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    The Porch — eco friendly

    How To Safely Burn and Maintain PF Candles

    How To Safely Burn and Maintain PF Candles

    You can relax, the hard part is over. You've already purchased and brought the candle home. First, find a cozy new spot for the candle. Bathroom? Living Room? Bedside? Fortunately, there is no wrong answer.

    Now that we've found the candles proper home, let's make sure you know how to properly burn and care for the candle to ensure the best (and longest) possible experience.

    Step 1:

    Light the wood wick evenly, spreading the flame across the top from side to side until properly and evenly lit.

    Step 2: 

    Burn for at least two hours to start. This helps the wick and wax get into rhythm.

    Step 3: 

    After each burn, clip the ash off the top of the wick to ensure a proper burn the next time.

    That's it! Check out more important tips and warnings below!

     

    TIPS & WARNINGS

    • Always burn on an even and heat resistant surface
    • Keep flame away from flammable objects
    • Keep candle out of extreme heat, cold, or light
    • Never leave a candle unattended for extended periods
    • Do not touch burning candle or pooled wax
    • Keep the wax pool free of trimmings, dirt, and debris
    • Keep out of reach of children and pets
    • Do not burn for longer than 4 hours at a time 

    Now that you're a candle expert, pick up your newest scent HERE. Thanks for stopping by the porch!

     

     

    RALEIGH HUSTLES HARD - THE PHARMACY CAFE

    RALEIGH HUSTLES HARD - THE PHARMACY CAFE

     

    I first met Daniel in the fall of 2015 while walking through my neighborhood, on Person Street. He wasn’t yet a familiar face (at least to me) on the block, but something told me that the guy carrying loads of fresh produce into the newly opened The Pharmacy Café (TPC) was going to be a great addition to the neighborhood. Founded in 1910, Person Street Pharmacy & Café has been a landmark in Raleigh for as long as anyone living can remember. Known for its staples like the 10-cent popcorn machine and full service soda fountain, this was more than a pharmacy, it was a place of congregation. Since the beginning, the pharmacy consistently provided a sense of community for its family of customers. But like anything, change is inevitable. People move on, the neighborhood landscape shifts, and a new generation comes in to carry the torch. Daniel Whittaker, owner of TPC is now holding the torch with a strict understanding of the past and a bright vision for the future. We sat down with him for our latest installment of Raleigh Hustles Hard, to find out more about how The Pharmacy Café became home.

    Daniel took over TPC in November of 2015. As a self-proclaimed “Navy brat”, he spent most of his childhood moving around without a real sense of community. He moved to North Carolina in the early 2000’s working for a while as a franchise developer for Rum Runners as well as at a series of restaurant jobs. As random as Daniel makes these jobs seem, I quickly understood their value in leading up to the present. As well as the owner of TPC, Daniel sits at the helm of Green Planet Catering, an award winning, sustainably run catering company he founded in 2007.

    The Pharmacy Café reopened in June of 2015, under pharmacist and new owner, Trey Waters. Partnering with Chef Chad McIntyre from Market Restaurant, the new café promised to fill a much-needed void in the neighborhood, breakfast and lunch fare. Unfortunately, an unclear vision and lack of execution caused almost immediate problems for the café. Trey approached his friend Daniel to quickly come in and right the ship.

    After a venture designing the Market Restaurant (now Standard Foods) didn’t materialize, Daniel was left waiting for his opening. TPC was just the opportunity. “The community wasn’t perceiving a problem yet, but they weren’t enticed or super stoked to come over. We wanted to change that with a little bit of marketing and a great menu.” Daniel’s first move was bringing in Patrick Cowden, who he first met working at Michael Jordan’s restaurant in Chapel Hill nearly fourteen years ago. “I flew in chefs from all over the country, but always knew the right choice was just a few miles away. Everyone who worked in the kitchen under Patrick went on to be a head chef, private chef, or head of hospitality. He is an educator as much as an amazing chef. The fact that he holds an accounting degree doesn’t hurt either.” At the same time, Daniel was also looking for a full-time executive chef for Green Planet Catering, so the timing and opportunity proved serendipitous.

    After a complete overhaul to the menu and a re-imagining of the space, the café was quickly off and running. Daniel brought in a community table, new signage, and tabletop toys for the family. “We paid attention to our customers on what they would like to see, what was missing, and what we could do better.” With healthy and substantial breakfast offerings like “Pedro”, the Café Burrito and an assortment of fresh breads, jellies, and jams (made in house!), TPC became a neighborhood staple virtually overnight. Undeniably, the key to the café is the lunch specials. Every single day, that small chalkboard next to the register is displaying some uniquely and newly crafted creation. In over a year, I’ve literally never been disappointed!

