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Home Beautification Guide


Sponsored by Georgian Landscape Design and American Casual Living, the Home Beautification Guide is your resource for any outdoor or indoor home improvement projects.

Pro Soccer Comes to Gwinnett: Atlanta United 2

The reserve team of the Major League Soccer club, Atlanta United FC will be playing their inaugural season at Coolray Field in Gwinnett, starting Saturday, March 24th. We had the chance to interview two star players and Head Coach Scott Donnelly.




Cutest Pup Contest Winner

The 4th annual Suwanee Magazine Cutest Pup Contest was our biggest year yet with thousands of votes for over 120 cute dogs. Find out who won!



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MAR / APR 18



2018 Summer Camp Guide

Each year we seek out the best camps in the area. From half-day to full-day to week-long or overnight camps, with every hobby and interest in mind, you are bound to find something that fits your family’s needs this summer.


Matt James Solutions for Hair Loss

Details Salon Professionals is proud to introduce Matt James Solutions for Hair Loss to help clients struggling with medical hair loss and other hair restoration needs.

16 SBA News

Suwanee Business Alliance President, Julie Perdue, answers our questions about why you should be an SBA member and what they do to support the community.

17 Investment Strategies

Aileron Investment Advisors answers the question, “Why did the stock market become so volatile?”




Get Fit Challenge Update Our six Suwanee Get Fit Challenge contestants are headed into their third month of the competition. We weigh in on how far they have come in their fitness journeys so far.

47 Kids and Social Media

Licensed Family Therapist, Laura Lebovitz, gives tips on knowing if and when your child is ready to participate in social media.

59 Brown Bag Deli

Located in Suwanee Town Center Park, Brown Bag Deli has been a favorite spot for the past eight years where locals go to grab breakfast, coffee, lunch, dessert and even beer and wine to go.

64 Explore Gwinnett's Seoul of the South

We had the opportunity to participate in the Seoul of the South Korean Food Tour last year and highly recommend it. Check out the restaurants we visited and delicious food we ate.


2018 Suwanee Beer Fest Guide

This year Suwanee Beer Fest is taking place on St. Paddy’s Day – March 17th, 2018 in Town Center Park. With dozens of new breweries, two live bands, Irish festivities, green beer, food trucks, a home brew competition and more, we have the lowdown on what to expect at Gwinnett’s biggest craft beer fest and St. Paddy’s Day Party.

2017 Suwanee Wine Fest Exclusive Pics

in every issue: 8 Editor’s Letter 86 The Buzz 90 People & Places 94 Event Calendar



a note from our managing editor

A vibrant place we call home!

For the 21 and over kids, you’ll definitely want to head straight to page 68 to check out everything happening at Suwanee Beer Fest. The event falls on St. Paddy’s Day this year, March 17th, and is bound to be the biggest St. Paddy’s Party in Gwinnett. We got the inside scoop on what to expect that day, including a ton of new breweries in the lineup and beers you can’t easily get anywhere else. Over 350 craft beers, live music, Irish dancers, bagpipe players, food samples, and something called Xtreme Airballs…. count us in! You’ll find me inside one of those Xtreme Airball things trying to plow down my coworkers. (Actually, you’ll probably find me at the Suwanee Mag Tent – come say hi and bring me a beer.) Be sure to get tickets if you haven’t yet at

Rachel Pillow

Managing Editor

he March-April issue is one of the most anticipated of the entire year. It marks the return of our annual Summer Camp Guide for kids and the Suwanee Beer Fest Guide for our 21 and older crowd. The Camp Guide has become an annual resource for many Suwanee households when deciding where to send their kids to camp – and that’s because whether they are interested in dance, music, horseback riding, computer programming, rock climbing, soccer, baseball, cooking, science, theater, and more – there is a camp for them. We know you want to keep them busy this summer doing something they love, so flip to page 51 to start booking your spots early.

In this issue you will also find the winner of our annual Cutest Pup Contest. This year the competition was stiff with over 120 entries of adorable fur babies and thousands of votes. But only one could take home the title of Suwanee’s Cutest Pup! Flip to page 88 to find out who won! Speaking of competitions, the Suwanee Get Fit Challenge has been really heating up. We have been very inspired watching our six contestants over the past 60 days. They are headed into the third and final month of the competition and have already made radical transformations in their health,


Suwanee Magazine



If you haven’t noticed yet, we’re really into food around here. And last year, I along with a couple others from the office, had the opportunity to go on Explore Gwinnett’s Seoul of the South Korean Food Tour, and it was so worth it! We tried restaurants and foods right here in Gwinnett that I never would have even known existed and now am so glad I do. Explore Gwinnett already has their 2018 tour dates lined up - go to page 64 to learn more about our experience. I have lived in Gwinnett for six years now and have noticed that each year there are new fun things to do and places to explore. This year Atlanta United FC’s reserve team, ATL UTD 2 will play their inaugural season at Coolray Field and we had the chance to interview two star players and the head coach on page 29. We have new breweries popping up in the area, including Good Word Brewing & Public House in downtown Duluth (check out their story on page 77.) We have another awesome beer fest to look forward to on Cinco de Mayo at Coolray Field (see page 35 for more info.) It just seems like there is always something going on and we are very thankful to live in such a vibrant place. We hope that Suwanee Magazine continues to be a resource for you and your family to learn about all of the wonderful businesses, events and people in our area. We always love hearing your feedback, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.



fitness, nutrition and overall lifestyles. We hope that you enjoy following along their journeys. Go to page 37 to read about the progress they have made so far, and check out their videos and blog posts at



Suwanee Beer Fest enthusiast, Tonya Krajc of Express Color, photographed at Suwanee Magazine HQ on January 26th by Paul Perdue.

Kevin Barajas of ATL UTD 2 photographed at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground in Marietta on February 12th by Tim Dryden.

MAR / APR 18

ANGELA VEUGELER President / Editor-in-Chief RANDALL VEUGELER Vice President and Publisher RACHEL PILLOW Managing Editor NATALIE STUBBS Ads Manager



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

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

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. ©2018 Veugeler Design Group. The editors welcome unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Please email submissions to Rachel Pillow at



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MAR / APR 18

suwanee business community news and info.



- Nancy V. Brown demonstrates the Low Level Laser Light Therapy machine at Matt James Solutions For Hair Loss on Amanda Simmons.


may have just officially opened its doors last year, but the company was born out of a true passion for helping people struggling with medical hair loss and 40 years in the professional hair industry. BY: RACHEL PILLOW / PHOTOS BY: KARL LAMB



Matt James Solutions for Hair Loss ee Borders-Cannon owns Details Salon Professionals in Buford and over the course of her professional career, her sought-after expertise in hair styling has brought many types of clients through her door, including clients suffering from hair loss. “I developed a special place in my heart for taking care of clients suffering from medical hair loss. I had clients going through chemo whose heads I would shave and I had clients with wigs that they wanted cut and colored. It became my passion to help people struggling with hair loss,” she said. At the time, Dee didn’t know that the issue would hit even closer to home. For seven years Dee stood by her husband’s side during his fight with cancer. When he lost that fight in 2010, her mission became even clearer. So, Dee founded Matt James Solutions for Hair Loss - named after her son, Matt, and her late husband, James. “I just know this is what I was meant to do with my life,” she said. But over “I developed a the next several special place years, a series of personal in my heart for roadblocks taking care of and challenges clients suffering ensued before from medical hair Matt James loss. I had clients could really get off the going through ground.

chemo whose heads I would shave and I had clients with wigs that they wanted cut and colored. And, it became my passion to help people struggling with hair loss.”


■ In 2014, Details Salon Professionals was forced to relocate. Dee decided it was time to officially open Matt James for business. She knew that moving to a new location could sometimes be detrimental for business, - Dee Borders-Cannon, but instead was going to Owner, Matt James Solutions for Hair Loss use it as an opportunity to pursue her passion and help others. In 2017 she found the perfect business partner through their affiliation with American Hair Loss Council. Nancy V. Brown is a Master Certified Hair Loss Expert with the American Hair Loss Council and equally passionate



Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 18

about serving others. “The two words that define what we’re about are hope and encouragement. This is like a form of ministry to us. By the time people come to see us they are feeling pretty hopeless and like their whole world is spinning out of control; we’re trying to give them something they can control again,” said Nancy.

NOT A TRADITIONAL SALON ■ There are many reasons that people lose hair: hormonal changes, lupus, alopecia, anxiety, stress, female pattern baldness, Trichotillomania, which is an obsessive compulsive nervous disorder that causes one to pull their hair out, and more. “When they come in it is important that they know they aren’t going through this alone,” said Dee.


Dee Borders-Cannon styles the hair of Carol Kimball who has dealt with hair loss through PRP treatment and has also been receiving Laser Light Therapy and growth factors at Matt James Solutions to nourish and stimulate the hair follicles.

Dee Borders-Cannon and Nancy V. Brown pose with one of their youngest clients, 7 year old Emma Simmons who has Alopecia.

Matt James Solutions for Hair Loss is located inside Details Salon, but when clients walk in they don’t feel like they are in a traditional salon. They are taken into a private room for full privacy and confidentiality, where Nancy and Dee will determine the best course of action, whether that is hair replacement (wigs, extensions, partial hair pieces, toppers, weaves, medical hair loss wigs) or hair restoration (stimulating growth). They also have a partnership with several specialists and doctors in the area for hair transplants or other issues that need more advanced medical attention. Matt James Solutions prides itself on being multi-cultural and multi-lingual, working with all hair types and ethnicities, as well as people of all ages. As authorized partners of the national organization “Wigs For Children,” working with a younger clientele is one of their specialties. “We love working with children. We have tons of fun with them. Just the other day I had a young girl in my office and we were jumping up and down and laughing and dancing, making sure the wig fit and wouldn’t fall off, even if she was doing gymnastics,” said Nancy. But, no matter how old or what they’re going through, the goal is always the same: offering support, advice, hope and encouragement. “Hair loss can be a


Nancy V. Brown has 15 medical certifications from Harvard Medical School, The American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association and the American Hair Loss Council.



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MAR / APR 18

devastating experience, but as soon as they sit down, we treat them as if they were our own family: offering support and advice, even praying with them,” Nancy explained. They make sure that every client walks out with a renewed sense of hope and confidence. With Nancy’s extensive experience in medical hair loss solutions and Dee’s extensive career as a hair stylist, they are a force to be reckoned with. Every hairpiece and wig is completely customized so that it’s the perfect fit, color, length and shape to complement people’s unique face shape and skin tone. They train their clients how to care for, clean, maintain and style their hair pieces, will walk them through how to file insurance claims so that it's covered, and for

out-of-town clients they even have a condo attached to the salon for them to stay in. “While there were many challenges and what seemed like roadblocks to getting Matt James off the ground, we had many good things come our way to point us in this direction,” said Dee. In the face of adversity she persevered. Shortly after the salon was relocated, Dee came across a sign that summarizes her story, “Some things fall apart so that other things can fall together.” Today, that sign hangs in her office as a constant reminder of what she has overcome and how Matt James Solutions for Hair Loss is now helping others on their own path to transformation and triumph. 

SUWANEE BUSINESS ALLIANCE NEWS Julie Perdue has been president of the Suwanee Business Alliance since January of 2017. She’s serious about fostering an environment that promotes community and gives business owners in Suwanee a place to network and promote their endeavors. With roughly 200 members currently in the SBA, the group is looking to make 2018 its most impactful year yet...

What made you want to be involved with the Suwanee Business Alliance on a leadership level?

I’ve been a member of the Alliance for at least 10 years and I care deeply about the Suwanee community. It’s a great way to be involved in the community and with other local business people.

What is the purpose of the SBA? WITH SUWANEE BUSINESS




The purpose is to bring business people together from all walks of life, and to network and enjoy each other’s company — as well as to help each other grow their business through that networking. We also do fundraising to donate to local charities.

What charities does SBA support?

We donate to about 12-15 charities every single year and we try to keep that at a local level. We donate to the Quinn House in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett Children’s Shelter, Cooper’s Crew, Rainbow Village, and Annandale Village, just to name a few.

How do you become a member of SBA?

It’s super easy, you just go to the website,, and sign up there. It’s just $60 a year, which is a great value. Our meetings are monthly, and the dues cover all of the food and refreshments at every meeting. And guests are welcome!

Can you tell us about the upcoming Richard Trice Golf Tournament?

The tournament is our only fundraiser of the year. Last year we raised $10,000 from the tournament. It’s a lot of fun and any of our members can come out and play. There will be a Professional Long Drive Hitter hitting tee shots on a par 5. He can hit 400 yards, which is more than most pro golfers! The fees for the tournament include breakfast and lunch, and we use that money to give to charities over the year. If you haven’t played the tournament before, you don’t want to miss out! It’s great fun and you don’t have to be an expert player to participate. Our “best ball” format basically means that one of the people of your foursome has to be able to hit the ball — though not necessarily far, and not necessarily well — and onto SBA Richard Trice the fairway. So don’t be intimidated! Golf Tournament The main goal of the day is to have April 24, 2018 fun, network and raise money for Bear's Best charities and families in need in our Golf Course community. Let’s make this year our biggest tournament yet! 





