The Cross Orlando is a congregation of people living under the reign of God. We gather together regularly, we're working in all sectors of our city and are always looking for ways to better care for each other. But a great first step in meeting us, is to check out these blogs that our folks manage.
Local Contributors – Orlando Food Lab
DoveCote Brings French Infusion to Downtown
by Orlando Food Lab Team
Directly below the Bank of America building on Orange Street in downtown Orlando, a contemporary modern French restaurant called DoveCote Brasserie has spread its wings. The space – former home of Harvey’s Bistro and Terrace 390 – was reworked into a classic bistro with diffused light chandeliers, cozy smoke blue banquette seating and wood farm tables. This partnership behind the new downtown hotspot includes James Petrakis, known for the Ravenous Pig, Gene Zimmerman, National Sales Manager for Halter Ranch Vineyards in Paso Robles, CA., and […]
Local foodie culture spurs lectures, inspires entrepreneurs
by Orlando Food Lab Team
In a downtown tech office this week, guests munched on kale salad and steak skewers while sharing stories about being food entrepreneurs. “I kind of saw what was happening in the Orlando tech community and the health-care community,” said former marketing professional Kristine Thomas, who hosted the event for her organization ORL Food Lab. “Here people have the opportunity to collaborate or work together.” The lab is a sign that eating out is no longer the hippest way to be a foodie in Central Florida. […]
It’s never too late to begin your journey as a foodpreneur. Just ask Tom Adams of Deadly Sins Brewing located in Winter Park, Florida. At the age of 44, Tom has recently opened the brewery of his dreams. What was once an on-and-off again hobby has become a welcomed addition to Central Florida food community. Originally from Colorado, Tom attended some college in Alaska before moving to Seattle at the age of 23. While in Seattle, Tom joined the Navy, spending four years in Japan. Following […]
Barbara and her daughter are one of our core MVP Families. They look forward to every meeting and haven’t missed a single one. Last week, when Barbara didn’t get the reminder text for the upcoming meeting when she expected it, she called our Family Engagement Coordinator, Shawn, to make sure everything was on track and...
This year we invite you to take a few minutes to reflect on what you love about the Polis Institute. Maybe it’s our foundational resources and trainings, like Dignity Serves or Asset-Based Community Development. Maybe our Growth Leadership program helped you dream again about what you’d like to see improved in your neighborhood. Perhaps it’s the...
The Farmacy Brings Local and Organic to Central Florida
by Orlando Food Lab Team
And now a word from our “Farmacists”…. “But we can’t miss the kale!”, is the simple phrase that would be the beginning of a dream come true. Florida natives, Cathy and Robby Clay have been in business nearly three years and they take great pride in their store, The Farmacy, nestled inside the city of Winter Garden, Florida. The Farmacy is best described as a small, local and organic grocery store. The Farmacy, however, is not your typical grocer carrying organic fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs […]
One of the most important aspects of a life well-lived is the discovery and pursuit of one’s own goals and aspirations. For those of us who practice Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), this is a fundamental part of the work – helping residents of a small geographic area leverage their skills and networks to realize their...
The most strategic philanthropic investment in the U.S. goes towards revitalizing the distressed neighborhoods that are the source of most of our social issues. These neighborhoods are also full of people with aspirations and talents. Philanthropist and businessman Tom Cousins said it this way, “America’s greatest untapped resource is the human capital trapped in neighborhoods of concentrated...
It is November...my favorite month of the year. That time when you can still make it to the beach to keep that golden tan, but you can also sit outside in the evening wearing a long-sleeved shirt. It's also my birth month, so I'm a little biased there. I'm thinking about Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's today - all of the great parties, time to catch up with neighbors and relax with co-workers. The time of year when you are constantly practicing gratitude for all you've been blessed
All about that Base?… well Jordann Windschauer certainly is with a food company like Base Culture. A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, Jordann began her food entrepreneur adventure at the ripe, young age of 22. Now at only 26, Base Culture has grown tremendously. What is Base Culture? From Paleo-friendly sandwich bread to almond butter brownies, Base Culture is a food company providing a wide, and delicious, array of Paleo baked goods. With a sweet tooth nearly as strong as her dead lift, Jordann Windschauer […]
My husband and I had a great day yesterday. He's a surfer so we got up early and spent a few hours at New Smyrna Beach in the morning. I wasn't quite ready to go back to Orlando and give up on the beautiful day yet, so I suggested we drive north to St. Augustine to see how they were faring a few weeks after Hurricane Matthew. Other than some lingering debris and a few waterfront hotels and homes still boarded up, on the surface everything looked great. I guess you don't get to be America's
I got married ten days ago after planning my wedding for no less than TWENTY FIVE YEARS! Yes, neighbors, I'm going to be the one to admit that I had a Pinterest page for my wedding even before I was engaged...worse, even before I met Donny Harkins, the love of my life. I planned before I was supposed to, then I planned some more, and worried, drove Don nuts, giggled with my girlfriends, budgeted with my parents, and finally that day arrived. October 15, 2016. And guess what? I REGRET NOTHING.
