Urban Beets Cafe & Juicery

“& everyone has a seat at this table.”

Above are the last words of Urban Beets Café & Juicery’s manifesto. That’s right they don’t just have a slogan or a mission statement they have a manifesto. It includes words like compassionate, empathy, and progress. Words that resonate with almost every human being and most of the time invoke thought.  See it for yourself.

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To live their manifesto, Urban Beets gives back to the community with their monthly Paws and Straws fundraising event which happens each month on a Thursday from 5:00-9:00pm. 50% of proceeds go to an organization of their choosing. They also sell eco-straws where 100% of the proceeds goes to the organization.  Pretty cool, huh.

Beside oozing positivity and building community, they are all about serving plant-based foods that are healthy, quality, and eco-friendly.  Their menu is full of colorful, inspired dishes and juices that could turn any meat eater into a vegetarian. Plus, they sling whimsical sake drinks, wine, and beer at their bar.   I tried the Pineapple Mojito and envied the Bloody Mary. I had never tried cold sake before and was pleasantly surprised.

I asked what five things any visitor should know before stepping into Urban Beets:

  1. They make everything from scratch. I mean everything. Cashew Cream Cheese, homemade. Carrot Lox, homemade. Coconut Bacon, homemade.
  2. Every item on their menu is accessible and identifiable. You won’t find any weird soy concoctions here.
  3. Variety is key. Their dishes range from poke’ bowls, to juices, to pizza, to burgers.
  4. Community impact and being environmentally conscious is important. As I mentioned, each month they hold an event for an organization that they believe in.
  5. Their atmosphere is made to relax and hangout. It’s a great place to study, read a book, catch up with a friend or even listen to live music if you catch it.

Urban Beets’ Wauwatosa location opened in August, so now you have two locations to add to your list this weekend. I had the Smokey BLT Burger and the UB Poke Bowl, however, my favorite thing on the menu is the Nutty Nib smoothie bowl.


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How We See MKE: JMatt of Hashtag MKE

“I think it’s an under appreciated city. Small-waukee (running into fellow Milwaukeeans you know) definitely exists.”

If you know Jeff Matthias, you probably fondly refer to him as JMatt. If you’re listening to 103.7 KISS FM on the weekend, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard his voice without even knowing. He’s a man who wears many hats and if you say they aren’t related then you haven’t taken the time to get to know him. He’s got a day job, a few (too many to count) hobbies, and a weekend job. They all play a part in cultivating a life he loves and each utilizes his skills in different ways.

JMatt grew up in Brookfield and spent time in Michigan for his ungrad, participated in City Year in Denver and worked in Madison before returning home to Milwaukee. Madison is where his love of networking began, and upon his return home he found that there was a need here for free events here in Milwaukee.

JMatt’s pride and joy, Hashtag MKE, was born a little over a year ago at Ale Alyslum with four friends chatting about their experiences. It’s  grown to almost fourty attendees at the last event. Hashtag MKE is open to anyone who would like to speak with others who are passionate about social media. It could be about content, new product ideas, specific thoughts on one platform, etc. It takes place each month on a Thursday from 6:00-8:00pm. Easy enough, right? Show up, get a drink, and talk to some people you’ve been casually stalking for months on social media. One thing I think is cool is that it gives me the opportunity to try new places too.

In addition to JMatt’s jobs, side hustles, and organizing monthly Hashtag MKE events, he joined the 22 push up challenge as a way to spread awareness that 22 combat veterans (on average) take their own live each day. The challenge normally only lasts 22 days, but JMatt is on almost day 500! He uses his platform to promote awareness to mental illnesses and to be more open about suicide. This is actually why I first messaged JMatt over a year ago. I found his consistency and transparency incredibly brave. He hopes that he can reach others and serve as a sounding board for anyone who needs him.

Through Hashtag MKE, his time at KISS FM, and his social media presence, JMatt has taken to heart the community that he has cultivated. It isn’t lost on him how special of a thing he’s got going. Do you wanna meet up? Check out the next Hashtag MKE this Thursday, May 10th at the new Sprecher Walker’s Point where I will be serving as an expert on social content creation.

