Black Momma Tea & Cafe

Black Momma Vodka Founder To Open Black Momma Tea & Cafe

There are few moments more inspiring to witness than that of a successful black businesswoman expanding her brand and pursuing her passions. Vanessa Braxton, founder, and owner of Black Momma Vodka is doing just that with the opening of a 4,600 square-foot Black Momma Tea & Cafe, bar, and office in Wheatley Heights, NY.

Black Momma Tea & Cafe

Braxton first launched her Black Momma vodka brand in 2013. Three years later, in 2016, she opened a manufacturing facility in Wyandanch. That same year saw her begin the production of teas and flavored agaves. Business continued to boom over the following years and she now boasts a grand total of 33,000 online and wholesale customers and has made $2.9 million in sales. The brick-and-mortar space in Wheatley Heights will serve as her company’s headquarters and training facility. With plans to open distribution centers in several states and almost 300 interested franchisees, Braxton needs all the space she can get.

Black Momma Vodka

Although Braxton considered many different locations for this central facility, officially named Black Momma Tea & Cafe, she chose Wheatley Heights because of its residents. According to census data, the population of this Long Island town is approximately 5,100 people, with over 60% of residents identifying as black and Latino.

“I have plenty of places I could go. But I wanted to take the opportunity for people who look like me to see what I’m doing for the community so that they can step up and do the same thing,” said Braxton.

A retired structural engineer, Braxton is certainly an inspiration for her community. Not only does she have more than 20 years of experience in construction and engineering, but she was the first African-American woman to build a Burger King in New York 22 years ago.

Black Momma Tea & Cafe

Her goal for Black Momma Tea & Cafe is to become the Starbucks of tea. Braxton wants her cafe to be the premier purveyor of tea, just as Starbucks is for coffee. As she is planning for each of her future cafes to have a liquor license, she hopes that they’ll also be able to serve something a little stronger than tea. Braxton’s vision includes her cafe serving craft beers from local businesses as well as her branded liquors.

Of course, no cafe would be complete without an offering of tasty treats and luckily she found it easy to come to an agreement with a local company who specializes in restaurant supply who were able to help her make her dream of offering food too a reality. Black Momma Tea & Cafe will have plenty of snacking options for customers-on-the-go, such as muffins and wraps. In an effort to diversify the diets of families, Braxton’s cafe will focus on vegan and organic products. This focus will be of great value to adults as well as children, who shouldn’t have more than 25 grams of sugar per day. The cafe’s healthy food options can help keep their sugar intake down.

While many of the products featured in Black Momma Tea & Cafe will be branded products, plenty of the food and drink items will come from other local businesses.

“I’m using a lot of small, minority, women and veteran-owned vendors, who never had the chance with larger places. It’s economic inclusion for everyone,” Braxton said.

To further help the community, the cafe in Wheatley Heights will have meeting rooms available to all. Braxton plans to offer free classes in these rooms by using partnerships with companies such as Microsoft.

Braxton certainly has the necessary financial backing for her enterprise, with over $2 million raised from nearly 3,000 investors on Wefunder, a San Francisco-based equity crowdfunding site. She is still waiting on the town’s approval to move forward with her plans. Once she has their permission, she plans to open her cafe early next year.

7 Techie Gifts That Are Perfect For The Holiday Season

Tech. It’s everywhere and we’re connected all the time. Some 40 Zettabytes of data — that’s 40 trillion gigabytes — will be bouncing around cloud computing networks in 2020, so it’s only fair to rein things back into a realistically graspable technical arena and start getting acquainted with the neatest new techie gifts that’ll be on all sorts of wishlists this holiday season.

Whether your brother is an avid gamer or your bestie has been eyeing the newest headphones, you can find the perfect gifts for your loved ones in the tech world. Let’s take a look at the top techie gifts you can get for the tech-lovers in your life for the holidays this year.