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MAR / APR 18



Why did the stock market become so volatile? Multiple factors can be cited, but it can primarily be attributed to the fear of inflation. fter the 2008 stock market meltdown, the federal government responded with a heavy dose of corporate regulations and taxes. Their combined weight resulted in the slowest post-recession recovery in American history. Inflation pressure was nil. In 2017, the new administration rolled back regulations and corporate tax rates were significantly reduced. The stock market exploded, companies gave out bonuses, and hired new employees. Dormant inflation embers were stoked and could possibly reignite. To avoid such a disaster, the Federal Reserve has announced it may raise interest rates multiple times this year. Rising interest rates can be a major setback for bond holders whose existing low rate bonds will lose market value as rates rise. Rising interest rates will make borrowing money more expensive for companies (and everyone else). This may cause companies to slow down with hiring, delay building new facilities, and investing in new products. The stock markets see this as a real possibility – thus the turmoil. The Federal Reserve kept interest rates at nearly zero for the entire Obama presidency. Pent up demand for higher wages which had stagnated for eight years could now spin out of control. If the Trump administration does not eliminate deficit spending, it could inflate the prices of all goods and services. For those of us old enough to remember 18% mortgage rates in the 1970s, inflation is a real economic threat to all Americans. This is especially true for investors. If inflation is 10% and your investments are only earning 6%, then your true net return is minus 4%. Given the recent market turmoil, it might be a good time to speak with your trusted advisor about inflation resistant assets. 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 and advisory services offered through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC (MAS), member FINRA/ SIPC and a Registered Investment Advisor. MAS and Aileron Investment Advisors are not affiliated entities. 

Send your investment questions to: 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.








he landscape of the digital world is always changing. New advancements in technology continue to roll out, shifting the direction of web design at the drop of a dime. What was hot last year may be old-fashioned by the time the new year comes around. Businesses not only have to adjust their marketing strategies to adapt to the changing landscape, they must also evolve their website to stay relevant. The good news is that even though trends change, a good foundation that can bear the weight of those changing trends is timeless. As we settle into 2018, it’s important to take a look at how the digital landscape is starting to shape up. What are the new trends that businesses should add to their digital palette? Here are five web design trends making an impact in 2018.



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Responsive Design Having a responsive website is no longer an option, it’s a requirement. While a mobilefriendly website will look good on mobile, a responsive website is designed to adapt to all screen sizes, so someone will be able to view it on any device - not just a desktop or smartphone. Nowadays, customers browse the web in multiple display settings and your design must flow seamlessly between all of them. If it doesn't, you’ll drive customers away. In fact, 62% of companies increased their sales by designing responsive mobile platforms for their websites.


62% of companies

increased their sales by designing responsive mobile platforms for their websites. -SAG IPL

Mobile-First Mentality In 2017, mobile usage finally overtook desktop browsing: 69% of digital media time is now spent on mobile. And this year, Google is rolling out its much-hyped Mobile First Index, which will list the mobile version of websites at the top of search results. So if you don’t have a mobile-friendly design, you’re not going to show up in organic searches - period. Another reason to adapt a mobile-first mentality: accelerated mobile pages (AMP). AMP is an open-source code that allows websites to load quickly on mobile, and it should be on your must-have list for 2018.

69% of digital

media time is now spent on mobile. -WiredSEO

Bold Colors Bold color choices are also top-ofmind with web designers these days. In the past, most designers stuck to web-friendly colors, but 2018 calls for bold color choices to help websites stand out from the pack. Part of this leap toward vibrant color palettes could be due in part to technological advances in monitors and devices that are now better able to reproduce the richer designs. And this design choice is a great way for newer brands to really make a splash and set themselves apart from more traditional brands.


Interactive Chat Capability It’s not only important how your website looks and performs, but it’s just as important to ensure your site is capable of providing the best user experience possible. In addition to the changing landscape of web design, businesses also need to stay on top of technological advancements that affect their digital marketing. In today’s modern world, convenience is king. And what could be a greater convenience to customers than providing them with live chat? Not only can live chat give businesses an edge over their competition, it also increases potential ROI, as it has been reported that 63% of customers are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. While it may not be an easy option for all businesses, it’s worth considering, especially if you work in e-commerce.



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MAR / APR 18



of customers are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat




Big Typography Think about how important headers are to your website. They let visitors know immediately what they are looking at and what your business offers. One way businesses can begin taking advantage of their headers is by using big, bold typography that will convey their message in an impactful way. Using eye-catching fonts will ensure you have control over what visitors focus in on when they land on your site. And since headers are a key element of SEO, it's worth making sure they stand out.

Nowadays, simply having a website isn't enough. Those websites not only need to stand out from their competitors, they also have to put user experience at the top of their priority list. Incorporating good, modern design is the first step to catching visitors' attention, and creating a strong foundation through a mobilefriendly, responsive design is the way to sustain it. ď‚ż


CONTENT MARKETING MANAGER, VEUGELER DESIGN GROUP ďƒ˘ Alicia applies her decade of experience working in content creation and social media to help clients create a digital marketing strategy to reach more customers and generate leads. She blogs regularly for Veugeler Design Group about topics ranging from digital marketing strategies and website optimization to social media tips and strategies.

We build creative, lead-generating, mobile-responsive websites optimized to turn visitors into customers.

Call or email us for a FREE, no-strings-attached website assessment.

Veugeler Design Group 678-482-2270

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2 0 1 8


STUNNING LANDSCAPE DESIGNS The team of Ed Szczesniak of Georgian Landscape Design and Jeremy Talboy of installation partners, North Georgia Landscape share how they’ve become successful and continue to grow, along with their array of services:

Q: How does a relatively small firm like

yours keep growing such a loyal client following?

A: We think we’re

easy to work with. We listen, advise, and follow through on our promises to make our clients pleased with our work. We strive to deliver 110% of their expectations on every project – big or small.


Q: What type of services

do you offer?

A: We’re really a “one-stop” landscape management

firm. There is virtually nothing outside of the home that we don’t do ourselves, or in combination with our longterm partners who do our large tree removal or pool construction – and in those situations where we need to bring in these specialists we manage and control their work to meet our standards.

Georgian Landscape Design is a 6x “Best of Houzz”, 7x “Best of Gwinnett", 3x “Best of Home Advisor”, “Best of Suwanee” and a “Top Rated Landscape Architect Atlanta”

SERVICES INCLUDE: ■ Design / Build services ■ Landscape / Hardscape ■ Grading / Drainage ■ Fireplaces / Fire-pits ■ Water Features ■ Irrigation Systems ■ Landscape Lighting ■ Decks / Pergolas / Arbors ■ Natural Stone / Manufactured Stone / Pavers

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Patios / Walls / Benches Borders Fencing Dry Creeks Seasonal Colors Turf Maintenance Irrigation Landscape Maintenance

(Mowing, Blowing, Edging, Pruning, Turf Treatment, Seasonal Color)

■ Mulch / Pine Straw

Q: How do you

compete with the many larger firms in the Atlanta market? A: We don’t try to compete

with them. We’re local. As owner operators we are hands-on in every project – big or small. For most projects, we not only get involved with the initial client visit ourselves, but hold daily team meetings with our design/ install or maintenance teams to review design criteria, plant and material selections, ensure proper crew assignments, and conduct site visits throughout the project to ensure that the client expectations are met. Our clients know who we are, meet with us on-site, and are one phone call away if changes or questions arise.





OUTDOOR STYLE MATTERS From intimate family gatherings to large-scale parties, American Casual Living is your one-stop shop for all your outdoor furniture needs. Their 25,000 square foot showroom is conveniently located on Mall of Georgia Blvd. in Buford and offers the area’s largest selection of quality outdoor living products. PHOTOS BY KARL LAMB

Owners, Lee and Maureen Recchia of Suwanee, outdoor furniture retailers for over 20 years, have witnessed steady growth in the popularity of outdoor living areas, and dramatic improvement in the quality of outdoor furniture and accessories, and the materials - like Sunbrella fabrics used to produce them.   “Our mission is to assist the homeowner in creating comfortable, inviting, year-round outdoor living areas for family fun, entertaining friends, or for quiet enjoyment. Relaxing on the patio with friends and family, or just by yourself, can be the perfect way to unwind,” offers Maureen. 



Suwanee Magazine


Our mission is to assist the homeowner in creating comfortable, inviting, yearround outdoor living areas for family fun, entertaining friends, or for quiet enjoyment.” - Maureen Recchia


MAR / APR 18

home guide

From high-end grills to patio furniture and decorative pieces, American Casual Living has everything needed to create a beautiful and functional outdoor living space.

American Casual Living takes pride in offering a large selection, an uncompromising commitment to quality and long-term value. This means “we search the globe for the very best outdoor furniture available, and we try to have something for everyone. Maureen and I are consumers also. We seek value when making personal purchases and we apply the same principle when we buy for our store. Selection matters. Quality, performance, durability matter. Price matters. Style matters. For us, these are just a few of the factors that we believe are essential in identifying a good value, “adds Lee.     From custom cushions to large outdoor areas, American Casual Living offers complimentary, no obligation, in-home consultation for those who need a designer’s eye and professional guidance. “We are committed to total satisfaction. Accordingly, we encourage our customers to personalize their purchase by building it their way. In the end, what is important is their design preference, their vision for the area, their comfort, and their total satisfaction with the American Casual Living experience,” concludes Maureen. ■



Lowe’s of Suwanee 3260 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road I Suwanee, GA 770-904-8283 I ➔ Partner with Lowe’s, a name you trust, for all your home improvement needs. Here to offer you even more value and service than before, your local Lowe’s of Suwanee is now offering complete kitchen and bath remodeling. Their “Refresh Your Kitchen Event” gives you the opportunity to make tasteful changes to your kitchen and bathroom while taking advantage of their floor-toceiling design and start-to-finish project management. Your design expert will guide you through the process to articulate your dream makeover and showcase your plans using computerized 3D technology. Licensed contractors, plumbers, and technicians will be there to ensure the job is completed correctly and professionally, leaving you with an effortless peace of mind. With handpicked styles ranging from rustic artisan to modern charm to classically chic to contemporary allure, Lowe’s of Suwanee will bring your uniquely customized remodeling visions to life. Whether it may be door panels with frosted glass to simultaneously show off and conceal your kitchen essentials, barn-style sliding doors with rustic

hardware to hide your pantry, or a functional, yet stylish, Farmhouse sink with plenty of easily-reachable depth, let Lowe’s of Suwanee provide you with the perfectly planned and detailed kitchen you’ve always wanted. Visit to browse customer success stories and become inspired! Call or visit the store to schedule a FREE design consultation and get your transformation started today.

RLB Landscape Group 770.271.3301 I

NORTH GEORGIA'S ELITE LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE & DESIGN COMPANY ➔ RLB Landscape Group retains an unwavering commitment to please each and every customer. The unmatched level of determination displayed by their staff of seasoned experts is substantiated by their ability to listen to each and every customer's specific situation, and then engineer a comprehensive plan of action to construct the perfect landscape design for your particular outdoor environment. Their mission is to educate, promote and instill confidence into their clients by conducting all landscaping activities using the most advanced methods and technologies available in the industry, to date. Delivering safe, ecologically sound and effectively coherent landscape services at the most reasonable price possible, they pursue all facets of business with a sense of pride based on a solid foundation of honesty, integrity and passion for customer support and satisfaction.

Why RLB Landscape Group?

TIMELINESS: They arrange a schedule for your home or business. YARD INSPECTION & PLAN: No two yards are the same, so they fully inspect your yard and develop a comprehensive plan for your lawn care and landscaping. Then they'll review that plan to develop a timeline that fits your needs and budget. DETAILED LAWN CARE: Their goal is to amaze you with their lawn care services. They achieve that by going the extra mile. They'll bring attention to problem areas of your yard, such as fire ants, pests or other concerns, and will execute a solution. SERVICES INCLUDE: ■ Landscape Design and Installation ■ Hardscapes and Retaining Walls ■ Landscape Lighting

■ ■ ■ ■

Irrigation Drainage Issues Lawn Maintenance Fertilization and Weed Control


Kevin Barajas, AJ Cochran and Coach Scott Donnelly



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MAR / APR 18


COMES TO Suwanee Magazine interviews Coach Scott Donnelly, Midfielder Kevin Barajas and Center Back AJ Cochran of New USL Team, ATL UTD 2 as they share their excitement about their inaugural season at Gwinnett County’s Coolray Field. INTERVIEW BY ANGELA VEUGELER PHOTOS BY TIM DRYDEN


Scott DonnElly


he success and fan base Major League Soccer team, Atlanta United, experienced during their first season was unparalleled. The team, who now calls MercedesBenz Stadium home, had a staggering 35,000-plus season ticket holders, the largest number in the league. In November of 2017, the club announced the addition of a United Soccer League team, Atlanta United 2 (ATL UTD 2), who will call Gwinnett County’s Coolray Field home. The team is currently training at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground in Marietta along with the First Team.



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MAR / APR 18

Donnelly brings more than 15 years of coaching experience to the team, including working for the United States Soccer Federation and at the collegiate level for over 10 years. He has a strong track record for helping develop young players, is proficient in both English and Spanish and holds a U.S. Soccer class “A” coaching license along with the Academy Director License.