To RSVP, make sure to find the event on Facebook.


 A special thank you to Editor-in- Chief Ciara Beckers for always keeping my grammar in check.

How We See MKE: Jen O’Hara of Dogs of MKE

“This is a city that always has something going on; where people are always up for doing something, and if it’s above fourty degrees outside everyone is out and about. People here in Milwaukee love their city and they are so proud of it.”

 

 

 

Jen O’Hara has cornered the market when it comes to dogs on instagram in the Milwaukee area. She is the (human) face behind Dogs of MKE. You wouldn’t know it, but she’s a Milwaukee transplant and actually is quite honest about the fact that she wasn’t that fond of it when she arrived nine years ago. It wasn’t until she received a push from a friend to create a Milwaukee bucket list that she decided to see what all the talk was about. Since then, the narrative has flipped and now she raves about it just like the rest of us. She spends most of her time in the Third Ward and Walker’s Point neighborhoods hanging at Hotel Madrid and Movida. She also loves Harbor House, and with that view, who wouldn’t!

Jen has documented her life as long as she can remember and even her friends count on her to document theirs. In 2015, she was gifted a new camera to handle social media for her employer The Barre Code. Like many of us, Jen wasn’t sure how to use it to get the effect she wanted. After an introductory class, googling camera settings, and many photos of items around her apartment…Jen needed new subjects.

With that, Dogs of MKE was born. She started with six clients who were either friends or dog walking clients. It was just for fun and as a way to practice her photography. Her second photo ever posted was re-posted by Dear MKE and she realized that it wasn’t only her mom and sister following her anymore. It quickly escalated, and now she is contacted by clients all over the Milwaukee area to photograph their furry friends.

 

 

 

Along with getting to meet new canine companions, Jen has gotten to know Milwaukee through her sessions. It’s most important to her that the dog Moms & Dads choose a location that is meaningful to them. Whether it’s the bar or restaurant they met their significant other in, their neighborhood, or a business they own. She doesn’t charge for the session or to be on her instagram because it is her passion project. She does ask for a nominal fee if you’d like digital rights to the photos or prints, which I think is completely fair.

Jen is working a website that she hopes to launch soon with more information on what she offers and maybe a glimpse behind the scenes. In the meantime, you can reach her at dogsofmke@gmail.com to discuss having your best friend featured.

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A special thank you to Editor-in- Chief Ciara Beckers for always keeping my grammar in check.

How We See MKE: Martin Moore

“It doesn’t matter if you’re seventeen or seventy-seven, there is something for you to do. We have a casino, bars, restaurants, museums and a beach. The people are awesome. If you come to Milwaukee and you say you didn’t like it…. It’s not the city. It’s you.”

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I am starting to realize that the more Milwaukeean’s I chat with, there’s not a person who thinks this place is just “alright.” I’m always greeted with a laugh or a chuckle when I ask, “How would you describe Milwaukee to someone who has never been here?” It strikes a chord. A small bit of pride is always included in their answer. The quote you read above was Martin Moore’s answer to that question with the addition of “Dope as ____”, but I’ll let you fill in the blank.

Like any other Milwaukeean, Martin has his favorite restaurants: Blu & the Pfister Hotel, The Safe House, The Swinging Door Exchange and Barnacle Buds. His favorite hangouts include the pier at McKinley Marina, the Oak Leaf Trail, and Discovery Word. You’re probably wondering…why is she telling Martin’s story? What makes Martin stand out? Why can’t she just get to the point already!? Here we go…

In 2017, Martin landed his dream career as a photographer, filmmaker & marketing extraordinaire with Koss. You may have seen his YouTube channel, Twitter account, or even him walking the streets with a huge grin on his face while filming a vlog (video blog). Martin has a way of capturing his audience to make you feel like you’re walking right beside him, experiencing exactly what he is experiencing at this very moment. He’s been an entertainer since birth, starting with a competitive career as a magician at seven years old. That knack for the spotlight definitely shows.