1. Slim Folio

7 Techie Gifts That Are Perfect For The Holidays

The Slim Folio is a product from Logitech, one of the biggest names in the consumer gadget industry. This folio acts as a protective cover for your Apple iPad while also giving you a keyboard for it that is as well-designed as any on a standard laptop. The keys are large and well-spaced and the keyboard even includes a full row of iPadOS shortcut keys. The Slim Folio includes a storage spot for your Apple Pencil or Logitech Crayon and will adapt to your typing position, whether that’s on your lap as you cozy up on the couch or you’re sitting at a desk to get some serious work done. The Logitech Slim Folio currently costs $99.99.

The Slim Folio Pro provides an even more enhanced experience than its counterpart with an all-in-one backlit keyboard. This case fits the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro and costs between $119.99 and $129.99.

2. Crayon

7 Techie Gifts That Are Perfect For The Holidays

Another Logitech product, Crayon is a pixel-precise digital pencil that is compatible with all iPads made in 2018 and later. Crayon works with any app that supports Apple Pencil, allowing you to do things like take handwritten notes, mark up PDFs, or draw digital artwork. You won’t experience any noticeable delays when using Crayon and you can even rest your hand on your iPad’s screen when drawing without confusing its touchscreen technology. Logitech Crayon costs $69.99.

3. BRIO 4K Pro Webcam

Tech Gift Ideas - Logitech webcam

Hailed as Logitech’s best webcam, the BRIO 4K Pro Webcam offers 4K UH and 5X zoom for stellar video quality. The webcam’s features provide support for infrared-based facial recognition to strengthen login security. With about 87% of small businesses experiencing a security breach in 2012 alone, companies and individuals alike need the latest tech to protect themselves from cyber dangers. The advanced features of the BRIO 4K Pro Webcam also allow you to look great in any illumination and offer several FOV options. This Logitech Webcam costs $199.99 and makes wonderful techie gifts.

4. Jaybird Headphones

7 Techie Gifts That Are Perfect For The Holidays

With so many people using music streaming services like Spotify now, almost everyone is looking for the best way to listen to their beloved artists wherever they go. Jaybird has a line of high-tech headphones that are perfect for the music-lovers on the go. The Jaybird Tarah features a streamlined design and provides six hours of high-quality wireless sound per charge. They’re fully waterproof and outfitted with comfortable silicone ear gels and the Speed Cinch cord adjustment system to achieve the perfect fit. The Tarah also gives you one-touch access to your smartphone’s Google Assistant or Siri, allowing you to manage calls while running, training, or riding. The Jaybird Tarah costs $99.99.

The Jaybird X4 has many of the same features of the Tarah but offers eight hours of high-quality wireless sound per charge. The X4 also comes with interchangeable tips and fins to provide a customizable fit for any ear size. The Jaybird X4 costs $129.99. The Jaybird Tarah Pro is the most advanced of this headphone line with an industry-leading 14-hour battery life. It also features SnapLock magnetic buds that fasten around your neck and automatically turn the music off when you’re not using them to conserve its battery life. The Jaybird Tarah Pro costs $159.99.

Jaybird’s latest release is the Jaybird Vista, a completely wireless set of earbuds that offer a high-quality audio experience. About 36 million Americans experience some degree of hearing loss, but the premium sound quality that comes out of these headphones can make anyone feel like their hearing is as good as it was when they were young. These earbuds each have 16 hours of battery life that come from a compact charging case, giving you 32 hours of uninterrupted independent bud use. Just a five-minute quick charge for each bud will give you an hour each of playtime. The Jaybird Vista costs $179.99.

5. Logitech G915 Lightspeed Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Tech Gift Ideas - Logitech Gaming keyboard

This keyboard is one of the fastest in the market with Logitech G’s Lightspeed Wireless technology that provides a pro-grade 1ms report rate. Even a professional stenographer who is required to type over 225 words per minute can’t communicate information that quickly. The Lightspeed keyboard also has five on-board programmable G-keys, allowing you to put whatever custom macro sequences and in-app commands you need at your fingertips. This kind of keyboard will be great for those who buy unranked smurfs from sites like https://www.unrankedsmurfs.com to rank up quickly if they like to play the highly competitive team-based and popular game League of Legends, the macro sequences will allow you to use your champion abilities with perfection and you can even do so wearing some premium and rare skins from the likes of the previously stated site! The G915 Lightspeed Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard has an MSRP of $249.99.

