold. You have not truly lived until you ate quiche for breakfast while people watching in Hampden and had someone deliver you a fresh out of the oven chocolate croissant! Choux also has amazing coffee with baristas that actual care about what they are doing. If you’ve had enough bad drinks at Starbucks you understand why this is such a big deal! In addition to a variety of homemade treats you can also purchase some hard to find products such as Kaldi Cooking Sauces. Even if I’m not eating my breakfast at Choux (they do not have any tables inside) I always stop in for a jar of Kaldi and a sweet treat to take home to TJ.

Have you tried any of these places? Do you have any little splurges that you indulge in? I wanna know!

Small Biz Shout Out!

Good Afternoon and Happy Thursday from Sweet Tea Cooking! It is time for another Small Biz Shoutout! Every Thursday we feature 3 small businesses that we’re crushing on. It could range from restaurants to independently owned companies creating wonderful products out of a sheer passion. Please show some Sweet Tea love by checking out their website or giving them a visit. If you have any product suggestions let me know. I love discovering new stuff!

I am only featuring products that I personally buy, use, and love. IF I happened to get gifted any goodies I’d let you know up front. Until that happens, which would be rad, this is the stuff that I’m spending my (and my husband’s) hard earned cash on!

This week I’m sticking with brunch theme. If you know me personally then you know that I could talk about brunch and breakfast all day, everyday. All of the items below were served at a brunch at our house last month so not only do I enjoy these products I happily serve them to others!

Michele's Granola

Love that logo!!

Michele’s Granola is the exclusive granola purchased in our house for about the past 2 years. We’ve tried plenty of other granolas but I never really liked any of them. Most of them were made by big cereal companies and the list of ingredients was way longer than I thought necessary for granola. We make a very strong effort to not purchase items that have more than 5 ingredients in them and if it does have more than 5 the majority of the ingredients have to be “whole foods” and not a litany list of artificial flavors and food coloring. From the moment that I discovered Michele’s Granola which is made right here in Maryland, Timonium to be exact, I was hooked and never looked back. We tend to stick to the Original but have been known to mix things up with Pumpkin Spice or the winter Cranberry flavor. Greek yogurt parfaits are a regular breakfast in our house really our respective offices.

Michele’s Granola is a company that cares not only about providing a high quality product but also about giving back to the community. Their baking facility is very environmentally friendly, they donate 1% of their sales to Baltimore-based nonprofit organizations, and they take two employer paid days to volunteer directly at the organizations that they support. This is definitely a company that I’m happy to shill my pennies over to! {pic of Fry “take my money”}

I have been able to find them in most Wegman’s and Whole Foods in the Baltimore metro area as well as Richardson’s Farm in White Marsh. They also have an online store that sells all of their available flavors as well as 5 pound bags that are a great savings. Currently the coupon code FRESH10 will get you 10% off of your online order. A 5lb bag will be showing up at our house soon…it was only $29.69! That would only buy 4 12oz bags in the stores so it’s basically like getting 2 bags for free.

Dirty Don Hot Sauce

Find them and buy a few bottles!

Dirty Don’s Hot Sauce is a tad more difficult to come by. You can get it at Union Graze Farmers Market (next one is tomorrow, 9/19), Hampden Farmers Market (every Saturday), and at Baltimore Free Farm . I happened to be in Hampden the day before I was hosting a brunch and sampled the Appaloosa Hot Sauce, it was pretty mild with a sweet aftertaste (there are 7 flavors of varying heat available) and just knew that this would be a great addition to the egg bakes that we were serving!  It’s only $5 a bottle and the bottle that I purchased was so fresh that it had just been bottled two hours prior to purchasing. I pretty much eat it on everything now! Dirty Don’s is working on getting larger distribution but until then I’ll just pretend it’s my little secret ingredient.

Atwater's In House Jam

Return the Weck jar for a return on your deposit when you purchase more

Atwater’s is a restaurant that uses mostly organic and seasonal, local ingredients, many of which they sell for you to take home. They specialize in bread, pastries, jam, ice cream, and soups…all right up my alley!  My personal favorite is the Orange & Earl Grey jam, which is made in the French preserve style. Atwater’s is the type of place that if they do not make something in their own kitchen they will source from like minded businesses and they’re happy to share with you the names of these companies so show them some love too! There are five locations throughout the Baltimore metro area, the newest one being in Canton. So much good stuff has opened up since I left! Shockingly, I still have not made it out for brunch yet but hopefully TJ and I will change that soon so we can take advantage of their outdoor seating.

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?