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(July & August)

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1500 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suwanee, GA 30024



770-481-0304 678-714-0976

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We’re honored to serve you It’s an honor to be recognized as the nation’s leading hospital for maternity and newborn care. Look a little closer and you’ll discover that Northside performs more surgeries and diagnoses and treats more breast and gynecologic cancer than any other hospital in Georgia. While people choose Northside for our expertise, they also know us for our exceptional compassionate care. Visit us online at

A Note From Our Editor


Executive Editor

Angela Veugeler

Managing Editor

Rachel Fasig

Advertising Director

Laura Lane

s I sit down to think about writing this, the word “bittersweet” comes to mind. The July/August issue always makes me feel that way, as it covers the 4th of July, what many consider to be the peak of summer, as well as when kids start going back to school (which I am not ready to think about just yet). The content of this issue, however, is anything but bittersweet. It’s full of heart-warming stories, great insight and fun things to do. There are lots of exciting events in Suwanee coming up in July and August, including Broadway in the Park, the 10th Birthday Party of Playtown Suwanee and an August concert and Wing Festival featuring Everclear, to name a few. Check out the calendar for dates and information on these events, plus many more! Our neighboring city, the city of Sugar Hill, is holding a 75th anniversary festival on August 2nd. If you haven’t been to check out the new park and amphitheatre, it’s definitely worth a look. With everything from a 5k to zip lines, food, beer and music, it’s an event you won’t want to miss. We want to wish Tana Suggs the best of luck, as she has relocated. She has been with Suwanee Magazine since we started, and her contributions will be missed. Rachel Fasig, our Managing Editor, has taken on a larger role in writing and producing Suwanee Magazine and has been doing an excellent job. I am very grateful for her hard work, positive attitude and talent. We also would like to welcome Mackenzie Stephenson to Suwanee Magazine. Mackenzie is a summer intern, and we are glad to have her on our team. Have a wonderful rest of your summer and if you have school-age children, a great start to the school year!


Javy Lopez photographed on June 9th by Steve Glass at his Suwanee home.


Suwanee Magazine


Visit for some great web only articles and frequent updates.

Account Executive Darcy Seyller

Creative Director Randall Veugeler

Art Director

Erica Abrams

Production Manager Laura Payne

Graphic Design April Futey Shay Taylor Jon Rogers Brian Hassinger Christina Zavlanos



Karl Lamb Julie Perdue Steve Glass Rachel Fasig Katrina Krom Logan Veugeler

Web Editor Walt Wooden


Julie Perdue ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Angela Veugeler


Randall Veugeler

Corporate Office

554 W. Main Street Suite 400 Buford, GA 30518 Phone: 678-482-2270 Fax: 678-730-0691

Suwanee Magazine is published bi-monthly by Veugeler Design Group. Opinions expressed by the contributing writers and editors are not necessarily those of the publisher, editor or Suwanee Magazine. The publisher will not accept responsibility for submitted materials that are lost or stolen. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication. However, the publisher cannot assume responsibility for errors or ommissions. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. ©2014 Veugeler Design Group. The editors welcome unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Please visit us online at SuwaneeMagazine. com for submission guidelines, or email us at

In this issue:

Photo by Pouya Dianat / Courtesy Atlanta Braves




Floristique 36 Javy Lopez 56 Georgia Gymnastics

Departments: 8 Business

8 SBA 11 Investment Strategies 12 Sugar Hill Spine & Wellness 15 Genesis by Salon 124

18 Arts

18 Broadway in the Park 19 SculpTour

20 Food

20 Lucky Dog

26 Health

26 Running in the Heat

34 Charity

34 BridgeworX

43 SportsTalk

43 The Instant Replay


44 Drink

44 Summer Beer Tours 46 Premier Wine Festivals 48 Lake Lanier Wine Cruises

50 City Buzz 60 People & Places 68 Calendar 5




CELEBRATING TEAMWORK, COMPANY PRIDE AND CORPORATE WELLNESS The Great Gwinnett Corporate Games is an Olympics-style experience encompassing 20 different events and sporting competitions in a bid to become overall winners of the Corporate Games Cup. The Corporate Games are designed to encourage employees, business partners, family and friends to take part in events designed for both the athletic and not-so-athletic. The Corporate Games provides a number of benefits for both companies and employees, including: promoting health and well-being in the workplace, teambuilding, company pride, and employee engagement. Aside from the fun, competition, and camaraderie among participants, the philanthropic purpose of the Corporates Games is to raise urgently needed funds to support Annandale Village and individuals with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, other intellectual disabilities and those that have experienced a traumatic brain injury.

OCTOBER 11th – NOVEMBER 1st Olympic Games Experience Featuring

3 weeks of competition 20 Sports and Events 1,000’s of participants, spectators and volunteers


Feedback: A few thoughts from our loyal readers... WRITE TO US:

Daring Pairings I enjoyed your article. We look forward to visiting Chateau Élan and trying their wines. Marcus Lee

Down with MattyB I love the picture of MattyB with his mom and dad! So perfect! @MattyBinGermany We love using our Cinco coupon! Nick Your magazine is awesome! Change4Georgia

I just want to take a minute to say I enjoyed this issue. There is a nice selection of articles, my favorites being the Summer Brews and Daring Pairings, as well as the beer fest photos. There’s a good selection of advertisers too. I look forward to the next issue. Thank you! John Dobson

Valentine's Dance Love flipping through @suwanee magazine and coming across pictures of this awesome night! #YouareLoved. Aron Amin

I really appreciate the great magazine that is being published to represent the city of Suwanee. Unfortunately, all of the people south of McGinnis Ferry Rd. in the city are not being represented in your magazine. My children and MANY children who live in the city of Suwanee go to Peachtree Ridge cluster schools not North Gwinnett cluster schools. I tried doing a search on your site for Peachtree Ridge and nothing... Again thanks for the great job but please try to speak for all of us and not just those who live north of McGinnis Ferry Rd. Brian Wheeler Editor's Note: We agree! Many of our stories ideas come from readers. We invite parents, students and teachers from all Suwanee area schools to submit newsworthy happenings to us by emailing


Suwanee Business Community News & Information


Millennials, Gen Y and Xers Attention all Business-Minded Young Professionals BY: Ed Szczesniak SBA Vice President / Owner Georgian Landscape Design etworking in the “traditional sense” may seem old fashioned. Face-to-face is still one of the best ways to build relationships at any age. The Suwanee Business Alliance has a monthly business opportunity for you to spend “Quality Time” getting to meet, getting to know and getting one-on-one time with real business owners. These are the people who make the decisions – the people who really do the hiring, the people who are connected to hundreds of other business owners in Atlanta. Your next tweet, Instagram or Facebook post might just be about something great that started with us! › What might happen if you had an opportunity to exchange ideas in a casual atmosphere with the owners of 197 businesses in the area?  Could that conversation make all the difference in your life?


Suwanee Magazine

› What if you could get to know the lady who owns a recruiting firm – I don’t mean just meet her – I mean really get to know her? Would that lead to a careerchanging event in your life?   › What if you could spend an hour with the head of a local CPA firm that has 200 business contacts in the area?  Could he introduce you to the person who offers you the best opportunity you could ever imagine? Maybe you don’t need a job… right now – maybe you need a new car, some legal advice, a CPA or your first mortgage, or maybe you’ll need one in the “not so distant” future.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know one of these folks – personally – before you need to go online searching for help? Well, that opportunity is sitting right in front of you in Suwanee, GA., one of the top 10 cities in the USA to live, work and play. All you have to do is grab it.  It won’t cost you a thing to check us out. Visit our next meeting and you’ll likely have a free beer or glass of wine, some great munchies – and meet very friendly and motivated business owners.  At any of our monthly gatherings you’re likely to find bankers, doctors, lawyers, CPA’s, advertising executives, mortgage brokers, dentists, restaurant owners, the Mayor, retail store owners, the Chief of Police, and hospital executives.  Your professional network will become rich with contacts you can make at the SBA, with people you never knew you needed, until you need them!   If you’re interested in taking a peek into your possible future, come meet us at one of our events.  We meet the 2nd Wednesday of each month at different places around Suwanee.  To find out more about us – and where your future may be, come visit us at  The Suwanee Business Alliance Come alone, or bring a meets on the friend – your futures will second Wednesday be brighter! ■ of every month at various locations around the city of Suwanee.

We have created over 200 websites for businesses just like yours. Veugeler Design Group is a world-class design firm right here in your backyard, that has worked with many Suwanee area businesses to tell their unique story. We develop search engine optimized, mobile-friendly, professional websites for all types of businesses and would love to help you!!

