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Archive for February, 2013

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE: Sarah Stanley

Monday, February 25th, 2013

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Message in a Bottle is a casual sitdown that takes a quick, inquisitive look into the lives of some of DRY’s friends who are influencing their greater communities, providing droplets of insight from great people doing big things.

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Today’s feature: SARAH STANLEY

wellness & fitness expert, endurance athlete, entrepreneur and health journalist

Who is your biggest idol, and what would you say to them with only ten words?

Dr. Ben Carson. Thank you for giving me hope when I was 8 years old.

What is the best gift you’ve ever given?

I flew to surprise a friend for her 40th birthday party. It was awesome.

What one message would you go back and leave your 7-year-old self?

You will survive.

What personal achievement makes you the most proud?

At the time of this interview, having run almost 40 marathons/ultramarathons, including two 100 mile ultramarathons (disclaimer: 2nd 100 made it to mile 80 before missing the cutoff.) Also cycling from San Francisco to San Diego in 5 days- a little over 600 miles.

What is your personal mission statement?

I actually have two: “how can my life be a blessing to someone, somewhere, somehow, someway” and “live to inspire others to do good, love all, be active, have purpose, pursue justice, go explore, keep the faith, have a good attitude”.

If you had to choose one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?

That’s easy! Any athletic outfit. Running shoes, sweat-wicking shorts & top, a really good supportive bra (keeping it real folks!) and a cute hat. The hat is my signature item. :)

 

Learn more and follow Sarah on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or her website for plenty more positive inspiration, tips and motivation.

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RETAILER TALES: New Jersey’s &grain Baked to Perfection

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

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Tinkering with DRY’s Store Locator for any length of time, you’ll find DRY Soda carried in some pretty amazing independent cafes, restaurants, grocery stores and more. Each of these places has a story, so we’ve set out to bring you the best of these entrepreneurial endeavors to you in Retailer Tales.

Today’s Tale: &grain

Chatting with: John Ropelski, founder and owner

Location: Garwood, New Jersey

Specialty: An obsessive commitment to bread and the ingredients that go between each slice

John Ropselski never set out to start a bakery.

In fact, his mind was not even close to being in bread. Upon finishing his degree in finance, Ropelski stepped directly into the mortgage business and saw immediate success. However, when the market went belly up in 2008, he decided it was time to rethink his path. “I knew I always wanted to be my own boss, so I thought ‘What could I open?’”

His inspiration was  quite the duality. First, in his earlier days of working in high end retail, John was inspired by the craftsmanship and attention to detail that made such fashion outlast seemingly anything the economy could throw at it – boiled down by John as “do things better and people will appreciate them.” Secondly, though finance was his trade, baking was undeniably in his blood – literally. The son of Polish immigrants, John comes from a bloodline of Ropelski bakers and thus had a rich family history upon which to draw knowledge and experience. Rolling this all into one resulted in an enrollment in the French Culinary Institute and five years spent perfecting his newfound craft – something in which he takes the utmost pride.

and-grain-1“There are always higher end places to go to dinner, but I’d never seen that done for lunch,” Ropelski says. With this in mind, &grain was born. John is admittedly obsessed with the process and details of what goes into high higher-end-yet-reasonably-priced sandwiches, but he points out that every aspect of his business is just as intentional. “I wanted to bring a little bit of New York into New Jersey,” he says. “The space is a mix of antique farmhouse and industrial warehouse,” with parts of the space (including the DRY Soda display to the left) constructed from recovered farmhouse wood. In all these decisions – whether ingredients or construction – John says it is pride that drives him. “I’m a proud owner,” he says. “People tell me that I could save some money dumbing something down here or cutting a corner there, but that wouldn’t be something I could stand behind.”

Ropelski recommends &grain’s grilled cheese sandwich – made on fresh baked Pain de Mie, toasted with garlic butter with melted brie and goat cheese on top of grilled prosciutto - paired with a Lavender DRY Soda (all pictured above). “I want to help people eat better, and people want soda with their lunch. So when I found DRY I thought, ‘This is exactly what I want’, because it seems like DRY shares that same philosophy,” John says.

With all the hard work and attention to detail, the days are certainly long. John’s days start at 1 am when the first loaves go in the oven and end around 8 pm when he sends the team home.

“I get very little sleep, and I eat very little, but at the end of the day seeing all the empty plates and thinking of everyone in and out throughout the day, that’s what I get fed on.”

He says the occasional Cucumber DRY / Hendrick’s Gin helps too.

You can find &grain at 700 North Ave Garwood, NJ and online on Facebook, Twitter and Yelp

DRY Listens: Rhubarb Hearts Aflutter Playlist

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Rhubarb-v-day-playlist-listen-now!

 

 

Valentine’s Day is upon us, so here are 14 tracks to make your 14th even better. Some classics, some new sounds, collectively celebrating love in all forms. Regardless of what you’re doing for Valentine’s Day, there’s something for everyone, so listen up and share this with someone special!

DRY’s Rhubarb Hearts Aflutter Playlist: soulful, swooning and never too mushy.

For non-Spotify users, use this alternate YouTube playlist.

Want to pair this playlist with something extra special? Find DRY near you and treat yo’self and your special someone to a 4-pack of tender lovin’ DRY Soda.

DRY Soda Cocktails Fit for a Mardi Gras King

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

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Mardi Gras is here and we’d like to help you celebrate uniquely. While we can’t control the other aspects of your celebration, these less sweet DRY Soda cocktails will help keep the Fat out of your Tuesday. Pairing with King Cake optional.

To the Sweet Life
Indulge intelligently and raise your glass to the sweet life

1 oz. black cherry vodka
1/2 oz. apple pucker
1/2 oz. peach schnapps
3 oz. Blood Orange DRY Soda
Splash of cranberry juice
Serve: martini glass

- Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice
- Add vodka, apple pucker and peach schnapps
- Shake well and pour into chilled martini glass
- Top with Blood Orange DRY, then cranberry juice

Ole Ragtime
If you can’t be on Bourbon Street, at least celebrate with a touch of bourbon

1.5 oz bourbon
3 oz. Rhubarb DRY Soda
Serve: rocks glass

- Fill rocks glass half full with ice
- Add bourbon and Rhubarb DRY Soda, stir

Want more less sweet cocktails? Visit our Cocktail Recipes page or download our smart phone app (Android / iPhone)!