6. Ultimate Ears Bluetooth Speakers

Ultimate Ears Bluetooth Speakers

These colorful Bluetooth speakers from Ultimate Ears combine playful design with a high-quality listening experience. The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 has 13 hours of battery life and is dustproof and waterproof, even floating when it meets water. These protective features paired with the all-new Outdoor Boost, which gives the speaker a louder and crisper sound in outdoor settings, make it your perfect companion for outdoor adventuring. The WONDERBOOM 2 costs $99.99.

The Ultimate Ears myBOOM 3 is a fully personalized Bluetooth speaker with all of the protective features of the WONDERBOOM 2. While many electronics need to be stored between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain peak condition, the myBOOM can withstand nearly everything mother nature has to throw at it. To make the speaker uniquely yours, you can choose from a range of modern fabrics, select colors for different parts, and even add your name or other text on the back of the speaker. Since you design it, the speaker is made to order and will ship within three to four weeks. The myBOOM 3 costs $179.99.

7. Logitech Wireless Mouses

Whether you need a wireless mouse for everyday use or the ultimate gaming experience, Logitech has you covered. The new Logitech M325C Collection offers a wide array of designs to match your unique style, whether that’s cheery florals or rugged camo. This wireless mouse is easily portable, comfortable, and will stay powered for up to 18 months. Although the average computer mouse harbors about 21,000 germs per square inch, you can easily wipe down this small and durable mouse for the best hygiene practices. The mouses in the M325C Collection are extremely affordable at just $29.99.

MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse

Logitech also offers high-tech computer mouses for gaming. The MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse is Logitech’s most advanced mouse yet in their Master Series. It’s quiet, fast, and offers instant precision and endless potential for advanced users. The G502 Wireless Gaming Mouse is made for serious gamers, with the next-generation HERO 16K sensor and POWERPLAY compatibility. The mouse has an ergonomic design for hours of comfortable gameplay and is seven grams lighter than previous models for optimal speed. The MX Master 3 costs $99.99 while the G502 has an MSRP of $149.99.

Shopping for the holidays can be a challenge, but these techie gifts and gadgets will make the struggle much easier for you this year. There’s something for everyone on your shopping list and they’ll be sure to remember your thoughtfulness for years to come with these wonderful techie gifts and must-have gadgets.

How Plotagraphs Are Changing the Face of Instagram

How Plotagraphs Are Changing the Face of Instagram

Instagram influencers have been a widely discussed topic of conversation in recent years, for better or for worse. On average a wedding photographer will deliver 300-400 photographs. On Instagram, it’s not uncommon to see an account, and even stories, with hundreds to thousands of pictures.

Now, there are ways to make your pictures even more interactive. Unlike traditional moving photos (AKA cinemagraphs), which rely on a series of burst shots or videos to make the image move, the Plotaverse app starts with an image and uses patterns within the picture to encourage movement. The result is a gif-like image that you can share on social media for the whole world to enjoy, AKA Plotagraphs.

How Plotagraphs Are Changing the Face of Instagram

These photos could, potentially, be the new wave of photos on Instagram. Just take a page out of Patricia Manterola’s profile and see how she’s been using Plotagraphs to gain more than 100,000 Instagram followers. It takes people about 10 seconds to form an impression of your brand, so let’s see how Patricia Manterola has been using Plotaverse to grab peoples’ attention

How Manterola’s Instagram following boomed thanks to Plotagraphs

Patricia Manterola gained worldwide recognition through her Mexican music group Garibaldi and her Instagram was a reflection of her fame. With more than 600,000 followers, the Latina superstar is no slouch when it comes to entertaining her fans, both on and off social media.

In honor of her new song, Manterola posted a series of sultry plotagraphs on her Instagram account. Mesmerizing more than 44,000 viewers, these looping images showcased gorgeous moving waves around a fashionably dressed Manterola. In the span of a single day, Manterola watched her followers surge from 600k to over 700,000.