Call today to set-up a FREE website design consultation. 554 West Main Street Buford, GA



barter is smarter than you think... “Barter brings you additional sales that may not have come to you otherwise. This allows additional opportunities to bring that new customer back who was impressed with our service - turning them into repeat customers.” BILLY DUHE, Owner DULUTH INTERNATIONAL AUTO SERVICE

About TBC: The Barter Company is a recognized leader in the barter industry with offices in Georgia and Florida. TBC provides businesses with an alternative currency network by using barter dollars instead of cash to handle your transactions. TBC acts as a third-party records keeper, providing clients with monthly statements that reflect all barter purchases, sales and current barter dollar balance. For more information, please call (770) 591-4343 or visit

Looking for Ways to Rev Up the Engine of Finding New Customers? Keeping the engine of your business running smoothly can be a challenge even with all the right parts working together. Finding new customers is just one piece that business owners need to keep going. Like thousands of other businesses, Duluth International Auto Service uses The Barter Company for the added edge in bringing new customers through his door. Duluth International Auto Service strives to provide the most reliable automotive repair and maintenance of foreign and domestic vehicles. Located in Gwinnett County, the friendly and knowledgeable staff is made up of ASE certified technicians with various degrees of knowledge from institutions across the country. Billy Duhe, owner of Duluth International, has been using The Barter Company services for about seven years. He repairs and maintains vehicles in exchange for trips, restaurant dining, lawn care, window tinting, A/C repair, and concert and sporting event tickets. In all, he has more than $140,000 in barter sales. Duhe explains how The Barter Company gives his business a jump start: “Even though most business owners prefer a paying customer, barter brings you additional sales that may not have come to you otherwise. This allows additional opportunities to bring that new customer back who was impressed with our service -- turning them into repeat customers. We’re always looking for new customers because we know once they’ve experienced our superior service, they will be back,” said Duhe. People have exchanged goods and services for centuries through a simplistic barter system. Today, barter plays an important role in the payments industry with businesses incorporating it into their system along with cash, credit, virtual payments, and loyalty cards. “Alternative currencies are trending for business,” explains Ric Zampatti, The Barter Company CEO. “More and more businesses are taking another look at barter and how it can benefit their cash flow.” For Billy Duhe at Duluth International Auto Service, trading through The Barter Company’s exchange helps his business stay ahead of the competition with new customers continuing to come through the door. “The automotive repair business is very competitive,” said Duhe. “We always need to find new ways to improve cash flow, reduce out-of-pocket costs, and market to new customers. The Barter Company helps us stay in the race.”

The Barter Company...redefining commerce & trade.


Sugar Hill Spine & Wellness:

Healing Local Families One Spine at a Time BY: Rachel Fasig

ugar Hill Spine & Wellness is owned and operated by gamechanging chiropractors, Dr. Joseph Photo courtesy Shannon Smith with 214 Photography Clarino and Dr. Debra Cirone. This husband and wife duo is quickly earning the reputation as a power couple in the chiropractic world – as they move their practice beyond traditional chiropractic care to a complete medical and holistic approach. “Few chiropractors get into the true cellular processes Scared for his health, he went to get an MRI and meet like we do,” Clarino explained. At Sugar Hill Spine & with a doctor who discovered that he had parasites in his Wellness, they assess and analyze their patients as a body, his adrenals were bottomed out, he had an enlarged whole: physically, emotionally, and chemically. Their thyroid, low testosterone levels and was gluten intolerant. promise, as stated on their website, “When I left that appointment and saw is “To honor each patient as a those results, I realized that I couldn’t They frequently hold unique individual: acting as an care of people the way I was,” seminars and classes in their take instrument of healing, rather than Clarino said. Despite consistently working office that are open to the simply treating their symptoms or out and eating what most of the world ailments.” But since the practice’s public and discuss a variety would consider as healthy (and what he official opening in 1999, the focus considered healthy at the time), Clarino’s of topics, ranging from: has shifted a bit. It wasn’t until a health was suffering. And if it were not for life-changing diagnosis that they a complete and holistic medical diagnosis, organic eating on a budget understood the importance of he would not have known to change his to autoimmune disorders. holistic healthcare. lifestyle and eating habits. “Two and a half years ago, I had Clarino and Cirone decided, from that a serious autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s – where point forward, that they would invest in state-of-the-art the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland. My lab equipment and offer complete medical screenings on immune system was crashing…I was extremely fatigued top of traditional chiropractic care. They are passionate and experiencing stomach cramps,” Clarino explained. about educating and empowering individuals to live


Suwanee Magazine



The waiting room includes balancing chairs and educational books and brochures

Sugar Hill Spine and Wellness offers state-of-the-art equipment and technology for their patients

Young patients wait for their treatment in the fun playroom a healthy lifestyle. “The education component is so important – it’s the essence of what we do here,” Cirone said. They frequently hold seminars and classes in their office that are open to the public and discuss a variety of topics, ranging from: organic eating on a budget to autoimmune disorders. They also offer free quarterly “Mom’s Morning Out” events where they provide childcare while moms enjoy a complimentary breakfast and seminar. “We’ve been to seven seminars across the country ourselves this year…we’re always trying to learn the latest and greatest. Healthcare is like technology – it’s constantly changing,” Clarino said. And, they’re goal is to always stay one step ahead. Clarino and Cirone are dedicated to bettering the lives of their patients. And, Cirone’s passion is truly in pediatric care, as she herself comes from a family of nine chiropractors and received her first treatment the day she was born. Cirone is a Fellow of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, and treats an average of 200 kids each week in their office. Children love their office - especially seeing the office dog, Enzo, and hanging out in the treehouse-themed playroom. Sugar Hill Spine & Wellness has touched the lives of many individuals and families in the Sugar Hill, Cumming, Suwanee, Lawrenceville, Buford, and surrounding areas. But Clarino and Cirone didn’t always envision themselves practicing in Sugar Hill. In fact, upon both graduating from Life University, the high-school sweethearts from New Jersey had plans to move further North along the East Coast. But, “God totally led us here,” Cirone explained, “As we were driving in this area, I had an overwhelming feeling and started crying…I just knew this


Suwanee Magazine


is where we were meant to be.” And it seems that everything continues to fall in place for them. When the plans to widen Highway 20 went underway, they were disheartened to learn that their office of over a decade would be demolished under the ordinance of Eminent Domain. But in November of 2012, they received a compensation check that allowed them to purchase an even larger office, the foreclosed and abandoned brick building at 5422 Highway 20. Now, they have the ability to grow and treat even more patients than before. Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) is also granting them an opportunity to reach more people. They just signed a deal with TBN to appear on one show each month as featured health experts. The show will air to 2.3 billion people worldwide! Clarino and Cirone feel blessed for the opportunities they’ve been given and are excited to share that knowledge with the rest of the world. They currently take 2-3 interns from Life University per quarter and teach them the real-world practical skills of running a chiropractic center. Clarino announced that he and his wife plan to take the best interns from their program and open offices with them around Metro Atlanta. Although considered a longstanding staple in Sugar Hill, this is only the beginning for Sugar Hill Spine & Wellness. ■

Sugar Hill Spine & Wellness

5422 Highway 20 • Sugar Hill, GA


Genesis by Salon 124:

The Heart & Soul of a Metro Atlanta Hair Empire

Brian Perdue, Founder and Owner of The 124 Group

BY: Rachel Fasig

hen Brian Perdue, Founder and Owner of The standards and training. A lot of the clients were fearful 124 Group, went to Georgia Southwestern of a bad hair experience,” he admitted. Although Karen College to study Modern Marketing, he never had many trusting clients, the overall salon experience dreamt that it would lead him to the creation of proved inconsistent. an award-winning Metro Atlanta Perdue was searching for an hair empire, consisting of a upscale hair franchise that he could Cosmetology School and seven emulate as a business model, but there salons, including Genesis Salon in literally were none. “So, at the age of Suwanee – the busiest within his 26 years old, I made the crazy decision company. But after getting his hair to go to cosmetology school!” he cut by now-wife Karen during his laughed. After obtaining a cosmetology senior year of college, his career path and license, Perdue worked at a high-end mindset shifted. salon in Buckhead directly beneath Brian and Karen moved to Gwinnett the owner, and learned the business County in 1987, where Karen continued from the inside out. And, in 1991 he her career as a hairstylist at a small fourpurchased the salon off of Highway David Sitz, Chief Marketing Officer chair salon off of Highway 124 in Snellville. 124 where his wife worked – hence the of The 124 Group Watching Karen at work is what truly led name, Salon 124. Brian to a change of heart. She grew a Perdue discovered that very strong following of loyal clients, and quickly started education is the key to success in the upscale hair industry making more money than him. “As an entrepreneur, I was and founded The 124 Group based on that principle. “We want to train them consistently for the customer,” he said. intrigued,” Perdue stated. And it was at that point he started studying the business of salons and noticed a trend, Salon 124 soon became known as a leading salon for training opportunities and advancement among hairstylists. “I found a lack of consistency in the business and the

Of all the cities that we have salons in, Suwanee is the most culturally-evolved.