His vlogs cover a variety of topics: adventure, travel, career, personal life, and, my favorite topic, Milwaukee. I asked how he got to where he is now and if he has any advice for people when taking the leap in order to land their dream job. He said that through grinding, perseverance, human connection and well, vlogging (That’s how Koss found him). He attributes many things in his life to vlogging. It opened up opportunities for him to meet people, practice public speaking, and move from fixing cars to his current dream job. He let me know that he wasn’t afraid to fail. He said that many people are afraid…but you might as well fail at something you love, since it is just as easy to fail at a job you hate.

Martin’s first vlog was asking people on Bradford Beach why they love Milwaukee, using his iPhone. While most of them said beer, one person did say that it was the people. And that, folks, is why we all keep coming back.

 


A special thank you to Editor-in- Chief Ciara Beckers for always keeping my grammar in check.

 

Sweet Diner

“The only thing I like better than talking about food is eating.”- John Walters

I’m sure you’ve already heard – but – Sweet Diner moved into the Third Ward. Naturally, I couldn’t let a month go by without stopping in. I mean this PLACE. IS. AMAZING. Marble countertops, exposed brick, and gold accents…what millennial wouldn’t feel welcomed!

Their food menu has a variety of breakfast, brunch, & lunch items – my three favorite meals. I visited around two in the afternoon a few weeks ago (to me that’s still an acceptable time to eat brunch) but I went with a lunch option. I choose the “Veg Head” sandwich and a bowl of mushroom soup. I know. You’re like, “seriously, mushroom soup?” I don’t know what was in there, but it was an explosion of flavor. If they tell you it is the soup of the day when you visit, get it. The sandwich was flavorful as well – full of veggies and hummus. It could easily be made vegan as well, sans the cheese.

Now, more importantly, on to the drinks. They serve cocktails, beer, wine, freshly squeezed juices (including a green drink and a ginger carrot), tea, coffee from Anodyne, and Nitro Coffee from Pilcrow. Side note, have you tried Nitro Coffee? I’m a huge fan, but I would love to hear your opinion. I’m that person who always has two or three different drinks in front of them at brunch, so this makes my heart happy. Plus with cocktails named “Walking Spanglish” and “MKE Screw,” it’s hard to pass them up.

With any new restaurant, there was a wait, wah waah. Fear not, you can grab a coffee or a juice while you wait or head down the street to Inspired or Broadway Paper to shop until they text you that your table is ready.

Are you thinking of heading to Sweet Diner or have you previously visited? Leave a comment below!


A special thank you to Editor-in- Chief Ciara Beckers for always keeping my grammar in check.


How We See MKE: It’s Pamela Kieck

“I think that Milwaukee is a really cool place because there are so many talented people here, there are so many artistic people here. It really is an up and coming city.”

 

 

When I first met Pamela, I felt like I had known her my whole life. She was warm and welcoming, but refreshingly authentic. In fact, she actually strives to be that way and believes that authenticity is key to keeping herself grounded. She wants to be inspiring to people and I think she’s doing just that with her brand It’s Pamela Kieck the Diary of a Curvy Fashionista, her fashion column with OnMilwaukee, and her spot on Fox 6.

Pamela grew up in South Milwaukee and is an only child, the apple of her parent’s eye. She grew up rocking the Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt, twisty butterfly hair clips, and glitter eye shadow that all of us who were pre-teens in the late 90’s and early 2000’s fondly remember. In high school, her dreams of changing the fashion dynamic to include all body types began. She wrote her first blog in 2013 at the request of her friends who wanted to know what she was wearing. Now, her goal is to make sure that young women feel comfortable in their own skin and to never feel like they can’t wear a trend. Her mission is to spread body positivity while still being healthy. She will let anyone know that you can wear any trend at any size, you just need to know how to dress your body type correctly. “Fashion shouldn’t stop at a size 10.”

Pamela has the State of Wisconsin tattooed on her wrist. If that doesn’t show you how close she holds WI to her heart, I’m not sure what would. Pamela is what I would describe as a Milwaukee socialite, but approachable and down-to-earth. You can find her on any given day or night at different establishments throughout the city. She states, “everyone is pretty nice here (Milwaukee)…I mean you can go to any given bar and end up taking shots with the people next to you. They’re like your best friend for the night. There are such cool little spots all over the city.” She loves exploring the different neighborhoods and she knows that wherever you are headed you can find the spot that meets your wants and needs. A few of her favorites are the Outsider at the Journeyman Hotel, Oak & Oyster, FreshFin Poké, and Miss Cupcake.