: What are you most excited about this season? A: It’s our inaugural season; we have the chance to put

a team of very good players on the field; many of them young players, but put a team on the field that is an image of the club, an image of the First Team. It is a really exciting challenge as a coach and for the players to have the First Team standard to live up to and look forward to. I think it’s going to be a really good thing for the fan base as well. It is forward thinking, aggressive soccer that is fun to watch and will hopefully help us get results and some wins.


: What are your goals for this year as a new team? A: Our goals are first and foremost to improve all the

players and give them a platform to perform, to prove themselves; to have a really positive trajectory over the course of the year. We see this team as a bridge that completes the pyramid in a sense, between the First Team, the Academy, and now we have the USL team. It’s kind of a proving ground for some of the younger players and for some of the more veteran guys who have the experience; it

is a great opportunity for them to show what they can do as well. In addition to that, we plan to be very competitive and put a team on the field that the fans can be proud of and to get positive results.


: Is there anything you’d like to see from the community in terms of support for the team? A: We’re really hopeful we will get

really good fan support at Coolray Field. I think it’s going to be huge for these players and the club, to get people out. Then it’s our job to put a good product on the field so that they want to come back. The fan culture around this club is so strong, we all hope and expect that that extends to Gwinnett County.

Q: What should fans

expect this season? A: Fans that know the club well should

expect another positive representation of how we play; bringing a similar level of excitement to the field. It’s one club; the goal is that all of the things they love about the First Team are extended to ATL 2. It is the same playing culture, the same core values, the same organizational beliefs. I think the expectation is a slightly different version of the First Team in terms of what they see on the field. New fans should expect a great experience at Coolray Field - we have some local players, some players that are a little younger than some of the First Team guys, hopefully some that they can really identify with in their backyard.

Q: What are you looking

forward to about living in the Atlanta area? A: The weather, coming to work at this facility every day. People are friendly, open, warm, they want to help.


: How do you feel about playing at Coolray Field? A: We are excited with this new team

to bring another part of the Atlanta United club to the fans in another part of the city. There are new players to know and love… we really hope we have the same type of support with the new team. We will do our part to put a good product out there, we want fans coming back for more.


Height: 5’10” I Weight: 155lbs Age: 22 Hometown: Atlanta, GA

An Atlanta native, Kevin Barajas grew up playing soccer from a young age. In high school, Barajas played for Atlanta United’s club team under Tony Annan, now Academy Director. He went on to play at University of Kentucky and took his last semester of school off to pursue his dream of playing professional soccer. He saw the announcement about the new team ATL UTD 2 on Twitter and decided to try out during their Dream tryouts in December. He was called back in January and found out he made the team.

Q: Did you always

know you wanted to play professionally? A: Yes, as long as I can remember. I used to watch {professional soccer} on TV with my dad and I would think, that’s what I wanna do. Ever since I was a little kid that’s what I’ve been working towards. My dad used to play soccer as well and my brother played too. As a little brother you want to do what your big brother does.

Q: How old were you

when you started playing soccer? A: I was three years old when my dad started playing soccer with me in our yard. I’m pretty sure my mom lied about my age so I could play on the 5-year-old team before I was actually five. I was really, really small.

31 31


Q: How did you feel about

Atlanta United (the First Team) coming to Atlanta last year? A: I was really excited. I thought it was

Q: If you had your

choice of anywhere you could play, where would you choose? A: Oh, definitely here. Atlanta

an awesome opportunity for the city and of course for soccer itself to grow. It was definitely time for Atlanta to get a team. As a soccer player you kind of get an idea, you’re like, well a lot of people like soccer here. It’s such a big city, so many people. You can just tell how people craved soccer here.

Q: How are you feeling about

this upcoming season? A: Really excited. From seeing the players that we

Q: Is there

anything you’d like to let our readers and Atlanta United fans in Gwinnett County know? A: I would just definitely

is the most special place where I grew up. So coming home and playing in front of Atlanta…. as soon as they made the announcement they were going to have a team I was like, that would be amazing. In December I actually saw it on Twitter. I talked to Tony and we agreed that it was a good idea that I come and try out. I used to have a bracelet that said “Trust His plan.” I definitely always think that God has a plan for us.

have, the coaching staff and overall support of the organization, I think we will be really successful. It’s always a cool thing - coming to a new team, meeting new people, building new relationships.

Q: Who has been the most

influential in your soccer career? A: Coaching wise, definitely Tony Annan, my coach at

the Club level. He believed in me when I didn’t even see what I could do. I started playing for him when I was 16 years old. I played for him for two years and I was the captain for his team both years. Also my family in general, my parents and my brother have always pushed me to follow my dreams and what I want in life. They have always encouraged me to be the best, and have been there to help me and support me.

encourage them to come out to the games. We have seen the type of success Atlanta’s First Team has. We are going to be putting in a lot of work and will do our best to represent the city well. I would encourage them to come out and see us work hard and play hard for them.

AJ Cochran


Height: 6’3” I Weight: 195lbs I Age: 25 Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Originally from St. Louis, Cochran played at the University of Wisconsin for three years before signing a Generation Adidas deal with MLS and playing for the Houston Dynamos as a first round draft pick. He played for St. Louis FC before signing a deal with ATL UTD 2 in January.

Q: What are your goals for the season?

A: Just to be successful. The first goal is to make the playoffs


: Were your parents excited when they found out you made the team? A: They both cried when I told them. They sacrificed a lot,

coming here from Mexico. They’ve worked really hard. They have definitely had their fair share of struggles, so being able to tell them my dream of playing pro soccer, I achieved that part, that first step, it definitely meant a lot to them.

and then once we make the playoffs, our goal will be to make a run at the championship. Like our coaching staff said today, our goal is to win games, to play the right way, to get the team to develop. We are here to win.

Q: What are you looking forward

to this season? A: Just getting to know my teammates and honestly

playing with a new group of guys. Getting to use this training facility and being around the atmosphere of the best club in the MLS is what I’m most excited about.



Suwanee Magazine




Q: How long have you

known you wanted to be a professional soccer player? A: In grade school I always wanted to be a professional soccer player. Going into high school my goal was to get a division one college scholarship. I achieved that and when I was a freshman at the University of Wisconsin Madison I knew I wanted to play professionally.

Q: Do you have

any advice to young athletes who think they may want to play professionally one day? A: Just to have fun and stick to

Q: You’ve been here two days.

What do you think so far? A: So far so good, the city is really nice. This is my first time being here, I’m super excited to explore.


: Did you play other sports when you were a kid? A: Yes, I swam, played basketball, football

their dreams. If they want to be a professional soccer player, the most important thing is going out there every day and continuing to learn and listening to their coaches. But you aren’t going to get better and enjoy the game if you aren’t having fun. If you aren’t having fun, you’re not going to be passionate about that sport. I would just say do what you love and enjoy. Anything is possible. If you believe you want to be a professional athlete, dreams come true, so just work hard and believe in yourself.

■ According to Atlanta United Vice President, Business Operations, Catie Griggs, the team plans to use the more intimate environment at Coolray Field for more player and fan interaction such as autograph signing and meet & greets. They want to make sure their fans get to be close to the team and get to know the players. The club takes fan feedback very seriously and wants to make sure the fans have an incredible experience. The first ATL UTD 2 game will be held at Coolray Field on March 24th at 7 p.m. against New York Red Bulls II. They are hoping to garner a large following in Gwinnett.

and baseball. Going into high school I realized I needed to pick one. I had a conversation with my dad, we thought my best future would be in soccer and I really liked it.






The 4th annual Gwinnett Beer Fest returns to Coolray Field on May 5th


oolray Field, home of the Gwinnett Stripers MiLB team and Atlanta United 2 will again host the "Beer Fest at the Ballpark": The Gwinnett Beer Fest. Tickets for the event include unlimited samples of over 150 craft beers! Live music, festival games, local vendors, food trucks and margarita samples will help transform the stadium into Gwinnett’s biggest Cinco de Mayo bash! New this year is an exclusive chance to get on the field where some of your favorite athletes in Gwinnett play every week. Brought to you by the same team that organizes the award-winning Suwanee Beer Fest, there are bound to be some surprises and excitement that only these beer fest veterans can bring. The Gwinnett Beer Fest has been a fan favorite of craft beer lovers in the area for the past three years, but this year will be bigger and better than ever before with on-field access and tents lining the concourse and berm. The event takes place from 1-5pm, with VIP ticket-holders gaining access at noon. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 23rd at noon at Be sure to snag them early because it could sell out! â–

MAY 5 th @ 1:00pm-5:00pm AT COOLRAY FIELD - HOME OF THE:




your health,

wellness and happiness








e couldn’t be prouder of each of the contestants, as they’ve all pushed through their personal struggles to make health and fitness a priority in their lives - and each of them are thriving in the competition so far. Outside of their regular workout schedules with their assigned trainers, we’ve also scheduled periodic group activities to get the contestants together for team-building and additional education. On January 12th, the contestants gathered at the Suite Spot in Sugar Hill to meet with Whole Foods Coach Stephanie Wolfe (, a local wellness coach whose services include customizable group workshops, individual consultations, wellness luncheons, and lectures focusing on “understanding how your lifestyle, exercise, attitude and nutrition choices integrate and set the stage for your overall health.” Stephanie met with the contestants to talk about how they can adjust their approach to nutrition in order to live the healthiest life possible. “You are what you eat, so don’t be cheap, easy, or fake!” Stephanie said. “Most of the worst cheap, easy, fake food is found in boxes, bags, cans, Certified Health Coach Stephanie Wolfe met with the Suwanee Get Fit contestants and jars. to give nutrition advice and share some healthy food samples.



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MAR / APR 18

This processed food is making many people weak, sick and overweight.” Incorporating the advice from Stephanie into the lifestyle changes they’ve already made with the assistance of their trainers has helped the contestants to have a more well-rounded approach to their health and take control of the direction their journeys will take them over the next couple of months.


 While all of the contestants are working out in group fitness-style classes, each are getting the individual attention that is imperative to the success of the three-month competition. Shonika Ochoa-Williams and Kevin Burkhardt have been training hard at Crux Fitness with Dan LeBlanc, whose gym incorporates the “H.I.R.T.” system: high intensity resistance training. In her second day at Crux, Shonika was already flipping tires! She thought to herself, “What have I gotten myself into?” But admits that her “energy levels increased even with an 8-month-old still waking up every few hours at night. It’s so much more manageable having this newfound energy to keep up.” And Dan can’t help but boast


Kevin Burkhardt (L) and Shonika OchoaWilliams (R) have made incredible strides since beginning their weight loss journeys at Crux Fitness in Suwanee.

on both Shonika and Kevin’s progress and dedication: “The progress these two have made so far is incredible. Not only are they losing body fat while gaining muscle, they have gone so much deeper than that. They’re changing their mindset. They’re fighting for their lives in the most literal sense, and it’s awe-inspiring.


have caused unexpected stress that has made it difficult to be excited about the progress she has made, but she’s pushing through: “I am trying to be patient and to continue to do the work,” Sheri said. “I am trying to stay focused on where I was six weeks ago, and even though I haven’t dropped a lot of weight, I am finding that I am stronger, have more energy, am proud that I am sticking with it (I have given up in other programs after just two weeks), and I can feel some of my muscles!”

 Amy Doherty and Sheri Matt are also thriving with trainer Anthony Wilkins at Alloy Personal Training Team Pink! Amy Doherty (L) and Sheri Matt (R) have for Women. “I am really enjoying found a great support system at Alloy Personal Training working out at Alloy, and Anthony for Women in Suwanee. is an amazing and inspiring trainer,” Amy said. “I wasn’t sure how I would like small group training and am surprised how much I am truly enjoying it.  I love an intense workout Anthony is able and I also love when I can help to change up my someone realize that they can workouts so that work much harder than they ever thought possible. However, if you’re working out intensely most days of the week, then you could be running I am never bored, the risk of not really getting results at all. Have you ever lost your and always feel motivation because you’ve either hit a wall and aren’t getting results, challenged.” And or you’re just plain exhausted? Then maybe you need to take a look while Sheri has at your time spent resting and recovering. It’s during rest and recovery that your body actually becomes stronger and adapts to been dedicated to the stuff you are putting yourself through in the gym. her workouts and nutrition, recent - ANGIE WILLET, STAGE 3 FITNESS changes at work




 Over at Stage 3 Fitness, Bill Pennington and Sue Brown have been dominating their workouts! I was lucky enough to observe a class in which they were working out together, jumping from pull-ups to TRX rows to chest presses and more! I was so proud and inspired by both of their determination — they worked out hard for the duration of the 60-minute class and the high-fives from other people at the end of the class showed the camaraderie of the group and how everyone was an inspiration to each other. “The great thing about the challenge is that I’m learning things I had never considered before,” Bill said. “My lack of knowledge is probably



Suwanee Magazine



why my weight has yoyo’d for so many years.” And their trainer Angie had nothing but praise for them both: “I’m so incredibly proud of both Bill and Sue. Not only are they gaining lean muscle, losing weight and body fat, but they are staying extremely consistent with their workouts. They’ve totally grasped the concept of what it means to step outside of their comfort zones, and not just during their workouts, but also with their nutrition.” ■

MAR / APR 18

Sue Brown (L) and Bill Pennington (R) have been making great progress in their workouts at Stage 3 Fitness in Suwanee.

FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE GET FIT CHALLENGE ONLINE AT, Suwanee Magazine’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and via #suwaneegetfit.






from, or keeping my will power around bad influences. I have a lot of support from friends and family. In fact, several friends and family members are following along with their own challenge. We hold each other accountable and discuss our diets, workouts, and progress. However, there are some people who will still binge in my presence, order the dessert and eat it right in front me, want me to agree that "a few days off from the gym won't hurt anyone," and just aren't the best influence. It’s a struggle to maintain relationships with these people, not give into their habits (which are appealing!), and keep my will power when around them.


a suit to court on February 8th that I haven't worn in about 2 years. Its very tailored for a modern, slim fit. Not only did I fit into it, I felt confident wearing it.



protein and hitting my food goals!

 BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Weight loss both in pounds, body fat, visceral fat and building muscle! Things are changing, like my ability to work harder during a workout and seeing and feeling the results of that hard work.




foods all the time. I love Mexican food and would love to eat chips and cheese all day every day! And what goes better with chips and cheese than margaritas? But, I have limited my chips and cheese and have avoided alcohol and soda to eliminate so much sugar in my diet.


out at Alloy at 6 a.m. three days a week and then finding two other days to make sure I am moving. I try to walk or play tennis at least two other days. The more I move, the more calories I burn! To know I am actually changing my BMI and reducing the fat (not just the weight) has been the greatest reward.


4 POUNDS LOST!  BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Turning my list of CANT’S into CAN. Having a prior knee injury, I developed a fear of performing certain exercises that required movements I was not accustomed to in my day-to-day, so I would automatically state that I couldn't do it.  BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Trusting Dan and the trainers to strengthen my knee so I can trust it again and execute specific exercises (i.e., deep squat). Slowly but surely I am pushing past the fear of my knee giving out on me and challenging myself more. I am also very proud of myself for sticking with this and being consistent thus far. It has resulted in great changes overall, be it my energy, how I feel in my clothes, that my concentration has improved, my eating habits are great — I can go on!





are a couple of challenges. First, I’m not seeing the results that I would like especially when I hear about the successes of the other contestants. Also, a big challenge has been to not let stress and the long work hours during my work transition derail me in exercise and eating.

 BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: There have been a few successes, I am not sure which one would be considered my greatest. 1. Finding that exercise is awesome for managing stress. 2. Loving Alloy (coaches and fellow ladies working out there) and making improvements in my workouts. 3. Not quitting through this work transition (when I wanted to just crawl in bed with a bag of cookies).



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MAR / APR 18


23 POUNDS LOST!  BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Learning that food is fuel and

not just for enjoyment, and then coming up with healthy options.

 BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Having the discipline to get up for 5 a.m. workouts and "mastering" the My Fitness Pal app. I’ve been logging my food on My Fitness Pal the last few weeks and have been amazed at what I’ve learned by simply using the app. I’ve really had to focus on adding protein and watching my carb intake.




By Laura Lebovitz, LMFT, Grow Counseling

OMG!!! Kids and Social Media

If you are the parent of a teenager, or your kid just wants to be a teenager, you’ve probably been asked about a variety of social media apps. Of course you want your kids to be able to connect with friends and feel part of their peer group. However, with all the concerns about kids and their online safety, it can be overwhelming to decide when your kids are ready to start using social media.  As a parent, you try your best to prepare your kids for important new life experiences such as their first day of school, first sleepover with friends, and the cyber world is no different. 

Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself to help decide if your kids are ready for social media profiles. Are they old enough? To minimize children’s exposure to inappropriate content, many social media sites have an age requirement. Most social media companies have a minimum requirement of age 13. But, while the social media site might advertise that it is appropriate for someone your child’s age, you might disagree. Check out example profiles and pages for each social media website or app before allowing your kids to join. Doing preliminary research will help you make an educated decision whether or not your child is mature enough to use the platform. You are the best judge of your unique child. Different technology and apps

may allow your kids to have personal profiles or internet access without you realizing it. Familiarize yourself with your kids’ technology products (this includes smart phones, tablets, e-readers, watches and other mobile devices) to make sure you are aware of when, where and how they get online.

Is it private enough? Privacy settings are very important to set up before your kids begin to use any social media. The default profile setting for most social platforms is public. So, make sure you know how to change profiles to private so that your child can only connect to people who you know. It is also important to familiarize

yourself with parental controls that you can put on your kids’ computers and phones. This way you can monitor for any inappropriate behavior while your kids are accessing their social media accounts and using the Internet. If you are not tech savvy, consider investing in a filtering software like Net Nanny, Circle with Disney, or My Mobile Watchdog to help monitor your kids’ behavior online.

What are the rules? Agree on ground rules ahead of time for healthy use. Clearly go over these rules and expectations before creating any profiles to avoid any confusion in the future. A helpful rule could be that you have full access to your kids’ profiles and can take a look whenever you wish. That way you are able to be aware of the sites they are frequenting and see who they are connecting with online. Just like any other house rules, lay out clear expectations and consequences for what will happen if the rules are not followed.

Are you a good role model? Watch your use in front of your children to teach them examples about healthy limits to screen time. Set a priority about having screen-free nights where they can connect with their friends and family away from any electronics. Have family conversations about what conversation topics are public and what should be kept private. ■

LAURA LEBOVITZ, LMFT Laura 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.


678.400.0091 I VOTED BEST PERFORMING ARTS SCHOOL AND BEST SUMMER CAMPS IN GWINNETT 5 YEARS RUNNING! Camp with the BEST! Youth camps, workshops, and intensives for dancers of all levels. Ballet, hip hop, jazz, contemporary, tap, musical theater, and more.

GUIDE ‘ 18

Our annual Summer Camp Guide is filled with camps that cater to every interest. From a variety of sports camps to nature, science, art camps and more, there are camps that are sure to give your child memories that will last a lifetime!

770.560.0165 I RESERVE YOUR SPOT NOW FOR BEE’S & QUOTES CREATIVE ART STUDIO SPRING & SUMMER CAMP! Ages 5-11. May 29-August 30. Early drop-off (8am) and late pick-up (5pm) for free! Spring, summer, winter and school break camps also available. Full day and half day options. Follow them on Facebook for camp discount codes - #beesandquotes.


ROLLING RIVER RAMPAGE VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL Join Epiphany Lutheran Church June 18th-June 22nd from 9am-noon for Rolling River Rapids VBS. An Exciting Vacation Bible school for children ages 3 years-5th grade. Kids will "Experience the Ride of a Lifetime with God!" T-shirt, games, snacks, crafts, music and more. Register at


IF YOU WANT TO BECOME A VETERINARIAN, TIGER TAILS HAS THE CAMP FOR YOU! Visit their Vet Camp to interact in an animal hospital setting and learn more about animal science. Dive in, dig deeper, and learn more about what it takes to become a vet. For more information please email 51


678.541.5254 (Suwanee) 678.541.5636 (Buford)


770.945.3424 I

YOUR CHILD WILL FLIP OVER GGA SUMMER CAMP Open to boys and girls ages 4 to 13. Camp will run June 4th through August 3rd (closed the week of July 4th). The GGA camp experience includes structured gymnastics instruction and recreational games and activities. Half-day and full-day sessions are available.



Learn Language Skills at CAMP CHAT ‘N CHEW: Cook age appropriate recipes while working on social skills, articulation, language, and more! Explore new foods at PICKY EATERS ACADEMY: Play-based activities to learn about and explore different foods. YOGA/ART: Art activities, yoga poses, and stories for ages 3-12. SUPER SENSORY CAMP: Exploring senses through experiments, projects, and movement!

770.642.0004 I AWARD-WINNING KIDS 4 CODING SUMMER TECH PROGRAM Full and half-day programs available for ages 7-16 in Alpharetta, Lawrenceville, and Roswell. North Atlanta’s Leader in Tech Education is now in their 5th season. 5-star rating on Google & GlassDoor, as well as Best of Kudzu 2014-2017. Game Design - Robotics - MINECRAFT - Code & Fly Drones - Roblox - Build-Your-Own Laptop - 3D Design - Programming - And More!


Legacy MMA Adventure Summer Camp is the fun your child's been looking for this summer and the peace of mind you've been seeking. Your child will get to participate in sports, arts & crafts, optional martial arts, group games, and unique and exciting field trips every day of the week! These trips include skating, movie theaters, arcades, laser tag, SkyZone, World of Coca Cola, Fernbank, and LegoLand... just to name a few. Weekly rates as low as $99/ week. Two convenient locations in Buford and Suwanee. Register now at or call for more info!

770.243.2275 I

ACTIVE PLAY – ENRICHING EXPERIENCES – TRUE RELATIONSHIPS Summertime at GAC holds so much potential! From day camp to specialty camps, GAC offers something for every camper from the age of 5 to 18. Join them June 4 - July 27. To find out more and register visit


SUMMER CAMP ROCKS AT ADRENALINE CLIMBING! Age-appropriate outdoor adventures! Ages 7-13. Each one-week program is jam-packed with field trips.

678.482.6333 I

SUMMER CAMP ADVENTURES She’ll twirl, giggle, sing, dance, and sparkle in our Enchanted Princess Adventures camps. PLUS: Lights! Costumes! Action! Create costumes and sets and perform scenes from Shrek the Musical, High School Musical, or The Lion King in our Musical Theater Performance Workshops. 53


404.934.0976 I




Offering summer, multi-sport, morning camps, as well as summer evening leagues, i9 Sports focuses on FUN! i9 Sports will exceed your expectations by providing convenient, organized, safe sporting opportunities in a friendly atmosphere that teaches sportsmanship and increases self-esteem. Save $10, Promo Code: SUWMAG.

706.862.2231 I

HORSE LOVERS’ PARADISE SINCE 1954 A'top Lookout Mountain, ages 8-17, 1 to 9 weeks, 600 acres, English, Western, Barrels, Vaulting, and Trails. CHA instructors teach beginner to advanced riders. Spend 4-6 hours daily with your OWN camp horse. The Jones family are third generation horse lovers, camp administrators, and equine educators making girls’ dreams come true!



Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 18

770.667.9443 I

X-TREME SCIENCE & STEM CAMP Grouped by age for grades 1-6, campers will explore: robotics, chemical reactions, fossils, bugs, rockets, gem digs, virtual reality, engineering games, real hearts and brains, space, geysers, Legos™, tech lab, volcanoes and more!

770.483.2225 I

PROVIDING THE BEST IN CHRISTIAN CAMPING EXPERIENCES SINCE 1955 Located just 20 miles east of Atlanta, Camp Westminster offers weekly overnight and day camp sessions for boys and girls ages 6-17. Wakeboarding, horseback riding, climbing tower, paintball, crafts, swimming and more! Open House on Saturday, March 17th!




MYSPORT SUMMER CAMPS! Join the Suwanee Sports Academy for their MySport summer camps! Each week kids have an opportunity to experience a variety of sports and activities in a fun, safe environment, with nearly 100,000 square feet of indoor, air-conditioned space to play!


Suwanee Sports Academy has a variety of volleyball and basketball summer camps for beginner to advanced players. Their camps teach the skills and fundamentals in an encouraging atmosphere. The coaching staff is trained to build self-confidence as they work on individual skills as well as teamwork. Call Coach Cindy Young (Volleyball Director, ext. 108) or Coach Bo Bell (Basketball Director, ext. 123) for more details!


770.664.7764 I

JOIN THE SUNSATIONAL SUMMER CAMP McGinnis Woods will be hosting its Sunsational Summer Camp from May 29-August 3, 2018. Campers will spend each day participating in fun activities featuring unique themes including nature walks, art, field trips, STEM activities, computers, and daily group games in our beautiful air conditioned gym. Additional specialty and academic camps offer a variety of educational opportunities to sharpen campers’ skills and expand their minds. Campers can learn to cook, swim, learn coding or how to paint while at camp.

215.487.1106 I

SPORTS BROADCASTING CAMP FOR KIDS Back for their 10th year, boys and girls (ages 10-18) will have an opportunity to learn from the pros and meet sports celebrities. Make play-by-play, reporting, sports anchor, and PTI style videos. Host your own sports talk radio shows! Participate in sports trivia contests and much more. Day and overnight options available. July 16-20, 2018 at Emory University.




Your kids will have a fun-filled, active day in our climate-controlled facility. Activities include: soccer, flag football, kickball, dodgeball and more! COST-$175.00 (field trip included) Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm *Extended hours $25 more (7:30am-6:30pm) Ages: 5-13

678.405.2266 I

CAMP ALL-AMERICAN IS THE PLACE TO BE Camp All-American at Perimeter Church is North Atlanta’s premier day camp running for 10 weeks, from May 29 to August 3. We aim to create extraordinary environments through world-class facilities, incredible summer staff, and diverse programming focused on sports, outdoor adventure, and the arts.


