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    The Porch — Local Businesses

    Porch Fly Spring Release Party!

    Porch Fly Spring Release Party!

     

    I know what you're thinking. "It's not spring yet, what are they doing?" Well, you're wrong. The weather is amazing, and it's time to officially put winter in a body bag. What better way to kick off the spring of 2017 than with a bunch of new tees, tanks, hats, candles, and more!

    We'll be hanging out from 2-5pm at Neuse River Brewing Co. with our entire collection! Don't worry, we'll have you home in time for the ACC Championship! Check the full schedule and event info below. 


    FOOD: Food trucks on-site throughout the event.
    Chirba Chirba (http://bit.ly/1URssC9)
    Cocoa Forte (http://bit.ly/2m06f9l)

    OTHER WARES: We're bringing some talented friends with us.
    EmoJugs (http://bit.ly/2m10iqU)
    The Noble Woodsman (http://bit.ly/2lEK31G)

    BEER SPECIALS: $4 Misfit Wits throughout the event!

    RAFFLES: Pieces from the new collection will be raffled off throughout the day, with all ticket proceeds going to benefit two amazing non-profits we support:

    The Nature Conservancy (http://bit.ly/2lyIKk6)
    The Scott-Free Scholarship Foundation (http://bit.ly/1LfpfZ5).

    FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - See you on the 11th!

    To learn more about Porch Fly Clothing, visit porchfly.com and follow us on Instagram @porchflyclothing

     

    - Josh

    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 - WEDPICS

    RALEIGH HUSTLES HARD - WEDPICS

    The first time I visited HQ Raleigh in early 2014, I knew it was providing something special for Raleigh’s entrepreneurs and start-ups. Immediately upon walking in, I could feel the energy. People were racing through the halls, some congregating and sharing ideas near the bar, and scores of teams working together diligently behind glass offices. Everyone seemed inspired and with purpose. I knew this wasn’t an ordinary workspace. While there, I would continuously hear about WedPics and their CEO / Co-Founder, Justin Miller. As the head of the fastest growing crowd sourced wedding app on the market, Justin and his team are helping to define Raleigh’s startup boom. We sat down with local hustler and successful entrepreneur, Justin Miller, for our latest installment of Raleigh Hustle’s Hard.

    From a networking perspective, HQ Raleigh was a huge boost to WedPics. “We didn’t know anybody at the time because we spent 18 hours a day in my basement building the app.” However, the road there wasn’t always clear. Justin graduated from the NCSU School of Design with a major in graphic design. And like many graduates in Raleigh before this current culture of entrepreneurship took hold, Justin accepted a corporate design job at IBM. At the time, Justin was intrigued with what was happening in social media and curated content online. His experience with large-scale marketing events at IBM presented a chance to capitalize on what he saw as a wasted opportunity. “There was a major fault on the marketing side where IBM would spend millions of dollars on these large scale events, and after the fact there was no way for them to easily gather the photos from all the participants.”

    Founded in 2011 in Justin’s basement, Deja Mi was conceived around concerts and other live events, to provide a location-based platform for event-goers to share experiences and form a connection socially. This was pre-hashtag days so aggregating that experience in a concise way without social connections was difficult. “Early on we had some friends and family that believed in the idea and were willing to cut us checks. We got really lucky. We were basically working for peanuts so I extended equity where possible, which provided much needed incentive and drive.” Most of the people who started at Deja Mi in the beginning are still working together today. After merging with a Durham startup at the end of 2011, the company doubled to twelve people.

    Upon merging, the first build of Deja Mi was scrapped and rebuilt from scratch. “We rolled out the new version, Apple featured it in 90 countries as a new and noteworthy app and Deja Mi started getting 6k+ downloads a day with no marketing.” Unfortunately, when Apple stopped pushing the app, momentum quickly fizzled. In early 2012, with funding waning and no clear vision ahead, they began exploring other use cases for the idea. After a great response to the app at a local bridal event, they began looking hard at the $50bn wedding market. “It just made sense. In this space, we could provide a real solution to a problem that actually existed.” With WedPics, they could replace the need for disposable cameras at weddings and provide a tool to aggregate all of the content from guests, who may or may not know each other, but can still share collectively in the experience.