“I love when success stories like this happen,” notes CEO and Plotaverse owner Sascha Scheider. “Content Marketing has grown into a $326 billion dollar industry. Imagine trying to stand out and grab attention when […] billions of individuals are posting videos every day. It is our mission to stay ahead of the curve in market and tech trends.”

Other celebs can’t resist plotagraph

But it isn’t just Manterola who has been bolstering high follower numbers on her Instagram. Since socialite Paris Hilton started posting Plotagraphs almost every day, her numbers have skyrocketed from 80,000 to 11 million. The star has continued this trend with her new fragrance release “Electrify.” After all, up to 90% of customers that are engaged with a brand will buy more frequently than customers who aren’t engaged. It just goes to show that a little sparkle can go a long way.

How Plotagraphs Are Changing the Face of Instagram

Ariana Grande also hypnotized fans while promoting her recent interview with Elle Magazine. The starlet tossed her hair in the cover and used the Plotaverse app to give her hair a surreal spin on her Instagram page. While the original photo by Alexi Lubomirski was absolutely beautiful, the plotagraph was the perfect touch to whoo millions of fans online.

How Plotagraphs Are Changing the Face of Instagram

Even surrealist makeup artist Mimi Choi got a shout-out on the Joe Rogan podcast for her creative use of the Plotaverse app. Her Halloween-inspired makeup tripped out thousands of fans on her Instagram page. She was able to achieve such a successful plotagraph thanks to her patterned design. This is because plotographs work best when they have a recurring image or pattern to mimic. The end result is a perfectly repeated loop sure to confuse and entertain any follower you have.

How Plotagraphs Are Changing the Face of Instagramplotaverse overlay

Is the plotagraph the next “it” thing? Such cool innovations have sparked interest for celebrities but there are several industries that can benefit from such moving images. It’s estimated that up to 50% of homes don’t sell the first time they are listed. Could plotagraph be used for more than just celebrity Instagrams? You’ll have to download it yourself to find out.

Carlsberg Green Fiber Bottle Design

This Danish Brewer Wants to Make Bar Hopping More Eco-Friendly

Although there are those who love nothing more than to celebrate with a cocktail or tuck in with a glass of wine after a hard day, there’s a significant portion of people who would rather wind down with an ale or lager. After all, 41% of all adults chose beer as their favorite alcoholic beverage in 2014. But even though beer is one of the oldest drinks in the world, that’s not stopping companies from innovating. It’s not only about craft beer, either; it’s even getting to the point where the ubiquitous bottle or can may not be the best vessel to hold your suds.

Apparently, green beer isn’t just for St. Patrick’s Day anymore, and the brewer knows this.

Carlsberg Green Fiber Bottle Design

No, we’re not talking about color. We’re talking about eco-friendliness. It’s a topic more Americans are researching, meaning that many people are actively taking steps to reduce their environmental impact. For instance, some individuals are trying to decrease the activities that add carbon dioxide — a prevalent greenhouse gas that makes up 0.05% of the atmosphere — to the environment, which might involve driving less or switching to an electric vehicle. Others vow to ditch single use plastics, which are incredibly common in our society but are starting to become more highly regulated. Although we might still rely on other kinds of plastics, like those made from the reaction injection molding process, plastic bags and containers are being swapped out for reusable alternatives.

And then, of course, there’s the pledge to recycle more. Research has revealed that the majority of what we think we’re recycling ends up sitting around in landfills — often due to the unsustainably high costs associated with recycling and no way to send recyclable goods to other countries like in the past. But one popular beer brewer based in Denmark believes that their recyclable mission will still manage to make a positive impact.

Earlier this month, beer brewer, Carlsberg announced that the company is currently developing prototypes for its “Green Fibre Bottle,” a fully recyclable beer bottle made from sustainably sourced wood fibers. Essentially, it’s made out of eco-friendly paper and can be recycled after use. Although the world produced 411 million metric tons of paper and cardboard in 2016, not all papers are so environmentally responsible.

