Category - Spotlight On

1
Rubymint General – Phoenix, AZ
2
An Enchanted Dinner In the Desert
3
Fitness and Therapy Collide During AZ Goat Yoga

Rubymint General – Phoenix, AZ

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

Nestled on the outskirts of Phoenix’s historic Coronado neighborhood is Rubymint General– a small boutique that is full of clothing, jewelry, accessories, gifts, and the cutest pet goodies. The shop is still somewhat new to the scene, as co-owners Kat and Kui recently had the grand opening celebration on December 18th, 2016. Kui is more of a fashionista, crafty type of gal- who had also had a passion for opening her own boutique. Kat- on the other hand, is more small business savvy, and is passionate about creating opportunity, and improving and investing in their neighborhood. When Kat learned about Kui’s amazing goal, she thought it was a great opportunity for them to join forces and see what they could come up with.

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

Kat also co-owns Smooth Brew, which recently turned two this past May 19th. She wanted to build a fun, customer-focused coffee shop to add to their neighborhood and occupy a building that had been vacant for years. Since it’s right next door, be sure to stop by for a latte or food item before or after shopping at Rubymint General.

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

The girls enlist the help of several local artisans, whose products fill the shelves. Here is just a handful of the artists: The Tiny Farmer, 11th Monk3y, April Howland, Bunny Blanky, Redheart Jewelry, Harold’s, John’s Premium Tonic, Knife & Garment, Lafayette Avenue Ceramics, Love and Solder, Bohemia Creations, Crystal Ammunition, Nelson Woodshop, Black Tie Market, Prickly Pear Shop, Regrain Studio, Rye Jewelry, Shiela and Me, SKINS Organics, Silver Lining Goods, A Tattered Heart Studio, plus goods under the Rubymint General label.

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

Speedy says “Hi!”

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

 

Rubymint General, Phoenix AZ, shop local, local boutique

Rubymint General is located at:

1441 E. McDowell Rd. Unit 2

Phoenix, AZ 85006

PH: (602)595- 8505

Email: info@rubymintgeneral.com

An Enchanted Dinner In the Desert

Cloth & Flame, desert dinner, Phoenix, desert

I had first heard about the Cloth & Flame desert dinners when I met Matt Cooley and Olivia Laux during Phoestivus 2016. The duo come from two different backgrounds. Olivia worked in chemical engineering; while Matt worked in tourism in Alaska, and worked wholesale for an ice cream shop in Oregon.

Cloth & Flame was born on the premise of encouraging community, and inspiring people into helping protect the Sonoran Desert and wilderness areas here in Arizona. According to the website, “We pay to lease land for our dinners, so areas that might otherwise be developed can act instead as a source of income for the landowner. We also give 10% of every dinners’ proceeds to great coalitions that work to preserve migratory routes and wild places in our inimitable state.”

They had first included the dinners along with their balloon tours, but as of December 31st 2016, they branched out to also just do the dinners. “We just realized that more could be done with it. It’s just stunning out there and so many people in our community never have the chance to really spend time in the desert, or just don’t know where to begin. We started collaborating with local chefs and artisans, and realized that others are inspired by the desert too, and the rest is history,” Matt further explained. 

I had the chance to experience this magical desert bespoke, alfresco-style meal recently, and was just so impressed at the whole concept. I arrived that their North Phoenix office, which was the official meet-up point. After a brief introduction, and what to expect, we were loaded into two vans and drove to the destination.

About a half-hour later, we arrived in the heart of the desert; away from the city and freeways. The long community-style wooden table and benches were set up amongst the saguaros and cholla. The table was set with desert florals, china, and silverware. It was like a bohemian fairytale.

We started out with a cocktail hour, accompanied with an appetizer. While most everyone had the ceviche, myself and a couple other vegetarians had the kimchi “crackers” and guacamole. It was actually really good! It had just enough spice for a small kick, but the guacamole leveled it out with just the right amount of flavor.

 Kimchi and guacamole, Cloth & Flame, desert dinner

Kimchi “Crackers” and Guacamole

 

After cocktail hour, we all gathered at the table, where Matt and Olivia introduced themselves and told us about the company. We then feasted on the first course. My vegetarian version was the Charred Spring Pea Toast. Again, didn’t disappoint. I definitely could’ve eaten more than one of those.

Charred Spring Pea Toast, Cloth & Flame, desert dinner

Charred Spring Pea Toast

Next up was the pozole. Again, I had the meatless version. Mushrooms floated in this amazing broth, that had somewhat of a spicy kick. The cabbage and lime were added as extra flavor. Definitely one of those dishes that I could eat over and over.

