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Exclusive Q&A w Country Music Artist, Josh Turner S U W A N E E M AG A Z I N E

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THE 2017 BEST BURGER IN SUWANEE • 2017 EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION GUIDE • FALCON’S SEASON PREVIEW • JOSH TURNER

2017 BEST

E E N A W U S IN Taco Mac’s BBQ Blues Burger won the People’s Choice Award but who won our judges’ pick as Best Burger in Suwanee? See inside...

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Suwanee Creek Bicycles

15 Experimac Suwanee

Experimac is your local specialist for Apple product upgrades, purchases, repairs, pre-owned sales and trade-ins.

Suwanee Creek Bicycles in Suwanee celebrated their tenth anniversary this year. Learn why they continue to be an integral part of the local cycling community today.

19 Investment Strategies Aileron Investment Advisors give advice on paying off your mortgage early or investing the money elsewhere.

20 Brand-Aid with VDG

Veugeler Design Group unpacks 5 reasons why your marketing tactics might not be working.

PHOTO BY KARL LAMB

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Best Burger in Suwanee Contest

Nine local restaurants went head-tohead with their best burgers to compete for the title.

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Advanced Family Eye Care Empowering people to see clearly and live healthier, more fulfilling lives.

PHOTO BY WALT WOODEN

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Falcons’ Head Coach, Dan Quinn and Suwanee Magazine’s April Miller

2017 Falcons Preview

We headed out to the Flowery Branch training facility during the Falcons Mini Camp and got the chance to ask Coach Dan Quinn, Matt Ryan and Dontari Poe some questions about their upcoming season.

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savor

56 Summer Beers Summer time and the sippin’s easy! Our friends at Beverage SuperStore suggested five beers to fill your cooler with this summer.

58 Sweet Acre Farms Winery

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The youngest winery owners in the state are changing our perceptions about local wines by producing 100% fruit based wines without grapes.

Early Childhood Education Guide

Local childcare centers and schools share what makes their programs unique.

thrive

36 Ask Henry

Henry the Golden Retriever at Sugar Hill Animal Hospital helps answer the question about what vaccines are really necessary for your pets.

38 Family Matters

Laura Lebovitz, LMFT, gives tips for easing the back-to-school butterflies and anxiety.

40 Gwinnett Girl Scouts The impact Girl Scouts are having on the community

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Interview with Josh Turner The Country Music Star shares his thoughts on the industry.

in every issue: 8 Letter 53 Restaurant Guide 61 The Buzz 72 People & Places 78 Event Calendar

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letter

a note from our managing editor

Hail to the Beef! While we may still be in the heat of summer now, we’ll be headed back to school before you know it in August. Laura Lebovitz, licensed therapist at Grow Counseling, gives tips on page 38 about helping your child ease those back-toschool butterflies. For some of you new parents or for those who are new to the area, you might be checking out school and childcare options. Well, look no further than our Early Childhood Education Guide on page 24, where you will find info about some of the areas best programs. My daughter is almost one year old now (hard to believe) and I remember the painstaking process of sorting through all the childcare options before I went back to work. We hope that our guide, both in print and online, will serve as a resource for others going through the same thing.

Rachel Pillow

Managing Editor rachel@suwaneemagazine.com

In the meantime, lets soak up this last month or so of summer fun because fall is right around the corner and that brings a whole other host of things to look forward to (i.e.: football!) We can’t wait to see what our Falcons will accomplish this year. We had the chance to meet with Dan Quinn, Matt Ryan and Dontari Poe: flip to page 22 to hear what they had to say about their upcoming season.

ow about that delicious-looking burger on the cover? It really was delicious! We got to taste that one plus eight other contenders in our 2017 Best Burger in Suwanee Contest. Tough job, right? Well, someone has to do it! Taco Mac (featured on the cover) won our staff pick: People’s Choice Award. But, the actual “Best Burger in Suwanee” was named by four noteworthy judges who are influential in the local culinary scene. Flip to page 45 to find out who took home the title and to learn more about all the other awesome burgers we got to try!

We also had the chance to chat with country singer, Josh Turner, before he plays at The Bowl at Sugar Hill on August 12th. Turn to page 70 to learn more about this multi-platinum, award-winning superstar….like the fact that he’s a Braves fan. We like you even more now, Josh! Thanks for reading and as always, feel free to reach out to me at rachel@suwaneemagazine.com. We value your feedback and submissions!

Exclusive Q&A w Country Music Artist, Josh Turner S U W A N E E M AG A Z I N E

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E IN SUWANE Taco Mac ’s BBQ Blues Burger won the People’s Choice Award but who won our judges’ pick as Best Burger in Suwanee? See inside...

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION GUIDE

suwaneemagazine.com

BEHIND THE SCENES: Behind the scenes from our Best Burger in Suwanee Contest. The judging took place at our office on Friday, June 2nd.

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People’s Choice Award Winner: BBQ Blues Burger from Taco Mac in Suwanee, photographed by Karl Lamb

THE 2017 BEST BURGER IN SUWANEE • 2017 EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION GUIDE • FALCON’S SEASON PREVIEW • JOSH TURNER

ON THE COVER:

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2017 BEST

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Buck Lanford, News Anchor, FOX5’s Good Day Atlanta gave the competition a thumbs up!


ANGELA VEUGELER President / Editor-in-Chief angela@suwaneemagazine.com RANDALL VEUGELER Vice President and Publisher RACHEL PILLOW Managing Editor rachel@suwaneemagazine.com

Account Executives MICHELLE FASIG • NATALIE STUBBS ads@suwaneemagazine.com Creative Director RANDALL VEUGELER Art Director ERICA ABRAMS Production Manager LAURA PAYNE Web Editors WALT WOODEN • ROBERT WRIGHT CLARKE GLIDEWELL Digital Marketing Manager PRISCILLA SALMASI Graphic Design APRIL MILLER • SHAY HARBAUGH BRIAN HASSINGER • LAURA GRANT Photographers KARL LAMB • JULIE PERDUE WALT WOODEN

Sales JULIE PERDUE julie@suwaneemagazine.com

PUBLISHED BY VEUGELER DESIGN GROUP 554 W. Main Street, Suite 200, Buford, GA 30518 SuwaneeMagazine.com

For SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES or BACK ISSUE ORDERS, call 678-482-2270. For ADVERTISING INQUIRES, call 678-482-2270, or email info@suwaneemagazine.com.

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. ©2017 Veugeler Design Group. The editors welcome unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Please email submissions to Rachel Pillow at rachel@suwaneemagazine.com.

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BRAND AID 5 REASONS YOUR MARKETING ISN'T WORKING

EXERIMAC SUWANEE 1 5 ///

grow SUWANEE BUSINESS COMMUNITY NEWS AND INFO.

INVESTMENT STRATEGIES 19

SUWANEE CREEK BICYCLES:

LIVE, WORK, PLAY & Suwanee Creek Bicycles, located at the intersection of Main Street and Suwanee Dam Road, is celebrating their ten-year anniversary this year. Jeff Nalley and his wife, Wendy, have lived in Suwanee for 15 years, so when it came time to open their business they knew they wanted to “live, work, play and ride” right here in their own community.

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT:

SUWANEE CREEK BICYCLES Story by RACHEL PILLOW

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Photography by Karl Lamb

long with their retail shop of road and mountain bikes, gear, shoes, attire and accessories, Suwanee Creek Bicycles specializes in all bicycle repair and service. “We offer lifetime adjustments on a bike when we sell it,” said Owner, Jeff Nalley. Unlike other retailers, especially big box stores or online shops, Suwanee Creek Bicycles does a 100-mile adjustment on all new bikes. “Initially, on a new bike, the first 100 miles or so is essentially a break-in period, so we do things like straighten up the wheels, tighten cables, make sure the gears are transitioning smoothly, and clean and lube the chains… but then after

Jeff Nalley, Owner of Suwanee Creek Bicycles, has been riding since he was in his mid 20’s. What started as a hobby and a way for him and his coworkers to get away from their computers and out of the office, eventually led to a career that he is passionate about.

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that initial adjustment you should be good for quite a while,” he explained.

A PERFECT FIT

➽ As a seasoned cyclist himself and having completed numerous “Century Rides” of 100 miles, including one 200-mile ride, Nalley understands the importance of being properly fitted on a bike, which is why he utilizes a professional bike fitting system with the technology and tools to ensure riders’ bodies are properly aligned to prevent injury or stiffness and to achieve maximum comfort level. They even have a “bike seat demo program” where customers can try out different sizes and shapes of bike saddles free of charge. “Everyone has their own preferences and saddles are all designed differently to alleviate certain pressure points - we will put the saddle on your bike and let you

suwaneemagazine.comI I JULY JAN//AUG FEB 17 17 Isuwaneemagazine.com

Suwanee Creek Bicycles exclusively sells Fuji bikes and their associated brands, and serves as one of the company's premier dealers in the Southeast. But, they can repair any brand of bicycles in their service shop.

Suwanee Creek Bicycles will help outfit you with different accessories depending on skill level. The one accessory that every rider needs regardless of skill level is a helmet and they offer a large selection to fit any rider.

try it out until you get a few rides in and a feel for it before you decide to purchase anything,” Nalley said.

ALL TYPES OF RIDERS SERVICED

➽ The entire shopping process focuses on your unique needs as a cyclist. “Once we identify what type of rider you are, then we will talk about budget,” Nalley said. “The biggest difference between us and a big box store or online retailer is, A) the quality of


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BIKE THE SUWANEE CREEK BICYCLES SATURDAY AM RIDE Leaving from Bike Shop / Library / Town Center Area

TURN AROUND: Entrance to Lake Lanier Islands, reverse route back to shop

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L ake Lanier Parkway 7

Holiday Road 6

Green Road

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S. Waterworks Road

As cyclists become more experienced and are riding more miles, there are a wide variety of products that Nalley and his team can recommend for optimal performance and comfort.

materials you’re getting here, and B) the level of service,” he continued. Wherever you are on your biking journey: whether you are dabbling with the idea of it, just want to explore the Greenway with your family, or are a professional cyclist, the staff at Suwanee Creek Bicycles has the knowledge, expertise and products for all types of riders. Their Saturday morning group rides mirror this sentiment as they invite cyclists of all ages and skill levels to join them on the 22-mile route to Lake Lanier Islands. The Thursday evening group ride is a 26-mile faster ride with more

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Old Atlanta / Railroad Avenue 2

N . Price Road 1

Brogdon Road

TOTAL ROUTE: 22 MILES START: Suwanee Creek Bicycles

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Suwanee Creek Bicycles hosts group rides that are open to the public, on Saturdays at 8:30am for a 22-mile ride and Thursdays at 6:30pm for a 26-mile ride.

seasoned cyclists, but everone is welcome to join in the fun. With miles of paved trails in parks and on The Greenway, Suwanee has become a much more bike-friendly community in the past several years and has plans to make even more improvements in the future. So, here’s to another ten years and counting, Suwanee Creek Bicycles! â–

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SUWANEE CREEK BICYCLES 333 Main Street, #100, Suwanee, GA

(770) 904-4860 SuwaneeCreekBicycles.com


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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT:

EXPERIMAC SUWANEE

A family business: Marie Umberger with her sons, Grant and Zach, who are Experimac technicians.