Pamela wants people to know that she is open to helping others with their blogs and sharing her journey. When I met with her, she had just left Mount Mary after speaking to a group of fashion students. So if you’re looking for some advice or just to have a chat, add her to your list. Additionally, she is in the midst of her twelve days of giveaways with OnMilwaukee, so if you aren’t following her already and like free stuff – give her a follow!


A special thank you to Editor-in- Chief Ciara Beckers for always keeping my grammar in check and Liz Klein Photography for the photo of Pamela!


 

Christmas Lights & Desserts with Milwaukee Food and City Tours

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”- Charles M. Schulz

This past weekend, I was invited to join Milwaukee Food and City Tours Christmas Lights and Desserts Tour. Christmas Lights? Desserts? Who could turn that down! Milwaukee Food & City Tours is in their 10th year of business and they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. They offer something for everyone: from Tacos & Tequila to Churches & Chocolates. The Christmas Lights and Deserts Tour was so fun and a must-do this holiday season. We stopped at three different parks to see lights, had a glass of wine paired with one of Indulgence Chocolatiers delicious treats, a glass of mulled wine and strudel at Mader’s, and a cupcake push pop from Classy Girl Cupcakes! Of course we had hot chocolate and coffee along the way – you have to stay hydrated for all of the christmas carols! We also learned a few tidbits about Milwaukee that I didn’t know before the tour. It was great to see how many repeat customers there were on the tour and how they attract multiple generations.

Milwaukee Food and City Tours owner Theresa knew something was missing in Milwaukee, before Milwaukee knew something was missing. That something was walking tours of Milwaukee! The first tour she offered was of the Brady Street area which was about two miles in total. The patrons who took the first tour were ladies that used to work together at Kopps Custard and drove up for the day in limo from Chicago. How cool is that? The tour has changed over the years, but still remains close to her heart.

One thing you may not know about Milwaukee Food and City Tours is that they offer vacation packages as well – both within the US and internationally. She was telling me about a trip to Poland that I may just have to book in the future. They also offer day trips to places like Chicago!

Their most popular tour in Milwaukee is the Pizza Bus, but I think next on my list is the Bloody Mary Brunch walking tour. Check out their website to see what tour you’d take next! The Christmas Lights and Desserts tour runs only during the month of December, so you still have a chance to pick up those tickets and experience some Milwaukee magic.

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Up next, I sat down with local fashion icon Pamela Kieck. Stay tuned for her take on what makes Milwaukee great.

A special thank you to Editor-in- Chief Ciara Beckers for always keeping my grammar in check.

How We See MKE: Katelyn Carlisle of Jettset Local

“I have a friend & co-worker Haley who moved here from Vermont. She always tells me she loves Milwaukee… people are just so friendly here. I hear that a lot about the Midwest in general… people are so friendly and you’ll walk down the street and they say ‘hi’.”

Katelyn Carlisle is exactly what you’d expect from a twenty- something entrepreneur. She’s spunky, driven, and passionate about her product. Katelyn grew up in Kenosha, but now resides in Ozaukee County. She has been her own boss since junior high when she bough her first set of vending machines, then a DJ business in high school. Small business ownership runs in her family too. Her father owns a True Value Hardware store, her sister owns a dance and music studio, and she has family members who are the truest form of Wisconsin small business owners, farmers.

Her latest venture, Jettset Local, began last year with the Foodie Flight and this year came the addition of Fab Flight. Both feature local businesses in Milwaukee and the North Shore. The Foodie Flight passport is filled with deals and steals for local coffee shops, restaurants, and bars; while the Fab Flight contains everything anyone would ever need to feel fabulous! Gym memberships, facials, mani/pedi’s, blow-outs, you name it, she’s thought of it. Both products are total steals: the Foodie Flight, retails for $25, but has a value of $260 and the Fab Flight, retails for $30, and has a value of $1,500. What?!? You better believe it!