FUN! IMAGINATION! CREATIVITY! Explore LegosTM, robotics, 3D art & design, science, escapades, outer space, secret spy school, creative ink and ocean adventures at Homework Central’s summer camp! May 29 - July 27 for ages 5 to 13. 9am-4pm daily with before and after care available. Weekly cost: $199 (full day) and $139 (half day).


COME ON BOARD THE TRAIN If your child is interested in trains, come join us for a fun and enriching 5-day summer camp at the Southeastern Railway Museum. The theme for 2018 is “Riding the Rails.” Each day features different activities and railroad-themed experiences, complete with a ride on a real train! Three age groups are available: 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. Camps will be held from 9am-1pm during the weeks of June 18-22 and July 23-27. 57



local food. craft beer. wine trends.

THE BROWN BAG DELI & CAFE REUBEN: Hot corned beef or turkey, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing on grilled marble rye bread.



Located in the heart of Suwanee Town Center, Brown Bag Deli & Café has been serving up delicious breakfast sandwiches, soups, salads, sandwiches, desserts, coffee, beer, wine and more since 2011. STORY BY RACHEL PILLOW / PHOTOS BY KARL LAMB


All sandwiches can be made with your choice of bagel, bread or wrap and come with a signature "Brown Bag" side.



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MAR / APR 18


Regular patrons of Brown Bag Deli & Café might have noticed a shift in the atmosphere last year, including the addition of cozy booth space and extra charging ports to take advantage of the free WiFi.

Owned by Dave and Rita Patel, Brown Bag Deli serves as the community coffee shop and lunch cafe for many Suwanee residents. It’s where early morning bagel runs are made, professional lunch meetings are held, where moms running errands stop with their kids and where evening study groups occur. But, maybe most importantly, it’s also where beer and wine can be purchased to go! Effective last year, The City of Suwanee allows patrons to purchase a drink from any business in Town Center Park and walk around with it on any given day. So, if somebody would like to have a picnic in the park, they can do so – complete with their adult beverage of choice. During special events, they also set up a second outdoor pop-up bar on their patio to serve from. On nice days their patio serves as the local hangout spot for Suwanee’s furriest friends. “We are dog-friendly here. We always have a fresh bowl of water outside and added hooks on our fence to tie leashes,” said Rita. Brown Bag Deli remains steadfast in their community-oriented approach. “Our customers have shaped this place,” said Rita. “For instance, we had several requests for gluten-free bread,


Brown Bag Deli & Café Owners, Rita and Dave Patel have said that they wouldn’t be where they are today if it wasn’t for the amazing support from the City of Suwanee and the community.

“We have a great team that has been with us for years. Customers love coming in and seeing familiar faces,” said Rita Patel, Co-Owner, Brown Bag Deli.

Brown Bag Deli now offers online ordering for pick-up in their store.



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so now it is a staple here and available for any sandwich,” she continued. And when special catering requests started coming in, they decided to make that part of their regular business plan. “A lot of times if you order a sandwich platter from somewhere you can get a set number of sandwiches and only select options are available. We are offering more customization, so if you only have 17 people you aren’t forced to purchase a 20 sandwich tray that will go to waste,” explained Dave. They also offer free delivery on catering orders to schools in the area.



LOX & CREAM CHEESE Smoked salmon, onions, tomato, capers and cream cheese on your choice of bagel, bread or wrap.

CALIFORNIA CLUB Roasted turkey, pepper jack cheese, crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion, veggie cream cheese and ranch.

BUFFALO CHICKEN CLUB Grilled buffalo chicken, crispy bacon, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and ranch, served as a sandwich or wrap.

In another effort to serve the community, they often extend their hours depending on what’s going on in the park. For example, opening early on a race day for vendors/ staff who might be at the park early setting up for an event. Regular hours are Mon-Sat, 7am-8pm and Sunday, 8am-7pm. With highchairs available, a kid’s menu and customizable food options, they are also dedicated to maintaining a family-friendly environment. “We have seen so many kids grow up here,” Rita said about some of her regular, younger customers. “There was a little girl in here today that is in the third grade now and I have seen her coming in here with her parents since she was a baby.” When Rita and Dave opened Brown Bag seven years ago, they were rookies in the restaurant industry, but pro veterans in hospitality – and that level of customer service is what really counts in the long run. “You have to be a people person to do this. I love talking to and meeting my customers,” said Dave. Of course, it also helps that the menu is delicious! After seven years of successful business in Town Center Park, Dave and Rita plan on opening a second franchised location in metro Atlanta. They aren’t entirely sure where yet, but do know one thing they’re looking for: a community as supportive as the City of Suwanee has been. To which we say: good luck! 





Mark your calendars now because Explore Gwinnett’s Seoul of the South Food Tour is back! The 2018 tour dates are May 12th, June 16th, August 18th and September 29th. A few of us had the opportunity last year to jump on the Seoul Train (actually, it was an old-fashioned trolley, which is even cooler) and experience this one-of-a-kind Korean food tour through Gwinnett.



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One item that was not on our tasting menu for the day was brought out as a surprise extra: Bibimbap – a traditional Korean dish of rice, sautéed vegetables and thinly sliced beef topped with a fried egg.

A WALK THROUGH OUR K-TOWN EXPERIENCE: ll aboard! A group of about 30 local foodies met at Explore Gwinnett’s office on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth where we checked in and received a goody bag stuffed with Korean snacks, candy, coffee mix, knick-knacks and beer to kick off the day. We then climbed aboard the authentic, historic trolley to head out to four different restaurants that were already excitedly preparing plates upon plates of delicious food for us. Our tour guide for the day was the energetic, fun and knowledgeable Sarah Park, Explore Gwinnett’s International Marketing Coordinator. Park is native to Korea and very passionate about sharing parts of her culture and especially the foods that she grew up with. In fact, that is why Explore Gwinnett started the Seoul of the South food tour two years ago: in order to support the local Korean community and introduce others in the area to foods and restaurants that they might drive by every single day but might not otherwise try. “My wife Cassie studied abroad in South Korea and really enjoys the food. I wanted to try something new but never would have thought of going to these particular restaurants before, but am glad we did,” said participant, Clarke Glidewell. En route to the restaurants, Park shared interesting tidbits of information about the Korean community in Gwinnett, as well as personal stories about being a transplant in the area. Gwinnett County is a huge draw for the 120,000+ Koreans who live in Georgia. In fact, it boasts the largest Korean community in the Southeast U.S. And, while many Gwinnettians are proud to live in such a diverse area, there is also a tendency for people to stay within their “comfort zones.” But, we were about to dive in headfirst.



Jang Su Jang

Many of the dishes were brought in bowls along with a variety of “banchan” or small side dishes meant to be mixed-in with your main entrée and shared around the table. All “banchan” sides are complimentary and include seasonal veggies, sauces, kimchi, glass noodles, bean sprouts and more.

3645 SATELLITE BLVD., DULUTH, GA 30096 As soon as the trolley rolled up to Jang Su Jang we were excitedly greeted by the owner You Lee and the servers. On the menu was Haemul Pajeon - a seafood scallion pancake, Sonndubu Jjigae – soft tofu stew, Bossam – boiled pork belly wraps and Satae Jjim – braised beef shank. Jang Su Jang turned out to be a favorite for many and set the tone for what was about to be a very satisfying day. “After experiencing Jang Su Jang on the tour we later took my family back there to celebrate my brother’s birthday,” said Glidewell.

Traditional “Soon” (soft) Tofu Soups are made with soft custard like tofu in a rich broth and are customized with a variety of flavors, add-ins and different spice levels.

 Our Seoul of the South tour guide, Sarah Park, explained every dish that came out to our group and shared how they are traditionally eaten in Korean culture.




Seo Ra Beol 3040 STEVE REYNOLDS BLVD., DULUTH, GA 30096 Seo Ra Beol is a traditional Korean BBQ style restaurant that is open 24 hours a day – perfect for when the late night munchies hit but you don’t feel like fast food. On our menu was: Galbi – beef short rib, Galbi-tang – beef short rib soup, Japchae – stir fried glass noodles and vegetables and Gyeran-Jjim – a traditional steamed egg dish which Park explained is a favorite comfort food for many Koreans “like how chicken noodle soup is for Americans.”



Harue Korean Chicken Snack Bar 585 PEACHTREE INDUSTRIAL BLVD. #122, DULUTH, GA 30096 When most people think of KFC they think of Kentucky fried chicken. But, in Korea (and in Gwinnett) it also means Korean fried chicken. Harue served traditional “bar food” or “snack food” or what I liked to call deep-fried goodness. On our menu was: Tteok-bokki – spicy stir-fried rice cake, Korean Fried Chicken – half spicy, half sweet & sour, Gimbap – seaweed rice rolls and Twigim – tempura (a very popular street food for students in Korea).



Café Rothem 3585 PEACHTREE INDUSTRIAL BLVD. #128, DULUTH, GA 30096

Short ribs are popular in cuisines worldwide, but Korean kitchens have a particular knack for preparing Galbi (beef short ribs) marinated in soy sauce, pear, kiwi, garlic, ginger, sugar and cornstarch. We learned that in Korean culture, many special occasions and celebrations call for Galbi.



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One of the best parts of this food tour was the large variety of foods, including our last stop to a Korean coffee house. There we tried: Yujacha tea or citron tea, a green plum tea slushy, Misugaru – a traditional drink made from grain powder, Korean pastries and waffles with red bean filling and classic coffee made using an old-fashioned siphon drip, right at our tables. A highlight of Café Rothem was a special surprise performance from In-Hong Cha, a wheelchair sport gold medalist and famous violinist.


Inside Café Rothem you will find yourself surrounded by a large library of books. They encourage people to grab a cup of coffee, sit back, relax, read or enjoy live music and conversation.

 Four restaurants and four hours later, a new group of Korean food enthusiasts emerged. On Explore Gwinnett’s website, Park eloquently explains the purpose of the tour: “In Gwinnett County, there’s a different kind of soul. Not so much deep fried as marinated…It’s the Seoul kind of soul, Korean food, and it’s swinging with Atlanta’s Southern culinary scene in a song that’s being sung all over our county… It’s about seeing two cultures start to understand and appreciate one another. Cuisine is just the starting point for what I hope will be better cultural understanding and more open dialogue.” And, along with very full, very satisfied bellies, that is exactly what the day achieved for us: an understanding of and appreciation for our neighbors. 



20 ____ 18 S u wa n e e A M E R I C A N C R A F T ‘18

GUIDE On March 17th, 2018, thousands of beer lovers will once again descend on beautiful Town Center Park for the 8th annual Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest, the biggest craft beer festival in the Southeast. And though it has always aligned itself with St. Patrick’s Day, this year’s festival will be bigger and better than ever because it’s the first year it takes place on the actual holiday, so St. Paddy’s-themed revelry will flow freely alongside more than 350 unlimited craft beer samples.





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uwanee Beer Fest

is always attempting to outdo itself, and this year is no different. From upping the number of beers on hand to finding new and exciting breweries to add to the lineup, the festival will have a range of pours that are sure to delight both experienced beer drinkers and novices alike. This year, Suwanee Beer Fest organizers are planning for more than half of the brews on hand to be ones that most people either haven’t heard of or haven’t been able to try before - these aren’t the typical beers you’ll find lining the shelves of your local grocery store. These are beers that will excite your taste buds and  Drop your token at possibly introduce you to your favorite Georgia brewery’s tent. your new favorite brewery... The winner will be announced at the end of the fest.


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 The festival wouldn’t be possible without its amazing volunteers. Sign up at

Don’t forget to wear green or you just might get pinched!

For the third year in a row, Suwanee Beer Fest will represent its home state with an exclusive Georgia Beer Garden, where attendees will be able to sample from more than 30 breweries who call the Peach State home. Many local breweries will make their Suwanee Beer Fest debut this year, including Variant Brewing Company, Good Word Brewing, New Realm Brewing, Piedmont Brewery, Akademia, Torched Hop Brewpub, Oconee Brewing Co., and Slow Pour Brewing. There will also be more than 100 national breweries

represented throughout the festival who will be showcasing their new and covetable beers to make this a one-of-a-kind tasting experience. And since there’s so much to dive into this year, we’ve dedicated the next few pages to breaking down all of the fun to be had. From the Georgia Brew Battle and Home Brew Competition to the VIP experience, live entertainment, games and food, there’s a lot to digest. And if you haven’t bought your tickets to the festival, log on to and snag them before they sell out!



Live Entertainment here are two types of lineups that truly make a beer festival. The first is a lineup of great breweries pouring quality beers — check! — and the second is a lineup of live entertainment that will turn your drinking shoes into dancing shoes — double check! This year two performers will be gracing the Suwanee Beer Fest main stage. Singer/songwriter Joe Hall is fresh off his highly enjoyable set at Suwanee Wine Fest and ready to rock again. Born and raised in Dacula, Georgia, Joe has had a lifelong passion for music. He has opened up for country stars such as Bill Gentry and Heidi Newfield, and is sure to get the Beer Fest crowd up on their feet dancing! In addition to Joe Hall, Atlanta’s favorite party band, The Geeks, will also be performing. What started out as a local cover band dressing up for Halloween turned into the increasingly popular, party rockin’ entertainment outfit with a strong foundation of “guilty pleasure” songs - perfect for a beerdrinkin’ crowd who knows the adage “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” is one to live by.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA Former Stone Brewing Brewmaster, Mitch Steele's new brewhouse and restaurant in the heart of Atlanta just off the Beltline is full of fresh-off-the-tank craft beer.