Story by RACHEL PILLOW

Experimac in Suwanee is your one-stop-shop for buying, selling, trading or repairing any Apple® product. From cracked iPhone screens to Macbook Pro RAM and hard drive repairs, the technicians at Experimac are just as qualified as your Apple Store Genius Bar employees at a fraction of the cost. Experimac stands behind the items they put on Owner, Marie Umberger, opened Experimac on Buford their shelves – so much so that they even feature a one Highway in August of 2016 in the same shopping plaza year warranty, which is typically unheard of when as Marco’s Pizza, across from Suwanee Town Center purchasing used products elsewhere. Park. Now, her two sons, Zach and “We are the answer to Craigslist or Grant, also work in the shop. “This eBay,” Umberger said. “You never really is a family business and being here know who you are buying from online in Suwanee has been amazing,” and we can be that reliable and safe said Umberger. For most of her source for you,” she continued. “We put professional career, Umberger was in all new parts when we do repairs in the accounting world. “But I have and also certify every single one of our always loved technology and gadgets Experimac is your local specialist for Apple products to make sure they pass certain and especially Apple products,” she product upgrades, purchases, repairs, pre-owned standards before we sell them,” she confessed. So, when the opportunity sales and trade-ins for phones, tablets, laptops explained. arose to open an Experimac franchise, and more. it seemed like the perfect fit.

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Experimac sells pre-owned and certified products equipped with new accessories, including this lineup of 2015 iMacs with retina display.

Experimac has a wide array of products at a variety of price points to suit any budget, and even offers financing options for monthly payments, if needed. With students heading off to college in August, it is a great time to check out their selection of used laptops, desktop computers, iPads and new accessories such as headphones, power cables, keyboards and more. And, if you’re looking to trade in your old Technician, Grant Umberger, Apple products, they will happily troubleshoots a purchase them outright or give repair on a laptop. you store credit. Umberger is a firm believer in the longevity of Apple products if they are well taken care of: “They last dramatically longer than the lifespan of a PC,” she said. She personally uses a Mac laptop that is nine years old and still has “plenty of life left in it.” Apple stores don’t perform repairs on “vintage products” which they define as anything older than four years, but Experimac can still make your “vintage product” as good as new. Marie Umberger and her team of technicians are committed to providing the community with the best service and the best Apple products around. They will happily answer any of your tech-related questions or concerns and even offer advice such as setting up parental controls on your devices. Check out suwaneemagazine.com for "5 tips to limit your kid's screen time." ■

EXPERIMAC SUWANEE

425 Buford Highway, Suite 106-A, Suwanee, GA 30024

(678) 765-7625 experimac.com/suwanee-ga

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INVESTMENT

Strategies

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BY: Bill and Cindi Porter, AILERON INVESTMENT ADVISORS

Should I pay off my mortgage early or should I invest that money elsewhere?

The answer to your question depends on your personal circumstances. There are many items to consider when deciding on paying off your mortgage early; we will cover some of those items. We recommend speaking with your Financial Planner who knows your personal circumstances to help with this important decision.

Interest Rates: If you can earn a higher rate of return than your mortgage interest rate, you would be better to invest and not pay off the mortgage early. The dilemma here is that we are not always able to predict our future earnings. Paying off the mortgage, you are “earning” the interest you would have paid over the life of the loan. Taxes: Mortgage interest may be tax deductible.

For high income earners this may be a significant advantage. However, we suggest reviewing the tax savings versus the interest cost.

Liquidity: Before you consider paying off your

mortgage, make sure you have enough cash reserves to cover your expenses. In addition, you need reserves for any unexpected emergencies or opportunities.

How long do you plan to live in your home:

If you plan to sell at some point down the road you run the risk of home values falling, as they did in 2008. It took many years for the values to come back, some markets took significantly longer than others. While we think of Real Estate as an appreciating asset, it is not always the case. There is no guarantee that you will receive all of your money if you must sell at some point.

Peace of Mind: For some, knowing that they (not the bank) own their home is important. You cannot put a value on peace of mind. As with any important financial decision, we strongly suggest speaking with a trusted advisor to help in deciding what would be best suited for you and your circumstances. This is for education only. Before using this information in any way discuss it with a financial professional.  There are many risks associated with stock trading. You may lose some or all of your financial investment. Securities offered through Dempsey Lord Smith, LLC Member FINRA/SIPC. Securities offered through Integrated Financial Planning Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Dempsey Lord Smith, LLC.

Send your investment questions to: submissions@SuwaneeMagazine.com

All the information in this letter is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information is strictly at your own risk.

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BRAND-AID

MARKETING TIPS FROM VEUGELER DESIGN GROUP

5 Reasons Your BY:

Shay Harbaugh, Jr. Art Director, Veugeler Design Group

1

INCONSISTENCIES IN YOUR BRAND

When establishing your brand it’s important to have a strong mission statement. Your mission statement is a clear description of your company’s values and purpose. It is a tool that effectively communicates your product or service and how your company is unique. Sometimes your statement can get lost in your marketing, or is inconsistent with your products. People need to see consistency in a brand. It builds that customer relationship and makes the brand experience stronger on all platforms. If your visual content, such as your logo and images, don’t relate to your mission then it can cause confusion and become more of a distraction for customers. Every single component of your brand needs to be harmonious and work together to build trust.

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NO MESSAGE ARCHITECTURE SET IN PLACE If a building doesn’t have a strong foundation

and framework, then it falls apart. The same goes for content and messaging – it must be aligned. Message architecture is an organized structure of words and phrases that are prioritized to deliver a clear message. It begins with a positioning statement that defines your company and niche audience, then establishes your value propositions and key messages. Creating and implementing your message architecture can be tricky to do on your own, and even trickier when employees are not aligned. Therefore, we recommend bringing in a marketing professional to walk you through the process.

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Marketing is a key component in having a successful business. If you are not active and using the proper tools and resources, then your marketing can fall short and prevent your business from growing. If you fall into one of these categories, then it’s important to reflect and make the proper adjustments to re-strategize your marketing approach.

Isn’t Working

3

MARKETING MATERIALS ARE NOT UP TO DATE

The images that are used in your marketing help to tell your brand’s story visually. The visual and creative designs are what get the audience’s attention to draw them in. Using outdated designs are not only ineffective, but can actually damage your brand. Just because something used to be successful doesn’t mean it will work now. Every so often you need to review your creative and make sure that it’s current. With the abundance of ads everywhere, in print and digital, your imagery and graphic design need to be attention grabbing and “click” worthy. By not updating your creative, your message will get lost and instead of making money, it could end up costing you money and possibly losing customers to your competition.

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YOU AREN’T ASSESSING YOUR WEAKNESSES The word weakness can have a

huge negative connotation, but if we are always focusing on our strengths then how can we ever grow? It’s hard for us to reflect and take a look at areas that need improving, but it’s also necessary in order to be successful. By analyzing weaknesses, it gives you a chance to see opportunities and avoid making mistakes. Make sure to look at your weaknesses from both an internal and external point of view. Internal weaknesses could stem from everyone in the company having different priorities. External weaknesses could come from how the audience receives your message or an issue with a competitor. If you are unsure as to exactly what your weakness is then start looking at your brand as a whole. Look at your mission statement, message architecture and your current visual campaigns side by side to see if there are any leaks. Turn your weakness into a win for your company.

5

MISINFORMED ON YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY

There is tons of information available with just the click of a button, but a lot of it can be confusing and misleading. Advice that you receive may have worked for someone else, but might not be right for your type of business and products. Instead, reach out to a marketing and design firm that understands how brand strategy works. They can help create and implement a plan of action that works best for your company. Don’t risk your company’s success on misinformation, instead place it in the hands of marketing professionals. ■

For more information about improving your marketing, contact Veugeler Design Group

678.482.2270 VDGatl.com

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If you’re a die-hard fan of our Atlanta Falcons, you probably had the experience of a lifetime last season. What an incredible time it was to be a part of the “brotherhood.” The relationship between the City of Atlanta, the surrounding communities and the Falcons was unmatched. Our great state rallied around this team and committed to fight the fight with them. We filled the Georgia Dome every home game we were loud, we traveled to surrounding states to fill opposing stadiums with red and black, we spent weeks trying to convince our coworkers, family and friends that our team was in it to win it. This was our time and with each passing week we saw the team grow and develop. We saw the fight, true grit and heart those men left on the field each and every game. Although we did not have the end result we hoped for, we should all be proud of our Falcons and their accomplishments. We can’t think of a better way to start the 2017 season than to get back into the brotherhood with our team and rise up! We had the opportunity to visit with Matt Ryan, Dan Quinn and Dontari Poe at Mini Camp and they had great things to say about their preparation for the upcoming season. By April Miller / Photos by Walt Wooden

DONTARI POE DEFENSIVE TACKLE

On why the Atlanta Falcons are the right fit for him Because they just go out there and play football. As a D-lineman you don’t have to overthink too much, just go out there and wreak havoc and that’s what this defense is.

On Matt Ryan as a leader I don’t think it’s too much of a secret, but he’s a real good guy, great quarterback, great teammate, and a great leader. He does a good job of getting people going.

On the leader of the defense We all are leaders. There are 11 guys playing at one time - we all have to be that guy to step up and take control when we need to.

DAN QUINN HEAD COACH

The nature of our program is competition and we are going to hold true to that. On the rookie class at Mini Camp I’m encouraged by the kicking team/special teams and pleased with the running game. I love the versatility that we have created with guys in different spots. Our whole goal is to see how far we can take each player.

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On fans and “The Brotherhood” A few years ago before my arrival I hoped I’d see that connection between the team and the city. And now, to have a role in that makes you extra proud to be a part of this community. Our players 100% appreciate and feel the support, so for us moving into a new spot, into a new house (Mercedes Benz Stadium), we’re gonna throw some great parties in there and we want it to be as loud as you can possibly imagine and we can’t wait to get started with them again.


On Roddy White’s retirement On Tight End, Austin Hooper He has put in the work, he’s worked extremely hard, he’s really diligent on making sure he is productive every day and you can see it on the field. He’s playing like a veteran guy now and I think he’s gonna be a big part of our offensive success this year.

I had 8 years with Rod and really I’ve never had a better teammate. Such a great player, he was a warrior, unbelievable in the locker room, such a good leader by example, brought energy to the facility, to the practice field and to the games every week. No one has meant more to my career than him. It’s always nice to see him get recognized the way he should because he deserves it.

On his future in the NFL You hope for one of these 15 or 20-year careers, that’s what the hope is. I’m thankful that I’m healthy, I’m thankful that I have had the experience that I have had up until this point and I’m going to do everything I can to make it last.

MATT RYAN

2016 NFL MVP QUARTERBACK

This is what I love to do, it’s the only thing honestly I’ve ever wanted to do and I’m lucky and fortunate to be able to do it. I enjoy every day, 10 years in and it’s still just as exciting to be at Mini Camp - it’s still fun to be out there playing this game. Photo courtesy of AMB Sports & Entertainment

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Early Childhood Education Guide

Whether you are a new parent or new to the area, the search for childcare or early childhood education programs can be overwhelming. With so many different options, right here in our own backyard, we wanted to highlight the differences between some of the schools and their programs. We hope that this guide, both in print and online at suwaneemagazine.com, will serve as a resource during your decision-making process.