For the past 21 years, Florida Citrus Sports (FCS), has been investing in youth enrichment in Orlando through a program called “MVP Summer Camp.” This year the camp is being extended to a year-round program called “MVP Families.” Through the combined efforts of FCS in partnership with Lift Orlando, Florida Blue, and the Polis Institute, the program is seeking...
Uncle Matty’s Food Company Not all food entrepreneurs, or foodpreneurs, aspire to be chefs in Michelin star restaurants. Some look at the food business from a whole different mindset. Orlando based Matt Ryan is just such a culinarian. Ryan took his culinary skills in a new direction and utilizing his strong business and branding skills, he began Uncle Matty’s Food Company. Uncle Matty’s Food Company currently produces a line of sauces that are “revolutionizing flavors one palate at a time” but the future of Uncle […]
The Florida Local Food Summit is happening Soon! The 3rd annual Florida Local Food Summit is taking place September 8th through the 10th and features Florida’s top food and farming entrepreneurs, policy makers, chefs, foodies and local food fans. The Summit is your one stop shop for all things local food and farming. There will be farm tours, advanced education, farm-to-table meals, a Grower’s Festival, home gardening classes and so much more. You aren’t going to want to miss it! Click here to learn more […]
Greg Richie is Heating Up the Thornton Park District
by Orlando Food Lab Team
Foodpreneur CHEF GREG RICHIE: SOCO & Baoery Before they were buzzwords in the culinary community, Chef Greg Richie was serving “farm to table” and “locally sourced” foods directly from the many prestigious restaurants he worked at in the South. This award-winning chef began his professional career in some of the southern region’s most critically acclaimed restaurants including The Abbey in Atlanta, The Lark and the Dove in Roswell, Georgia and the Atlanta Athletic Club. Chef Greg Richie Richie is a graduate of the Johnson and Wales University […]
Former basketball player and U.S. Senator Bill Bradley once said, “Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.” So true. You could also say the same about a community. While leadership is certainly not the only ingredient in a community becoming better, it is easily the most important. And it is surprisingly undervalued. That may...
THE RUSTY SPOON By ORL Food Lab Editor How often do we duck into a local restaurant for lunch or dinner with only the thought of food and proximity in mind? We may have read a rave review or two, but in Orlando, we as locals (even visitors) can get overwhelmed by the advertising abilities of those larger national restaurants. How do small but awesome restaurants begin to promote themselves without access to national advertising budgets? My thinking is that if you really understood the story that went into some of these […]
Meet the Orlando Food Leader Serving More than Great Food!
by Orlando Food Lab Team
CHEF KEVIN FONZO: K RESTAURANT AND MORE By The ORL Food Lab Team Chef Kevin Fonzo Though not a native of Orlando, Florida (who is these days?), Chef Kevin Fonzo is a well-known, and highly regarded name in the Central Florida community and beyond (but we’ll get to that later). Kevin began his culinary career at the ripe young age of fifteen while working in a country inn in upstate New York. Furthering his education, Kevin graduated with honors from “The Culinary Institute of America” in Hyde Park, […]
Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) involves leveraging what a community has to offer so that it can move itself towards a desired future. A first step in the process is typically some kind of inventory of what is there – talents of individuals, programs and facilities, informal groups, property – the whole nine yards. This information...
Door-to-door community surveys are commonplace, especially in low income areas. I recently heard a long-term resident of such a neighborhood say, “We’re like rats in a cage here. People always studying us, trying to fix us.” Universities, non-profits, community groups, government officials – everyone wants to know “What should we do to help people in...
In the fall of 2014, youth of the historic South Atlanta neighborhood began to articulate a vision and a plan to help kids from the neighborhood prepare for and succeed in college. The youth were guided in this effort by Malcolm Cox El, whose personal experiences and commitment to the cause fueled the initiative. Malcolm...
Orlando – least economically segregated large metro
by Phil Hissom
Orlando is the least economically segregated large metro area in the United States according to a recent report update from sociologist Richard Florida. This is good news for Orlando. Economic segregation, especially for the poor, has proven to be a significant social problem. Absent the social networks that open doors to the best of careers,...