ATHENS, GEORGIA Akademia opened the doors in 2017 with the hope that its concept will become synonymous with the classic city by drawing inspiration from the long history of a community established and thriving off the foundation of higher education.

ROSWELL, GEORGIA Variant’s goal is to create a unique drinking experience and craft a beer for everybody. They modify their traditional recipes and experiment with various adjuncts, unique grain bills, hop schedules and yeasts to create a wide variety of traditional and nontraditional styles.

Fun and Games This year’s festival will see the return of Giant Jenga and Peach State Cornhole (both activities that pair well with beer), but it’s also adding Xtreme AirBalls to the fun. Festival attendees can jump into a large inflatable ball for some friendly competition — think the hamster wheel version of a sumo suit. There will be a portioned-off section of the park dedicated to fun, so get your drinking buddies together for some friendly competition. Just don’t spill your beer!

MACON, GEORGIA This middle Georgia brewpub offers handcrafted beer, honest food and a family-friendly urban arcade.



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 The Geeks perform a solid mix of the most popular songs from the last four decades, across all genres. Get ready to sing along!




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ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA Located in Asheville, Burial Beer Co. crafts Belgian-inspired ales, and bold American styles with a dedication to creativity, tradition, modernization, and preservation.


THE 2018 VIP Experience This year’s VIP tent, sponsored by Choice One Urgent Care, is designed with the true beer connoisseur in mind. There will be a selection of 30+ beers, including one-offs, casks, specialty brews and more. A small sampling of available beers includes Lazy Hiker’s Twentymile IPA, Hi-Wire’s Citra Gose, and Good Word's Golden Unicorn Mango Milkshake IPA. Marlow’s Tavern, known for being the “best of the best” in American tavern fare, is back and will design a menu exclusively for the VIP tent. Marlow’s has offered a sneak peek of the menu, which includes beer cheese with pretzel bread, shrimp and grits, herb-marinated chicken, sausage with Creole sauce, bourbon bread pudding, and a ham carving station. Dimensional Design, a local design and branding firm, returns as a sponsor and has partnered with event organizers to create a one-of-akind experience to the VIP area. With exclusive beers, a meal catered specifically for VIP ticket holders, and one hour early entry to the festival, this experience sets the standard for beer festivals.

Located in historic downtown LaGrange, Wild Leap’s name speaks to the conviction of the two founders, who left successful career paths to follow their passion of creating a better-tasting craft beer. It’s also a nod to celebrating that important first step that sets a dream in motion.

BRYSON CITY, NORTH CAROLINA Located in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Nantahala Brewing artfully brews award-winning craft beer made with fresh hops, whole grains, and clean, crisp Smoky Mountain water, from one of the purest, protected watersheds on the planet.

FRANKLIN, NORTH CAROLINA Lazy Hiker brews great craft beer in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Brews include Uncle Lewis’s Holiday IPA, Single Track Series: Volume 1 - Lemondrop, and The Trail of Darkness BBA Imperial Stout.


Home Brew Competition The 7th annual Suwanee Beer Fest Home Brew Competition sees over 300 unique home brewed beers entered each year, with categories such as Light Lager, Pilsner, Light Hybrid and Speciality Beer. Last year, Best in Show Winner was Sean Stephenson with his Imperial Stout. Beers in this competition are judged based on a strict set of criteria, including: mouthfeel, aroma, appearance, flavor and overall impression. The highest score possible is a 50 – which judges have yet to award. Judging for this BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) begins on Saturday, March 10th, with the winners of each category moving on to compete for Best in Show on the day of the festival, March 17th. The “Best in Show” victor will be crowned on stage at the event. For more information on how to enter the competition, visit Home brewing is a mix of passion, art and science. For those who are interested in learning more about how to brew and want to consider entering the competition next year, Brew Depot  Home Brew judges offers “Home Brewing” take their jobs very seriously, rating each and “Wine Making” beer on a strict set of classes that will criteria. appeal to those who want to try it out as a hobby or are thinking about it as a career.



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B e n e f i t i n g C o o p e r’s C r e w NEW!

While there is much merriment to be had at Suwanee Beer Fest, the event organizers are also dedicated to giving back and supporting the community and will donate a large portion of proceeds to local charities. This year’s benefiting organization is Cooper’s Crew, a Suwaneebased organization created in honor of Cooper O’Brien, who lost his battle to a rare form of cancer at the young age of 14. Cooper’s Crew provides funding for research and development to find a cure for childhood cancer as well as scholarships for young men and women facing challenging circumstances. So while you’re sipping samples of your new favorite craft brew or participating in a hoppedup version of an Irish jig, remember that your participation in the festival helps support the Cooper’s Crew Fund and the Cooper O’Brien Scholarship Fund, which grants scholarships to three graduating seniors at North Gwinnett High School each year who have overcome unique hardships. Please join us in raising funds and awareness for childhood cancer and to celebrate Cooper’s legacy. For more information on Cooper’s Crew, visit

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OPELIKA, ALABAMA Red Clay Brewing Company is a brewery and taproom located in downtown Opelika, and has its roots firmly entrenched in the South. “Opelika” is a Muskogee word meaning Big Swamp, and this became the inspiration for one of Red Clay’s first beers, Big Swamp Stout.


St. Patrick’s Day Festivities his year’s festival has the honor of taking place on the St. Patrick’s Day holiday - and what goes better with St. Patrick’s Day than beer?! This year there will be much Irish revelry to be had, including an Irish Beer Tent that will serve up green beer for those who are feeling extra festive. So don head-to-toe green and collect your best lucky charms for an afternoon of merriment and special Irish entertainment including:

BAGPIPE PLAYER: The crowd will be welcomed into the festival by the sweet sounds of bagpipes as they make their way into the park and to their beer destinations, setting the mood for the afternoon’s festivities.

Golden Road has been brewing craft beer in L.A. since 2011. Its lineup includes Point the Way IPA, Wolf Among Weeds IPA, 329 Lager, and Get Up Offa That Brown.

OAKLAND PARK, FLORIDA Founded in 2010, Funky Buddha Brewery is committed to producing bold craft beers that marry culinary-inspired ingredients with time-honored technique. Its lineup includes year-round brews Floridian Hefeweizen and Hop Gun IPA, along with specialty releases such as No Crusts Peanut Butter and Jelly Brown Ale and the highly sought after Maple Bacon Coffee Porter.

DRAKE SCHOOL OF IRISH DANCE: Drake School of Irish Dance is one of the most prestigious Irish Dance Schools in the United States. The dancers hold competitive achievements including Regional and National Champions as well as World Medal holders. In addition to the live musical entertainment, the Drake Irish Dancers are sure to get festival-goers in the St. Paddy’s mood. TAMPA, FLORIDA 7venth Sun opened in 2012 in Dunedin, Florida, by partners who met while working at SweetWater Brewing in Atlanta. 7venth Sun produces Belgian-style beer, IPAs, second use spirit barrel aged beer, and oak aged sour beer.


What's Brewing

A FRESH APPROACH TO SUPPORTING LOCAL CRAFT BREWERIES THE FRESH MARKET SUWANEE HAS PARTNERED WITH GWINNETT’S FIRST BREWERY, SLOW POUR BREWING COMPANY IN LAWRENCEVILLE, TO BE THE FIRST RETAIL OUTLET FOR THE BREWERY'S PACKAGED BEER. STORY BY ALICIA CARTER The Fresh Market Suwanee is a proud sponsor of the 2018 Suwanee Beer Fest. Their continued support of the local festival is no surprise, given the importance the specialty grocery store places on being an active member of the community. The Fresh Market prides itself on sourcing and partnering with local businesses to deliver better, fresher products and make a positive impact on the local economy. As an example of this, The Fresh Market has partnered with Gwinnett’s first brewery, Slow Pour Brewing Company in Lawrenceville, to bring the breweries first-ever cans in a retail location to the community. Beginning this March, shoppers will be able to purchase cans of Slow Pour’s Cotillion Blonde Ale and Nostalgia IPA at select locations including The Fresh Market Suwanee. According to the stores General Manager Jim Healy, “We are excited to be the first retail outlet for Gwinnett’s first craft brewery’s packaged beer. Partnering with local businesses to bring our customers the best and freshest products while supporting the community is at the essence of what we are about at The Fresh Market.” During Suwanee Beer Fest, be sure to visit the Social Lounge, where The Fresh Market aims to bring a unique, delicious experience to festival-goers. With a great line up of beer from Slow Pour, samples of delicious Irish Bangers grilled - Jim Healy, General Manager, to perfection by The Fresh Market The Fresh Market Suwanee chefs and sought after Kerrygold cheese, and located right in the middle of the action in the center of Town Center Park, the Fresh Market experience is one you don’t want to miss. With exceptional customer service and wholesome, quality foods and products, The Fresh Market is truly a neighborhood market. The Fresh Market Suwanee is located at 1500 Peachtree Industial Blvd. in Suwanee, or visit them at 

Partnering with local businesses to bring our customers the best and freshest products while supporting the community is at the essence of what we are about at The Fresh Market.”

John Reynolds, Founder of Slow Pour Brewing in Lawrenceville and Jim Healy, GM of The Fresh Market in Suwanee are looking forward to introducing Slow Pour’s Cotillion Blonde Ale and Nostalgia IPA to the local market.



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Good Word Brewing & Public House is a place to meet up, to connect, to commiserate, to celebrate and enjoy real-time moments with friends and family – over great food and great drinks. STORY BY: RACHEL PILLOW I PHOTOS BY: WALT WOODEN Dave Blanchard of the Brick Store Pub. “Those hen Todd DiMatteo and Ryan guys have been nothing but supportive: they are Skinner began working at the our business partners,” said DiMatteo. They also legendary Brick Store Pub in have Andrew Case, CFO and Kyle Geppesen, Head Decatur over a decade ago they had Brewer to thank for making no idea they Good Word a reality. were laying the framework to When DiMatteo and pursue a lifelong dream – and Skinner began searching for that was to open their own the perfect place to open a restaurant and beer bar. It brewpub they searched all also led to the realization of across metro Atlanta, in and new aspirations: owning and outside the perimeter. Then operating a brewery. After one summer night, Skinner, three long, tedious years who lives in Suwanee, had of plotting and planning, invited DiMatteo and his DiMatteo and Skinner family to an outdoor concert officially opened the doors in downtown Duluth to see of Good Word Brewing and Atlanta southern rock band, Public House in downtown Todd DiMatteo and Ryan Skinner in their highly anticipated Drivin’ N Cryin’. That night Duluth in November of 2017. brewpub in downtown Duluth. it hit them. “There were But, admittedly, the Good literally thousands of people out here. People were Word Co-Owners would not be where they are walking around with beers in hand, hanging out today without the fundamental relationships and with friends and family…it was safe, it was clean, partnerships of Mike Gallagher, Tom Moore and


it was fun…we knew this is where we needed to be, that this was the community we wanted to be part of,” said DiMatteo. Both Skinner and DiMatteo have young families of their own and creating a familyfriendly environment was of the utmost importance to them. “You don’t need to get a babysitter to come here. Bring the family, bring the whole group,” they said. Insider tip: the kids on the mural inside the restaurant are theirs. The name “Good Word” and the typewriter logo stem from their core concept of communication. “We want to set the backdrop for people’s evenings: a place for them to meet up, to connect, to commiserate, to celebrate. We chose the typewriter icon because it speaks to a time before cell phones took over,” said Skinner. In a nod to their Brick Store Pub roots, you will also not find any TVs inside Good Word Brewing & Public House. “Conversation is king and TVs distract from that,” explained DiMatteo.

While the approach may seem unconventional for a modern bar, really it is just about getting us back to connecting, unplugging and enjoying real-time



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While the approach may seem unconventional for a modern bar, really it is just about getting us back to connecting, unplugging and enjoying real-time moments with friends and family – over great food and great drinks. The guys at Good Word Brewing know their beer: they have been living in that world for years. They have long-established relationships with nearly every brewery in Georgia and are not shy about collaboration either. While you’ll find several hoppy IPAs on rotation, you’ll also always have some “easy drinking pub beers” as they like to call them. At just 3.6% ABV, Rocksteady is an English Mild that they claim you can “drink all day and still party all night long,” or you could go for a “super crushable” Nose Dive Pale Ale at 5% ABV that is made with Motueka and Centennial Hops, orange zest and cantaloupe. Don’t worry though, hop heads, they’re making brews for you, too: Weak Fantasy Imperial IPA comes in at 8.8%, “a hop monster throwing massive dank and a healthy bitterness.” The Good Word bar is also mixing up some unique southern-inspired cocktail specialties as well to pair with their Southern and Puerto Rican inspired menu. In another communal effort, they encourage guests to share dishes like the Puerto Rican Poutine braised pork shoulder with fries, gravy, melted cheese, fried poblanos and pico de gallo. It is evident that Skinner and DiMatteo genuinely care about their guests, taking the time to greet and speak to each one of their patrons. “You will never hear anyone say, ‘I’ll let your DiMatteo and Skinner knew server know.’ Everyone is they wanted to here for them, for whatever open a beer bar they need,” said Skinner. and restaurant, and though the Currently, Good Word brewery game Brewing & Public House is is new to them, open for dinner from 5pm – they’re creating recipes that 11pm on weekdays and 5pm keep customers – midnight on weekends, coming back for with plans to open for lunch more. later this spring. On any given day, guests are able to take drinks to go if they’d like to walk around downtown Duluth and enjoy the shops or one of the events going on in the Town Green. “We are really looking forward to being a part of the events in Duluth this summer – this place is really alive and we are excited to be part of this community.” 