Carlsberg has actually developed two different prototypes — one that utilizes an interior barrier made of polyethylene terephthalate polymer film and the other with a “100% bio-based” polyethylene furanoate polymer film barrier. Although the bottles require the barrier in order to hold the beer inside, Carlsberg says that the company eventually wants to produce a completely bio-based bottle without any use of polymers at all. What’s more, the brewer has made a commitment to having zero carbon emissions at its breweries and to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2030.

While the bottles are still very much in development, Carlsberg is taking its time to ensure that the taste of the beer won’t be altered by the packaging materials. And since many of the materials used in the paper bottles aren’t commercially available, the beer maker has teamed up with other major companies, including Absolut, L’Oreal, and Coca-Cola, to create better paper packaging.

Ultimately, Carlsberg doesn’t plan to replace its existing cans and bottles with the paper model, but they are hoping to provide customers with an additional option. It’s not clear as of yet how much beer in a paper bottle might cost; it is possible that eco-friendly drinkers might be willing to cough up a bit more for sustainability.

Until these bottles become available, however, eco-conscious lushes might do well to buy organic and local. Beer actually isn’t the most eco-friendly alcoholic beverage option, given the way this drink is made — but if you’re committed to enjoying a cold one, opt for a can. Although glass is recyclable, it’s heavier to ship (and aluminum is actually easier to recycle). Do your research on brewers that prioritize sustainable practices, too. That way, you can feel a little less guilty about your carbon footprint when you’re getting buzzed.

Stuffed Puffs S'mores Kit

Stuffed Puffs S’mores Kit: The Perfect S’mores…Indoors

Quick question for all of you? Does the fall season make you think of camping? We know millions of people go camping in the summer but for us, the fall season always puts us in a camping state of mind. It could be the thought of being bundled up under the stars; sitting by a warm fire while there’s a slight chill in the air; roasting marshmallows in that fire to enjoy some smores. But of course, we live in a major metropolitan city and the only camping we’ve experienced is bundling up under the covers in our living room. Thankfully we can still enjoy some S’mores action indoors, thanks to the Stuffed Puffs S’mores Kit.

Stuffed Puffs S'mores Kit

This popular campfire treat is a century-old American tradition. The Stuffed Puffs S’mores Kit has reinvented the way we enjoy S’mores. The innovative marshmallow is filled with real chocolate. That’s right, Stuffed Puffs puts the chocolate inside the marshmallow, so “the chocolate melts while the marshmallow toasts.” It virtually guarantees a perfect S’more with less mess.

Stuffed Puffs S'mores Kit

Stuffed Puffs puts an end to the frustration of juggling marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers. Whether you’re around a campfire, hot grill, or stove. It eliminates the chunks of un-melted chocolate or uneven blending of chocolate and marshmallow that turns traditional s’more-making into a hit-or-miss adventure.

Stuffed Puffs S'mores

“The idea was born around a campfire,” said Michael Tierney. who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. NY in 2010. “But with Stuffed Puffs, 7 seconds in a microwave makes a great S’more. You can’t do that with traditional marshmallows and chocolate.”

Thanks to Stuffed Puffs S‘mores Indoors, your favorite taste of summer is now a year-round treat. The Stuffed Puffs S’mores Kit features a bag of Stuffed Puffs marshmallows and 2 sleeves of graham crackers (no chocolate bars needed).

“Stuffed Puffs is a simple idea. but very hard to execute. which is why it hasn’t been done before.” Tierney continued. “I spent seven years figuring out a truly innovative system that breaks the rules of traditional candy making. And s’mores is only the starting point. We are already at work on different flavor and coating combinations for a treat that’s as snackable as it is toastable.”

The Stuffed Puffs S’mores Kit is available online and at select WalMart stores across the country for only $5.48. You can also buy individual bags of Stuffed Puffs also available online and in-store at WalMart and other retailers.