Duluth Montessori School

PROVIDING AN UNPARALLELED LEVEL OF EDUCATION FOR THE PAST 32 YEARS

Duluth Montessori School is an AMI accredited school where children are given a true Montessori education that adheres to Dr. Maria Montessori’s tried and true methods. Children as young as 14 months all the way to 15 years of age are exposed to real world facts and experiences in an environment that is rich in culture with a focus on independence, self-discipline and concentration. Providing families with: ■ Beautiful campuses in natural and historic settings ■ Acres of outdoor gardens to expand upon the classroom experience ■ Aftercare and tuition assistance programs Schedule a tour to see the difference a Montessori education can make!

Main Street Campus 2997 Main Street Duluth, GA 30096

Sugarloaf Campus 1768 Old Peachtree Road Duluth, GA 30097

770-476-9307

678-474-9967

www.DuluthMontessori.com

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Greater Atlanta Christian School

A JOYFUL, ENERGIZING PLACE TO LEARN, GROW, AND PLAY Greater Atlanta Christian School (GAC) welcomes infants (six weeks) through age three (turning 4). Students then move to their Early Childhood Village – an enchanting town-like setting for students in kindergarten. After starting in these GAC offers a school-year program, as well as a year-round schedule. Half-day and full-day vibrant environments, many families options are available for two, three, four, and five-day programs. continue to make GAC their academic home through high school graduation. concert to attend to their youngest students’ needs, creating Inspired by the Reggio Emilia “learn through play a safe environment where children are known and loved. approach,” their Young Learners program encourages These educators establish an academic foundation that fully children to take an active role in learning. They solidify the prepares students to continue their studies at GAC. essentials – letters, numbers, shapes, and colors – infusing music and creative movement. They value respect and collaboration, so children develop their innate gifts while reater tlanta building kind and loving friendships with classmates. Students benefit from enriching one-on-one instruction hristian Chool tailored to each child’s proficiency and readiness. They explore themes through a variety of sensory approaches that 1575 Indian Trail Road • Norcross, GA 30093 are both enriching and developmentally appropriate. 770-243-2000 Child development specialists, licensed classroom For additional details: GreaterAtlantaChristian.org; click Academics, then the Young Learners tab teachers, and experienced childcare professionals work in

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Early Childhood Education Guide The Goddard School philosophy of “fun while learning” is based on research that proves children experience the deepest, most genuine levels of learning while they are having fun. This widely accepted research shows that children are more likely to remember lessons if they enjoy them and develop a lifelong enthusiasm for learning in the process.

The Goddard School Suwanee

A UNIQUE AND NURTURING APPROACH OFFERING WELL-ROUNDED CHILDHOOD PREPARATION FOR SOCIAL AND ACADEMIC SUCCESS BY: MICHELE FASIG

hen looking for options for childcare, most new parents often do not know where to start. Initially they may not be sure what they are looking for other than a day care solution and a social environment. Often times, many childcare facilities seem like one and the same, and after a while the tours just blend together. However, the moment you step foot into the Goddard School in Suwanee at 3710 Old Atlanta Road, it is immediately clear something is different. From children’s art lining the walls, the customized playrooms, and the warm and friendly approach of the staff, you are left immediately wanting to learn more about what makes this school so special.

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The Suwanee location is among more than 450 Goddard Schools in the country, all of which follow the philosophy that a unique and nurturing approach gives each child the opportunity to develop into a confident learner who is prepared for success in school. Goddard prides itself on not being categorized as a day care facility. They are a preschool specialized for youngsters aged six weeks to five years old. Their approach is playbased learning designed around the proprietary F.L.EX learning program (fun learning experience), which offers child-focused, teacher-led lessons that are personalized and tailored to each child’s interests. All of the teachers hold a bachelor's degree in childhood development and create individualized lesson


Educational Enrichment Programs at Goddard School are daily enrichment programs that include activities such as gardening, baby sign language, yoga, music and language. All of these programs are created to foster your child’s self-esteem and set the foundation for a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle.

plans designed to cover subjects such as language arts, science, motor skills, math, creative art, and social science. There is a minimum of two teachers per classroom; so step-by-step learning can be tailored to suit the needs of each child. The daily learning program includes studies like sign language, music, painting and more. The learning does not stay confined to the classroom either, field trips are a large part of what makes learning fun, and the Goddard Suwanee location plans field trips all around the area. What makes this location unique though is the loving and attentive staff, the majority of who have been there for over eight years. The teachers get to watch as each child learns, grows and develops, and creates a special, loving relationship with them along the way. “We are focused on the children, we are focused on making education fun, and we are passionate about creating an environment the children want to be in. These kids are our favorite part of the job. Who else has a job where they can get hugs all day?� says Assistant Director, Amanda Paul. The Suwanee location is unique in that they try to create individualized experiences for each child. When the children are learning about nature, they are invited to plant seeds in their own little garden to learn how plants grow. During science, a full gazebo designed to look like

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Early Childhood Education Guide

the solar system is erected in the main hall and each child gets to enter with a teacher and a black light to learn about constellations. Their artwork is hung up on the walls and sometimes auctioned off to parents to raise money for local charities. At the time of the interview, there was even a red carpet and a backdrop of Hollywood so the children could enter the building like rock stars just to put a smile on their faces. The learning process starts as young as six weeks when the teachers begin teaching sign language to the infants to overcome the nonverbal barrier. This is a skill they continue to teach them all the way through Goddard School pre-school so they begin focuses on creating a kindergarten with another form healthy early learning of communication. Each May environment in even their they hold a graduation ceremony youngest classrooms with programs customized to send the preschoolers off to to each child’s progress, kindergarten complete with caps needs and age. and gowns. In preparation for this

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big day, they go so far as to bring in a yellow school bus to teach the children about school bus safety. With the years of experience under each teacher’s belt, it appears that there is not a single subject the Goddard School in Suwanee does not approach. Unlike typical day care facilities, not only does your child become introduced into a social environment, but they also create learning building blocks along the way. The Suwanee location has seen so many repeat parents, and has created amazing bonds with those families over the years. This success has earned them quite the reputation in the surrounding area and spots for next year are already filling up with many of the classes wait-listed. If you are interested in learning more about Goddard Suwanee, you can always stop in for a free tour and a smile. ■

4410 Johns Creek Parkway

678-475-0701

www.GoddardSchool.com


Early Childhood Education Guide

The Schoolhouse

OFFERING AN INSPIRING ENVIRONMENT WHERE YOUNG LEARNERS CAN EXPLORE THEIR SENSE OF WONDER IN A RICH PRESCHOOL ENVIRONMENT

The Schoolhouse is central to Duluth, Suwanee, Buford, and Norcross. Their mission is to create unimaginable learning experiences for young learners that cultivate learning, challenge and choice while being steeped in healthy amounts of outdoor play. The Schoolhouse is small by design and incorporates various teaching methods and philosophies to uniquely meet their learners’ abilities and interests. Voted Best in Gwinnett 2015 and 2016, they proudly welcome children ages one to four, kindergarten, and 1st graders. The Schoolhouse experience is characterized by these fundamental values: ■ Collaboration They enjoy fruitful working partnerships with children, parents, fellow educators and the community. ■ Differences It’s the differences that make people who they are, and they inclusively respect that. ■ Flexibility They pursue a progressive academic and cultural approach that nurtures the whole child. ■ Curiosity They encourage children to develop this important tool for learning. ■ Kindness Their actions and words are expressions rooted in kindness always.

2466 Buford Hwy, Duluth, GA 30097

678-240-2507

TheSchoolhouse.com

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Y O U R H E A LT H ,

WELLNESS AND HAPPINESS

ASK HENRY 36 /// FAMILY MATTERS 38 /// GWINNETT GIRL SCOUTS 40

ADVANCED FAMILY EYECARE:

FOCUSED ON HEALTH Suwanee practice specializes in filling prescriptions on-site, making and fitting glasses and educating patients on the importance of regular checkups to detect underlying health concerns. by Rachel Pillow

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nless you have poor eyesight or are experiencing other symptoms such as headaches, many people don’t concern themselves with going to the eye doctor for regular checkups. “However, yearly appointments are very important and can often detect other underlying health concerns,” explained Dr. John Gallagher, O.D., Owner of Advanced Family Eye Care in Suwanee. “A lot of people say that the eyes are the windows of the soul, but they really are the windows of your health; we can tell so much about your health and overall wellbeing from your eyes,” he continued. Dr. John Gallagher and his wife, Dr. Jamie Gallagher, O.D., opened Advanced Family Eye Care in Suwanee in 2004, somewhat by happenstance at the time, but it turned out to be one of the best things they could have done for their family, their business and the health of our community. Prior to opening their own practice the Gallaghers lived and worked in Delaware. But, when driving down I-85 en route to a conference, they got off on Exit 111 for a rest stop, decided to explore Suwanee a bit….and the rest is history! Thirteen years later Advanced Family Eye Care Advanced Family Eye Care's is seeing licensed opticians help to fit patients with frames designed about 200 for their unique face shapes patients and needs. per month and has

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expanded their practice to include another Doctor of Optometry, Dr. Christine Laube, as well as two Licensed Opticians, Stephen M. Smith and Chris Williams.

EMPOWERING PATIENTS ➽ Advanced Family Eye Care is the only Optometry Office in the area with two Licensed Opticians who specialize in filling prescriptions on-site, making and fitting glasses. “Stephen and Chris are great…they really just want the best for our patients and they both have a ton of experience in the field. One of the biggest things I stress with them is to not just sell a pair of glasses but to educate

patients on what options are out there and empower them to make a decision from there.” With an increasing number of online retailers selling prescription glasses, Dr. John Gallagher warns patients to be just a bit wary of who they buy from. Not only can you trust that the prescription lenses are being made properly at Advanced Family Eye Care, but there really is no comparison to the experience of being fit for glasses in person. “We will find the perfect frames to complement your features and Steve and Chris are really good at making sure people are extremely comfortable with their glasses or contact


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HOT NEW FRAMES AT ADVANCED FAMILY EYECARE: Kate Spade, Oakley and Nine West are among some of the best-selling frames in the Advanced Family Eye Care office. They have many other popular name brands such as Vera Bradley and Liz Claiborne, to name a few, in all frame shapes and sizes.

KATE SPADE NEW YORK CHARLA

From L to R, Back Row: Dr. John Gallagher, Dr. Jamie Gallagher, Dr. Christine Laube, Chris Williams, Christie Love, Stephen Smith Front Row: Crystal Brickey, Nedra Ferguson, Carol Hill

lenses; they are especially great at helping with the adaptation process of someone’s first bifocal or multifocal lenses,” he said.