2018 Suwanee Beer Fest is once again giving the power to the people with its annual Georgia Brew Battle, where local attending breweries will put their best beer forward to compete for the title of Georgia’s Best Beer. Each festival attendee will receive a token upon entry that they can then use to cast a vote for their favorite Georgia brewery. Peruse the Georgia Craft Beer Garden and sample from more than 30 local breweries like Jekyll, Bluetarp, Cherry Street, Monday Night, Wild Heaven, Creature Comforts, Steady Hand, Scofflaw, Reformation and more, who will be pouring alongside Suwanee Beer Fest newbies

Dry County Brewing’s Neon Berries Berliner Weisse brewed with blackberries took home the title at last year’s fest.

like From the Earth, Slow Pour, Oconee, Good Word, Variant, and New Realm, among others. Once you’ve had your fill, simply place the token in the bucket of your chosen beer and they’ll tally the results near the end of the festival to crown the top brew. The winner will take home the coveted Golden Cup Trophy - and bragging rights, of course. 2017’s reigning champs Dry County Brewing will be back. Will they reclaim the throne? Let the best brew win!



Be Safe! The 2018 Suwanee Beer Fest organizers are dedicated to the safety of all festival attendees, and want to ensure safe travel for everyone with the following options:

RIDES: Uber has set up a code for first time users for a free ride up to $20: RideSBF18. Go to Lyft will be onsite and available to help festival-goers book rides on the spot.

FREE SHUTTLES:  Twisted Taco Suwanee

3433 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road Twisted Taco will provide free parking and a shuttle to and from the festival for ticket holders.

 Tannery Row Ale House

554 W. Main St., Buford Tannery Row will run a shuttle to and from the festival and offer free parking. Join them after the festival for their St. Patrick’s Day party with live music, food, drink specials and more.


Comfort Inn & Suites



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678-714-7707 2945 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road Offering festival attendees an exclusive discounted rate of $89 per night. Just mention Suwanee Beer fest when booking!



S u wa n e e A M E R I C A N C R A F T

The Food Court


Soak up those beer samples with some of these tasty bites at the food court!

Affectionately dubbed the “Antonio Banderas” of food trucks, Tex’s Tacos is nothing short of suavé — a fully equipped restaurant on wheels that serves up a delicious array of “Nueva Texicana” eats with style and grace.

The Pickle serves up a delicious mix of Tex-Mex, Southern and Bayou specialties including chicken and green chile quesadillas, fish tacos and etouffée.



Atlanta’s newest food truck and catering service that serves a menu of burgers, chicken and waffles, grilled cheese, fries, grit fritters, mac and cheese and more.

As seen on ABC's hit show, SHARK TANK, Cinnaholic prepares award-winning gourmet cinnamon rolls in unique and addicting flavors.



Bust’n Butts BBQ is a catering/food truck established in 2013 by David and Tammie Bailey. From their large sandwiches, BNB nachos, and more, they want customers to remember their BBQ and service to understand their motto: “We’re Bust’n Butts So You Don’t Have To.”

Daddy O’Brien’s recently won a Best of Gwinnett 2017 award for its traditional yet modern Irish recipes, including gourmet ice cream, sandwiches, soups, and more.

Spice Wing’s mission is to deliver a unique wing experience that tastes like a trip around the world with a variety of wing spices, crazy fries, chicken and waffles and more.

Atlanta's own SMASH Juices are made to be a daily source of nutrients, while tasting great. Created in small batches, they take a culinary approach to craft their mixes, so they taste great and are great for you.





Atlanta’s favorite small-batch popsicle company keeps it simple, with wholesome ingredients and lots of taste.

Marco’s Pizza specializes in Italian-American cuisine and everyone’s favorite: pizza!



Tom + Chee is the grilled cheese and tomato soup shop for the kid at heart, mixing classic comfort food with fresh ingredients, healthy alternatives, and a flair for the unexpected.


Stop by and check out Dunwoody Café’s gyros, Philly cheesesteaks, burgers, Italian sausage hoagies, hot dogs and more.



Festival Vendors As you stroll through the park, take a break between sips to shop and take advantage of the exclusive beer fest deals, giveaways and offerings from these local businesses who will be on-site.

All State Packaging provides creative, reliable and sustainable packaging to serve the craft beer and food community.

334.745.6239 I ALTA is a non-profit organization devoted to the development of tennis for recreation and physical fitness. They pledge to maintain the rules of play and high standards of sportsmanship.

770.399.5788 I 1967 Vintage camper turned into a unique photo booth in the interior. Rent for your next event and you won’t be disappointed!

770.862.4170 I If you love jerky, try the best jerky in America from Beef Jerky Outlet with over 100 different flavors! Made with American grown beef. Don’t settle for inferior mass market jerky! Stop by their tent to try free samples.

706.520.0209 I John Burdges is running for Superior Court Judge for Gwinnett County. Stop by his booth to learn more.

770.317.5640 I Cellenials is a group of millennials that have been fixing cell phones since 2000. Over the years they had worked for big corporations as their master techs. They guarantee to handle your phone with the upmost integrity. No one around has more experience, and takes more pride in fixing phones.

404.414.5356 I Craftsmen Contractors is a full-service remodeling contractor. They specialize in windows, siding, and roof replacement. Call and save today! Find them online at

678.567.6679 I Full service travel agency specializing in world travel experiences! They are located in Buford and ready to book your next vacation!

470.326.5633 I Ever Dry Waterproofing is a home improvement company specializing in basement and foundation repair work. Waterproofing your home? Call them today!

678.741.2900 I



Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 18


Specializing in all-inclusive lawn maintenance and landscape services including design and installation in and around Suwanee, Sugar Hill and Buford. Fully licensed, insured, experienced and educated in horticulture, they work well with HOAs. Their focus is in providing superior service while building long-lasting professional relationships.

wa n e e A M E R I C A N A creative design team that specializes Sin ucraft beer maps and custom artwork. They work hard and play harder! Do what you‘18 love, and love what you do…that’s their motto!


704.897.7000 I

678.677.3814 I The Gwinnett Sports Commission works to utilize Gwinnett’s topnotch facilities and superior hospitality to sporting events including youth, collegiate, amateur and professional organizations. The Sports Commission provides awareness and support of athletic programs and organizations in our community to those that not only live in Gwinnett but are visiting as well.

888.494.6638 I Rick Tapia is the founder and creator of J.R. Revelry Bourbon Whiskey, an award winning 90 proof bourbon that provides a unique, smooth taste for new and existing craft whiskey enthusiasts and connoisseurs. J.R. Revelry was created by Rick as a result of his passion for American Whiskey.

917.642.5642 I Explore Gwinnett, the county’s tourism office, is responsible for marketing Gwinnett County as a destination. They provide information on hotels, local events, attractions, restaurants and more. Explore Gwinnett is the go-to resource for anyone looking for what to do or where to stay in Gwinnett.

888-494-6638 I If you’re looking for a thrill, you’ve come to the right place! Their Atlanta indoor go-kart racing facility is a world-class entertainment venue that is sure to keep you and your friends grinning from ear to ear for the duration of your visit.

678.367.2857 I Check out Killer Ink Tattoos! Award winning Best of Gwinnett for the last three years! If you haven’t already seen their new shop, stop by 1620 Buford Highway in Buford and visit their amazing staff.

770.271.7566 I LuLaRoe is a company providing a chance for women of all sizes to shop and find the perfect outfit that is not only comfortable and fashionable but gives them confidence! If you haven’t tried these amazing clothes, it’s time!

770.545.4371 With Metro PCS, what you see is what you get. Taxes and fees are included in their plans, and there are no annual contracts. Now “that’s wireless figured out!”

470.326.5232 I Feast your eyes on a 2-hour live tournament while you feast on a 4-course meal fit for royalty! Pure Spanish horses, authentic sword fights, jousting, and more!

888.935.6878 I At Topgolf, their goal is to help you create unfortgettable experiences with friends and family. Each venue features fun and competitive golf games for everyone, climate controlled “bays”, an impressive food and drink menu and private spaces for groups. With their HDTVs and awesome music selection, every visit feels like a party!

Peach State Cornhole offers social and competitive leagues throughout greater Atlanta. Don't miss your chance to connect and compete for a chance to win great prizes! Sign up for their spring league today at You must be registered by March 18th.

678.835.8090 I Renewal by Andersen is the full-service Window and Door Replacement Division of Andersen Corporation, the most trusted family of window brands in America. RbA is committed to giving you the best customer experience through the combination of the best people in the industry, a superior process, and exclusive product.

678.381.8951 I The Tastiest Crunch in the South! Stop by the Southern Recipe tent to taste their world famous pork rinds, made fresh in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

419.648.3611 I Safeguard offers state of the art security options. “Protect your home and business from crime, fire, or medical emergencies with security provided by Safeguard.”

404.998.5634 I All-natural, handcrafted jerky and hot sauce made with ingredients that belong in a kitchen, not in a lab!

866.958.2444 I Hand-made wine glass wineyards for a hands-free wine experience. New for Suwanee Beer Fest, “The Brewyard”. Make your beer tasting hands-free and fun! Also selling the hangover cure, “The Rally-Patch”.

256.335.0741 I Itz Spritz, an innovative new alcoholic beverage delivers the simplified, yet elevated high quality spritz experience that consumers have been waiting for, featuring bright, vibrant aromatics, crisp full flavors and the refreshing effervescence of a classic spritz. Aligned with the lifestyle and dietary desires of the modern day consumer, Itz Spritz uses only natural flavors and ingredients, and is 100 percent gluten free. Check them out on instagram.

864.517.5505 I The health and well being of our pets is one of the most important aspects of our lives. They understand that solid nutritional choices are the foundation of a healthy lifestyle for both humans and our companions Their hand-crafted dog treats reflect this philosophy.

570.476.5624 I Xtreme Airballs provides great family fun in a competitive but exciting way! They have 25 AirBalls for all different ages and sizes to get into, knock around, roll around, play contact soccer & other fun games! They are available to book for many different events and parties! You’ll have Xtreme fun!

504.307.7931 I

404.475.4000 I


Special Thanks






Hardware The Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest would not be where it is today without the support & Hardware greatly to this event’s success. Please support event sponsors and stop by their tents &Mower

Mower S&S

No matter what your legal need is, Jeff Pruitt with &S the Pruitt Law Firm S is always on your side! From criminal defense to entertainment law, family law or real estate, The Pruitt Law Firm is dedicated to Hardware serving as your community attorney.









Proudly serving NE Georgia for almost 30 years from their two locations in Buford and Braselton. Stop by their new location in S&S Buford! They stock just about everything you could ever need for your home improvement Hardware &M we r happy to offer friendly projects andoare always advice and expert guidance to their customers.


ChoiceOne Urgent Care has partnered with Gwinnett Medical Center to bring you convenient and accessible healthcare when you need it most. They provide cost-effective, immediate care for a variety of non-emergent illnesses and injuries. Conveniently located in Sugar Hill and Hamilton Mill. Walk-ins welcome or reserve your spot online.


SH: 470-326-7600 I HM: 470-326-7300


Your neighborhood dentist office proudly serving the Cumming, Suwanee and Sugar Hill communities since Dec. 2016. With advanced technology, such as digital charts, digital x-rays and CEREC CAD/CAM, they can create single-visit crowns allowing care that’s faster, less invasive and more efficient than ever before. They also offer teeth whitening, veneers and oral surgery.

Since 1970, Buford’s Frazier's Harley-Davidson has built a reputation on having a passion for what they do and making the customer feel appreciated. They offer new and used motorcycles, street bikes and more and carry the latest Harley-Davidson® models as well as parts, service and financing.

678-203-3395 Built on the bonds of friendship, Guinness has been around for over 200 years after being established in Dublin, Ireland. Beers, bonds, and brewers complete the make-up of such a rich history. Guinness will be celebrating its 200-year anniversary as a beer in the United States. Stop by the Guinness tent and try their new beer: Irish Wheat! 84


Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 18

Offering an extensive selection of spirits, beer and wine, including rare, boutique, and small production wines as well as a large selection of local craft beer. Certified, experienced and knowledgeable staff. Voted Best of Gwinnett - Gwinnett Daily Post Reader's Choice Awards the last four years and voted Best of Gwinnett – Gwinnett Magazine six years running.


Georgia’s #1 home brewing store since 1997. Huge product selection in 3600 sq. ft. store and at Same day shipping on most orders. Brewing classes available in dedicated brewing facility.

