EverythingBrevard.com Blogen-usWed, 02 Dec 2020 1:17:24 CSTWed, 02 Dec 2020 1:17:24 CSThttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rssEverythingBrevard.comCelebrating Growth in Turbulent 2020https://www.everythingbrevard.com/blog/Business/Celebrating-Growth-in-Turbulent-2020.html<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Palm Shores Bistro Owner Opens New Eatery in Viera</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Not everyone can claim 2020 has been good to them, but Jeff Kaplan, owner of Palm Shores Bistro, is happy to be expanding his services and expertise. The 33-year Brevard County resident continues his passion in the food and beverage industry with a new business venture in Viera. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We moved in here because it was a win-win situation for us, since it’s a captive audience,” Kaplan said, referring to his new eatery, the Isle Bar and Grill in the private 55-and-over community of Heritage Isle in the heart of Viera. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The community was established in 2007, but storms condemned the clubhouse in 2016 until this year. The building had to go through a $4.5 million renovation and is now open, allowing Kaplan to bring his catering services to Heritage Isle’s more than 1,600 homes. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Isle Bar and Grill operates from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and may increase those hours in upcoming months. All residents and their guests can enjoy a blended menu including soups, salads and sandwiches. Wine tasting and special events catered will be coordinated on a monthly basis with the events committee. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kaplan’s love for the food and beverage industry began at a young age.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This is all I know, all I do,” Kaplan said. “My parents owned a bagel and deli in Red Bank, New Jersey and I was always there helping them and learning the restaurant business as a young guy and I just continued it.” </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In addition to opening the new eatery, this year will be memorable for Kaplan as he celebrates the 10-year anniversary of opening Palm Shores Bistro, his restaurant with a river view in Melbourne.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">New beginnings are something to be thankful for, but Kaplan also recognizes that 2020 has brought big challenges that impacted everyone.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This year, COVID has certainly been the most challenging part,” he said. “It impacted us because at the beginning we had to close we were only doing 20% of take-out and we did what needed to be done to get through.” </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite the hardships, Kaplan says the best part of his career is customer satisfaction. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“To see one of my customers enjoying what they’re eating and having the plate come back empty, that’s the satisfaction and the most important thing for me.”</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kaplan is grateful for his entire team, who helped him service the loyal Palm Shores Bistro customers.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Without them and our loyal customers who have kept on coming and supporting us during these crazy COVID times, we wouldn’t be here opening a new business,” he said. “I’m also very thankful for my three beautiful children: Michael, Morgan, Jordan and my wife, Meridith, who have supported me.” </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kaplan added his new year resolution is for residents at Heritage Isle to be happy with the new Isle Bar and Grill, and to continue to move forward with expansion at Palm Shore Bistro. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Let’s get this 2020 out of the way!”</span></p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p><strong>Isle Bar and Grill</strong></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Available to Heritage Isle residents and guests </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">6800 Legacy Blvd., Viera </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Open: 11a.m. - 7 p.m. </span></p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p><strong>Palm Shores Bistro</strong></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">5060 N Highway 1, Palm Shores</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Open: 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">321-752-5222</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Instagram: @PalmShoresBistro</span></p><br /> <p> </p>Tue, 01 Dec 2020 0:00:00 CSTHappy New Year! The Last 10 Have Been Incredible https://www.everythingbrevard.com/blog/Publishers-note/Happy-New-Year-The-Last-10-Have-Been-Incredible.html<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Can you believe it is not only the beginning of a new year but also a new decade? Why is it I have never looked at life until now in 10-year chunks of time? I typically take life one year at a time and reflect that way, but this year is different. The word “decade” hit me hard. So many things have happened over the last 10 years. Some good, some great, some not so good and some not so great.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">My husband and I have sold a business, started two new businesses, purchased and renovated three houses, sold two of them, and moved three times. Our homes have always been open to family. Two of our adult children moved home for a period of time. Our nephew needed a safe place to land to get his feet on the ground and my brother came for a visit and loved it so much he moved here and stayed with us, too.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We buried relatives — parents, an uncle and aunt — plus several good friends. We also welcomed six new grandbabies to the family and an additional three step grandchildren — all of them compliment the nine we already had. Yes, we have a very big family!</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I went on my first mission trip to Guatemala and witnessed poverty firsthand. Was smacked with a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Took a six-day road trip with my son from Colorado to Florida. Caught my first sailfish and launched a women’s health and wellness symposium — Unwrap the BEST You. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I obtained my master’s degree and began teaching college level entrepreneurship courses. I became the chairwoman at the Greater Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce. Started EverythingBrevard.com magazine and most recently launched digital Kiosk advertising.