DETECTING HEALTH CONCERNS ➽ Along with eye disorders such as glaucoma, cataracts or retinal problems, yearly comprehensive eye exams can help detect other underlying health concerns including: diabetes, autoimmune disorders, hypertension, thyroid disease, tumors, melanoma, high cholesterol and more. Dr. John Gallagher also stresses the importance of bringing your children in by the time

they are about school-age, 4 or 5 years old. If a child has Amblyopia (poor sight in one eye) it can cause a permanent loss of vision if not detected and treated early. “You have a narrow window of time, really up until the age of about 10, before that system becomes concrete,” explained Gallagher.

KATE SPADE NEW YORK RAGAN

NINE WEST 5076

ATLANTA’S CENTER FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED ➽ Advanced Family Eye Care serves as a satellite office for Atlanta’s Center for the Visually Impaired. As their satellite office, Dr. Jamie Gallagher serves the local community that is severely

CARBON PLATE FROM THE OAKLEY LIMITED EDITION FERRARI COLLECTION

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impacted by vision loss. Visual impairment is eyesight that cannot be corrected to a normal level with glasses. She works with patients of all ages, but many of Dr. Jamie Gallagher’s patients are young children who are legally blind, but not completely blind. The mission of the Center for the Visually Impaired is to “empower people impacted by vision loss to live with independence and dignity.” Dr. Jamie Gallagher works alongside a Rehab and Occupational Therapist to help provide her patients with the best quality of life possible. That same mentality is what led Dr. Christine Laube, O.D., into a career of Optometry 17 years ago and to Advanced Family Eye Care last year. “I am extremely nearsighted with severe astigmatism. I got glasses when I was three years old and contact lenses when I was ten which always gave me an interest in the profession from a young age,” Laube explained. Dr. Laube now wears Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) or “hard” contact lenses and is dedicated to helping others fit and adapt to these especially challenging specialty contact lenses that have transformed her life. Dr. Laube lives in Suwanee with her husband and two children, and has always loved the community, so joining a local, well-known practice made the decision that much easier. Dr. Laube speaks to the core values of Advanced Family Eye Care as a whole when she says, “The most rewarding part of this profession is to help people be able to see because without glasses or contacts I felt useless in society. We are here to give people proper vision and good medical care.” ■

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K

HENR Y

AS

HENRY ANSWERS ALL YOUR PET-RELATED QUESTIONS... I was recently at a shelter and adopted a new puppy. I know my new pup is going to need a lot of shots for his first visit with the veterinarian. What shots would you recommend? - Alice from Buford

âž˝ Most everyone knows that their pets need shots, but most people may not fully understand why veterinarians recommend the vaccines that they do. There are two types of vaccines: core vaccines and lifestyle vaccines. The core vaccinations recommended for dogs by the American Veterinary Medical Association are the distemper/parvo vaccine (DHPP) and rabies. The DHPP vaccine protects them against four different viruses: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo and Parainfluenza. Probably the most important parts of this vaccine are the Distemper and the Parvo virus protection. Distemper is a virus that causes respiratory and neurologic signs which in the majority of dogs will cause death. Parvo is an intestinal virus that causes severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Parvo can be deadly and requires intensive treatment. The cases of Distemper virus are very few these days, primarily because of vaccination, but Parvo is still rampant and is very easy to contract if an unvaccinated (or not fully vaccinated) dog is exposed to a dog with Parvo. Rabies is a vaccination not only imperative to preventing an untreatable disease, but is required by law for the safety of humans and pets.

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Lifestyle vaccines are ones that depend on what your pet does or where it goes. Some of the most common lifestyle vaccines for dogs are Bordetella, Influenza, Leptospirosis and Lyme. Bordetella is a bacteria that is part of the complex of organisms that cause kennel cough. This is recommended for dogs that are going to be around other dogs such as, dogs that board, go to doggy daycare or go to dog shows. Most boarding, daycare and grooming facilities require this vaccine due to the highly contagious nature of kennel cough. Influenza is another respiratory virus that, if contracted, can cause severe respiratory signs, coughing and potentially pneumonia. It, like the Bordetella VACCINATIONS ARE vaccine, is recommended RECOMMENDED for dogs that FOR DOGS TO commonly come PROTECT AGAINST: into contact with other dogs. There have even Distemper been outbreaks Hepatitis recently of canine Parvo influenza which has many Rabies boarding facilities Kennel Cough now requiring Canine Influenza this vaccine along with Leptospirosis the Bordetella Lyme Disease vaccine. Leptospirosis is a bacteria that is most commonly found in wild water sources and can cause liver and kidney damage. The bacteria is spread through urine of infected animals including wild animals. Not only is this bacteria harmful to pets it can also infect people. This vaccine is recommended for dogs that go swimming in lakes or streams, have contact with wild animals, or frequent dog parks or nature trails. Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted through ticks. This bacteria typically causes fever and joint swelling, however, it can also cause kidney damage as well. Once contracted, the body never fully clears it so patients can have flare-ups throughout their life. This vaccine is recommended for dogs that have a high exposure to ticks, go hiking in the mountains or visit Lyme endemic areas such as the Northeastern United States. Every pet is different and their lifestyles vary greatly. The best way to determine what vaccines are best for your pet is to speak with your veterinarian. Let them know where they go and what activities they participate in so together you can decide how to best protect your furry family member. â–

Henry’s helper for this issue was Dr. Jennifer Schuler, Sugar Hill Animal Hospital Dr. Schuler is a native of Georgia and grew up in the Gwinnett county area. She attended the University of Georgia for her BSA and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees. In her spare time Dr. Schuler enjoys spending time with her husband Jordan and her young sons Jonathan and JP. She also enjoys playing golf, traveling and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs. Her family also includes a dog named Mocha, two cats named Merlin and Noel.

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FAMILY MAT TERS By Laura Lebovitz, LMFT, Grow Counseling

Tips for Easing the Back to School Butterflies As summer comes to an end, you may notice your kids are asking more questions about going back to school and may even have some butterflies about all the upcoming changes. Kids may feel worried about having a new teacher, finding friends to sit with at lunch, or even if they will find friends at all. It can feel so confusing for parents to help their kids navigate all of the worries around going back to school. You may even feel like you’ve tried everything—tough love, reassurance, bribing—without any success. Getting back into the school routine is challenging enough without your child experiencing those back to school butterflies, too.

While managing worry is not one size fits all, there are techniques that you can use to help ease the transition back to school. Find ways to create stability.

Most families become pretty comfortable in their summer routine, so that back-to-school shift can feel like a hard adjustment. Creating a stable, predictable routine will really help to reduce worries. Try to emulate what a regular school day will look like for the whole family for at least one week before they go back to school. Wake up, eat, and go to sleep at regular times. You can also include practicing the drive to school or the walk to the bus stop. The more worried your kids seem to be, the longer they will need to adjust to their new schedule.

Go beyond reassurance.

Children often look to their parents for reassurance that nothing bad will happen at school. So instead of just saying “Everything will be fine!” try to create a plan with your child about what they could do if something goes wrong at school. Address their specific worries and come up with specific ways they could solve it. So if your child doesn’t know where to sit at lunch, draw a map of the lunchroom and discuss some possibilities.

Pay attention to how you react. Kids look to their parents when they are worried for ideas on how they

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should react. If you appear overwhelmed or nervous, they are likely to follow your lead. Find ways to show your kids that you are feeling calm and confident about the new school year. Say a strong and cheerful goodbye. If the goodbyes turn into a tantrum, try to problem solve what they need instead of allowing them to avoid saying goodbye and going to school. You can even enlist the help of their teacher!

Try to find the positives.

Encourage your kids to try to find the positives in the midst of their worries. Find three things that they are excited to do the first week of school. Have them plan their favorite lunches for the first week or lay out the outfits they are most excited to wear. Praise and reward them for any brave behavior they show, no matter how small! Read more Family Matters articles @ SuwaneeMagazine.com

Laura Lebovitz is a licensed marriage and family therapist who works in the Suwanee area at GROW Counseling. She received her Masters of Family Therapy from Mercer University School of Medicine. She works with children, adolescents, young adults, and families dealing with a variety of concerns. She specializes in working with anxiety, autism, self-harm, life transitions like divorce, and building healthy relationships within families.


Gwinnett Girl Scouts Making an Impact Story by ANGELA VEUGELER

he Girls Scout’s mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. After hearing three Gwinnett County Girl Scouts (who have earned or are working toward their Gold Award) speak at the Gwinnett ToGetHerThere Luncheon on May 16th, it seems they are doing just that. The Girl Scout luncheon took place at Ashton Gardens in Sugar Hill in order to raise funds for Gwinnett girls, including more than 1,000 underserved girls. Keynote Speaker, Fran Gary, shared her amazing personal story, in which several people saw something in her as a young girl when she was

Nia Allen On Courage: ➤ As a little girl, Nia had a love for aviation. She would beg her mother to take her to the Atlanta airport on weekends to watch the planes take off and land. At the age of eight, she met a female pilot who let her see the cockpit when

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living under the most challenging circumstances, and helped her to believe in herself. Gary shared that she may not have survived her youth had these mentors not invested their time and belief in her. Gary is now president of federal government solutions at Anthem, Inc. Gary, along with the rest of the audience, was amazed at the potential and early accomplishments of Girl Scouts Teresa Napolitano, Nia Allen and Kendall Robinson. The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. These three young women shared how Girl Scouts has helped build character and positively affected their lives...

she was on a flight traveling by herself. From this moment on, she realized she wanted to become an airline pilot. With a lot of courage and encouragement from her mother, Nia started flying planes at age fourteen and completed her first solo flight in July of 2016, and thanks to the support of the Illinois Aviation Academy and the Tuskegee NEXT Program, will earn her private pilot’s license

this summer. According to Nia, “Everything I plan to do in my life will depend on courage. Courage to go out on a limb. Courage to defy expectations of my age, gender, and demographic. And, of course, courage to fly. But where does this courage come from? That’s easy, it comes from Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts and the wonderful women who have nurtured and mentored me.”


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Kendall Robinson Gold Award Project: LOVE ROLLS

Photos courtesy of Emily Johnson

Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Director at Large, Jed Milstein (Asbury Automotive Group), Teresa Napolitano, Kendall Robinson, Keynote Speaker, Fran Gary (Anthem, Inc.), Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta CEO, Amy S. Dosik, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Director at Large and CoChair, Monique Honaman (ISHR Group), Nia Allen and Co-Chair, Justin Honaman (PRGX Global, Inc.)