Knob Creek Bourbon

NYC Food & Wine Festival Preview Dinner with Knob Creek Bourbon

During the month of October, all foodies prepare to attend the NYC Food & Wine Festival, a 4-day festival, hosted by renowned chefs, restaurateurs, and culinary insiders. We had the pleasure of getting a preview from one of the participating brands. Our culinary journey highlighted the brand’s product as the main cooking ingredient. What was that ingredient? Knob Creek Bourbon!! Their local Grill Pro, Jason Baker, was back to give us an exclusive recipe he created exclusively for NYC Food & Wine Festival. We also enjoyed signature Knob Creek Bourbon cocktails and a behind-the-scenes look at how their bourbon gets its flavor.

Knob Creek Bourbon

It was a majestic evening of great cocktails, a delicious meal, and a mesmerizing process of the whiskey-making industry. We started off the evening with three Knob Creek cocktails, Rose on the Rye (pictured below), Kentucky Luau, and Smoked Rye Old Fashion; all of which will be available at the NYC Food & Wine Festival.

Knob Creek Bourbon

In addition to a taste test of Knob Creek sauces, the highlight of our exquisite dinner, which included Arugula Salad, Grilled Vegetables, Pulled Pork Sliders, Three Cheese Mac & Cheese, was the Grilled Chicken Thighs with Knob Creek Alabama White Rye Sauce. This wonderfully creamy and smoky chicken dish will be highlighted during the NYC Food & Wine Festival’s Titans of BBQ event at Pier 97.

NYC Food & Wine Festival Preview Dinner with Knob Creek Bourbon NYC Food & Wine Festival Preview Dinner with Knob Creek Bourbon NYC Food & Wine Festival Preview Dinner with Knob Creek Bourbon

After the amazing dinner, we got to see first hand how Knob Creek gets its flavor with two demonstrations; a live barrel rebuilding and charring demonstration, by one of their highly skilled Coopers. For those who don’t know, Coopers are craftsmen that make and repair wooden casks. Check out our Instagram post of the live charring, it’s an amazing thing to see.

Knob Creek Bourbon Wood Casks

What an amazing experience from an amazing bourbon brand! We advise you to attend the 2019 NYC Wine & Food Festival to partake in Knob Creek and Grilling Pro Jason Baker’s delicious offerings. You will definitely be happy you did. The NYCWFF takes place from Oct 10th – Oct 13th.

Paris Fashion Week

PARIS FASHION WEEK: Alianna Liu SS2020 RTW Collection

The ready-to-wear collections are on full display during Paris Fashion Week. It’s been non-stop fashion loveliness sauntering down the runways. One of these collections is the cat’s meow. Designer Alianna Liu’s SS2020 collection is literally inspired by her cats. For her spring/summer 2020 ready-to-wear collection, the silhouette is the key between her collection and the female body. It gives the audience the sensation of representing a confident and independent woman, as is her the brand’s identity. By combining luxurious soft fabric with a touch of transparency, the Alianna Liu SS2020 collection brings out the natural beauty of modern femininity, a certain softness, grace, and an ambitious and inspirational female figure.

Paris Fashion Week

Recognizing the emotional impact that the right colors can have in design work, the color palette of the Alianna Liu SS2020 collection was enriched by the intensity of rainbow senses; leading to a more balanced and vibrant feeling. The embroidery technique and hand drew prints connected directly to the personal aspect of the collection, her cats. She ensures ruffles are prevalent everywhere in this collection, communicating a romantic attitude that highlighted each look.

Paris Fashion Week Paris Fashion Week

Every piece from the Alianna Liu SS2020 collection is designed particularly to stand out from the crowd. The shapes of the pieces are perfect for striking a look that people will notice and appreciate. Each detail celebrates the collection’s feminine sophistication; elevating them to the status of luxury fashion. This is a belief from the Paris-based, Chinese designer herself.

Alianna Liu’s collections are produced in France, paying attention to little details. At Alianna Liu, they believe sophistication is worth fighting for. Since 2018, Alianna has committed herself wholeheartedly to her brand; a brand for independent women, a brand all about empowerment through personal style.

This is the perfect collection for you fashionable cat ladies out there. What do you think of Alianna Liu’s SS2020 collection?