    By the time WedPics launched in 2012, they had received some great press locally, and nationally from most of the major tech companies. Unfortunately, not all press was good press - at least not at first. After an N&O article featured Justin and the team, they were quickly served with an eviction notice from Justin’s basement or they would face fines in excess of $500 per day. Again, Justin used social media as a solution. He shared his ordeal and was immediately flooded with not only offers for working space, but also $25k in funding from a local angel investor. The team ultimately landed at HQ Raleigh. This was the perfect springboard for partnerships with other companies and outside funding. “It was just a really good connector”, said Justin.

    WedPics didn’t start as the robust platform it is today. Ultimately, Justin sees simplicity as a reason for WedPics early and continued success. “When you come up with an idea, there is a tendency to want to put every piece of functionality in it, so it’s as big and powerful as possible. That is where you think the bar is set, but that’s absolutely wrong.” Justin and his team stripped WedPics down to the bare minimum. “We had giant whiteboards on the wall of my basement where we’d list every feature we wanted in the app, then each day would come in and erase multiple features.” They were left with only the functionality necessary to make the app work. After the launch, Justin and his team carefully monitored the backend analytics to understand how people were using the app and what kind of feedback they provided. Coupled with constant competitor analysis, they took that insight to evolve the product and scale the capabilities of the platform. “Luckily, in our market we had a huge advantage, because brides love to provide feedback, whether good or bad. Listening to our audience was key.”

    Fast-forward to 2016, WedPics has received over $12M in outside funding and has grown into the #1 wedding app on the market. Operating in every country and with over 5 million dedicated users, the thirty-person team has made an undeniable impact in the wedding industry. Over 1 million photos are shared from the 10k+ weddings hosted on the app each week. While the app has triumphed significantly from an acquisition perspective, WedPics began moving from an acquisition-based model to a revenue-based model in January. Along with its app invite cards and hi-res printed photos, which account for most of the current revenue, they’ve diversified their revenue models by bringing in non-traditional advertising. “We sell dedicated email lists, as well as offering impressions for hand selected retailers inside of the app.” WedPics now also provides an opt-in opportunity where retailers can offer exclusive deals and connect with its customers directly. “We’ve taken a different approach to advertising and are currently testing this model to understand it’s scalability and how it resonates with our audience.” He says that so far it’s been well adopted.

    Justin has become an unofficial ambassador for Raleigh, even accompanying Mayor Nancy McFarlane to speak at SXSW. He credits both the city and the continuously deep talent pool for much of its recent success. “Now that we’re getting a larger footprint of small business and tech, options for graduates have expanded to much more than just corporate opportunities. This makes Raleigh much more attractive for an early stage entrepreneur. The cost of living and creating a business is so low in Raleigh, it really provides the opportunity to operate with much lower risk.”

    While Justin agrees that Raleigh can be a nourishing environment for entrepreneurs, he recognizes the challenges of evolving from the old way of doing things. Bureaucracy and lack of innovative, solution-focused thinking sometimes presents a real challenge to helping new ideas materialize. “Things aren’t as complicated as they are sometimes made to be. Instead of always going by the book or saying no when an idea reaches uncharted territory, I’d like to see the city think bigger picture and be a partner in developing innovative solutions.” Justin has been trying to launch his side project, El Taco Cartel since early 2015, but has run into challenges bringing it to market because Raleigh hasn’t decided how to classify his food cart. He’s working with city and county officials to build out a mobile food and beverage guide to provide a framework for not only him, but to pave the way for future entrepreneurs in the same space.

     

    When asked whether he would rather be blessed with luck, talent, or hustle, Justin answered emphatically, “Hustle, 100%. Luck runs out. Talent is not necessary. With hustle, you’ll always figure out a way to get it done.

    What more needs to be said?

    Learn more about WedPics as well as a few of Justin’s favorite small businesses in the area below:

    The Official Porch Fly Holiday Movie List

    It's the "Most Wonderful Time Of The Year"! Well, at least according to Andy Williams on every radio station imaginable. The holidays have a different meaning for everyone. For some it's about giving, for others it's about receiving. And for others, it's about Chinese food and a movie. No matter who you are or what you're doing over the holidays, there is always time to get comfortable with friends and family, grab a hot (bourbon) drink and watch a Christmas classic. Here's our 5 favorite holiday flicks to get you through the season. Enjoy!