A Girl Scout for the last 13 years, Nia shared, “We all know being a Girl Scout is about more than selling cookies and camping. We empower each other to be whoever it is we dream to be.” This fall, Nia plans to attend Middle Tennessee University, starting as a sophomore Aerospace major thanks to her dual enrollment classes at Gwinnett Technical College. ✱

➤ Kendall started as a Girl Scout while in fourth grade at Greater Atlanta Christian School. According to Kendall, “my time as a Girl Scout and the lessons that I learned had a big part to do with the recent launching of my very own nonprofit organization.” In the summer of 2015, while attending a Teen Youth Summit at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Kendall encountered a man that completely changed the trajectory of her life. She was volunteering in the mobile food pantry, handing out paper towels and toilet paper. There was a homeless man that passed through the line and shared with her a fact that was hard for her to comprehend. “He told me that he was so grateful to receive the rolls of toilet paper because normally he would ration out one roll of toilet paper for a whole month.“ Each summit participant was charged with creating a service project in their community. The man’s story had such an impact on Kendall, she decided to host a toilet paper drive. Within a month of notifying family and friends, they received box after box of toilet tissue on their doorstep every day for a month. They received a corporate donation of over 75,000 rolls from Kimberly Clark, manufacturer of Scott Toilet Paper, and a personal letter written to Kendall from Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian P. Kemp after he read about her service project in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. She also received a letter from former President Barack Obama all in the first 30 days. Kendall shared that there are over 14,000 people in the city of Atlanta that lack access to toilet paper. After realizing the overwhelming need, she started the nonprofit, LOVE ROLLS, and has since partnered with the To help celebrate its Atlanta Community Food Bank, the Community Food one-year anniversary, Bank of New Jersey, Feeding Tampa Bay, Corporate Love Rolls will be Organizations, Civic Organizations (including the Girl hosting its first Scouts of Greater Atlanta), Schools, and individual donors fundraising walk/movie from all across the United States, the Bahamas, and Japan. on the green event at To date they have commitments of over 200,000 LOVE Suwanee Town Center ROLLS and have distributed close to 100,000 including on August 26, 2017. The people affected by the floods in Baton Rouge, LA, the fires foundation is currently in Gatlinburg, TN and veterans in Charleston, SC. reaching out to other Kendall shared, “As I pursue to expand the mission of organizations that have Love Rolls, I plan to utilize the relationships, knowledge, a desire to give back to and my heart for service during the process. I am so their local community. thankful to have mentors to assist and guide me towards For more information success, individuals like all of you to keep me encouraged on how to participate and the love and support of my family and friends to in the inaugural keep me inspired. Participating in Girl Scouts has inspired fundraising event, email me to chase my dreams and encouraged me to make a loverollsinc@yahoo.com difference regardless of the circumstances. I am honored or call 770-773-8107. to be a part of a sisterhood that emphasizes being a sister to every Girl Scout and blessed to say that I have grown up in this program and made influential relationships in my life.” ➼ To learn more about LOVE ROLLS, visit loverolls.org. ✱

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Teresa Napolitano

Teresa's mural was created to honor teachers and to give students a platform to share gratitude for the educators in their lives.

Gold Award Project: I HEART EDUCATORS ➤ Suwanee resident Teresa Napolitano has been involved in Girl Scouts since she was in Kindergarten. She has many fond memories and shared of being in Girl Scouts, “It’s just a really good opportunity to form a close relationship with a group of girls that lasts for a long time. I’m still really good friends with the girls that have been in my group since Kindergarten. All the opportunities it gives such as service, friendship...” Teresa’s Gold Award project was a mural at North Gwinnett High School. She wanted to utilize her artistic ability and love for the arts to create a piece of art that would have

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a meaningful impact on current teachers/students and for future generations. Teresa found out about a former teacher at the school who retired after being diagnosed with ALS, who had positively impacted many students at the school. During his time as a teacher, many of his students would give him a coffee mug from the college they were going to attend. When he retired, he donated the mugs to the school. Teresa, along with the help of Art teacher Debbie West, decided to use the mugs to create a mural in honor of this teacher as well as all of the amazing teachers she has had over the years. According to Teresa, “Teachers often make significant connections with their students: connections that inspire the students to achieve more and be better.” This is what helped spark her “desire to give a platform to students and adults to share their gratitude through art and public speaking.” Although somewhat shy and afraid to ask for help, when Teresa started to ask, she realized that many people were more than happy to provide assistance. This gave her a boost in confidence so she was able to ask for help when needed and also speak in front of a group of people. “At my project’s revealing ceremony, a lot of students like me, had a chance—maybe for the first time, ever—to speak publicly in admiration of their mentors.” Teresa’s project served as a stage for both students and teachers to share their gratitude for the educators in their lives. Teresa learned that “when you are in doubt of yourself, just put yourself out there. Just do it, and the more you do, and the more you accomplish, the more confident you will become.” Her Gold Award project helped her realize that knowing what you are passionate about helps build confidence. According to Teresa, “Life should be a journey of self-improvement and discovery, where we have the confidence to learn from every mistake, and to treasure every triumph. That’s certainly what Girl Scouts has taught me.” Teresa recently graduated from North Gwinnett High School and plans to attend the University of Georgia this fall. ✱


Girl Scouts Install First-Ever Pollinator Garden in Suwanee ➤ On Saturday, May 13th, the first ever Pollinator Garden was installed in George Pierce Park. Over the last 18 months, Girl Scout Troop 1175 had been working together to bring the first pollinator garden to a Gwinnett Park- and luckily it was right here in Suwanee! The project served as the troops Silver Award project, in which they planted flowers that help to provide nectar or pollen for a wide range of pollinating insects. In preparation for the garden, the troop has taken field trips to Athens Botanical Gardens, Pike’s nursery, spent time making worm jars, learning about native pollinator plants, building bee habitats and

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the finale was the actual installation of the pollinator garden. The plan is for the garden to become a scout site – where other girl scout and boy scout troops will continue to plant. Troop 1175 will be creating teaching tools to guide visitors around the pollinator garden. The bee habitats will be added in the near future and signage should be added in the fall. A Daisy troop (grades K-1) also joined to help on installation day, as they were working on their “planting” badges. ■


savor 56

IT'S SUMMER TIME AND THE SIPPIN'S EASY...

LOCAL FOOD. CRAFT BEER. WINE TRENDS.

RESTAURANT GUIDE 53 /// SWEET ACRE FARMS 58

STORY BY

RACHEL PILLOW PHOTOGRAPHY BY:

KARL LAMB

Suwanee Magazine invited every restaurant in Suwanee with a burger on its menu to participate in our contest this year. In the end nine local contenders pulled through and delivered the biggest, juiciest, most mouthwatering, cheesiest, baconiest burgers to our office. We then invited four distinguished individuals from the local culinary community to judge the best! We also tasked some of our staff members to vote for the “People’s Choice Award.”

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THE CONTEST BY THE NUMBERS

09 04 BURGERS

2017 BEST BURGER JUDGING CRITERIA: Each burger was judged based on three categories:

JUDGES TO CHOOSE SUWANEE'S BEST BURGER

APPEARANCE Bun / Toppings / Overall Presentation

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TASTE

OVERALL IMPRESSION

Cook Level / Quality Of Meat Seasoning / Toppings / Texture

Creativity of ingredients and probability of ordering again.

JUDGES TO CHOOSE PEOPLE'S CHOICE BEST BURGER

THE CHEEKY BURGER

CHEEKY TAQUERIA Two beef patties stuffed with melting cheese, fire roasted poblano peppers and bacon. Topped with more cheese, pico guajillo salsa and chipotle cream. Judge's Comments:

This one has a kick to it! Cheeky Taqueria, 1039 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Suwanee, GA 30024

Meet the Judges:

Chef Nicholas St. Clair Owner of Antebellum & Peyton's Pie Co. Nationally-renowned and award-winning Antebellum Restaurant in Flowery Branch is on Opentable’s 2016 Top 100 Restaurants in America list (the only in the State of GA to make the list). He is also behind Suwanee’s newest, authentic wood-fired pizzeria: Peyton’s Pie Co.

Victoria Hawkins Marketing & Communications Director, Explore Gwinnett Explore Gwinnett is part of the Gwinnett Visitor and Conventions Bureau. It is their job to tell people where to go, places to eat, things to see and what to do in Gwinnett County.

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Buck Lanford News Anchor, FOX5’s Good Day Atlanta Buck does a segment on the show called “Burgers with Buck” where each week he tries a new burger across metro Atlanta. If this guy doesn’t know burgers, we don’t know who does!

Skye Estroff Marketing and Media Manager, Taste of Atlanta Taste of Atlanta has been Atlanta’s premier food and beverage festival for sixteen years straight, featuring over 90 local restaurants. This year’s festival is set to take place from October 20-22nd in Historic Fourth Ward Park.


THE BALKAN BURGER

QEBAPTORE, A BITE OF EUROPE Hand-formed beef patty on Pita Bread with onions, cucumbers, cabbage slaw, tomatoes and white American cheese. Judge's Comment: Great creative burger! Qebaptore, A Bite Of Europe 315 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Suwanee, GA 30024

WICKED BOSTON BURGER

TILTED KILT ½ lb burger topped with maple pepper bacon, American cheese, Sam Adams Boston Lager® caramelized onion relish, burger sauce, leaf lettuce and ripe tomato. Judge's Comment: Definitely a hearty burger! Tilted Kilt, 1500 Satellite Blvd, Suwanee, GA 30024

THE BLACKJACK

BUFFALO’S CAFÉ SUWANEE Lightly blackened and topped with crisp bacon, pepper-jack cheese, onion straws, and Buffalo's Vidalia Onion Sauce. Judge's Comments:

✓ Meat was well seasoned. ✓ The bacon was perfectly crisped. Buffalo’s Café Suwanee, 991 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Suwanee, GA 30024

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4TH OF JULY BURGER

FRIENDS AMERICAN GRILL This “special” is now on the menu year round. Your choice of a 100% beef or lean bison patty topped with American cheese, a homemade zesty barbecue sauce, golden onion rings, fresh lettuce and ripe tomato. Judge's Comments:

✔ Great presentation! ✔ I liked the sweetness of the sauce and the crispy onion rings on top! Friends American Grill, 3890 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd, Suwanee, GA 30024

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RD

PLACE Brooklyn Bridge Burger

BROOKLYN PIZZA & BURGERS A double burger topped with Pepperjack cheese, jalapeños, pepperoni and Sriracha mayo, all on a Brioche bun. Judge's Comment: Good ratio of meat to toppings. Brooklyn Pizza & Burgers, 315 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Ste 106, Suwanee , GA 30024

PIMENTO CHEESEBURGER WITH CAJUN BACON AND CANDIED JALAPEÑO PEPPERS

TANNER’S A ½ lb, 100% fresh Angus beef burger, molded in-house with all house-made seasonings and toppings, including: pimento cheese spread, candied jalapeños and Cajun-seasoned bacon, all served on a potato bun. Judge's Comment:

Love the sweet and spicy combo with the candied jalapeños! Tanner's, 525 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Suwanee, GA 30024

2 PLACE ND

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2017 WINNER: The Cowboy Burger

LUCKY DOG CHICAGO STYLE & MORE ➽ Lucky Dog is a hidden gem located on Buford Hwy, just south of McGinnis Ferry Rd. They initially opened four years ago as a Chicago style hot dog eatery but are now under new ownership and while staying true to those Chicago roots, have expanded the menu to include…well, things like Suwanee Magazine’s Best Burger in Suwanee!! The official name of this burger is The Cowboy Burger: a double patty smothered in American cheese, BBQ sauce, bacon, onion rings and a house-made chipotle aioli all on a toasted brioche bun!

Lucky Dog Chicago Style & More, 1175 Buford Hwy NW, Suwanee, GA 30024

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Judge's Comments:

✔ A very nice blend. Would definitely order again! ✔ Delicious combo of ingredients! ✔ Interesting burger, I liked the touch of sweetness. ✔ Tangy and mildly spicy, the spice lingers after eating which I find interesting. ✔ Very saucy, which is a plus for me.