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I was nominated as a Woman of Excellence, received The Heart of the Community award from the Business Acceleration Summit, and most recently received a New Initiatives Award from the Greater Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce for being a prolific producer of ideas for the Chamber.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What I am most proud of and humbled by is the work that has gone into the EverythingBrevard.com brand. The team of professionals that puts this magazine together is exceptional. They are dedicated and loyal. They are creative and forward thinking. They are entrepreneurial and experts in their fields.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">November 2019, marked the 3-year anniversary of our team producing the EverythingBrevard.com good-living publication. We celebrated at the beautiful Rockledge Country Club with a mixer that included live music by Ellen and Friends, a 4-Chamber ribbon cutting, door prizes and amazing food. Edible Arrangements delivered decadent platters of chocolate-covered strawberries, while Sue Ann’s Bakery in Downtown Melbourne provided a variety of sweet treats and a large No. 3 cake to help us celebrate.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When designing this event, it was most important to show the level of collaboration that it takes to put this magazine together. Nearly everyone in attendance has somehow been a part of the journey to create this magazine. From community partners and advertisers to writers, photographers and industry experts who contribute content to local business owners who have shared their inspirational stories of both success and failures, to those who simply champion our mission: </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">to grow people, build community and inspire change for a healthier tomorrow</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Event sponsors Steve and Victoria Martin from Space Age Cooling and Heating, a local, independently owned small business, said it was important to them to lock arms with other like-minded business that serve our community, and that is exactly what they are doing with our EverythingBrevard.com partnership. </span></p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thank you to our friends who donated door prizes at the anniversary party:</span></p><br /> <ul><br /> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Absolutely Natural</span></li><br /> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Achieve Beautiful Skin</span></li><br /> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bobbi’s at Parkside</span></li><br /> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Palm Shores Bistro</span></li><br /> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sendala’s</span></li><br /> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Zoey Naturals</span></li><br /> </ul><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Guests were invited to participate in the signing of our gratitude boards. The task was simple: Write something you are grateful for. The messages were then used in our November gratitude social media campaign.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I am most grateful for the opportunity to learn, grow and connect with such amazing people. I am both honored and humbled for the experiences and lessons I have learned along the way. My heart is bursting with joy and excitement as I look into the future and see all that is possible. Thank you for trusting and believing. We would not be where we are today without your support.  </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Joy is in the Journey</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tracy</span></p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Read more in our <a rel="noopener" href="https://view.flipdocs.com/?ID=10020483_674121" target="_blank">DIGITAL MAGAZINE.</a></span></p>Tue, 01 Dec 2020 0:00:00 CSTBravely Stand Outhttps://www.everythingbrevard.com/blog/Wellness/Bravely-Stand-Out.html<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Finding your path is never easy. In fact, I have often wondered if people even realize they are on a path to finding a better and more balanced way of living life. Each of us are uniquely designed. We have special gifts and talents that support our journey. And every situation and person we meet is meant to help us grow. It is only when we raise our consciousness and self-awareness that we gain a more enlightened perspective on the life we are living.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In most cases, we must look back to see where we have been and then inward to grow, learn and adjust so we can move forward. Our lives are filled with daily tasks and responsibilities.  So many responsibilities that quite frequently it is hard to recall the day and the many encounters we have had. We rush from each activity and go from destination to destination almost blindly. We hustle to prove our value, and busy feels productive when in all actuality, we are on the path that leads to burnout and lack of fulfillment. Can you relate?</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you can imagine looking at your life from a mountain top instead of the ground, it becomes easier to see that more is not necessarily better and that everyone has struggles and burdens. We all just do the best that we can with the tools that we have to work with. The grass in not greener on the other path. Yet we have all been guilty of comparing our lives to our friends and neighbors.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Undoubtedly, COVID has been challenging for all of us. However, I believe COVID was a way for God to get our attention, to slow us down so that we could take notice and appreciate the things we have right in front of us before we self-imploded. I know I was not making time for the things that matter to me most and I especially was not making time to take care of myself.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To be honest, I still do not have it all figured out. I have good days and bad days when it comes to self-care, and I have days where I burn the candle at both ends and wind up asking myself, “Why do I continue to do this?</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fulfillment comes from having a clear sense of purpose. My biggest mistake over the years has been not believing that I was good enough or deserving enough to have all the things that I dreamed about having and doing. I believed it was my job to support others, even if it was at my own expense.