“The school was a byproduct of the education being in high demand,” Perdue said, referring to Salon 124’s Process Institute of Cosmetology in Lawrenceville. Because few schools are actually owned by a salon owner, this gives them a unique vantage point. They have an extremely high rate of job placement after graduation, and many of their stylists begin their career path in the Genesis Salons by 124. While Salon 124 in Grayson is The 124 Group’s flagship store – representing the highest level of hair care experience and service anywhere, the Genesis Salons by 124, “represent the fun, trendy and affordable experience within The 124 Group,” but with the same emphasis on personalized attention and customer service, according to their website. “Most people are working towards promotions and that was one of the things missing for stylists – they didn’t have a traditional career path and we are trying to establish that for them,” Perdue said. The pricing structure within their salons is based on experience of their stylists. “Measurements are based on things they do that make them in more demand with their clients,” Perdue explained. “We don’t grow just to grow. As we develop stylists and run out of room in our existing salons, we will open up more opportunities for them,” he continued.


Suwanee Magazine


Genesis Salon Suwanee is currently The 124 Group’s busiest salon and they are passionate about giving back to the communities that support them through involvement in various events, including sponsoring the upcoming Suwanee Performing Art’s “Broadway in the Park”. Supporting an art production was a natural fit, said David Sitz, Chief Marketing Officer of The 124 Group, “of all the cities that we have salons in, Suwanee is the most culturally-evolved,” he continued. Perdue said they chose Suwanee for a salon location because, “It is a dynamic city with great neighborhoods and a great community environment…we wanted to be part of the heart and soul of Suwanee.” It is Perdue’s personal mission and the goal of The 124 Group to use the talents they’ve been given to influence people’s lives and help build better communities. “I can’t believe where this journey has taken me!” Perdue said. And we’re excited to see where it will lead him next. ■

Genesis by Salon 124 Suwanee 4140 Moore Rd • Suwanee, GA 770-271-7844

The Latest From The Suwanee Art World

Comes to Town Center Park... roadway in the Park returns to Suwanee Town Center Park this year on July 25th and 26th at 7pm, featuring Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Produced by Suwanee Performing Arts (SPA), the family-friendly event is free to the public and also includes Spellbound- the Musical, the original one act play that presents the back story of a famous fairy godmother. The story of Cinderella concerns a young woman (Emily Flower Emily Flower and Ryan Lynch plays the title role) - forced into a life of servitude by her cruel stepmother (Brian Wittenberg) and self-centered stepsisters (Kayleigh Watson, Abagail Medlin) - who dreams of a better life. With the help of her Fairy Godmother (Caroline Reynolds), Cinderella is transformed into a Princess and finds her Prince (Ryan Lynch). The actors are made up of talented local high school, middle school, and homeschooled students. Over 90 performers auditioned for the roles. This year, beginning with rehearsals in July, SPA will post photos, videos, and interviews with cast members on their


I Suwanee Magazine I JULY / AUG 14

Facebook page, so fans may follow the progress and be a part of the production in the making. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to claim seats on the lawn, or may reserve premium seating for a donation to SPA. Audience members may also purchase wristbands for a front space on a first-comefirst served basis at $10 each, beginning at 4:00 pm on the day of the show. Sponsors for this year include the City of Suwanee, Franklin Technologies, Pond & Co., Salon 124, Lanier Dermatology and Tapp Lumber. New sponsors are being added daily. SPA is in need of volunteers for the event.  It is their biggest fundraiser of the year, so they hope to have everything donated, including the time of set builders and costumers.  The mission of Suwanee Performing Arts is to enrich people’s lives through participation in and appreciation of the performing arts. By Bringing Art to Life in our community, SPA helps bring the mission of the City of Suwanee to life as well — “Play Hard, Live Well, Smile More”. SPA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. For more information on the event, sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, visit suwaneeperforming ■

Princess Tea Party

At 10:00 am and 1:00 pm on Saturday, July 26, young Cinderella fans are invited to a Princess Tea Party, with all of the past Broadway in the Park princesses in attendance. The party will take place in Ippolito’s Bocce room, where princesses and princes (best for ages three to seven) will have the opportunity to meet and be photographed with Jasmine, Belle, Ariel, Fiona and Cinderella, enjoy special performances by the princesses, as well as tea, cookies and a magic wand to take home. Tickets for the tea parties are $30 per guest and are available while supplies last by calling 678-482-6333.

CRESCENDO By Gregory Johnson

Crescendo, fabricated from stainless steel, explores how Mother Nature in motion – whether a crashing wave, a rolling cloud, or an avalanche of snow – suggests meandering circular movement. The piece is 4'10"x4'9"x2'3" and weighs 175 pounds. Gregory Johnson has a master's degree in art and has created numerous pieces as private, corporate, and public commissions. For the past 50 years his work has focused on figurative themes, cast in bronze and stainless steel. The warmth of the sun, the secure and loving feeling of a family and the strength of nature are just a few of the elements Johnson explores. He currently resides in Cumming, Georgia. For more information about Johnson, visit


The Best Culinary Experiences Suwanee Has To Offer


Lucky Dog Chicago Eatery:

BY: Mackenzie Stephenson

uwanee has many different kinds of restaurants to offer to the public. There are pizza joints, Italian restaurants, steakhouses, and barbeques. Nearly anything you have a hunger for you can find in the Suwanee area. Lucky Dog is a little restaurant on Buford Highway that sells authentic Chicago style food. Those of you from the Midwest who grew up with hot dog stands will find yourselves right at home when walking into this establishment. Owners Eva and Justin Imig were both born and raised in Chicago before moving to the Atlanta area five years ago due to Justin’s job. After growing up in a place with hotdog stands on every street corner and then finding herself with a craving for Italian beef while pregnant with her now three-year-old daughter, Eva decided to open a restaurant with authentic Chicago style food. Lucky Dog opened at the end of September last year and has been supplying the Suwanee area with its own little taste of Chicago eatery. Both Eva and Justin have had experience in the restaurant business. Justin comes from three generations of restaurant owners, one being his grandmother who owned a hot dog restaurant. Eva has

Those of you from the Midwest who grew up with hot dog stands will find yourselves right at home when walking into this establishment.


Suwanee Magazine


Lucky Dog cont.

Lucky Dog owners, Justin and Eva Imig

had plenty of restaurant and managerial experience, and now spends her time making sure that Lucky Dog is operating smoothly everyday. Eva explained the meaning behind Lucky Dog’s name, “It’s my husband’s nickname, people used to call him that all the time, and the name was perfect for our restaurant!” Those of you from the Chicago area will feel right at home when walking into Lucky Dog. The walls are covered with photos of Chicago sports teams, banners, and famous people from that area. They’re also considering hosting more Chicago-themed events, such as: ball game nights or Chicago trivia. The Chicago dog is their signature menu item, as found on the Lucky Dog logo. But what is a Chicago dog? “It starts off with 100% Vienna hotdog and is then topped with yellow mustard, raw onions, green relish, sport peppers, tomatoes, a dill pickle spear and a dash of celery salt; all on a steamed poppy seed bun,” Eva supplied for us. When asked about adding any toppings to a Chicago dog, she stated, “don’t ever ever ever put ketchup on your Chicago dog…that’s like putting ketchup on a great filet.”