THE BBQ Blues Burger

PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNER

TACO MAC SUWANEE Two beef patties, horseradish sauce, Maker’s Mark® bourbon and cola onions, crispy bacon, blue cheese crumbles, arugula and Hickory Honey BBQ sauce, all stacked on a toasted onion bun. Judge's Comments:

✔ I like how the sweet, caramelized onions balance out the tartness of the blue cheese. ✔ I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious this burger was! ✔ I’m usually not a fan of blue cheese, but this was great. The caramelized base was deliciously smoky and the cheese wasn’t too overpowering.

Taco Mac Suwanee, 3443 LawrencevilleSuwanee Rd, Suwanee, GA 30024

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GUIDE BEST AREA DINING OPTIONS FROM FINE DINING TO FUN FAMILY FARE Dollar signs indicate the typical cost per person for meal, includes one non-alcoholic drink, tax and tip. $ UNDER $10 $$ $11 - $30 $$$ $31 - $50 $$$$ MORE THAN $50

Daddy O’Brien’s Irish Ice Cream Pub 5910 Suwanee Dam Road, Suite 400, Sugar Hill 404-513-1118 or 678-765-9633 DaddyOsIceCream.com I $

Daddy O’Brien’s, a.k.a Daddy O’s, is a new and exciting concept in Sugar Hill. Beautifully decorated as an Irish Pub, Daddy O’s features insanely delicious, homemade, gourmet ice cream. They are most famous for adult alcohol-infused ice creams such as: Drunken Oreo, Kentucky Salted Caramel and The Dude (White Russian.) Go for the food as well! Their soups and savory crepes, Belgian waffles, dessert crepes and Dutch Poffertjes are made from scratch and made per order. They have a beer, wine and specialty drinks menu, making it perfect for a night out with friends.

Valentino's Bakery

3294 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Ste. 1004, Duluth 678-878-4772 ValentinosBakeryInc.com I $ Chef Valentino is treating the US with his pastry talents brought all the way from Venezuela. With over 50 years of experience in the baking industry, Chef Valentino carefully crafts goodies not only full of flavor, but attractive in appearance. Stop by his bakery in Duluth to try his famous milhojas, flan, and fruit tart or any other decadently created pastry or dessert!

Bare Bones Steakhouse

115 E. Main St., Suite C-12, Buford 470-266-1890 I BareBonesSteakhouse.com $$$

Located in the Bona Allen building of downtown, historic Buford, Bare Bones Steakhouse provides an atmosphere of character and originality. This classic, traditional steakhouse restaurant and bar also offers a comfortable lounge and additional space to host your next party or event. Stop by Tuesday through Thursday to add a free cheesecake dessert to your dinner and half priced appetizers from 4-6pm! WANT MORE? STAY CONNECTED WITH SUWANEE MAGAZINE. FOLLOW, TWEET, SHARE >

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ITALIAN

Tanner’s

525 Peachtree Industrial Blvd I Suwanee 770.614.1335 I TannersToGo.com I $$ Enjoy the convenience of dine-in, carry out and catering with a full menu of items prepared fresh! Tanner’s in Suwanee has a plate for every appetite with a wide selection of wings, soups, chili, chicken, seafood, vegetables, barbecue, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and desserts. Celebrating 1 year of new ownership, the husband-and-wife team are proud to put their culinary and management backgrounds together to bring you quality food and service that will please any taste bud!

AMERICAN

The Diner at Sugar Hill

4500 Nelson Brogdon Blvd I Buford 770.831.0180 I TheDinerAtSugarHill.com I $$ Visit The Diner at Sugar Hill for all your breakfast, lunch, and dinner hometown grill favorites! Choose from an extensive selection of comfort foods and gourmet entrees and top off your meal with a cocktail. The Diner at Sugar Hill also offers both on-site and off-site catering services for you to enjoy hosting at your own location or in their private dining area.

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MEXICAN

Cinco

1500 Peachtree Industrial Blvd Suite 100 I Suwanee 678-541-0645 I CincoRestaurants.com I $$ Kids eat free Monday through Thursday. Enjoy hand-crafted margaritas, an extensive tequila list, daily drink specials, Sunday brunch and live entertainment Friday nights!

CHINESE

Peking Restaurant

360 Peachtree Industrial Blvd Suite 101-A I Suwanee 770.271.3778 I PekingOfSuwanee.com I $ Serving the best Chinese food in Suwanee since 2007! Offering a full lunch and dinner menu with an abundance of options including appetizers, soups, fried rice, pan fried noodles, seafood, egg fu young, poultry, lo mein, chow mein, and vegetables. Call Peking Restaurant for your Suwanee delivery or carry-out order or dine-in to enjoy a beer or wine beverage!

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IT’S

Red Hare Ain’t that a Peach Berliner Weisse 3.9% ABV Brewed in Marietta, Georgia, this tart Berliner Weisse is brewed with fresh peaches, pilsen, wheat and 2-row malted barley with a dash of German Hallertau hops.

...AND THE SIPPIN’S EASY! No doubt that summers in the South are a lot of fun, but they are also really hot! With the Georgia heat coming at us in full force these days, we asked our friends over at Beverage SuperStore Suwanee to give us tips on what to fill that icy cooler with. Here are the criteria we’re looking for in a good summer brew: Lower ABV (alcohol by volume) because high alcohol and hot weather activity are a dangerous mix. Thirst quenching and refreshing As much as we enjoy the bitterness of IPAs and the roasted chocolate notes of Stouts, we’re not about to drink three of those under the hot sun. Good variety Something to please every picky tastebud at your backyard BBQ. Available in cans Because they are lighter to

carry, they get colder faster, stay cooler longer and can be sipped poolside or in other areas where glass bottles are not permitted.

So, here’s to popping a top and pretending like it’s not 90 degrees outside...

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Bell’s Oberon Ale 5.8% ABV Brewed in Comstock, Michigan, this American Wheat Ale is quintessentially characteristic of summer. It is fermented with Bell’s signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. This summer classic is also available in mini kegs at Beverage SuperStore.

Coastal Empire Coco Piña Gose 4% ABV Brewed in Savannah, Georgia, this is a tropical take on the classic sour German Gose style brewed with pineapple, coconut and pink Himalayan sea salt .

Southern Prohibition Brewing Devil’s Harvest Breakfast IPA 4.9% ABV Brewed in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Devil’s Harvest is a golden, crushable IPA with a ghostly hue. By only using whirlpool and dry hopping techniques, they have cut down the bitterness while raising the aroma of this session beer.

Gate City Copperhead American Amber Ale 5.2% ABV Brewed in Roswell, Georgia, Copperhead is a wonderfully balanced American Amber hybrid that pairs a nice, malt body with the perfect amount of Northwest hops, putting a modern twist on a traditionally West Coast style.

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WINE WITHOUT GRAPES?

HALL COUNTY'S SWEET ACRE FARMS WINERY CELEBRATES ONE YEAR MAKING THE STATE'S BEST 100% FRUIT BASED WINES Story by Michelle Fasig

hen Matthew and Lindsey Vrahoites The first couple of batches of wine that Matthew ever purchased a large plot of land in Alto, created were assortments of blackberry, apple and fig. Georgia (40 miles northeast of Suwanee) “The fig wine I had to dump,” he jokes, but he found far more back in 2010, they never dreamed of success in his other batch, which is still currently being sold being farmers or gardeners, much less at the winery as “Bramblin’ Sam.” The glowing reviews about winemakers. They the wine from his friends and neighbors had recently gotten piqued the couple’s interest in winemaking married and were employed full-time, and they began researching the market. but always had dreams of being selfThey learned that while some wineries employed and a passion for working produce fruit wines, there was no winery outdoors. They realized they needed to dedicated solely to producing 100% fruit find a way to make their newly acquired based wines, which created their dream to land pay for itself, so they began to open Hall County’s first winery. clear the land, plant gardens and put In May 2014, Matthew quit his job and up beehives. They began marketing jumped into the development of the winery themselves as a “u-pick” garden with both feet. “We sold everything,” destination, a place to purchase local Matthew says. “We downgraded, sold our fruits and vegetables and fresh honey. cars and moved into Lindsey’s parents’ The Sweet Acres Farm Winery is located With the extra produce, they began basement.” They began the lengthy process just north of Gainesville and open for experimenting with blackberry jams of opening a winery and finally began tastings Fridays from 1-6pm, Saturdays and selling them at local farmers wholesaling their wine through Mercier from 11am – 6pm and Sundays from markets. As they began to sell their Orchards in Blue Ridge, GA in September 1-5:30pm. Join them every third Friday of the month from 6-9pm for their “After products, their freezer quickly began 2014. “They wanted to take a chance on Hours” concert series with live music, to overflow with extra blackberries. us,” says Matthew. “If it wasn’t for them, we food, wine flights, wine slushies and “Lindsey was tired of making jelly, so probably wouldn’t have been able to keep hard cider on tap. I thought, why not make a blackberry going. That was our introduction into wine,” explained Matthew. the wine community.”

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5th Annual

2O17 SUWANEE TOWNCENTER PARK

NOV. 4TH

1pm4pm

U N LI M ITE D S A MP LE S O F

OVER 150 WINES

TICKETS ON-SALE

AUG. 25th @ NOON!

HAND-SELECTED BY THE WINE EXPERTS AT BEVERAGE SUPERSTORE. PLUS - GEORGIA CRAFT BEER GARDEN WITH COLLEGE FOOTBALL!

GENERAL ADMISSION $49 / VIP $99 Tickets on sale August 25 at noon! Attendees are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as this event may sell out. VIP tickets are always the first to go, so purchase them while they are still available.

Tickets and More information available @ SuwaneeWineFest.com


Matthew and Lindsey Vrahiotes with their daughter, Maddie. Sweet Acres Winery is truly a family business and they credit the success they have had to date, as the youngest winery owners in the State, to the ongoing support of their families and the surrounding community.

Finding success with wholesaling, Matthew reached out to the event organizers of the 2015 Suwanee Wine Fest for an opportunity to attend the festival and showcase their wines. In return, he received an even larger opportunity the chance to sell their wine directly to the consumer. “We sold so much wine that day. We knew we were really on to something,” Matthew explains. Several months later in April 2016, the winery, named Sweet Acre Farms, was finally ready to open their doors and the community poured in with support. The winery is a reflection of both Lindsey and Matthew’s passion, which is evident in all the small touches seen around the tasting room - a tin roof made from a chicken coop, a bar hand crafted by Matthew and Lindsey’s dad, and wine labels designed after Lindsey’s mother’s paintings. Matthew and Lindsey both work in the winery explaining the tasting notes to their guests. Now, one year later, Sweet Acre Farms recently celebrated their one-year anniversary with an event that brought thousands of people. Customers were lining up to get a taste of the best fruit wines in the state, relax in the rocking chairs on the deck, listen to live music and enjoy a day at the 46-acre winery. “People told us if we did 1,000 cases in our first year, we were on the right track,” explains Matthew. “Well, we did 1,200 and still sold out. Next year we are tripling our production.” Using almost all Georgia fruits, Matthew has been able to find the perfect blend of fruits without adding water, using artificial flavors, coloring, concentrates or filtering. Wines like “Quittin’ Time,” an easy-drinking lemon wine, and “Bullheaded,” a bourbon barrel aged apple wine that won an award for “Best Fortified Wine in the State,” keep their customers coming back. “Don’t be afraid of the wines we are making,” Matthew says. “We produce wines made without the grape, so we encourage people to leave their idea of what a wine should be at the door. Sometimes people see the name Sweet Acre, and think we produce sweet wines. We produce something different. I am just a home wine-maker gone crazy, who happens to know what he’s doing.” For more information on Sweet Acre Farms Winery, visit sweetacrefarms.com. ■

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news and

events from in and around suwanee.