770-645-1777 I

to all the



S u wa n e e A M E R I C A N C R A F T ‘18

of its amazing sponsors. A huge THANK YOU to the wonderful businesses that contribute many of them are dishing out free samples and hosting awesome contest or giveaways! The Fresh Market is Suwanee’s neighborhood food market & premium quality local produce store. From their array of local products, delicious and wholesome food options, to their sensational staff and exceptional customer service, The Fresh Market has become an iconic business in the Suwanee community. Stop by their tent for delicious food samples.

The Gwinnett Stripers, Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, play at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, GA, less than two miles from the Mall of Georgia. The new-look Stripers, named for striped bass fishing on Lake Lanier, have an exciting 2018 season planned with fun for the whole family! Visit for more info on promotions, game dates and tickets.

678.714.0976 I

678.277.0300 I

Since 1995, Express Color has specialized in full service large format digital printing, finishing and custom installation services throughout the southeast. They utilize six of the latest LED UV printers and print in sizes up to ten feet. Their arsenal also consists of finishing equipment including CNC routers, cutters, plotters, guillotine, laminators, indoor spray booth, and a staff with combined experience of over 100 years.

Big Peach Running Co. carries a wide range of footwear, apparel and accessories from the leading manufacturers to meet all of your needs. Their entire staff embraces the lifestyle they promote and ensures that every aspect of your fitness routine is properly addressed! Present this coupon for $10 off a purchase of $50 or more!

678-869-5012 I

404.505.1800 I Servicing Greater Atlanta since 2001, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® teams are licensed, insured, and bonded and have earned an A+ from the Better Business Bureau year after year. They pride themselves on the absolute best customer service and will stop at nothing to ensure every customer completes their move with an incredible experience.

Lemonade for grownups since 1999, featuring amazingly refreshing flavors, including classic hard lemonade, pink lemonade, strawberry, lime, peach and more! Stop by their tent for samples of Mike’s Hard Lemonade; Cayman Jack Margaritas made with blue agave nectar and organic limes; and their newest product, White Claw Hard Seltzer.

770-457-0111 I

An integrated design and branding firm, focused on an array of marketing tools such as tradeshow exhibits, retail displays, marketing and corporate interiors, signage and graphics. They create brand-focused designs and take them from the creative brief through design, fabrication and implementation. Stop by and see them in the Social Lounge Tent to try your luck at GIANT Jenga!

From website development to social media management to copywriting, package design, billboard design, brochures, print ads and more – this award-winning firm offers premium graphic design for all your marketing needs. Call today for a free marketing consultation or quote on your next project.

678-376-1550 I

Veugeler Design Group

678-482-2270 I 85












Cooper O'Brien Sportsmanship Award Awarded to North Gwinnett Students Greater Atlanta Christian New Performing Arts Center ■ The greater Atlanta arts community gained a new performance venue this winter. The Performing Arts Center (PAC) at Greater Atlanta Christian School opened on February 1st, ushering in new opportunities for larger productions and stage performances on their campus. Combining the best of traditional stylings with state-ofthe-art acoustics, video and lighting, the facility can seat 950. Students are thrilled to have an additional space for performing arts since the current 400+ theater is packed tight with rehearsals and performances for drama, ballet, orchestra, choir, and band. The Performing Arts Center is located within the Greater Atlanta Christian School 88-acre campus, just 1/2 mile off exit 101 on I-85.  Rental of the facility for family-friendly performances will become available beginning summer 2018.

■ On January 13th, Kevin and Donna O’Brien awarded two deserving students from North Gwinnett the Cooper O’Brien Sportsmanship award. The Cooper O'Brien Sportsmanship award is about how you conduct yourself on the court but more importantly, off the court. The award goes to athletes who demonstrate characteristics Donna O'Brien congratulates such as being award winner, Chris Northrup. respectful of their teammates and coaches, their willingness to work hard and being supportive of others. Off the court, it is about how they make others around them better through

leadership, community, selflessness and just being a good person. This award is supported by the North Gwinnett Basketball Association (NGBA). Players are nominated by their coaches. Recipient, Sydney Barnett, 8th grader at North Gwinnett Middle School plays 8th grade and rec basketball. She is involved in DECA, band, drama and is on the student council. Additionally, Sydney started "Kicking Hunger," which provides food for the local co-op to help feed kids during the summer when school is out. Sydney is an inspiration and a great friend to others - an amazing young lady! The second recipient, Chris Northrup, Senior at North Gwinnett High School was a receiver on the NGHS championship football team. He is a member of the National Honors Society and a youth leader at Gwinnett Church Transit (the middle school ministry). Chris is a great mentor to the students he leads and a very selfless young man. He is destined for greatness!

Roberts Elementary School Celebrates MLK Day ■ Roberts Elementary School celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with their first school-wide service project. Through a grant from the Just Energy Foundation and Hands On Atlanta, they were able to build six garden beds and an outdoor classroom. With the help of over 70 volunteers including parents, students, staff, Principal Dr. Dion Jones' fraternity brothers, and the Georgia Gwinnett College Soccer Team, the school has some amazing outdoor spaces to enjoy for many years to come! Each grade level now has its own garden bed to take care of throughout the school year.



Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 18

Atlanta Havoc to Bring Pro Indoor Football to Buford ■ The Atlanta Havoc Havoc, a new pro arena football team will call the Buford City Arena home. The Havoc is an expansion franchise in the American Arena League, which has teams spanning the East Coast. The franchise is the second in the state, with the Georgia Doom calling Macon home. The Havoc are owned by Tim Viens, a NASCAR Camping Word Series and NASCAR Xfinity Racing Series driver. Viens also runs several business organizations including the Vermont Bucks arena football team. “I am very excited to be the person to bring professional arena football to the area. The

Buford-Atlanta area has a strong passion for sports that I believe will carry over to the Havoc,” says team owner, Tim Viens. The Havoc plan to have tailgating activities that begin three hours before kickoff with outdoor activities, including inflatables for children, climbing walls and face painting. Other pregame festivities will include a beer garden and live music. Tickets start at $8 for kids (17 & under) and $15 for adults. The season will kickoff with a March 17th home game against the Florida Tarpons and run through June 2nd. For more information, visit

Collins Hill Junior Wins 2018 State Diving Championship ■ On February 1st, Peter Smithson, Junior at Collins Hill High School successfully defended his 2017 title in the Class AAAAAAA and Class AAAAAA division of the state dive meet. Smithson scored a 602.00, which put him above the 600 mark for the second time, not far off the state record of 629.80. Colquitt County’s Parker Hardigree took second place, scoring 567.35. For Smithson, the win at State came after winning the third straight county title in January with a score of 605.8. Next up this year for Smithson is USA regionals in May, then zones in Fort Lauderdale, FL in June and finally USA nationals will take place at Georgia Tech in August.

Gwinnett Braves Rebrand as Gwinnett Stripers ■ After a six-month creative process that included input from the Atlanta Braves, sports marketing firm Brandiose and submissions from fans, the Gwinnett Baseball Club unveiled its new name, logos and uniform to the public in December. The Triple-A International League team will now be known as the Gwinnett Stripers. “We are excited to begin a new era as the Stripers,” said Vice President and General Manager, North Johnson. “Gwinnett County is known for offering a wide variety of outdoor activities, including year-round striped bass fishing on Lake Lanier. As the Stripers, we will honor that outdoor tradition while sporting a unique identity that fans across the region can embrace.” A total of 4,024 submissions and over 900 different names were sent in by fans during a “Name the Team” contest in May, and a selection committee narrowed the entries down to six finalists in July: Big Mouths, Buttons, Gobblers, Hush Puppies, Lambchops and Sweet Teas. With help from an online public vote, the selection committee initially decided on Big Mouths. Further discussion and development resulted in a change to the Stripers, a name that was included in the fan submissions but was not one of the six finalists. “Big Mouths was the inspiration that ultimately led to the Stripers,” said Johnson. “We felt focusing on the striped bass would better reflect our community, with Lake Lanier known as a premier destination for striped bass fishing and located just a short drive away from Coolray Field. The Stripers name perfectly fits the region while also having a timeless baseball feel.” The Gwinnett Stripers open the 2018 season with a road game on Friday, April 6 at 7:05 p.m. vs. the Norfolk Tides. The Stripers’ home opener at Coolray Field is set for Thursday, April 12 at 7:05 p.m. vs. the Rochester Red Wings. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit







ith over 120 entries, this year’s Suwanee Magazine Cutest Pup contest was the largest yet. There were lots of adorable pups, but when it was all said and done, Hash Brown came out on top. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who participated! Hash Brown is a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy. He was born on October 20, 2017. He is already a big supporter of Suwanee's Georgia SPCA. His family plans to donate his winning gift basket from Pooch N Paws to the animal shelter. Hash Brown's parents are Al & Sandy Thompson. The Thompson family supports No Kill Rescue Groups and have traveled all over the United States with their older dogs, French Fry & Tater Tot. They have participated in numerous fashion shows to help raise money for various rescue organizations. When Hash Brown is older, they are confident he will also be a star on the red carpet.

According to his owners, Hash Brown is proud to represent Suwanee Magazine's Cutest Pup contest and carry on the Spud Nick tradition. Tater Tot won the contest in 2014 and French Fry won in 2016. Hash Brown has fans that voted for him from all over the world, many of which never missed a day voting. The Thompson family would like to thank everyone that was on board for #TeamHashBrown!





Oliver, the Goldendoodle is a fluffy stick enthusiast. He loves treats, adventures and peanut butter. Oliver can be seen trotting around Suwanee Town Center smiling at all the new people he meets. To see more of Oliver you can check out his instagram @mydoodollie.

Cooper, the Labrador Retreiver loves everyone he meets! He also loves to play in the leaves, watch TV, and play with his toys!

Thank you to our sponsors who donated amazing prizes to our winner! Day at the salon, seven days of doggy daycare and one year of Trifexis heartworm prevention


Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 18

Luxury gift basket

Custom, handmade bowties and bandanas



Night to Shine Prom

Friday, February 9th GWINNETT CHURCH

Suwanee Sweetheart Run Saturday, February 10th TOWN CENTER PARK




Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 18



people & places

Suwanee Half Marathon Sunday, February 11th TOWN CENTER PARK


SBA January Meeting Wednesday, January 10th BRAND BANK





buzz A R E A






________________ ____ 3:00pm __________________

Coolray Field

18 24

ST. BALDRICK’S ANNUAL HEAD SHAVING EVENT FOR CHILDHOOD CANCER ________________ ____ 12:00pm-5:00pm __________________

Executive Barbers in Suwanee __________________


17 24

SUWANEE AMERICAN CRAFT BEER FEST ____________________ ____ 1:00pm-5:00pm ____________________ ____

Town Center Park

____________________ ____

For more information and to purchase tickets, go to SuwaneeBeer


SUWANEE KIWANIS SHAMROCK 5K RUN ________________ ____ 8:00am __________________

Town Center Park



Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 18

Be a hero for kids with cancer! Join this St. Baldrick's event, and whether you decide to shave your head, volunteer, or donate, they hope you'll be a part of the excitement.

GEORGIA SPCA RUN FOR THE RESCUES 5K, FUN RUN & FESTIVAL ________________ 8:00am ________________

Town Center Park



12:00pm-3:00pm ________________

EE Robinson Park

ATL UTD 2 VS. NEW YORK RED BULLS II __________________ 7:00pm __________________

Coolray Field


JUBILEE SHOPPING CENTER EASTER EGG HUNT ___________________ 12:30pm-3:00pm ____________________

Jubilee Shopping Center ___________________ Music, face painting, games, bounce houses and more!



____________________ 11:00am-1:00pm ____________________

Unleashed Creations __________________ To attend, pre-register at UnleashedCreationsPetSpa. com/Easter



GLOW IN THE PARK ____________________ ____


5:00pm ____________________ ____

Town Center Park____ ____________________

Community lantern parade of light, music, and color through Suwanee, ending at a concert at Town Center Park



________________ ____ 10:00am-3:30pm __________________

Gwinnett Chamber __________________

20 24 26

For more information, visit

7:00am ________________

Town Center Park



FRANKIE AND ANDY’S PLACE 2ND ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT ________________ ____ 9:00am __________________

Lanier Islands Legacy Golf Course

ATL UTD 2 VS. LOUISVILLE CITY FC _______________ 7:00pm _______________

21 24 14 Coolray Field

GWINNETT STRIPERS VS. ROCHESTER __________ ____ 6:05pm _____________

Coolray Field


RACE TO CURE SARCOMA ATLANTA ___________ ____ 8:00am ____________

Town Center Park

RACE FOR THE RESCUES 5K & FUN RUN ____ ________________ 8:00am __________________

Town Center Park



8:00am _____________________

Bear's Best Country Club _____________________ For more information or to register, visit

ANNANDALE’S JAZZY____ THING ____________________ 6:30pm-10:00pm ____ ____________________

Duluth’s Festival Center and Park


________________ ____ 9:00am _____________________

Town Center Park 96


Suwanee Magazine


Swuanee Magazine March - April 2018  

Suwanee Magazine is a magazine for the Suwanee Georgia area and surrounding cities. It highlights people, places, shopping, and events and i...

Swuanee Magazine March - April 2018  

Suwanee Magazine is a magazine for the Suwanee Georgia area and surrounding cities. It highlights people, places, shopping, and events and i...