Suwanee Magazine



Lucky Dog's signature authentic Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich

Eva said her favorite menu item is The Authentic Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich. “You can’t get it anywhere else,” she said. She then proceeded to describe it as a large hearty, meaty and spicy sandwich dripping in au jus. “We constantly play around here in the kitchen and create specialty items, like a chili dog topped with fries.” Eva enjoys mixing it up; if it’s something people enjoy and crave, they’ll add it to the menu. They want to give their customers something different, whether that is their hearty meat sandwiches or a tasty milkshake. About catering, she said, “we are equipped and ready to go wherever needed... we just need 24 hour notice.” Eva is hoping to do private parties, corporate events, festivals in Suwanee Town Center Park, and little league games. They can bring a traditional and authentic Chicago style hot dog stand to you, wherever the event is, along with delivery or carryout options. The restaurant itself is available for full venue rental on Sundays when they are generally closed. There are so many people from the Midwest who find this restaurant to be like something they grew up with, and it reminds them of home. “It brings people back to their childhood and memories of growing up in the Midwest. We have some things that are specific to traditional hot dog stands like the tom tom tamale and pizza puffs,” Eva said. “I’m so surprised how many people from the Midwest live in the Suwanee area – about 80% of our customers are from the Midwest.” Eva loves seeing reunions happen in her restaurant. She said she once had somebody



recognize a friend in the restaurant, someone they grew up with in the Midwest, and hadn’t seen in decades. And they love that – they want this to be a place where people reconnect and share their memories about the Midwest together. The next time you have a craving for Italian beef or for a taste of genuine Chicago style cooking, be sure to check out Lucky Dog on Buford Highway. If you are from the Midwest and are looking for a little slice of home, this is a definite must to check out. ■

Lucky Dog Chicago Eatery

1175 Buford Hwy, Suwanee, GA 30024



Local Businesses Dedicated To Keeping You Healthy


Running in the

HEAT... BY: The Big Peach Running Co. Suwanee team

ummer is here in Atlanta and if you’re a child on summer break, then that may mean trying to keep cool at the pool as often as possible. If you’re a runner, however, the tasks of keeping cool and adjusting to the summer swelter and stifling humidity can be challenging. Below are some considerations for your summer training to maximize enjoyment while keeping those southern running discomforts at bay. First up – apparel! Especially in the summer when sweating is at a premium, it’s critical to choose quality synthetic fabrics because of their ability to allow moisture to evaporate rapidly. Quality running apparel is generally very light on the skin and the moisture-wicking capabilities will reduce the risk of chafing. You’ll also get some protection from the sun’s rays. Speaking of chafing, let’s dive into that sensitive subject for a moment. Chafing is the result of friction on the skin’s surface over a period of time. For women, chafing is very common under the arms and around the bust line. For men, it’s very common on the inner thighs and chest and everyone is susceptible to blisters on the feet. How is this prevented? Using an anti-chafing lubricant such as RunGuard or Body Glide will help tremendously in the fight against skin abrasion. Especially if you’re a heavy sweater, you just need to apply very liberally in the areas of concern and voila!


Suwanee Magazine


A consideration that is often overlooked but is vitally important is sunscreen. It’s recommended to use a higher SPF (30+) and don’t cheat yourself. Apply to the tops of ears, nose, tops of the shoulders and certainly don’t forget to cover the skin slightly underneath the edges of your clothing. Try to run in the coolest part of the day. The humidity is rough in Atlanta anyway but it’s wise to get your run finished early in the morning or at/after sunset so you can avoid, to the greatest extent possible, the combination of heat and humidity. Despite the moisture in the air, it will be cooler at those times of day and your run will be made a bit more comfortable. In the early going of summer running, listen well to your body as it will need some time to acclimate to the heat. This means your pace will likely slow a bit but do not worry. Given a little time (perhaps a couple of weeks), you should find yourself getting back into the groove as your adjust to the warmer temperatures. During that time, make it a point to run by effort instead of trying to stick with a certain pace and don’t be afraid to take short walk breaks if you feel sluggish. The heat

has a way of draining runners very quickly. Just stick with it and have confidence that it will pass. Lastly, and most importantly, here are three words‌ Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! Acclimating to the heat is difficult enough but without adequate hydration, runners really set themselves up for difficulty. A good rule of thumb is to drink in fluid ounces (on a daily basis) half of your body weight in water to maintain an adequate level of


health hydration. This means a 130lb female runner should be drinking at least 65oz of water daily and a 210lb male runner should be drinking at least 105oz daily. As runners sweat, not only are they losing water that needs to be replaced, they are also losing electrolytes that must also be replaced to keep their bodies running smoothly. For runners, it’s a good idea to supplement a daily hydration strategy by mixing an electrolyte solution into one of your water bottles each day. During the run, the rule of thumb is to drink 4-6oz of fluid every 20 minutes. Everyone is different and will have varying needs when it comes to fluid intake but the lesson is to drink at regular intervals and, for longer A 130lb female runner runs (10 miles and up), be sure to alternate should be drinking at with water and a sports drink (or another least 65oz of water daily form of electrolyte replacement) so you and a 210lb male runner avoid cramping issues. A couple of other tricks to consider… especially for those with should be drinking at longer hair, consider soaking your head for least 105oz daily. a moment with cold water before going out for a run to help you feel a little cooler in the early going. Also, for any fluid you drink just before going out for your run, put ice in it so it’s really cold going down. Great way to start the run! Come and see us at Big Peach Running Co. in Suwanee Town Center Park! This is our passion and we love this community so bring all of your questions; we’re ready and eager to answer them! Happy running! ■


Suwanee Magazine


FLORISTIQUE: A Childhood Dream

BLOOMS BY: Rachel Fasig

hile it is relatively uncommon for twelve year old boys to dream of gardening and floral arrangements, it was an everyday occurrence for Daniel Tindol, Co-Owner of Floristique. “I remember the exact moment when I considered floral as a career opportunity,” Tindol confided, “I was sitting in the back seat between my two cousins in a burgundy (Oldsmobile) Cutlass and my Grandpa, I call him Pa, turned to me and said, ‘Have you ever thought about being a florist?’” At the age of twelve, Tindol had already collected a large number of magazines and books about flowers, gardening, home décor, and design. Floristique is a family business, owned and operated by Tindol brothers, Daniel and Brian. You may recognize their name from Allgood Pest Solutions – a long-standing, award-winning, Georgia-based company, founded by the Tindol family generations ago. “Brian and I credit our success to both of our parents work ethic,” Tindol said. At University of Georgia, Daniel developed and fed his creative mind by pouring into Art History and a History degree, while Brian took a more scientific


Suwanee Magazine


Daniel and Brian Tindol, Co-Owners of Floristique approach to the field, obtaining a Horticulture Degree, also at UGA. “We have all picked up a different love for the job,” Tindol said. One might wonder why they didn’t follow the family business of pest control, but their father encouraged them to pursue their own dreams, “He told me, ‘you have a passion and talent – and now you have an opportunity, take it!’” Tindol explained. The opportunity that he was referring to was purchasing the original Floristique in January of 2014. Earlier this year, they were able to purchase Floristique on Buford Highway. The flower shop has been in existence since 2001 and has become a Suwanee staple – therefore they decided to keep the

original name intact. “There’s a lot of what the previous owner did that we try to uphold and honor… and part of that was learning her customers and what they’ve come to expect,” Tindol said. Original Floristique employee and current Floral Designer, Marc Oswald, has helped retain some of the integrity of a well-established business. As soon as Daniel knew that they wanted to open up a flower shop, he knew it had to be in their hometown of Gwinnett County. But, little did he know just how much the community of Suwanee would impact him as a small businessowner. “I’ve been blown away by Suwanee in terms of how all the other business owners help each other out! We’re constantly getting referrals from our peers.” Tindol acknowledged another well-established and well-known flower shop, also on on Buford Highway; pointing out that although they are technically competitors, they still help each other out. “During prom season when there are tons of orders, they started sending people to us for corsages…it was awesome.” Tindol said. “The flower community is a dying breed and we’re really trying to help bring each other up,” he explained. And, while they appreciate and honor tradition, Floristique’s all-male team is constantly working on new ideas even allowing their competitive nature to come into play, “Sometimes we have design-offs in the store amongst each other,” Tindol said. “I don’t really


want to have a signature style, to arrive, with tears in their eyes, at every piece should be custom the front of the church…and that was and based on the client…we don’t the only flower arrangement there,” ever want to be the shop that’s he recalled, getting choked up. complacent,” he continued. “But, the best part is that I get The shop has recently to see the good in the world…the love undergone a complete makeover that people have for one another,” and facelift and the Floristique he continued. Tindol shared the story team has big plans for it’s future. of a man who orders a new flower Starting in August, they plan arrangement from them each month, - Daniel Tindol to offer classes similar to the “He changes up the order, except that popular “Sip n’ Stroke” outings it always has to include two roses in it - where guests will have the opportunity to gather with and he sends it to the woman that he’s in love with who has friends over a bottle of wine while learning how to create Alzheimer's and lives in a nursing home.” custom floral arrangements that they will get to take Tindol is a firm believer that flowers can brighten home. With a heart for supporting other local businesses, anyone’s day and that everybody in the world should they also plan to create a "Build Your Own Gift Basket" be able to witness the joy on an old woman’s face when station with all local and Georgia-based products. she receives the gift of flowers. He said, “The journey of “The hardest part of our job is funerals,” Tindol being a small business owner is a rollercoaster ride, but revealed, “but my first funeral was also the moment that at the end of the day it’s so rewarding.” Floristique has I realized what we do actually means something! There captured the essence of a local small business – bringing were grandparents who scraped together $200 for their joy to their customers, while helping their peers also grandchild’s funeral arrangement and were waiting for me grow and succeed in the community of Suwanee. ■

“I’ve been blown away by Suwanee in terms of how all the other business owners help each other out! We’re constantly getting referrals from our peers.”