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I have learned that our strongest tool is choice and that we can do hard things if we trust the process and are open to possibility. Create the highest grandest vision for yourself because you become what you believe.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Get uncomfortable, dig into things that matter. Let go of labels and shatter the patterns that hold you back. Dare to stand out. Be brave.</span></p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Read more articles in our <a rel="noopener" href="https://view.flipdocs.com/?ID=10020483_125506" target="_blank">digital magazine.</a></span></p><br /> <p> </p>Sun, 29 Nov 2020 0:00:00 CSTTake the Gratitude Challengehttps://www.everythingbrevard.com/blog/Technology/Take-the-Gratitude-Challenge.html<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gathering around a table with those you love, and celebrating all you’re thankful for is one of our most beloved American traditions. November represents a gateway into the holidays, and signals an often exciting shift from one season into the next. This year, however, feels different. Between COVID-19 and the contentious state of our deeply divided country — it certainly feels like there’s less joy and holiday joviality. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As a lifelong relentless optimist and positivity powerhouse — this feeling of unease is both unfamiliar and uncomfortable to me, and I’d bet I’m not alone in feeling this way. Collectively, as a culture, we’re worn out. Tired of bad news, yet unable to pull ourselves free of its gravity. Pardon the language y’all, but 2020’s been a category five shitstorm. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I know … I’m not helping. We’re getting to that part. Bear with me. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Part of what makes November and December feel so warm and fuzzy is the emphasis on gratitude. Festive signs are everywhere encouraging you to “give thanks” and “be thankful.” Decorations like these serve as both symbols of the season and conscious reminders of all we have to be grateful for. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What if, when we logged onto Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, we saw something similar? What if, instead of scrolling through feeds filled with name calling, finger pointing and divisive memes — we were greeted with messages of gratitude? </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What if this movement could start with you?</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To be clear, I’m not suggesting you stick your head in the sand and stop paying attention to anything not bringing you bliss. I’m suggesting a hiatus from the hate, a respite from the rants, and a sabbatical from the shame. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This isn’t about taking a break from social media, but rather, reevaluating what’s worth sharing. If social media brings you more anxiety than joy, it’s time for YOU to raise the vibe within your social tribe. Perhaps you’ve heard it takes 21 days to rewire your brain to adapt to a new habit. Well, looking for the bright side is a habit. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I challenge you to get socially grateful for 21 days. It doesn’t matter when you start, where you’re sharing, or what you’re grateful for. All that matters is that you, personally, commit to the concept. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For three weeks, consider focusing your posts on what you’re thankful for. This can be about big stuff, or about little things. It doesn’t have to be well written, or feature a photo of you looking effortlessly flawless. It just has to be inspired by gratitude, and shared with your people. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span></p><br /> <p><strong>Extra Credit</strong></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Feeling extra ambitious? Engage friends, family, or co-workers to join you. Want to spread the sunshine even further? Include #GratitudeChallenge in your post, and inspire other people beyond your circle. Feeling stumped on where to start? Search #GratitudeChallenge on social, and take a look at what the rest of the world is thankful for. </span></p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Michelle Mulak owns Good Vibrations Creative + Consulting, a boutique marketing, public relations and communications consulting firm based in Cocoa Beach. She works with entrepreneurs, businesses, brands, events and organizations of all sizes to help them develop and implement authentic, effective content marketing, advertising and publicity strategies. </span></p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Read more articles in our <a rel="noopener" href="https://view.flipdocs.com/?ID=10020483_125506" target="_blank">digital magazine.</a></span></p>Wed, 25 Nov 2020 0:00:00 CSTweVENTURE Makes Shopping Local Easy This Holiday Seasonhttps://www.everythingbrevard.com/blog/Business/weVENTURE-Makes-Shopping-Local-Easy-This-Holiday-Season.html<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The holiday shopping season is often the most profitable time of year for many small businesses, especially those in retail. However, this year it is quite literally make or break for many local small businesses. We have heard from so many clients that their ability to survive into 2021 and beyond depends on how well they do this holiday season.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So how can you help?</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I know in our hearts many of us want to support local businesses, but it may be a challenge this year to shop in person if you are choosing to avoid the risk of gathering in public places. Additionally, it takes time (that many of us don’t have) to search for local businesses selling what you are looking for online. It can be easier to just go to Amazon.com or a similar site and do a quick search for what we need. However, if you feel the same way we do about supporting local business and our local economy, it’s worth taking the time to shop local — whether in person or online. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To save you time and make it super easy to keep your hard-earned money in Brevard County, we’ve done the hard work for you! We (weVENTURE) have compiled a directory of Women-Owned Local Small Businesses for you to use for your holiday shopping pleasure. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Women’s Business Centers, like weVENTURE, help level the playing field for female entrepreneurs, who continue to lag behind their male counterparts in terms of access to education, capital and professional support needed to grow their business. This is why it’s critically important for us to do what we can to keep them up and running during challenging times like these. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to the 2019 AMEX State of Women-Owned Business Report, the vast majority of female-owned businesses are solo-preneurs with no employees. Further, in response to lower pay at their place of employment, more women than ever — particularly women of color — are starting up “side” businesses. When looking at specific minority groups over the last five years, growth in “side entrepreneurship” is up 99% among African American women, 63% for Asian American women and 46% for Latina/Hispanic women.  </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And of course, since the COVID-19 pandemic started, unemployment numbers have soared, prompting more women than ever to find ways to monetize their hobbies and skills. As a result, we are seeing an exciting boom in local entrepreneurial ventures, which we love. That is what inspired us to compile this directory. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Supporting female entrepreneurship empowers women to achieve financial stability for themselves and their families, helping combat poverty and hunger right here in our local community. Shopping local this year isn’t just a tagline, it is literally a way to reinvest in your community. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So we invite you to visit our Holiday Shopping Guide at weventure.fit.edu and support as many local small businesses as you can. Happy hunting! </span></p><br /> <p><strong>Shop Local</strong></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To see the directory of women-owned local businesses and learn more about weVENTURE programs, visit</span><a href="http://www.weventure.fit.edu"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> www.weventure.fit.edu</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> or call 321-674-7007.</span></p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kathryn Rudloff is the executive Director of weVENTURE at Florida Tech. weVENTURE accelerates growth for entrepreneurs by providing customized coaching, business education, mentorship and networking programs. weVENTURE is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.</span></p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Read more articles in our digital magazine.</span></p>Tue, 24 Nov 2020 0:00:00 CSTBrevard Families Cultivate Diverse Holiday Traditionshttps://www.everythingbrevard.com/blog/Family/Brevard-Families-Cultivate-Diverse-Holiday-Traditions.html<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The only thing as diverse as holiday traditions are the families who celebrate them. Whether a generations-old recipe or a new movie watched every Christmas Eve, Brevard families run the gamut on what they celebrate — and how — during the most wonderful time of the year. </span></p><br /> <p><strong>Fostering family traditions</strong></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Valeria Jones of Palm Bay is mom to Amayah, 18 and Lawryn, 12, as well as filling the role of foster mom to more than 30 children over the past four years. When the holiday season hits, Jones extends her long-standing traditions with her biological children to her “foster babies.”</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“One thing I do is put all of the kids’ names in a hat and then they each draw one. They get $5 to pick out five gifts for that person at the dollar store,” Jones said. “It gives them an opportunity to think of someone else during the holiday season.”</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Originally from Delaware, Jones also gets special permission to travel with her foster children to visit her extended family during the week following Christmas. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I take the kids sledding, ice fishing, ice skating,” Jones said. “My family there buys gifts for my foster children, as well as Amayah and Lawryn.”</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jones works alongside Brevard Family Partnership, the foster home licensing agent in the county, on other planned holiday events, including breakfast with Santa. For more details on events for foster children this holiday season, visit BrevardFP.org.</span></p><br /> <p><strong>Family food customs</strong></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Molly Winsten grew up in the Rockledge area before moving to Boston in 2015 where she works as a registered dietician. Along with her family who still lives in Brevard and throughout Florida, Winsten celebrates several traditions beginning with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in September and including Hanukkah in December.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“All of these holidays have certain foods, such as jelly doughnuts and potato latkes on Hanukkah,” Winsten said. “To celebrate a sweet new year, we indulge in apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah and my family also makes a slow-roasted brisket with brown sugar and carmelized onions.”</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It isn’t just religious holidays that have family food traditions attached, though. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We are really into Halloween and always have gluten-free spaghetti and meatballs,” Winsten said. She remembers the many from-scratch costumes her mother, Marlene Winsten, made the three siblings as children, including a Tom and Jerry pair.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We are also big into Thanksgiving and plan the menu weeks in advance,” Winsten said, adding that she and her father, Keith Winsten, usually collaborate on what will be on the table. “It has become customary for me to put together a massive charcuterie board for the first course.”</span></p><br /> <p><strong>Photos, PJs and Christmas cookies</strong></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Becci Carmichael of Cocoa is mom to Ayana, 7 and Ayden, 6 and each holiday season she comes up with a new theme. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We’ve done under the sea, light and bright, beary Christmas, to name a few,” Carmichael said. The theme that they pick informs the other activities and gifts throughout the season.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On Christmas Eve, the family of three bakes cookies for Santa and makes reindeer food. Later in the day, they find a bright place outside to stage their own Christmas photo shoot. Then in the evening, Carmichael gifts her children a Christmas-themed bag with pajamas and a DVD or book that they watch or read together that evening. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We started a special Christmas Eve photo book as a fun keepsake from year to year,” Carmichael said. “Christmas for us is not just a day but the spirit of family, love, and hope.”</span></p><br /> <p><strong>Blending established, new traditions</strong></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Yuko Deneuville and Nam Nguyen Huu of Suntree moved to the United States from Paris in 2015, settling in Brevard just in time for the 2016 holiday season. Along with daughters Emi, now 8, and Lina, now 6, the French natives had never participated in American holiday customs such as trick-or-treating or Thanksgiving meals. They were happy to add both to Christmas and New Year’s celebrations that they had also recognized in France.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On Jan. 6, the family also recognizes Epiphany by cooking and eating a galette des rois, or a king cake. In February, the family commemorates the Vietnamese New Year Tt. Nam Nguyen Huu is part Vietnamese, imparting the customs and food of his heritage to his daughters.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The girls wear traditional Vietnamese costumes and they receive red envelopes with money inside for good luck,” Yuko Deneuville said. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The end of the holiday season doesn’t come until Feb. 14 for the family, with Valentine’s Day.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In France, this tradition is only between lovers, which is very different from here,” Yuko Deneuville said.  </span></p><br /> <p><strong>Good food, good luck</strong></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pam Morales Worsham and Rusty Worsham of Satellite Beach celebrate the holiday season by blending Peruvian and American traditions. Daughters Lucy, 10, and Penelope, 5, experience a hybrid holiday season that incorporates extended family in the celebrations.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On Christmas Eve, three generations gather around the dinner table and enjoy Southern cuisine such as black eyed peas and deviled eggs alongside Peruvian delicacies such as ceviche and tamales.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Peruvians like to stay up late so there have been times when we’ve been eating our Christmas Eve dinner at midnight,” said Pam Morales Worsham. “My husband still doesn’t understand why it has to be that way.”</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Perhaps the Worsham children’s most favorite tradition is to walk around the block on New Year’s Eve with a suitcase — an action intended to usher in travel opportunities and adventure in the coming year.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I'm not sure if the same fate will apply during the pandemic, but the optimist in us will still have us do this tradition,” Pam Morales Worsham said.</span></p><br /> <p><strong>Establishing family traditions</strong></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This will be just the second holiday season that Tiffany and Christopher Childs of Cocoa will spend with their daughter, Chloe, who was born in October 2019. Last year, Chloe was too small to participate in many of their combined family traditions -- but now that she is mobile, her parents cannot wait to show her what the season is all about in their family.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We always have a big extended family sleepover on Christmas Eve that involves cooking and wrapping presents into the wee hours,” Tiffany Childs said. “The kids watch movies, drink hot cocoa and help bake sweets. We drive around to look at Christmas lights and sing Christmas carols.”</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Childs also plan to go pick out a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I want to create special memories for Chloe. I want her to look back decades later and remember Christmas as a magical time filled with love,” Tiffany Childs said. </span></p><br /> <p><br />Read more articles in our <a rel="noopener" href="https://view.flipdocs.com/?ID=10020483_125506" target="_blank">digital magazine.</a></p>Mon, 23 Nov 2020 0:00:00 CSTViera Holiday Shopping Awaitshttps://www.everythingbrevard.com/blog/Shopping/Viera-Holiday-Shopping-Awaits.html<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Small-Business Owners Ready to Bounce Back</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I know what you’re thinking…holiday shopping, already? This year has been a whirlwind. We have all learned to pivot and readjust our personal and business lives. We have new terms like social distancing and new necessities like face masks. School and work are underway in person, online, distant, and hybrid. We have been forced to become tech gurus. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While The Avenue Viera has weathered many storms in nearly 17 years, it was difficult to prepare for the impact of COVID-19. Traffic to the shopping center was obviously affected and management directed focus on keeping the community safe and figuring out ways to support merchants. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“As the center adjusted to COVID, we loved seeing how our merchants, despite their struggles, continued to give back to their community,” said Michelle Reyes, marketing coordinator at The Avenue Viera. “Pizza Gallery and Grill developed Hospitality Life Inc., which donated meals to unemployed food and beverage workers. Luxy Nails Spa made their own hand sanitizer and offered it free of charge to guests. Sport Clips of Viera partnered with Friends of the Children of Brevard for a back-to-school drive.”  </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">COVID-19 has driven companies to reengineer with enhanced safety and cleanliness procedures. Though cleanliness is always a priority to places where the general public frequents, it is more crucial than ever to protect patrons, their families, and staff. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The Club Pilates of Viera community has proven their loyalty to not only their fitness goals, but to our studio, as well,” shared Emily and Heath Rehkop, franchise owners of Club Pilates Viera. “We are so grateful for our members that have chosen to ride this very unexpected wave with us.” </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Management of The Avenue Viera did whatever they could to support merchants — be it to allow curbside pick-up locations, signage in and around the property, printing and distributing “now open” signage and posters, creating restaurant BINGO, and even helping with extensions of outdoor dining spaces to accommodate the 50% capacity rules. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They pushed merchant messaging across their social channels (including adding promotions to encourage guests to shop and dine) and advertised strongly on both digital and traditional channels to let the community know the status of their tenants’ openings. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community and who are more invested in the community’s welfare and future. When you purchase at locally owned businesses, more money is kept in the community. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Sport Clips at The Avenue Viera is very active in supporting youth sports and other community activities including the VFW,” shared Kathy and Troy Heron, Owners of Sports Clips Haircuts. “We will continue to do so as we recover from this pandemic.”</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even before COVID, the many small businesses at The Avenue Viera bring such a unique and varied offering to the center. Small businesses are deeply in tune with the heartbeat of this community — they are the first to give back and are some of the biggest champions of other local businesses, schools, and families. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sadly, the pandemic has hit these businesses the hardest. If your child’s sports team or school was ever sponsored by a local business, or you ever saw a local business sponsor an event that your family enjoyed, those businesses need you now more than ever. As always, The Avenue Viera will be decorated to the nines for the holiday season and has a lineup of traditional holiday events such as $5 carriage rides and caroling in Central Park.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">During the peak of the pandemic, The Avenue Viera planned events that brought traffic to the property in a safe way — OneBlood blood drives, multiple drive-up musical events, hands-free digital caricature artists in Central Park, and reimagined community events like Viera Voice’s Drive-Thru Senior Expo and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer’s Drive-in Celebration. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We’re looking forward to continuing this momentum into the holiday season,” Reyes said. “We have so much to look forward to and we’re hoping the spirit of the season will continue to heal our community and local businesses.”</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Local businesses are the backbone of Brevard County. Local families work, live, and play here. As the world reopens, we are all looking forward to a more responsible, secure tomorrow. As you plan for the holidays, keep The Avenue Viera and all small businesses in Brevard in mind as you shop, dine, and enjoy time with family. Every day should be Shop Local day!</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Learn more about the resident businesses and special events at The Avenue Viera:</span></p><br /> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.avenueviera.com/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">AvenueViera.com</span></a></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Instagram: @theavenueviera</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Facebook: /avenueview</span></p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p>Read more articles in our <a rel="noopener" href="https://view.flipdocs.com/?ID=10020483_125506" target="_blank">digital magazine.</a></p>Sun, 22 Nov 2020 0:00:00 CSTMEET Sarah’s Flower Truckhttps://www.everythingbrevard.com/blog/Business/MEET-Sarahs-Flower-Truck.html<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Have you ever seen a pretty photo on Instagram and thought, “I’d like to do that!”</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Well give Sarah Latowski credit, she saw pretty flowers on social media then made pretty flowers her business. After 13 years as a teacher, and almost as many looking at flower trucks online, she made a dream her reality. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Now her Instagram is surely inspiring others.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I have always thought of myself as a creative person and often bought fresh flowers for my home, as well as for gifts for family and friends. But I noticed it can be expensive to order flowers online and sometimes the selection at the local grocery store isn’t what you’re looking for,” Sarah said. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With a leap of faith and a supportive push from her boyfriend, also a successful business owner, she decided it was time to quit her job and start Sarah’s Flower Truck. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We bought the truck, made some changes to it, I took a few floral arranging classes, and soon enough I was at our first pop-up in September (2019). I couldn’t believe it was a line of smiling faces waiting to purchase flowers from me!”</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sarah described her first day as both exciting and challenging, but overall “so much fun.” </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I knew I had made the right decision in starting this business. It has been a pleasure to meet new friends and provide a service that everyone seems to love.” </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While the COVID-19 pandemic forced Sarah to cancel her pop-ups, she has kept the flowers flowing through deliveries and online specials. She looks forward to the day when she can return to popping up at small businesses, festivals and markets, and when she can rent the truck for private pop-ups, such as bridal/baby showers, weddings, birthday parties, and corporate events. </span></p><br /> <p><a href="http://sarahsflowertruck.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sarahsflowertruck.com</span></a></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Email: sarah@sarahsflowertruck.com</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Instagram: @sarahsflowertruck</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">FB: /sarahsflowertruck</span></p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Read more articles in our <a rel="noopener" href="https://view.flipdocs.com/?ID=10020483_125506" target="_blank">digital magazine.</a></span></p>Fri, 20 Nov 2020 0:00:00 CSTPhilanthropy Comes Full Circle at Christmas Shophttps://www.everythingbrevard.com/blog/Community/Philanthropy-Comes-Full-Circle-at-Christmas-Shop.html<h3><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gifts From the Heart Allows Parents of any Means to Shop</span></h3><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Much negativity surrounds 2020, but it is special for me because it’s the fifth year for Gifts From the Heart (GFTH) Christmas Shop. The shop is a unique approach to Christmas charity, one that recognizes that even parents of modest means would prefer to purchase holiday gifts for their children, as opposed to accepting handouts. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">GFTH seeks to be a dignity-affirming shopping experience for parents and guardians of children associated with at least one of the nine nonprofit partners. We started with three organizations in 2016, and never imagined that our little program would involve nine organizations just a few years later. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here’s how it works:</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Toys are sold at the shop at prices dramatically less than retail, purposely marked down to be affordable. For example, a toy with a retail value of $50 or more is priced at $15.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The shop provides a welcoming and festive experience, where shoppers select from a large array of toys, receive a free book for each child, and have the choice of a complimentary gift wrap from caring volunteers. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some of our families may be out of work or have greatly diminished work hours due to COVID-19 and other reasons. To better serve them, we have an option for struggling families to earn “shop dollars” in advance of shop opening day by volunteering with one of the partner organizations. For every hour volunteered, they earn a $10 credit to spend at the shop. Many of our families volunteer at Village Thrift, owned by Love INC, one of the partner organizations. Village Thrift hosted the GFTH Christmas Shop for its first four years.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">GFTH has the added goal of hiring two assistant managers — ideally persons who are program participants — to handle day-to-day operations; thus, providing a seasonal part-time employment opportunity to persons in need.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Neighbor Up Brevard, Club Esteem, and Love INC first launched GFTH in 2016, and have since been joined by Family Promise of Brevard, Community of Hope, Eckerd Connects, New Life Mission (formerly known as Brevard Rescue Mission), Habitat for Humanity of Brevard, and Children's Home Society-Space Coast. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The shop has been an amazing success with parents purchasing at least three gifts per child for over 425 children in 2019, an increase of 40% over the prior year.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The effects of COVID-19 are likely felt disproportionally among the clients served by our nine partner organizations. It has never been more important to support your community at Christmas. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To meet the demand, we must collect and stock the shelves with over 1,800 toys before opening day on Dec. 5, and we depend on our community to make that happen. To date, over 22 churches and businesses have pledged to help make GFTH Christmas Shop 2020 a reality, but we are eager, and very much need, to add more. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here are ways you can provide support:</span></p><br /> <ul><br /> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t care to shop in stores during a pandemic? </span><strong>Donate new toys</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> via the Amazon, Target, and Walmart gift registry links found on the “How to Help” page of</span><a href="http://www.giftsfromtheheartshop.org"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> giftsfromtheheartshop.org</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. The registries consist of toys most desired by the children, as determined from parent input.</span></li><br /> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Donate cash</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Cash donations are used to purchase items that fly off the shelves and need replenishing. Just put “GFTH” in the memo line and mail your check to any one of the partner organizations. Addresses are found on the website.</span></li><br /> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Help get out the good word</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Promote GFTH to friends, congregations and businesses. “Like” </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/Giftsfromtheheartchristmasshop"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gifts From the Heart Christmas Shop on Facebook</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and share our posts.</span></li><br /> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Congregations and businesses may </span><strong>host a “Giving Tree”</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> during part or all of November. You provide the tree, we provide the “ornaments” with information on a requested toy and the age of a child most likely to desire it. </span></li><br /> </ul><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For more information on Gifts From the Heart Christmas Shop, including a report from 2019, visit </span><a href="http://www.giftsfromtheheartshop.org"><span style="font-weight: 400;">giftsfromtheheartshop.org</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> or call 321-345-0094.</span></p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p><strong>Gifts From the Heart Christmas Shop partner organizations and their missions</strong></p><br /> <p><strong>Neighbor Up Brevard</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">: to plan, facilitate, and implement solutions for the revitalization of impoverished communities.</span></p><br /> <p><a href="https://www.neighborupbrevard.org/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">neighborupbrevard.org/</span></a></p><br /> <p><strong>Family Promise of Brevard:</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to end family homelessness in Brevard by collaborating with the community to provide families the support and resources they need to put themselves on a path toward long-term housing stability.</span></p><br /> <p><a href="https://familypromiseofbrevard.org/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">familypromiseofbrevard.org/</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></p><br /> <p><strong>Club Esteem:</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to inspire youth from economically disadvantaged communities to embrace the highest standards of academic and personal excellence — instilling in each child a desire to learn, to serve, and to accept challenges.</span></p><br /> <p><a href="http://www.clubesteem.