    5. DIE HARD (1988)

    It's Christmas time in L.A., and there's an employee party in progress on the 30th floor of the Nakatomi Corporation building. The revelry comes to a violent end when the partygoers are taken hostage by a group of terrorists headed by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), who plan to steal the 600 million dollars locked in Nakatomi's high-tech safe. In truth, Gruber and his henchmen are only pretending to be politically motivated to throw the authorities off track; also in truth, Gruber has no intention of allowing anyone to get out of the building alive. Meanwhile, New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) has come to L.A. to visit his estranged wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), who happens to be one of the hostages. Disregarding the orders of the authorities surrounding the building, McClane, who fears nothing (except heights), takes on the villains, armed with one handgun and plenty of chutzpah.


     



    Rating: PG (adult situations/language, violence)
    Genre: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy
    Directed By:
    Written By: Chris Columbus
    In Theaters:
    On DVD: Jun 22, 1999
    Runtime:

     

    Our Consensus: This movie is absolutely ridiculous. But let's be clear, if you didn't open up your biggest gift each year hoping just a little bit that it was a Mogwai, then we straight up don't trust you.

     

    3. HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (1995)

    Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) usually approaches family reunions with a certain trepidation, but as she prepares to fly from her home in Chicago to her parent's place in Baltimore for Thanksgiving, she is more apprehensive than usual. Claudia has just lost her job, she's not feeling at all well, and her teenage daughter, Kitt (Claire Danes), who is staying behind, informs Claudia on the way to the airport that she plans to use the weekend to lose her virginity with her boyfriend.


    Rating: PG-13
    Genre: Drama, Kids & Family, Comedy
    Directed By:
    Written By: W.D. Richter
    In Theaters:
    On DVD: Nov 9, 2004
    Runtime:

     

    Our Consensus: If you're a living person with a family, this hits home. Has there ever been a more accurate portrayal of the stress and frustration of a family holiday? From the second that Claudia arrives home, the movie plays out like every son or daughters worst holiday nightmare. Most importantly...the infamous turkey scene. Everyone has wanted this to happen to at least one relative at one point or another. A realistic, instant classic.

     

    2. HOME ALONE (1990)

    Home Alone is the highly successful and beloved family comedy about a young boy named Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) who is accidentally left behind when his family takes off for a vacation in France over the holiday season. Once he realizes they've left him home alone, he learns to fend for himself and, eventually has to protect his house against two bumbling burglars (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern) who are planning to rob every house in Kevin's suburban Chicago neighborhood.


    Rating: PG
    Genre: Comedy, Kids & Family
    Directed By:
    Written By: John Hughes
    In Theaters:
    On DVD: Oct 5, 1999
    Runtime:

     

    Our Consensus: This movie is every kids dream. Who hasn't dreamed of ditching (or being ditched by) your family for a weekend of a little "King of The Castle". Of course, a PG Pesci makes this movie even more amazing, but it's a pre-heroin Macauly Caulkin's performance that makes this a bonafide childhood favorite. Now keep reading, ya dirty rascal!

     

    1. RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER (1964)

    This stop-motion animagic version of the classic Christmas tale adds a bit of a twist when Rudolph encounters an abominable snowman. This was made for TV and features Burl Ives as the narrator.

    WE LOVE THIS MOVIE SO MUCH, WE'VE PROVIDED THE FULL LENGTH FILM BELOW


    Rating: Unrated
    Genre: Television, Animation, Kids & Family, Classics
    Directed By: , ,, , , ,, , , , , ,
    Written By: Romeo Muller
    In Theaters:
    On DVD: Oct 17, 2000
    Runtime:

     

    Our Consensus: Yeah, we're serious. We love everything about this from the insane re-imagination of the plot line to the grainy and awkward stop-motion animation. We can't really explain how important this movie was to us growing up. Burl Ives was like our jolly, round, cigar smoking grandfather. This classic immediately brings you back to a simpler time in your life. You might even want to slip on an adult onesie for this one..it just feels right.

     

    Check out these honorable mentions!

    6. BAD SANTA (2003)

    7. EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990)

    8. A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938)

    9. NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION (1989)

    10. THE REF (1994)

     

    Happy Holidays from the Porch Fly Family!