Organizations & Individuals Who are Giving Back

BridgeworX Bridging the gap between young adults and senior citizens BY: Angela Veugeler oble Village is a senior living community located off of Satellite Blvd. in Suwanee. According to the website, Noble Village is “about independence when you want it and assistance when you need it. Live Young, Live Noble Village.” Analise Kucera, a rising senior from North Gwinnett High School, has been helping the residents do just that. Since 2012, Kucera has visited Noble Village regularly, becoming close friends with many of the residents. Her Georgia non-profit organization, BridgeworX, works to “bridge the gap between young adults and senior citizens” through volunteerism with assisted living homes. When visiting Noble Village, Kucera often brings Lola with her, a therapy rabbit, whom many of the residents look forward to seeing. In April of this year, Kucera put on her second “senior prom” at Noble Village, enlisting the help of about 28 North Gwinnett and Peachtree Ridge students to participate in the event. The prom took place in the atrium and included a disco ball, DJ, and decorations such as paper lanterns, tulle, and a balloon drop. Kucera’s mother, Pamela Kucera, has been very supportive in BridgeworX, and it has been a bonding experience for the mother and daughter. According to Pamela, many of the residents were looking forward to the senior prom all year. “They love getting dressed up, having the kids come in and interact with them.” Pamela continued, “it has become so rewarding because of the relationships we are developing. And many of the students are coming back. They came to the prom last year, to the Valentine’s tea (Kucera Analise Kucera and also put on), and to the prom again this year. They may start "Sweet Norm" out with a fear of the unknown, but they go and it’s fun. They are laughing and dancing and seeing the similarities between themselves and some of the residents, realizing they are just older.” Analise currently holds the title for Miss Capitol Cities Oustanding Teen and recently finished in the top 10 in Miss Georgia Outstanding Teen and won overall interview. The Miss America organization has helped inspire Analise to do something big, and has helped the idea of BridgeworX evolve. Analise shared, “I have always had a special place for seniors in my heart.” She refers to one of her favorite residents as “my sweet Norm.”


Suwanee Magazine


Dancing the night away at BridgeworX Senior Prom

Analise and Marie Ward

BridgeworX Senior Prom photos courtesy of Hyosub Shin/AJC:

Alwyn Carpenter and Analise

Three generations of giving: Pamela Kucera (mother), Sandra Swaim (grandmother), and Adair (sister) with Analise

Pamela shared of the Miss America organization, “I’ve watched her grow in the years she’s been associated with the organization.” This year she has focused on studying, ballet, working out, and BridgeworX. Analise was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) while in 5th grade. Medicine did not work for her, but being in a structured environment with ballet helped her manage the disorder. She has always gotten B’s and C’s in school. After making the top 10 last year and meeting lots of girls from around the state with straight A’s, Analise decided she was going to get straight A’s this year. She made up her mind that she was going to do it and with lots of work, she did. The week before the Kucera’s left for the Miss Georgia competition, Noble Village hosted a send off party with cake and punch. Many of the residents expressed their excitement for Analise, and their appreciation for her and the senior prom BridgeworX puts on. According to one of the residents, Alwyn Carpenter, “when she had the senior prom we did something we hadn’t done in a long time….we rocked!” Another resident, Marie Ward, expressed to Analise “you’re beautiful inside and out. We love you so much and are supporting you all the way.” Karan Foster, Activities Director at Noble Village explained, “This year’s Senior Prom was the biggest and best event we’ve had at Noble Village since we opened. The students were super involved with the seniors, smiling and laughing, dancing… they (the residents) still talk about it.” Analise hopes for BridgeworX to grow into a statewide and eventually nationwide organization. For more information on Noble Village, visit For more information on BridgeworX and to find out how you can get involved or to donate, visit ■





Suwanee Magazine


cover story

Braves catcher, Javy Lopez was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame last month.

BY: Rachel Fasig

We met up with with him at his Suwanee home to talk about his career in baseball, what he's up to now and why he loves living in Suwanee... 37


Suwanee Magazine


cover story

I LOVE Suwanee.

It’s the best place in the Atlanta area to raise a family! Great schools, parks, fun events like Woofstock, low crime rates… just a great place for kids.”


Rising baseball stars look up to Lopez as a role model because he too has conquered many obstacles to succeed in the sport. Lopez currently holds the record for most homeruns hit by a catcher in a single season, with 42 homeruns in 2003 with the Braves. He found the record-breaking ball in his memorabilia cabinet to show us. “This was such an awesome feeling,” he said, proudly holding out the ball, “I was up there with these great guys – on the list of records.” But his journey wasn’t always as easy or natural as he made it look. “When I first moved here, I didn’t know any English at all… not a word,” Lopez said in perfect yet accented English. “I had to go to English classes every single night and I decided to live with American roommates… which is where I Javy Lopez inducted into the really learned the Braves Hall of Fame on May 23 most.” Lopez said Photo by Pouya Dianat / Courtesy Atlanta Braves learning English was extremely important to him because he had to be able to effectively communicate with the pitchers and other players, as well as know how to express himself in front of the cameras. Lopez credits much of his success to not only hard work and dedication, but to a phenomenal team with the Braves. “Maddux was my favorite pitcher to catch for! As a catcher you want the game to go fast because the longer the game, the more you have to squat and sweat. With Maddux, we’re out there three hours…easy and done!” Lopez said, referring to Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, Greg Maddux. Meanwhile, he laments catching for rookie pitchers in Baltimore for a brief stint in 2004, “Those games were five hours long…brutal.”


Suwanee Magazine

Lopez’ oldest son, Javier (18), is hoping to play his way up to the Major Leagues someday as well and will be heading to college soon. Both Kelvin (14) and Javier keep Lopez busy with their travel teams. During the week, you might find the Lopez family at a game anywhere between Canton and Cartersville. But when they have down-time, the family loves hanging out in their Suwanee neighborhood: golfing, fishing, swimming, playing cornhole with the neighbors, taking the dog to the park, and eating at some of their favorite restaurants: Cinco, Mellow Mushroom, Ippolito’s and Twisted Taco. When asked if they go to many Braves games together, he says, of course, but he is really excited for the new stadium being built in Cobb County. “I think the new stadium is going to be awesome for the fans! Right now, there really isn’t any place for fans to go right after the game. This new stadium will have direct MARTA access, restaurants and bars right around the stadium, and closer parking,” he said.

As a previous member of Leadership Gwinnett, Lopez is personally invested in community improvement and ways to make Gwinnett and Suwanee an even better place to live and work. After a day of riding with the Gwinnett County Police Department as part of the program he said, “I got a feel for what they do everyday and I really admire them.” Lopez is proud to consider Suwanee home and loves being involved in the community. Although retired, this is hardly the last that you’ll hear of Javy Lopez. ■

# of homeruns hit by Javy Lopez in 2003 - the most ever by a catcher in a single season.


sports talk

SportsTalk with Chris Singleton appears exclusively in Suwanee Magazine. For more information, contact Chris at


Beer and Wine News from the Experts


BY: Curtis Stockwell OF THE BEER GROWLER hope your beer escapades have been going well this summer. I am sure you guys have noticed the Atlanta Craft Beer scene heating up this past year. I wanted to touch on some of the newer places to check out in the Metro Atlanta area. I’ve tried to make my way around to all of the new breweries and brew pubs in the area, but I still haven’t hit them all yet! Recently, I had the opportunity to check out Hop Alley Brew Pub in downtown Alpharetta and I had a great time. These guys brew their own beer as well as offer a fine selection of Belgian ales and other beers that you won’t see on everyone’s menu. The staff is knowledgeable and extremely courteous, which definitely enhanced our experience. Let’s get on to the beer though! I am an IPA guy and their Hellfire IPA delivered. It has a nice hop profile and a finish that keeps you coming back for more. It went perfectly with the Wisconsin Cheese Curd appetizer, which is a must if you find yourself enjoying a pint there in my opinion. Their McScruff’s Stout also stood out to me; it is


I Suwanee Magazine I JULY / AUG 14

Photo courtesy Tuan Huynh

an oatmeal stout with an excellent mouth feel. I got smooth toasty notes of roasted malt that gave me a clean finish. Even on the warmer day I visited, I found this beer quite refreshing. With this one; you should give the pretzel and beer mustard a try; the salt from the pretzel and the bite from the mustard pairs well with the semi-sweetness of the darker stout. The in-house beer menu rotates, and I had the chance to taste most of them with a flight they offer, and all of them were very tasty. I am excited to return and see what is coming around next. On my last beer-venture into Atlanta. I managed to make my way over to a brand new brewery called Orpheus brewing. I believe they had been open for less than two weeks when I visited. The brewery’s back deck overlooks part of Piedmont park and it is quite the place to spend a late afternoon! Their tasting glasses were tulip shaped, which fit their style perfectly as three of the four beers they were offering were Belgian style. Transmigration of Souls, spring double IPA, was the first beer I tried, and I have to say it was my favorite. It was citrus forward and not in your face like some double IPAs tend to be, and

Photo courtesy Chris Rank

Wild Heaven Brewery in Avondale Estates masked its high ABV (10%) brilliantly. The other three beers were variations of saisons. I thoroughly enjoyed all three, but one stuck out the most. I am a sucker for sours and The Atalanta, a tart plum saison, really intrigued me. The tastes of plums played together perfectly with notes of spicy yeast and a refreshing tartness that convinced me it was worth my last tasting ticket of the night.