Vegetable Pozole, Cloth & Flame, desert dinner

Vegetable Pozole

The main entree for me was the Charred Cauliflower, Kimchi Potato Salad, and Spring Vegetables. I really loved the flavor of the charred cauliflower, which I also mixed in with the kimchi potato salad, making for an effortless flavorful combination.

Charred cauliflower, kimchi potato salad, spring vegetables, Cloth & Flame, desert dinner

Charred Cauliflower, Kimchi Potato Salad, Spring Vegetables

Our last course was dessert. We had the Pistachio Pound Cake, Citrus, Mint Meringues, and Citrus Sabayon. Goodness, what a great way to end an evening in the desert.

Pistachio pound cake, citrus, mint meringues, and citrus sabayon, Cloth & Flame, desert dinner

Pistachio Pound Cake, Citrus, Mint Meringues, and Citrus Sabayon

I want to personally thank (and e-hug) the following people that made that night possible and inspiring: Chefs Brent Kille and Donny Hawk from Okra and The Gladly respectively. The Cloth & Flame team: Olivia Laux and Matt Cooley- Co-Owners, Alana Tivnan- Events and Growth Manager,  Holly Ruggerio- Director of Operations, and Derek Christensen- Head Chef.

Be sure to also follow Cloth & Flame on Facebook and Instagram.

Fitness and Therapy Collide During AZ Goat Yoga

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

I know what you guys must be thinking, ‘Goats? Yoga? Goats and yoga??’  Well, the answer is YES… Goat Yoga is a thing…and it’s quite truly amazing. The concept was created by friends – April Gould and Sarah Williams around September 2016. Sarah is the yogi, who has been teaching the art form for more than 20 years, and also owns Desert Paddleboards. April is the gal who owns the cutest goats around the Phoenix area. The friends were also on American Ninja Warrior, which was where April was proclaimed “Goat Whisperer.”

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

Sarah felt that a lot of people are actually intimidated by going to a normal yoga class (I know I am). So that’s why she first launched paddleboard yoga, and then teamed up with April to do the goat yoga. “We wanted to do something together. Since she does yoga and I have goats, it just made sense,” April said.

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

The goat yoga classes first started out at April’s house in Gilbert, but soon had to move venues, as the classes just started filling up. They moved their home base to a sprawling ranch about three miles away from April’s home. They feel it gives people a real Arizona experience, and it was same atmosphere as their first venue. The adult and baby goats are all emotional support certified, and they have been trained to specifically do yoga.

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

The morning of the class, I had been feeling kinda shitty (ain’t gonna lie), but as soon as I arrived at the sign-in table and walked into the gated pasture, my horrible mood instantly lifted. I mean, it’s normally not everyday that you come across a yoga class that involved any sort of animal. The other great part, is that they were all dressed up in the cutest little outfits. Sarah and April told me that the outfits were mostly made from grandmas living in the area. The idea to dress them up, came up during Halloween, when they were going to be on the news. The news segment got a glowing response. “Our goal is to make people happy, so to see a goat dressed up, makes people even more happy. So we just keep adding costumes, and people will bring us costumes. The Dollar Store loves us, ” the ladies explained.

We did the hour long class, with Sarah making hilarious jokes throughout. Folks- let me be honest in saying that I could barely concentrate on doing the actual yoga part, when there were goats jumping up on us, as we were in the downward dog position. We were all taking photos and just living in the moment. A girl even got asked to prom. What a great “prom-posal,” dont’cha think?!

The 40 minute trip to Gilbert was definitely worth it. Sarah and April are lovely and witty. The goats were incredibly cute and well-trained. It’s also not every day that you have a goat walking on your back, which actually felt like a nice mini massage.

“If you go to a yoga studio, you drive to a yoga studio… you have to drive in traffic and everything. But {for goat yoga} you kinda get out in nature, and you get to see animals and you get to see people having fun. It’s just a win-win all around.” – Sarah

“It brings the community together, and that’s a big part. We really want to make people happy, bring the community together, just get away from the daily stresses of life.” -April

“So many people that come, would never go to a yoga studio. This isn’t intimidating at all. Goats don’t judge, they just love.” -Sarah

“One thing that’s special about goat yoga is that we do all kinds of yoga. We do traditional, mandala, acro ; so it’s a very good way to get to do all kinds of yoga. It’s not just regular or hot yoga. You can also meditate.” -April

Classes are an hour, but you can come early and stay late if you want to hang out with the goats. Also, $12 a class ya’ll! Check out their website to sign up, and get other information on the classes that are life-changing.

Keep scrolling to see more pictures from the morning!

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

 

 

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