THE BUZZ 62 /// EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: JOSH TURNER 70 /// PEOPLE & PLACES: ON THE SCENE 72 /// EVENT CALENDAR 78

THE ORCHARD AT WHITE STREET PARK:

Nourishment for the Mind, Body & Soul

The City of Suwanee and Harvest Farm have collaborated to develop the first public orchard and playground in the Southeast... SEE STORY ON PAGE 63

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Get Shaved!

ARO T FRO M IN AND

City of Suwanee Wins Impact Award ■ On Wednesday, May 10, the Gwinnett Chamber recognized the City of Suwanee as the leading organization in the Hospitality Category at the IMPACT Regional Business Awards. “The city works hard to plan quality events that people want to attend, as well as work closely with those who choose to host events here. It’s our attention to detail that vendors, organizers, and attendees have come to expect in events held in Suwanee,” said Events & Outreach Manager, Amy Doherty. Held at the Infinite Energy Forum, the IMPACT Regional Business Awards pay tribute to premier organizations in top industries that are driving economic development and job creation, while enhancing our quality of life. “To be recognized by the chamber for the impact our events have on hospitality is truly an honor,” states Doherty, “Our events have grown over the years and to know we bring so many people to our great city is just amazing!”

■ If you’re looking for an alternative to ice cream and yogurt on hot, exhausting days this summer, then you’ll want to try a refreshing cup of shaved ice. At Paradise Hawaiian Shaved Ice, you’ll experience incredible desserts, excellent service and low prices. They create these delicious delights through a small, unique counter-top machine that creates very refined ice. Tropical fruit flavors are added and the result is a tasty treat where the ice is tender and the tropical fruit flavors are thick and appetizing. To tempt your sweet tooth even further, they also serve Boba Teas, fruit smoothies, milk shakes, ice lattes, snoballs, and ice cream. Stop by their store next to the Movie Tavern in Suwanee!

The hawaiian-themed decor of Paradise Hawaiian Shaved Ice makes for a great summer destination where you can enjoy a variety of cool treats.

Congratulations to Denise Brinson, the Pig Kisser! ■ It was a close call between our Editor-in-Chief, Angela Veugeler and Denise Brinson, Assistant City Manager at the City of Suwanee in their quest, along with seven other local community leaders, to raise the most funds in Annandale Village's "Kiss-A-Pig" contest. But, in the end, Denise won and got to smooch the pig! At the heart of this fun and quirky fundraiser is an amazing cause and we are proud to announce that over $27,000 was raised in the process. Annandale Village is an award-winning nonprofit organization in Suwanee that is dedicated to providing progressive life assistance to adults with traumatic brain injuries or developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. The funds raised from the Kiss-A-Pig competition directly help Annandale’s residents, affectionately called Villagers, to be cared for in an environment designed to help them maintain independence and maximize their abilities. THANK YOU to everyone for your contributions and support and great job to all the candidates!

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Tanner’s Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary of New Ownership ■ Jose and Christina Laos just celebrated their 1 year anniversary as the new owners of Tanner's in Suwanee. Previously, Jose was the Executive Chef at Capital Grille in Buckhead and Christina was Manager at Olive Garden. Together they have executed their service and food skills at Tanner's, as well as implemented a new burger, specials, Sunday Brunch and an improved beer selection. They cook mostly from scratch using the freshest ingredients. Their goal is to stay local, support the community, and to ultimately be one of the top restaurants not only in Suwanee, but in Gwinnett County. Try Tanner's Pimento Bacon Cheeseburger which took a close 2nd place in our "Best Burger in Suwanee" contest! Follow them on Facebook to see their specials and visit them at 525 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. in Suwanee!

New Public Orchard Built at White Street Park ■ The Orchard will soon be open to the community, offering dozens of different fruit varieties, an engaging natural playground, an educational resource for Orchard fruit management, and a park space for relaxation, reflection, and activity. The orchard will also serve as the perfect complement to Harvest Farm, Suwanee’s award-winning community garden, which is also located at White Street Park. As a Suwanee resident, Landscape Architect, and Orchard enthusiast, Roger Grant volunteered to develop formal plans for this Orchard with support from his wife, Brittany, and employer, Columbia Engineering. Over the last several years, he worked closely with the City to refine the concept and construction plans, and establish an appropriate budget for improvements. “The orchard was designed to incorporate fruiting plants, winding paths, lawns, and natural play features. It will be a unique and exceptional space for discovery and exploration and offer hands-on learning opportunities,” said Harvest Farm board member and orchard landscape architect, Roger Grant. “With your help, we will make a lasting impact in the lives of our neighbors and families by creating a special and unique space for all of Suwanee.” “We’re excited to keep building on the success and momentum of the garden by Harvest Farm board member expanding into White Street Park with this and orchard landscape architect, Roger Grant orchard,” said Grant, “We know it is a lot to bite off, but this is Suwanee.” While the space itself is already open to the public, the orchard will continue to be planted over the next few months, largely by community volunteers. Visit harvestfarmsuwanee.com for more information about the Orchard at White Street Park, volunteering, or making a donation.

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Bronze Medal Awarded to Collins Hill Student â– At the April Chapter meeting of the Suwanee Creek National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, the JROTC Bronze Medal was awarded to Skylar A. Little, a Lt. Colonel of the Collins Hill High School Air Force JROTC. Recipients, like Cadet Little, demonstrate loyalty and patriotism, while earning a record number of military and scholastic achievements. The JROTC medals and campaign bars are awarded to only one student cadet who has shown qualities of dependability and good character, adherence to military discipline, leadership ability, and a fundamental and patriotic understanding of the importance of ROTC training.

Peachtree Road Race Qualifier, 811 Run, Set For September 9th â– Georgia 811 is hosting their 2nd annual 811 Run/Walk 5K, a prequalifier for the Peachtree Road Race, at Lawrenceville's Tribble Mill Park on Saturday, September 9th, 2017. Proceeds from this event will be donated to the P4 Foundation supporting childhood cancer patients and research. Registration costs only $8.11. Check-in is at 6:30am with the run starting at 8:11am. Join them for a great day supporting a great cause! Visit ga811.com/ index.php/811-run-walk/ for more details. SEPT

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the buzz

New Baseball Program Offers High-Level Sports Training to Area Athletes ■ “A fresh approach to America’s oldest game.” That’s the quote Onward Athletics is using to recruit athletes to its newly-formed travel baseball team. And they have a plan to accomplish this with a veteran coaching staff along with a professional group of auxiliary support including a Speed & Agility program developed by NFL veteran and Texas A&M hall-of-famer, Jason Webster and Hitting & Fielding clinics led by former MLB standout and ESPN baseball analyst, Chris Singleton. The program will also include specialized Strength & Conditioning training to prepare the young athletes for a competitive season of baseball. Onward Athletics, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2016 to provide high-level amateur sports training programs and competitions focused on Olympic-style boxing and youth travel baseball. Based in Gwinnett county, Onward Athletics extends servicing amateur sports and recreational programs throughout Hall and Barrow counties. The Onward Athletics baseball program is offering a new model—one that centers around a positive player experience with a primary focus on player development. “Our aim is to develop each player holistically. We want to enhance the athletic ability, mental focus and baseball-specific skills of each player so they

can successfully progress throughout each season. The goal is simple, to finish the season better than they started and to have a lot of fun throughout the entire process,” said the organization’s co-founder, DJ Walton. The “Onward philosophy” extends beyond the boundaries of the field of play…it’s a way of life for the Gwinnett couple that founded the non-profit organization last year after recognizing opportunities to enhance the athlete experience in the sport. The baseball team was a natural progression for the husband and wife team after the success of their parent company, Team Onward, Inc., which produces boxing equipment and athletic apparel designed to keep you moving forward. Within four years, Team Onward, Inc. assembled an impressive roster of the nation's top amateur and professional boxing talent with the Onward Fight Team (www.teamonward.com/fight-team). Onward Athletics is having their first open tryout for their 11U travel baseball team on Saturday, July 22nd at the Hog Mountain Sports complex in Flowery Branch. Registration begins at 10:00am. A second tryout is scheduled for mid-August. To learn more, please visit: www.teamonward.com/baseball.

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North Gwinnett Arts Association Hosts Plein Air Event By: Aggie Nivilinszky

■ A small but talented group of local artists participated in this year's North Gwinnett Arts Association's Plein Air event. Throughout the weekend on May 20th & 21st, artists arrived at various locations in and around the Suwanee area to capture scenes from historic Main Street to nearby parks and neighborhoods on canvas. All weekend these artists recreated scenes from beloved Suwanee right before your eyes! Paintings fresh off the easel were hung in the NGAA Art Gallery where they were judged by Jung Johnson, a featured artist in Artist Magazine and a member of the Southeastern Pastel Society. An awards ceremony and reception took place Sunday night. The winners were: 1st Place: Nancy Nowak - “House on the Hill” 2nd Place: Vickie Johnson - “Forest Glow” 3rd Place: Donna Jassmann - “Through the Trees” Honorable Mention: Ban Shakir - “Mainstreet" People’s Choice: Nancy Nowak - “Farmers Market”

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All artwork created during the Plein Air event is available for public viewing and purchase in the Art Gallery located in Suwanee Town Center, now until Wednesday, July 5th.


the buzz

BROADWAY IN THE PARK

THE LION KING JR. Suwanee Performing Arts is bringing Disney’s The Lion King JR to Suwanee Town Center July 28th and 29th. The free, family-friendly event will begin at 7:00 pm and will also include Madagascar - a Musical Adventure JR. ➡ Patty Etherton and

Berneta Bock Davis, co-owners of Suwanee Academy of the Arts and founders of Suwanee Performing Arts, have a mission to provide opportunities for local artists to practice their craft, and are excited to showcase the creative output - both on the stage and behind the scenes. “With these shows [The Lion King JR. and Madagascar JR.], we are limited only by our imagination in what we can deliver - trampolines and acro-silks and stilts...” states Berneta Davis, “And then the music - absolutely everyone knows and loves the music. I am really looking forward to the electrifying energy that these shows are bound to generate among the audience, and to seeing just how far my imagination can reach.” In addition to the shows, Suwanee Performing Arts will be sponsoring the first annual “Broadway in the Park 5k & Fun Run” on Saturday, July 22nd. This event will serve as a fundraiser for the performance groups supported by SPA as well as the community kickoff for a week of show preparation. Participants in the races will be greeted by characters in costumes for the upcoming shows, and are encouraged to dress as their favorite Lion King and Madagascar characters as well. Racers may register in person at Big Peach Running Co. in Suwanee Town Center or at SuwaneePerformingArts.org.