I would highly recommend finishing a day at Piedmont Park with a stop at this brewery at least once this summer. Wild Heaven Craft Beers opened their brewery in Avondale Estates on June 13th after a much anticipated wait, and making my way down there for a visit is high on this summer’s to do. Their beers have been on Georgia’s Craft Beer scene for quite some time and it will be very nice to be able to try some Ode to Mercy or Invocation straight from the source. Another brewery that I am excited to visit is Eventide; they are relatively new and their beers have finally begun to get distributed this far north of the perimeter. I am a huge fan of their Pale Ale and can’t wait to see where it’s brewed. For a list of most of Georgia’s breweries and brew pubs, check out and find one to go enjoy. We are in the midst of a beer revolution in Georgia, so if you happen to find yourself looking for something to do, check out some of our local friends and show them how much you love having them around. Cheers! ■

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This Season’s Premier

BY: Sean Wilborn OF CHÂTEAU ÉLAN It’s that time of year, festival season! Atlanta Food and Wine Fest has come and gone. Sweetwater Brewery’s 420 Fest was a great way to kick off the Spring, but the fun isn’t over! There is more wine fun to be had and two festivals in particular that are a must for your calendar! For nearly two decades, Vineyard Fest at Château Élan has been a staple event for metro Atlanta. Each year, 2000 tickets are sold to wine lovers from all around who enjoy live music, local food, wineries, breweries and distilleries in addition to wines from all over the world. At this year’s festival, Executive Chef Julio Delgado along with Winery Chef Chad Guay will focus the culinary experience around locally grown fare – an ode to all things Georgia grown. This is a foodie’s fantasy land with delicious food at every turn! Producers of some of the finest artisan nibbles that Georgia has to offer will lay out their crafts for all to enjoy. There will be cheese from local producers, olive oil from the only commercial olive farm on the whole East Coast, bakeries, live music, grape stomping and much more. And did I mention wine? Wineries from all over the state will convene in one place on a single day to showcase the wines of the great state of Georgia. Each wine region of the world will also be represented, allowing for a rare opportunity to have the entire world in your hands! Vineyard Fest is on August 24th and tickets are on sale now at and Château Élan’s Wine Club Members receive a discount off the ticket price.


Suwanee Magazine


Château Élan Cask Room

Chefs prepare gourmet dishes to sample at Vineyard Fest

Vineyard Fest at Château Élan


18th Annual Vineyard Festival at Sunday, Aug 24th 2014 north atlanta’s premier wine festival

all-inclusive tickets feature Suwanee Wine Fest

Then, set your calendars for October 4th when Suwanee Beer Fest organizers and Château Élan play host to the second annual Suwanee Wine Fest at Suwanee Town Center Park! Compounding on what was a hugely successful inaugural event, this year’s Suwanee Wine Fest will prove to be even more amazing than the first. Enjoy the cozy ambience and beautiful scenery of Suwanee Town Park, while imbibing on the best wines you can possibly put on your palate! Live music, good eats, friends and fun will be the perfect pairing for Atlanta’s premier wine event! With the introduction of a local craft beer garden and unlimited wine + beer samples, this event is sure to draw the crowds, so be sure to purchase tickets in advance! Tickets go on sale August 8th at noon at Hope to see you there! ■

Festival from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Full Production Winery & Vineyards Wine Tasting & Tours The Wine Market International, National, & Regional Wines Craft Beers Cooking and Wine Seminars Local Harvest Food Tent Live Music by League of Decency Dancing & Grape Stomping Free Parking | Must be 21 or Over Photo ID Required tickets $85 | special packages order online or call 678-425-0900 x 41

Sean Wilborn is the Tasting Room Manager at Château Élan Winery and conducts several wine tasting, educational and team building events at the resort.

Château Élan Winery | 100 Tour De France Braselton, Georgia 30517 Located I-85 North, Exit 126 30 Minutes North of Atlanta

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Back by popular demand, Lake Lanier Islands Resort is offering their three-hour signature wine cruise on select Sundays through October 5th, 2014. And, when they informed Suwanee Magazine about this event, we jumped on board (literally) at the opportunity to partake in one of the excursions. BY: Rachel Fasig

n a sunny Sunday afternoon, we took the short drive from Suwanee to Lake Lanier and were greeted by a smiling crew; Captain Winston Beaver; Director of Banquets, Robert Wood; and Banquet Captain, Sean Shapoori. As we boarded the “Island Princess”, an 85-foot yacht, with locals and visitors alike, we were handed a glass of sparkling Brut Rose and directed to the antipasto platter and exquisite cheese display with a variety of delicious choices, like: Reypenaer 3-year, Cloth Bound White Cheddar, Sweet Grass Green Hill Brie, Five Counties Cheese, and Vella Aged Jack. We then headed to the upper deck to take in the fresh air and view as we set sail. As guests relaxed in the sun and took pictures of the sparkling blue water, servers passed gourmet hors d’ oeuvres artfully prepared by the resort’s renowned Culinary Director and Executive Chef, Michael Klein. Each wine cruise is delegated a specific theme, and we had the pleasure of experiencing a menu of African-influenced foods and wines for this occasion. Every course was carefully paired with an African wine, chosen by on-board sommelier and Empire Distributors representative, Curtis Gauthier. Gauthier took the time to stop by each table throughout each course to describe tasting notes and answer any wine-related questions. This event prides itself on providing guests with a complete wine-experience as winemakers or industry professionals walk them through the tasting menu. All guests have the opportunity to order the wines they sampled at the conclusion of each cruise. The first course consisted of Madagascar Shrimp and Monkfish skewers with a Green Ginger Sauce paired with Fleur du Cap Die Bergkelder Selection Sauvignon Blanc. The fresh shrimp meddled perfectly with the melon and tropical fruit notes of this chilled Sauvignon Blanc. Course two was a Confit Duck and Peppadew Salad paired with a Glen Carlou Vineyards 2011 Chardonnay. The third course consisted of delicious Tomato,


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Wine Expert, Curtis Gauthier, shares tasting notes with guests on-board Yogurt and Chicken Masala Pot Pies – these miniature delicacies were a big hit with many guests asking for seconds or thirds as they washed them down with a chilled glass of Graham Beck Wines The Game Reserve Chenin Blanc. A personal favorite arrived next: Moroccan Lamb “cigars” with an apricot and mustard seed relish perfectly paired with a creamy Cabernet Sauvignon from Graham Beck The Game Reserve wines. The heartiest dish arrived last – a Boerwors Sausage with a red wine-raisin sauce on a vinegar Fingerling Potato Salad, served with Ernie Els Big Easy Red – an aged red varietal with a strong oaky finish. This wine carried us into the dessert hour – as we savored macaroons, chocolate petit fours, key lime tarts, dessert shooters, and Swiss pralines. Guests lingered over each course and glass of wine while laughing, talking, and soaking in the sun. As we cruised across Lake Lanier and back to the harbor, we realized just how lucky we are to live near such a beautiful place. It was certainly enjoyable to “go on vacation” for the day and experience a highend wine and culinary experience right in our backyard. Lake Lanier Islands Resorts is offering additional high-end wine cruises through October 5th with a unique opportunity for a Cigar & Scotch Cruise on October 19th. Tickets are $60 per person or $110 per couple and may be reserved by calling 770945-8787. For additional information and cruise dates, please visit ■

! te a eD h et v Sa



Benefiting Annandale Village

Saturday, Oct 4TH 1-5pm Town Center Park

Unlimited Samples of


Handpicked by Beverage Superstore


Craft Beer Garden


Join us for an afternoon of sampling over 100 wines & craft beers, enjoying food samples from The Fresh Market and listening to live music in beautiful Town Center Park

General Admission includes: ◆ unlimited samples of wines ◆ local craft beer tent with unlimited sampling ◆ complimentary food samples ◆ food for purchase from some of the best restaurants & food trucks in metro atlanta ◆ live entertainment & more!

