Thursday, August 31, 2017

Surf ‘N Suds Soap Company, Florida Microbreweries Supporter & More

Palm Beach County, Fla.—Surf ‘N Suds makes soap out of beer and more. Owner Majorie Shedd is passionate about supporting local breweries. I met Shedd last year at the PGA National Craft Beer Festival where they had Goose Island IPA beer soap for sale at $7 a bar.

Surf 'N Suds Soap Company's Goose IPA beer soap, Palm Beach County, Fla.
Copyright 2016 by Helen A Lockey
Surf ‘N Suds Soap Company attends a lot of south Florida beer festivals.

Their Goose Island IPA beer soap had whole hops sticking out the top of the bar. It smelt a little like the IPA and definitely had the citrusy scent of hops to it.

Surf ‘N Suds Soap Company has over five Florida based microbrewery beer infused bar soaps, beard oils and lotions in their collection. If you don’t want beer in your soap you can buy Sober Soap, beard oils, body lotions without beer. Or you can look at a small selection of rum infused products.

Surf ‘N Suds does more than support local breweries. Recently they stopped using Palm Oil in their soaps for ethical and environmental reasons.

They have two very compelling videos on their site explaining why they no longer use Palm Oil in their products. 

One video features Leo DiCaprio (“Before The Flood,” Nov 2016) that runs for 5 minutes 12 seconds, and the other video with Harris Ford (“Year of Living Dangerously,” Aug 2017) runs for 6 minutes 8 seconds. Both explain the hazards of the Palm Oil industry to the environment. 

These videos will change your mind about buying products that contain Palm Oil.

Surf 'N Suds products range in price from $7 for bar soap to $12 for beard oils and lotions.

You can see the full range of Surf 'N Suds Company products on their website or on their Facebook page

Or you can call Marjorie She'd at Surf 'N Suds at (561) 289-0488

Monday, July 31, 2017

Present Moment Cafe, St. Augustine, Fla., Vegan Vegetarian Local

St. Augustine, Fla.--Present Moment Cafe serves delicious raw-vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian food. It has been operating in the north Florida area for over 10 years. And is a short drive from San Sebastian Winery along King Street. They buy local ingredients when they can and support Florida breweries.

Present Moment Cafe, St. Augustine, Fla.
Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
I had the good fortune to visit them several months ago, on a a quiet weekday night when the crowds were small. Parking was scarce, behind the cafe, so I was glad there were not many patrons.

The atmosphere was welcoming with warm lights and soft music. The service was Island style so it was good I was not in a rush.

Middle East Peace Hummus, Present Moment Cafe,
St. Augustine, Fla. Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
I started my meal with the Middle East Peace Hummus dish ($8) that came with house made dehydrated corn chips, that were delicious. It also had a lovely mint and cashew drizzle that livened up the hummus and fresh vegetables.

The idea behind raw-vegan food chips is that living ingredients are put in a dehydrator, that gets no hotter than 150 degrees Fahrenheit so the living enzymes stay intact, to crisp them up.

Macro Burger with Cheez, Present Moment Cafe,
St. Augustine, Fla., Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
And then I ordered the Macro Burger with Cheez (vegan cheese)($9). It was a delicious, meaty (but not from an animal product) black bean burger mixed with sweet potato and rice. It came with all the fixings and a bun. From the outside it looked like a regular hamburger.

Sunlight Burger, Present Moment Cafe, St. Augustine, Fla.,
Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
It was so filling I had no room for dessert. But I did want some food for the next morning, so I ordered some to go: Stacked Bagel with cashew cream cheez and avocado ($7) and a raw-vegan Sunlight Burger ($12).

The Sunlight Burger was a dehydrated patty made from a mix of mushrooms, nuts and a veggie burger. It was topped with dehydrated onions and veggie provolone cheese. It came with a side of salad and some more dehydrated corn chips...yum.

I plan to visit them again the next time I am in town.

They are located at 224 W. King Street, Saint Augustine, FL 32084
Phone (904) 827-4499

The Present Moment Cafe hours are: Mon. to Thurs. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Fri. to Sat. 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

You can find them online at

Friday, June 30, 2017

Black Coral Rum, Riviera Beach, Fla.

Riviera Beach, Fla.--Black Coral Rum is made the old fashioned way. There are no artificial ingredients or added sugar in this rum according to owner Ben Etheridge. "This is what the essence of rum was like before artificial essences," said Etheridge, during an interview, at the Ninth Annual Miami Rum & Trade Show in April this year. 

Mixologist John Moore and Owner Ben Etheridge, Black Coral Rum,
Riviera Beach Florida based, 9th Annual Miami Rum & Trade Show,
Miami, Fla. Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
Florida born Etheridge started making rum in his backyard at age 16 and now at age 34 he and his dad Clint have a 500-gallon still distillery. They are very transparent about their process. "It is our duty to be honest with you. Not many do it but we do," Ben said.

Ben is passionate about his rum and wants everyone to be able to experience it so he keeps his prices affordable. He also wants you to buy his rum to help the families of fallen service men and women. For each bottle of rum sold, one dollar goes to Operation 300, a non-profit organization, based in Hobe Sound, Florida.

Other ways they help the local community is by buying Florida grown sugar-cane molasses from Clewiston and getting their bottles made in Miami-Dade County.

As for the rum, both the white and spiced rum starts with a nine-day fermentation period followed by a 12- hour distillation period. Then both are put into white American Oak barrels and aged for six months. The white is then passed through coconut husk carbon filtration before bottling and the spiced has natural ingredients added to it. As Ben says, “If it doesn’t grow in the ground it is not in our rum.”

The white rum has delicious overtones of butterscotch, almond, chocolate and molasses. 
The spiced rum has a juicy, vanilla banana bread taste. 

Black Coral Rum opened just over two years ago and already it can be found in most restaurants, bars, Publix Stores, ABC Liquor Stores and Total Wine & More from Melbourne to Key Largo on the East coast of Florida and from Port Charlotte to Naples on the West coast of Florida.

To find more locations go to Black Coral Rum's website , and enter your zip code to find a location near you. Due to Florida law restrictions the distillery is not allowed to offer online rum sales. But if you go in person you can buy up to six bottles of each type of rum (this time last year you could only purchase two bottles). 

However if you go to Publix, ABC or Total Wines & More you can buy as many bottles as you like.

This fall (around September), Black Coral Rum will be moving from Riviera Beach to a new location in downtown West Palm Beach where they will be opening a tasting room for their 2000-2500 gallon still. "We'll be building the biggest distillery in West Palm Beach. It will be the biggest craft distillery in the state," said Ben, adding, "We will be making spirits that haven't been made in over a hundred years."