    As a small business owner, Daniel views himself as much a facilitator as anything else. “I’m passionate about providing jobs for excellent people. People who are better than me.” Daniel, who is constantly looking for his next project, is a firm believer in “manager-managed” companies. “I always have the intention of putting stronger people than me in leadership positions so I can step back. That doesn’t always work out, but we have very little turnover.” Instead of employing an ever-shifting number of part-time restaurant workers, Daniel empowers his small staff by providing full time dedicated positions as well as the opportunity for additional hours at Green Planet Catering. With much of the staff splitting time, and the repurposing of excess ingredients, both GPC and TPC are able to run with very minimal waste and overhead.

    For Daniel, it all comes back to sustainability. “Everything is composted or recycled. No plastics except for food wrap. We are completely committed to waste reducing programs.” In 2007, he started farming with NC State Agriculture education farm, producing primarily for GPC. “For nearly 7-years, we had a private partnership with the NCSU agriculture school. We had a 6-acre spot near Yates Mill Pond where I spent 40 hours a week farming for GPC. At the same time, we developed a partnership with Pete Pagano of Tir Na Nog, running GPC from their kitchens.” Daniel and his team even began using the fryer oil from Tir Na Nog to make bio-fuel for GPC trucks. Between sustainably growing and harvesting their own produce and converting spent oils in bio-fuel, GPC began to win awards for sustainability. Today, the 65-person staff works out of a large production facility in Cary, providing everyday drop offs, boxed lunches, and hot buffets for corporate clients.

    Currently, Daniel isn’t doing much farming, except for at home, where he grows and supplies most of the fresh herbs for GPC and TPC. I learned pretty quickly that a few things are very important to him. Community empowerment, sustainability, adventure, and reflection seem to guide his path. “I need a place to ponder. I make better decisions on a surfboard on the water than I do behind the counter.” He’s known to peel off for Wrightsville at a moments notice to surf but you can typically catch him around downtown on his one-wheel. Daniel, who loves going back country camping stepped off the Appalachian Trail in June after hiking 100 miles. He’s worked out at Crossfit Invoke for the last 11 years and fought MMA for seven. “I injure myself a lot, because activities requiring a lot of intensity help me. I have to be so focused on maintaining myself that it really allows me to clear my head.”

    On the question of Hustle, Talent, or Luck, Daniel immediately interrupted me with, “Hustle”. “There are talented and lucky people all over place, but less people willing to put their head down and put in what it takes to be an entrepreneur." Besides hustle, Daniel gives due credit to the City of Oaks. “I have really strong feelings about Raleigh. That’s why I’m here. It’s the best place to run a business. As a water and adventure enthusiast, Raleigh doesn’t make much sense but damn what a vibe, what a buzz.” Like most business owners in Raleigh, Daniel has benefited greatly from the depth of staffing because of the quality of higher education in the area. “In today’s market, it can be hard for young people to get a job, so I have a lot of talented, educated people to reach out to for these projects. As a navy brat I’ve never had a sense of community. Now in this neighborhood I have a stage. Not to preach, but to listen and interact with everybody. I’ve never been anywhere this long. It feels really cool.”

    Learn more about The Pharmacy Café and Green Planet Catering as well as a few of Daniel’s favorite small businesses in the area below:

    For Private Events or Catering: 919-977-3405

    For Careers at TPC or Green Planet Catering: info@greenplanetcatering.com

    Check out the TPC Breakfast / Lunch Menu HERE

    RALEIGH HUSTLES HARD - TROLLEY PUB

    Kai Kaapro, owner of Trolley Pub, first had the idea for a pedal powered party machine in 2010 after seeing a similar vehicle while traveling in Amsterdam. At the time, an eco-friendly, pub-crawling trolley was a novelty. After returning to the states, Kai contacted his old fraternity brother, and soon to be business partner with a great new idea. Fast-forward to 2015, Trolley Pub operates pedal powered booze cruises in five locations across the country. We sat down recently with Kai for our latest installment of Raleigh Hustles Hard to learn more about how Raleigh’s favorite mobile party came to be.

    Kai, who was attending law school at the time, said he never had an entrepreneurial spirit. “This wasn’t planned. I never expected to be anything but an attorney. We really just wanted to build the first one out of curiosity. We thought it was a really cool idea and wanted to see what would happen.” After painstaking research, they finally found a manufacturer in Bend, Oregon willing and able to build the first Trolley Pub prototype.