VIP Admission includes everything in general admission plus: ◆ 1 hour early entry ◆ A private dining & tasting tent ◆ Catered meal ◆ Higher-end wines to taste ◆ Sommelier insight during tastings ◆ Live Entertainment ◆ Exclusive Suwanee Wine Fest t-shirt + goody bag



News and notes from in and around Suwanee...

Officer Elias Casañas to retire

On July 31, 2014, after 24 years of service, Officer Elias Casañas will retire. Casañas became a patrol officer with the City of Suwanee on May 9, 1990 and quickly became a Suwanee Police Department icon. He was known by many as the "Teddy Bear Cop" because early in his career be bought a teddy bear dressed in a police uniform, named it Blu, and would drive with it in his passenger seat. Children and adults alike enjoyed seeing Blu and talking to Casañas, whose first priority was keeping Suwanee safe. Casañas is also known for implementing and managing Suwanee's Police and Citizens Together (PACT) neighborhood-based community program, a program that has been emulated by agencies across the state and US. Now, Casañas plans to use his newfound time to continue to give back to the community through volunteering for organizations such as the Veterans Administration Hospital.

Free workshop for aspiring writers

On Thursday, August 14th at 6:30pm, bestselling author and renowned writer's workshop conference speaker Joe Samuel Starnes will host a free workshop and book discussion at the Suwanee branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library. Starnes will focus his discussion on Research: A Writer's Best Friend and A Writer's Worst Enemy- Using Research in Your Fiction. Starnes, author of the novels “Fall Line” and “Calling,” will discuss how fiction can come alive with details acquired from research, giving your short stories and novels a sense of verisimilitude. He will offer practical advice to aspiring writers about conducting research, and he will offer writers tips on avoiding the pitfalls and delays that doing research can bring to fiction writing. To learn more about Gwinnett County Public Library programs and services, please visit, find GwinnettLibrary on Facebook, Twitter, or call 770.978.5154.

Friends American Grill to Open in Buford Village Suwanee Town Center favorite, Friends American Grill, continues to expand this summer with a new location in Buford Village, at the intersection of Buford Highway and Hamilton Mill Rd. The new location, directly across from Buford City Hall, is Ray Stanjevich and Suzanne Cartwright's sixth location including a location at Gwinnett Braves Coolray Field which has been very popular this season. Friends specializes in American classics like spicy chicken wings, burgers, wraps and salads with a fun twist. Friends has become the neighborhood local bar and grill in many of its locations with hundreds of regular customers. They frequently host trivia contests, UFC fight nights, live music and other events. Stanjevich and Cartwright are firm believers in giving back and supporting the communities of their businesses and are involved in many organizations throughout Gwinnett County.

Friends' owners, Ray Stanjevich and Suzanne Cartwright


Suwanee Magazine


Georgia Food Bank Association Gathers Statewide Leaders to Kick Off Summer Feeding Program Providing Free Meals for Georgia’s Children

On June 11, 2014, prominent Georgia state leaders gathered to promote the beginning of summer feeding programs at a kick-off event at Lucky Shoals Park in conjunction with the Georgia Food Bank Association (GFBA) and the Arby’s Foundation, the charitable arm of Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. The event launched this year’s Summer Feeding Programs, which promote access to free meals and snacks for children from one to 18 years of age while school is out of session. Statewide leaders, including First Lady of Georgia, Sandra Deal, gathered to announce the steps taken by the state and multiple partner organizations to increase access and participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer option (SSO), federally funded U.S. Department of Agriculture programs that are administered by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, and its counterpart, the Georgia Department of Education: School Nutrition Programs. Working as a team, public and private entities are increasing the number of sites available and expanding the mobile feeding program to provide healthy meals in remote locations statewide. “Children need healthy, nutritious meals to grow their bodies and minds all year,” said Mrs. Deal. “Today’s event demonstrates the power of our state working together to help our children and our community. Our programs, and the future for Georgia’s children, are stronger, healthier and brighter when we work together.” For more information, visit the GFBA website or contact michele.chivore@georgiafoodbankassociation. org, (678) 365-4278.


Stunningly You



Big Frog Electric opens in Buford Owner of Big Frog Electric, James Crofutt, officially opened his doors at 36C East Main Street in Buford, Georgia earlier this year. Big Frog Electric is a family-owned, owner-operated, electrical service company that is backed by 15+ years of experience in the field. At Big Frog Electric they are dedicated to continuously improving their technologies, certifications and research within the electrical trade. One way Big Frog Electric gives back to the community is by offering a special discount to all public school teachers, veterans, seniors and first responders. They have the full staffing and capabilities to work on commercial and residential projects alike. Visit to learn more.

Local Swim Teams Make a Splash for a Cause

Ethan is the second from the left.

Two competing His brothers (from left to right) are Nolan, Sebastian and Tristan. swim teams joined together to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), a leader in the battle against Type 1 diabetes. The Edinburgh Marlins and Wild Timber Team Extreme held a fundraising event on Thursday, June 26th at the Edinburgh pool. Each year, more than 30,000 people, half of those children, are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the U.S. alone. It is a serious and difficult disease in which one’s pancreas ceases to produce insulin, a necessary hormone that allows people to get energy from food. Just two years ago, one of the Marlin’s swimmers, Ethan DenBrok, age 12, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Ethan has continued to remain active and participate on the team. Ethan’s mother, Charlotte DenBrok, who has been an integral part of the Marlins swim team since its inception nine years ago, says her son is hopeful for a cure. “Our life has been profoundly changed by Ethan’s diagnosis. Ethan would love a cure to this disease, and we are always excited when our community is willing to spread awareness and help us raise money for JDRF.” For more information about JDRF and how it has impacted Ethan’s life, please contact Charlotte DenBrok at or 770-855-8415.

Photo courtesy of River Oak Photography

Friends' owners, Ray Stanjevich and Suzanne Cartwright


city buzz

Treetop Quest Opens First Net Course in the US Treetop Quest at Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center opened their newest attraction, Spider Quest - the very first Net Course ever seen in the US! With a giant 2,000 square foot safety net below, no harness is required, as climbers endure obstacles high up in the trees. With two levels of difficulty and thirty different obstacles, this course appeals to all ages. There is even a large slide that transports climbers safely back to the ground. Treetop Quest invested $500,000 to expand and bring this unique and fun offering to Gwinnett. For more information or to book online, visit

Royal Dance Academy Moves to Suwanee

GOROYALDANCE.COM Vickery Village Training Facility 5752A Vickery St. 105 Satellite Blvd. NW Cumming, Ga 30040 Suwanee, Ga 30024 ballet * contemporary * modern * jazz * lyrical * hip hop


Suwanee Magazine


The Royal Dance Academy, an award-winning dance education program led by internationally recognized artistic director Sarah HaslockJohnson, continues to grow. The Royal Dance Academy has relocated from its previous location at McGinnis Ferry just down the road to a new 11,000 square-foot comprehensive dance education training center at 105 Satellite Blvd NW in Suwanee. This strategic move provides more centralized access from surrounding cities such as Lawrenceville, Buford, Duluth and John's Creek while continuing to serve the great community of Suwanee. The vision of the 11,000 square foot dance training center is to provide the city of Suwanee and the surrounding areas a comprehensive ecosystem of dance educational training and opportunities from preschool to professional levels. Registration for fall classes has already started. Visit for more details on the Royal Dance Academy Training Center.


Creating Lifelong Memories BY: Mackenzie Stephenson

arents want the best for their children. When choosing activities for them, there is a great deal of care put into finding a safe, fun, learning environment, full of people who will care for their child. Many parents looking for a fun and active place to take their children have found a home at Georgia Gymnastics Academy (GGA). GGA started in Lawrenceville in 1987 and opened its second branch in Suwanee a year later. There were no gyms in the Suwanee area and it seemed like the ideal location. Meg Moreno, the Class Instructor, Pre-Team Instructor and Special Events Coordinator, told us about her family at GGA. The three owners, Jenette Samoray, John McNair and Jeannie Samoray, “were parents of gymnasts and that’s how they came about opening the gym. They decided to see if they could delve into that business and open their own gym,” Meg said. GGA is home to almost 1000 students at the Suwanee gym alone. They offer boy and girl classes for all ages, from 16 months to 18 years old. There are also competition teams for boys and girls from 6 to 18 years old. “It is the goal of all team kids to hopefully one day get a college scholarship,” Meg said, and GGA’s goal is to help them reach that. When asked about competitions, Meg told us a lot of girls on their team program have made it to Regionals and then Nationals. Their boy's program just recently competed in the Boys Jr Olympic National Competition and there were several boys who placed in the finals. They’ve also had many State champions over the years. 