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">clubesteem.com/</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></p><br /> <p><strong>Love In the Name of Christ:</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> a faith-based nonprofit organization that equips and mobilizes the Church to offer hope and help to people in need.</span></p><br /> <p><a href="http://loveincbrevard.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">loveincbrevard.com/</span></a></p><br /> <p><strong>Community of Hope:</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to build hope and healthy families through a helping-hand program of structured housing.</span></p><br /> <p><a href="https://www.hopeofbrevard.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">hopeofbrevard.com/</span></a></p><br /> <p><strong>Eckerd Connects:</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to provide and share solutions that promote the well-being of children, young adults and families in need.</span></p><br /> <p><a href="https://eckerd.org/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">eckerd.org/</span></a></p><br /> <p><strong>New Life Mission:</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in a Christ-centered environment, we equip homeless moms to transform their families for generations.</span></p><br /> <p><a href="https://newlife-mission.org/our-beliefs/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">newlife-mission.org/our-beliefs/</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></p><br /> <p><strong>Habitat for Humanity:</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> seeking to put God's love into action, HBH brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.</span></p><br /> <p><a href="https://www.brevardhabitat.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">brevardhabitat.com/</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span></p><br /> <p><strong>Children’s Home Society - Space Coast:</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> building bridges to success for children.</span></p><br /> <p><a href="https://www.chsfl.org/locations/space-coast/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">chsfl.org/locations/space-coast/</span></a></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rev. Joy Willard-Williford is a retired Episcopal priest currently serving as a project manager/urban missioner for Neighbor Up Brevard, a Christian community development organization in the Booker T. Washington neighborhood of Melbourne. She co-chairs the Gifts From the Heart Christmas Shop committee with Joan Sorensen, a board member of both Neighbor Up Brevard and New Life Mission.</span></p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Read more articles in our <a rel="noopener" href="https://view.flipdocs.com/?ID=10020483_125506" target="_blank">digital magazine.</a></span></p>Thu, 19 Nov 2020 0:00:00 CSTDefining Faith - We Need Ithttps://www.everythingbrevard.com/blog/Editors-Note/Defining-Faith-We-Need-It.html<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">How many times have you heard someone say, “You gotta have faith.” </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Or as our intrepid leader at EverythingBrevard, Tracy Stroderd, always says: “Trust the process.” Which means, have faith.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">How do we define faith? The beauty of being human is that each of us is unique. We have the right to think differently, dress differently, and carry different philosophies through life.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Until those differences drive people to do harmful things. </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The history of humanity is brutal — dominated by war as tribes and civilizations either tried to eradicate or convert those who thought differently. My grandparents fled such persecution as children and were brought to the U.S. by parents with little, but buoyed by hope.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In my lifetime, and during that of my parents’ generation, we’ve trended away from overt brutalities, but they still exist. I think it’s hard for some people to come to terms that humans are still capable of atrocities. And as a parent, I grapple each day with how much reality to reveal to a developing and curious mind.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">My 7-year-old, Ella, repeatedly asks, “I want to watch the news. I think it’s interesting!” </span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Oh sweet girl, that’s because I don’t show you the war, the murder, the vile divisiveness of humanity. She knows all about COVID and the reasons behind quarantine. But not how it’s revealed the ugliest aspects of humanity.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Children are taught to have faith and believe in what you tell them. God, the tooth fairy, Santa. Life experience will unfold before each person at its own pace, and reveal a unique story. Faith continues to mold.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Faith and hope are tools for humanity. Religion is part of that. These tools are </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">necessary</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> for the survival of our species. Animals are driven by instinct — to survive and reproduce. Humans go beyond that, to needing a good quality of life, to feel like we make a difference and leave a legacy. But at the core, survival.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Faith is tricky, as no one can tell you what it looks like. I had a certain kind of faith until my first brother died at the age of 6. I was 13 and immediately started asking why and what it means. I wrote a paper shortly thereafter in middle school titled, “God: Creator of the Universe of Creation of Our Minds?” I’m not sure the answer mattered, because either way, the concept brings comfort and hope. Having faith in the positive potential of mankind is a driving force available to every single person on the planet.</span></p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At the beginning of the pandemic, it felt like the “we-are-in-this-together” attitude was going to help us all get through this. But patience is impatient. We need to keep peering through the cloudy waters and swim to the surface propelled by our faith. No one can tell you what it should look like, but know that humanity cannot exist without it. </span></p><br /> <p> </p><br /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Read more articles in our <a rel="noopener" href="https://view.flipdocs.com/?ID=10020483_125506" target="_blank">digital magazine.</a></span></p>Wed, 18 Nov 2020 0:00:00 CST