When I asked Katelyn about how she chooses businesses to include in the passports, she said it is important that the businesses are local. The only cost to them the businesses is the discounted amount that they cover for patrons who come in to use the passport. I think this is great , for new businesses, especially the family-owned businesses like the ones owned by Katelyn’s family. You don’t have to pay a premium to get your name out there to locals!

Passports from Jettset Local are also available for online fundraisers. Katelyn will create a custom webpage for the fundraiser and the participants can go to and buy the products online. The products will then ship right to the buyer. That sounds pretty easy to me, and is definitely something new and different from the usual magazines and cookie dough fundraisers.

The best place to find Jettset Local’s passports are online and they make a great gift for the foodie in your life, or the one who just loves to look and feel their best. Make sure you swing by Katelyn’s website to see what businesses you could be visiting when you purchase yours!


 

Have you been on one of Milwaukee Food & City Tours? Up next, my experience on the Christmas Lights and Desserts Tour.

A special thank you to Editor-in- Chief Ciara Beckers for always keeping my grammar in check.

How We See MKE: Kayla Tafoya of BeTimeless

“I think of Milwaukee as deep in tradition, where the people are kind and regular. The food and drinks are warm. You can always go out for a nice time.”

I first found Kayla when scouring ETSY for some Wisconsin décor and fell in love with her designs on BeTimeless. Kayla’s adorable pillows, shirts and stationary are immediately recognizable and are a staple in some of my favorite shops, including West Elm Milwaukee, Apricot Lane, The Waxwing, Sparrow Collective, Broadway Paper, Wisconsin Candle Company, The Local Store, and most recently Milwaukee Home. I recently got the privilege to sit down with Kayla to learn more about her business and her life.

Let’s start from the beginning. Kayla and her mom had always wanted to open a small wedding boutique. She was working retail just after graduating college and decided it was the time to begin making their dream a reality.  The name BeTimeless was a nod to weddings and their timelessness.  They received their LLC for BeTimeless and the rest is history.

Although Kayla’s brand has rapidly expanded, her favorite item she’s ever created is her “thanks man” groomsman card which remains a part of her wedding collection. She stated, “it was an easy, simple design, but I have to laugh when grooms ask for them last minute.”

Kayla grew up in the Fond du Lac area and now resides in Wauwatosa. You can find her love for our home state in her designs. She first began printing the State of Wisconsin at the request of a bride for a ring bearer pillow. From there, she posted them on her ETSY which caught the eye of a Wausau store who asked if she would sell them to them at wholesale prices. While telling me the story, Kayla laughed and said “I sold my first pillows for five dollars a piece, can you believe that?”  While she no longer sells her pillows wholesale for five dollars (nor should she), they’ve caught the eye of thousands all over the country. She even ships to Canada!

Kayla describes her brand as bubbly and I have to agree. She has an eye for whimsy and is always exploring new designs to expand her collection. She has new ornaments up for the holiday season in her ETSY shop and a recent new collaboration with Milwaukee Home that she is particularly excited about. She is inspired by local business owners like Steph Davies, owner of The Waxwing, and local photographer Sara Shaffer. When speaking about Sara she said, “I admire her because she is a business lady through and through and built up her business as a “side gig”. She works full time during the week and still manages to pull off photography sessions and weddings on the weekend and edits like a mad woman during week nights. She has an amazing way of capturing people candidly. She is detail oriented and extremely organized. A powerhouse of a photog. 

You can find Kayla eating at Blue’s Egg, Odd Duck, or Wolf Peach when she leaves the studio for a breath of fresh air. She enjoys spending time with her husband, family, and her neighbors who have turned into family. She, like many Wisconsinites, also has a deep rooted love for the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers or not.

Are you looking for fun holiday gift? I’m partial to her Bloody Mary ornament and countless Wisconsin pillows that are strewn about in my home, but check out Kayla’s website and follow her on Instagram at @shopbetimeless to give her some local love.  I am so excited to feature her as the first of many stories on How We See MKE.


Have you seen Foodie Flight & Fab Flight on Instagram? Coming next week, my interview with Jettset Local’s Katelyn Carlisle.

A special thank you to Editor-In-Chief Ciara Beckers for always keeping my grammar in check.


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