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One of the girls who trained at GGA and now works there during the camps, Marie Priest, got a full athletic scholarship to Illinois State University— a Division I school. "I started doing gymnastics at GGA in 7th grade and I've worked here for the past two years…I love that we're a big family and that no matter what, you can talk to coaches and they treat you like you're their own." Marie said. Other schools that some of her teammates have received scholarships for in the past are: North Carolina State University, West Virginia University, Southern Connecticut State University, Southern Utah University, Bowling Green State University, Central Michigan University, Texas Women's University, and Iowa State University. During St. Patrick’s Day and Suwanee Day, GGA holds lock-in slumber parties. Meg said, “We do one every Suwanee Day and it’s open to the public.” They also participate in the Suwanee Day parade every year along with holding stage performances. “Our kids have won awards several times at Suwanee Day for the themes they do during the parade,” Meg added. She also spoke of “Kid’s Night Out” which is open to the gym and the public. It occurs once a month, costing $25 per kid for the general public and $20 for members. Kid’s Night Out is a 4 hour activity where the parents can drop their kids off in a fun and safe environment and then have a date night of their own.


georgia gymnastics

“Every year at the end of the year we throw a giant fun meet competition for our class students,” Meg said. “We start the year by teaching them skills and at the end of the school year, we teach them how to put that into a routine.” The kids are able to show their parents and friends what they have learned during the year without the pressures of competition. Instead, they are able to showcase their skills “Even the kids that compete for a couple while having fun and enjoying years and then go on the routines. Meg talked about how they to other things…we'll have some kids that come still get letters from in and use gymnastics as a them in college and form of physical therapy. after saying 'Thank Jeff Donahoe with Children’s you! Gymnastics has Healthcare of Atlanta started really helped me in bringing some of his patients other areas of my life.” who might be struggling with different issues, such as sensory stimulation, and they make tremendous progress at GGA. “He's a physical therapist and then when he saw some of our gymnasts go to him with injuries, he wanted to check out what was going on for himself and decided it'd be a great thing for some of his other patients with different disabilities to experience.” Meg explained. GGA is a place where the teachers feel like a part of the kids’ lives. “One of my favorite things about the gym is that we watch them grow up in the gym and then they end up working with us.” Meg told us. Everyone, coaches


Suwanee Magazine


and gymnasts alike, are a big family at GGA. They work together roughly three times a week and the coaches really invest in these children’s lives. It’s more than just a fun place to get your children more active; GGA is a second home. Meg explained that one of the most rewarding things about teaching at the gym is that she has had the opportunity to get to know these kids from age 2 – 18. She’s really seen these kids grow up. “Even the kids that compete for a couple years and then go on to other things…we'll still get letters from them in college and after saying 'Thank you! Gymnastics has really helped me in other areas of my life,’” she said, getting choked up. She, along with all the other instructors at GGA, genuinely care about the children participating in the activities at GGA. Many parents in Suwanee and surrounding communities have found GGA to provide a fun, caring environment for their children where they have made lasting friendships and memories. For more information on the classes they offer and the other special events they have, visit their website at ■


people & places

Arts in the Park May 17th, 2014



Vickie Johnson

Big Peach Potluck June 3rd, 2014




Suwanee Magazine


Burnette Gathering

Memorial Day Concert 2014


May 23rd, 2014



Suwanee Academy of the Arts Bernie Bock-Davis with Dick & Penny Cunningham from Ippolito's

Adam Edge with Kristin Scott & Karen Strickling from Planet Smoothie

Mayor Jimmy Burnette, Beth & Steve Hilscher

Scott & Debbie Dovel

Movies Under the Stars June 13th, 2014




Annandale's Jazzy Thing May 10th, 2014 LILLIAN WEBB PARK PHOTOS I JULIE PERDUE

Jim Bunch with Cathy Forte

Nick & Suzanne Masino

Suwanee Councilmember Doug Ireland & wife Keri


Suwanee Magazine

people & places

Suwanee Magazine's Shay Taylor, Julie Perdue & Rachel Fasig

Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette with Suwanee Magazine's Angela Veugeler

Annandale''s Keith Fenton with Julie Perdue

John & Kathy Peronis

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people & places

SBA May Meeting


Pooch N Paws Starla Pellegrino & Blake Mottlesheard

Suwanee Pizza Tavern's Melissa Dean with Ray Stanjevich from Friend's American Grill

Brand Bank's Mervin Barbree, Dr. Laura Russo from Suwanee Family Chiropractic with GoWaiter's Tom Vooris


Suwanee Magazine


people & places

Golf Classic to Benefit North Gwinnett Touchdown Club & Georgia Canines for Independence SPONSORED BY: THE RIVER CLUB, REEVES CONTRACTING & POTTS CONSTRUCTION


SBA June Meeting



people & places

Woofstock 2014 May 3rd, 2014



Lake Lanier Wine Cruise June 8th, 2014 LAKE LANIER PHOTOS RACHEL FASIG

Director of Banquets, Robert Wood and Captain Winston Beaver with Banquet Captain, Sean Shapoori


Suwanee Magazine


Paradise YOUR

awaits you Installation Cleaning Repair & Maintenance Koi Transport Koi Pond Cleaning




Upcoming Suwanee Area Events


July 2014 Suwanee Farmers Market

of July 3 Fourth Weekend Celebration thru Thursday, July 3rd July 6th 6 Sunday, Lake Lanier Islands Resort

Tuesdays & Saturdays: Tuesdays @ 4:00pm - 7:00pm Saturdays @ 8:00am - noon Town Center Park

time 1 Story with Belle

Tuesday, July 1st @ 11:00am Barnes & Noble @ the Collection in Johns Creek


Suwanee Magazine


FOUR DAYS of patriotic fun in the sun, music in the air, and dancing in the sand. Of course, the Fourth of July will stand out from the others thanks to a spectacular fireworks show over the water! For more information visit


Women of the Winery

Thursday, July 10 @ 6:30pm - 8:30pm Chateau Elan The perfect chance to catch up with friends and enjoy award winning wines and specially prepared hors d'oeuvres.


10 & 12

Johns Creek Players Present

'Disney's Beauty & the Beast'


Sprint Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting

Thursday, July 10 Saturday, July 12 Johns Creek High School Tickets available online at

Friday, August 1st @ 11:30am Suwanee Sprint Cook-out and activities

Fit Fest 16 Blimpie Sunday, August 16 @ 7:30am Town Center Park

Seminar 12 Autoimmune by Sugar Hill Spine & Wellness

Saturday, July 12th @ 11:00am - 1:00pm Sugar Hill Golf Course

Wine 13 Summer Cruise Series Sunday, July 13th @ 2:00pm - 5:00pm Lake Lanier Islands Resort For more information visit

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75th @ Sugar Hill Anniversary Celebration Saturday, August 2 ALL DAY Sugar Hill City Hall

Saturday, August 16 @ 5:30pm Town Center Park Featuring Everclear.

York 23 Greater Chamber's 31st

Annual SummerFest Saturday, August 23 York, SC For more information visit

Suwanee 19 PlayTown 10th Birthday Party Saturday, July 19 @ 10:00am PlayTown Suwanee

25 & 26

Broadway in the Park

Friday, July 25 & Saturday, July 26 @ 7:00pm Town Center Park


Under 23 Movies the Stars

Saturday, August 23 Town Center Park


Girl Scouts 23 Lanier Thin Mint Sprint Saturday, August 23 @ 8:30am Settles Bridge Park

Performing Arts 26 Suwanee Princess Tea Party

Saturday, July 26th @ 10:00am and 1:00pm Ippolito's Bocce Room Tickets may be purchased by calling 678-482-6333.

August 2014

Truck Friday 1 Food Friday, August 1st @ 5:30pm Town Center Park

August Concert & Wing Festival




Dash 9 Bulldog Saturday, August 9th

@ 8:00am North Gwinnett High School 5K Road Race and Fun Run.


18th Annual Vineyard Fest

Sunday, August 24 @ 1 - 5:00pm Chateau Elan For tickets:














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ARE STANDING BY. Our Urgent Care Centers are staffed by pediatricians, equipped with X-rays and labs, and ready to help seven days a week. For Urgent Care Center wait times,* text CHOA to 4ER411 (437411) or visit

* Wait times are updated every 15 minutes and are estimates based on the average time it takes for a patient to be placed in an exam room. Standard messaging fees will apply for texting. ©2014 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. All rights reserved.


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10 Best Towns for Families

– S& P, 2014

– Family Circle, 2013

330 Town Center Ave. Suwanee, GA 30024 770-945-8996

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Suwanee Magazine July August 2014  

The magazine for Suwanee Georgia and surrounding areas. Family fun, food, events, shopping and more.

Suwanee Magazine July August 2014  

The magazine for Suwanee Georgia and surrounding areas. Family fun, food, events, shopping and more.