    In 2011, Kai and his business partner founded Trolley Pub, LLC and opened the first location in Tucson, AZ. “I tried to run it while I was still in law school in Pennsylvania. It didn’t work out very well, if you can imagine. Eventually, a large streetcar project caused the Tucson location to lose viability. “Luckily, I had a good friend in Jeff Murison, the president of the Hillsborough Street Association in Raleigh. I was discussing my situation with him at a conference and he immediately suggested Raleigh as a perfect location.” Trolley Pub Raleigh opened in the spring of 2012. “The environment in Raleigh is perfect. After visiting, I quit every obligation I had and moved out here. I met my wife the first week I was here, on the Trolley Pub! Raleigh has been so good to me.”

    It was hard for us to categorize Trolley Pub. Is it a transportation service, a downtown Raleigh tour operator, a mobile bar? Technically, it’s all of the above, but Kai assures me it’s much simpler than that. “People are renting it out for a fun group experience, while getting to know the area better better. At the end of the day, Trolley Pub is just entertainment.”

    While it’s all entertainment for the customers, owning Trolley Pub is not easy. There is a lot of moving parts and liability when it comes to operating a mobile BYOB bar for 14 people. However, Kai admits that the biggest challenges were the legal hurdles when launching. “Between both the city and state regulations, licenses for motor carriers, alcohol licenses and laws, the hardest part was being granted the right to legally operate.” He says he was a bit naïve in the beginning, which helped him to jump right in. “I had never been out of college in the real world so I was very over confident thinking this would be easy.” There have been numerous obstacles unique to each location, but Raleigh was an outlier in terms of the launch process. “In 2012, Raleigh basically just said OK. They wanted to work with us from the beginning and we’ve still never really had an issue with this city.” Unfortunately, that’s not been the case elsewhere for Trolley Pub. Opening in Arlington, VA was much more difficult given its proximity to Washington, DC. “We had to take our case up to the state level, and eventually try to have a bill passed for our business to operate.” Even with all the regulatory hurdles, Trolley Pub Arlington opened in 2013. In 2014, the Madison (WI) and Houston (TX) locations were born. Most recently, Trolley Pub opened a location in Charlotte and has plans to expand into the Virgin Islands in November. Kai has a vision for further expansion, focusing on emerging markets like Wilmington (NC) and Detroit.

    On a more local level, Kai’s vision for Trolley Pub Raleigh is focused on transforming the warehouse at 323 W Davie Street, which is currently the trolley take-off point, into a hang out spot. “We’re still in the preliminary planning stage, but our ultimate goal is to build out a gift shop / bottle shop in the front of the store selling local merchandise and have a sandwich bar style restaurant in the back connecting to a rooftop bar.”

    Even with all the positive forward motion, Trolley Pub has had its fair share of detractors. Some downtown Raleigh residents have called it loud and obnoxious, while others have had issue with the vehicles slowing down traffic. Kai tells me, even though he was a bit thin skinned at first, it was important to him to be attentive to feedback and open to criticism while maintaining his vision and goals for the customer experience. “It hurt my feelings at first because I’ve thrown everything into this but ultimately it’s more important to me to be a good neighbor to the folks who live and work downtown. If someone has an issue, we try our best to be extremely responsive. If someone doesn’t want us near his or her house, we’ll change the route. We’ve even changed hours of operation to be more accommodating, late night. We’ve also spent a lot of time training our staff to be responsive and enforce the rules strictly."

    Although Kai had no plans to be a small business owner, he finds that this lifestyle suits him better than he expected. “Once I dipped my toes in, I enjoyed being a business owner so much that I stuck with it. My favorite part is finding ways to please the customer and making sure they are happy with the money they’ve spent. Selfishly, I love the time management, control, and creative freedom it allows me, but more importantly I love seeing people walk away happy.”

    Learn more about Trolley Pub and some of Kai’s favorite small businesses in the area below:

    Thanks for stopping by the porch,

    Porch Fly Clothing

    Tea Towels are now available!

    These new kitchen towels are so awesome - trust us. Made by Towel & Home, these 22x38 inch eco-friendly flour sack towels are the perfect addition to your kitchen. When it's time to clean up, these are easy. They are lint free, 100% cotton, and machine washable.

    Now available in Whisk-Key, Heart Drop, Turducken, and The Streets of DTR for $10! These are the perfect Mother's Day gift!

     

    Thanks for stopping by the Porch,

     

    Porch Fly