JULY 28TH & 29TH @ 7:00PM

TOWN CENTER PARK

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

SUWANEE MAGAZINE SPEAKS WITH MULTI-PLATINUM MCA NASHVILLE RECORDING ARTIST, JOSH TURNER, ONE OF COUNTRY MUSIC’S MOST RECOGNIZABLE HIT-MAKERS By Natalie Stubbs

ith a rich, deep, baritone voice and distinctive style, Turner has sold more than 12.5 million units, is a disciple of traditional country music and one of the youngest members of the esteemed Grand Ole Opry. From his 2003 platinum-selling debut Long Black Train to his most recent 2017 Billboard No. 1 release, Deep South, Turner has garnered multiple GRAMMY, CMA, and ACM nominations. Turner’s hits include “Hometown Girl,” “Your Man,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” “Firecracker,” “Would You Go with Me,” “All Over Me,” and “Time Is Love,” the most played country song of 2012.

Have you ever had a chance to explore parts of Georgia outside of your show venues? Yeah, my wife is actually from the Atlanta area and her mom is from South Georgia, so we’ve done lots of fishing down there. And I’m a huge Braves fan!

You grew up not too far from Georgia in a town called Hannah, South Carolina - what kind of influence do you think your hometown had on your music career? A huge impact and influence! I grew up in a strong Christian home and a tight knit community - kind of shielded from the outside world; but I learned a lot about life, about people, about relationships, about nature. Did I make mistakes after I left home? Absolutely. But I knew what was right, and knew it would take some hard work and sacrifice to get a record deal and to achieve my goals. PHOTO BY: STEPHEN ALBANESE

Your most recent hit, “Hometown Girl” (from the album Deep South) seemed to really hit home for you and your fans – what’s the story behind that one?

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“Hometown Girl” was written by Marc Beeson and Daniel Tashian and the first time I heard it, I just knew it would be a hit – a melody that got stuck in your head whether you wanted it to or not (laughs). Once it came out and started getting a lot of airplay, my fans, especially female fans, really latched on to this song. They felt uplifted and empowered by the message in the song, unlike a lot of the other songs you hear on the radio that make women feel objectified and looked at in a different way. But when they heard this song, it sort of developed an anthem for them, which is pretty cool.

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If you had to pick your most memorable moment throughout your career, what would it be? One of the most memorable was probably my Opry debut on December 21, 2001. People are still talking about that today. It took me a while to realize why it was so memorable because, at first, I always talked about how I got two standing ovations and an encore after playing “Long Black Train” on my first Opry debut. It was late in the show and the General Manager allowed me to go out and play just one song, so I didn’t really expect anything out of that besides the satisfaction of playing (at the Opry) for the first time and getting my feet wet. But, the reception that I got was just so overwhelming. I went years thinking “oh yeah that’s so cool,” but then it dawned on me one day that the significant thing about that night was that no one knew who I was, they had never heard the name Josh Turner, they had never heard this song, they had never seen my face before, didn’t know anything about me, there wasn’t a press release saying I was coming to the Opry; I walked out on that stage completely unknown to the world, and that made that reaction and response I got so much clearer because it was unadulterated, raw, fresh – it hadn’t been tampered with ahead of time. It was everybody’s first time hearing me.

To add to your success, you’re also an accomplished writer. Did you find writing Man Stuff to be any different than writing songs? Yeah, I felt like it was pretty different because I wasn’t hunched over a guitar, wearing my voice out all day; I didn’t have to make anything rhyme or be 3-4 minutes long. All those restrictions you have with song writing were gone. The only restriction I really had

was trying to keep it within the genre I was trying to write towards, which was basically a devotional. The first day I started working on it I literally sat for 13 hours straight, just sitting back telling stories, looking back on my experiences and advice that I was given that I learned from and felt like I could really grow from.

Tell us a little bit more about The Josh Turner Scholarship Fund. I was talking to my producer one day, who went to a really big high school, and we started sharing our experiences musically in our schools. We didn’t have a lot of music programs - it just never really stuck and the school system couldn’t afford extracurricular activities, but he told me about all the trips they took, all the bands and groups they had and how much fun it was. We didn’t have a tenth of that (laughs), so it made me realize that there are probably other students out there who have the passion, but don’t have the resources for it in their high school to get where they want to go. I started targeting those specific students who had a passion for music and art and wanted to pursuit it beyond high school, so I started helping them out monetarily with a scholarship to go to the school of their choice. It’s worked out pretty well so far, I’ve lost count of the recipients we’ve had, so it’s been pretty cool to help them!

Before launching your career, you spent some time at Belmont University in Nashville – were you studying music or did you have a different plan in mind at the time? I went there to study music.

Do you feel like attending Belmont University helped your music career or was it more of your field experience, or maybe a combination of both that helped shape your career? Belmont opened my eyes to a lot of things that I didn’t know. I was definitely behind a curve when I got there because when I was in high school, we didn’t have any kind of music education like that, so when I got to Belmont it was completely foreign to me, like learning a new language. I played a lot of catch up, but I learned a lot about music and every aspect of it. I told people most of what I learned at Belmont was who I was – as a man, as an artist and who I wanted to be – a lot that I wouldn’t have learned if I had stayed in South Carolina.

If you could leave your fans with one piece of advice, what would it be? Oh, man, that’s a good, tough question. I would just say: be yourself. I see so many people today, especially young people, trying to be somebody else or compromise who they are to please other people – that’s just a dangerous place to be, so be yourself and be okay with it! ✱

Josh Turner AUG. 12TH / 7:00 PM THE BOWL @ SUGAR HILL TICKETS AVAILABLE @ THEBOWLATSUGARHILL.COM

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Annandale’s Jazzy Thing

Saturday, April 29th LILLIAN WEBB PARK

PHOTOS BY: ANGELA VEUGELER

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ON THE SCENE


2017 Gwinnett Beer Fest Saturday, May 6th COOLRAY FIELD

PHOTOS BY: BILLY WRIGHT / KARL LAMB

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Star 94 Woofstock

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people & places

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Saturday, May 6th Sunday, May 7th TOWN CENTER PARK

PHOTOS BY: KARL LAMB

Red, White, Bluegrass & Bach Friday, May 26th

TOWN CENTER PARK

PHOTOS BY: KARL LAMB

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Arts in the Park

Happy Carnival

TOWN CENTER PARK

TOWN CENTER PARK

PHOTOS BY: JULIE PERDUE

PHOTOS BY: BILLY WRIGHT

Saturday, May 13th

Saturday, April 29th

Great Strides Atlanta

Saturday, May 20th TOWN CENTER PARK

PHOTOS BY: KARL LAMB

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calendar city

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A R E A

E V E N T

THINGS TO DO THIS JULY & AUG.

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Thru Sept. _____________________ SUWANEE FARMER'S MARKET _____________________

CITY OF SUGAR HILL SPARKS IN THE PARK

____________________ ____ 6:00pm ____________________ ____

8:00am - Noon _____________________

Town Center Park

E.E. Robinson Park_____ ___________________ Live music, inflatables, concessions, fireworks after sundown. For more information call 770-831-7413 or visit cityofsugarhill.com.

July 2017

14 3 thru

JULY 4TH CELEBRATION 4 NIGHTS OF FIREWORKS _______________________ Lanier World ____________________ _____

DULUTH CELEBRATES AMERICA ____________________ ____ 6:00pm - 11:00pm ____________________ ____

Duluth Town Green

___________________ _____

Fireworks, bands, activities

Activities and music/bands all day, 10:00pm fireworks. To purchase tickets visit lanierislands.com.

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4

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STONE MOUNTAIN PARK’S FANTASTIC FOURTH CELEBRATION ____________________ ________

GWINNETT BRAVES VS. NORFOLK TIDES POST GAME FIREWORKS

____________________ ____ 7:05pm ____________________ ____

9:30pm ____________________ ________

Stone Mountain Park _____ _______________________

Coolray Field, Lawrenceville ___________________ _____

Laser show and fireworks. For more visit stonemountainpark.com.

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KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND

7:00 pm _______________ _________

The Bowl at Sugar Hill ________________ ______

For tickets and more information, visit thebowlatsugarhill.com

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COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE

________________ _________ 7:00am - noon ________________ ________

Shadowbrook Church _________________ ______

Registration deadline is July 9th. For more details and to register, go to shadowbrookchurch.org.

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MOVIES UNDER THE STARS DOUBLE FEATURE _____________________ 7:00pm - The Lego Batman Movie _____________________ 8:45pm - Captain America: Civil War _____________________

22 22 Town Center Park

BROADWAY IN THE PARK 5K AND FUN RUN ______________ 7:00am ______________

Town Center Park ______________

For more information: Call 678-482-6333 or email info@suwanee performs.com.

TEAM ONWARD TRYOUTS FOR 11U TRAVEL BASEBALL _____________________

10:00am _____________________

Hog Mountain Sports Complex, Flowery Branch ______________ ______ To learn more, visit teamonward.com/baseball


2829 &

August 2017

4

FOOD TRUCK FRIDAY

______________________________ 5:30pm - 9:00pm __________________ ___________ _

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Town Center Park

BROADWAY IN THE PARK PRESENTS: THE LION KING, JR. AND MADAGASCAR, JR. ______________________________ 7:00pm ______________________________

Town Center Park ______________________________ Presented by Suwanee Performing Arts Academy. Admission to the shows is free. Visit suwaneeperforms.com for more information.

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COUNTRY MUSIC STAR JOSH TURNER LIVE

________________________________ 7:00pm ________________________________

The Bowl at Sugar Hill ________________________________

AUGUST CONCERT & WING FESTIVAL FEATURING THE SPIN DOCTORS _________________________________ 5:00pm - 10:00pm _________________________________

Town Center Park

________________________

Get to Town Center Park for wings and free music!

For tickets visit thebowlatsugarhill.com.

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MOVIES UNDER THE STARS DOUBLE FEATURE ___________________________

7:00pm - Trolls 8:45pm - The Princess Bride _______________________________

Town Center Park

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DULUTH SUMMER STAGE CONCERT FEATURING SISTER_________ HAZEL ________________

26 HOOFIN’ FOR HABITAT 5K

____________________ 7:30am ____________________

Town Center Park ____________________ For more information visit wcr5k.com.

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8:00pm ________________________

Duluth Town Green

26 LOVE ROLLS WALK/FESTIVAL

____________________ 4:00pm - 10:00pm ____________________

Town Center Park ____________________

Bounce houses, door prizes, games, food trucks and a movie starting around 7 or 8pm. For more information email loverollsinc@yahoo.com or visit https://raceroster.com/ events/2017/13339/love-rolls5k-race-run-walk.


Suwanee Magazine July-August 2017  
Suwanee Magazine July-August 2017  

Suwanee Magazine is a publication for people that live in Suwanee, Georgia and surrounding areas.