The “Lifestyle Brand” Formula: Authentic Connections and Passion in the Restaurant Industry

The “Lifestyle Brand” Formula: Authentic Connections and Passion in the Restaurant Industry
  • Today’s consumers expect more from their restaurants than just food.

  • With brands like Shake Shack and Taco Bell, how can your restaurant become a “lifestyle brand”?

On this Foodable.io session, brought to you by Kabbage, Host Yareli Quintana explores with &pizza, Pincho Factory, and Intelligentsia what it means to be a “Lifestyle Brand.” As well as how to push past just serving food with panelists who pour their passion for their brands into effective communication and marketing.

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Intelligentsia's Geoff Watts Breaks Down How This Brand Is Impacting Coffee-Producing Communities

Intelligentsia's Geoff Watts Breaks Down How This Brand Is Impacting Coffee-Producing Communities

Geoff Watts fell into the coffee industry by accident.

He started out as a barista and became very interested in the chemistry of coffee roasting after falling in love with the idea of coffee having a large spectrum of taste.

What he never imagined was the doors his new-found love for coffee would open. Most importantly, how his current role as the vice president of coffee for Intelligentsia, a Chicago-based artisan coffee company founded in 1995, would inflict positive change in coffee producing communities abroad.

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The Booming Business of Coffee and Tea

The Booming Business of Coffee and Tea

On this Special Podcast recorded at Foodable.io, brought to you by Kabbage, we get to discuss the massive growth and new innovation in the beverage scene. In this episode, Host Yareli Quintana leads the discussion about the creative process of developing an artisan beverage, the nuances of sourcing, and personalizing experiences to gain customer loyalty.

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Miamians Line Up for Artisanal Desserts at The Salty Donut in Wynwood

Miamians Line Up for Artisanal Desserts at The Salty Donut in Wynwood
  • Miami's The Salty Donut shop pours Chicago's Intelligentsia Coffee while serving up maple bacon desserts.

  • Hand-crafted, artisanal donuts fit in with the art scene found near Wynwood Walls.

The Salty Donut began as a mission to bring handcrafted, artisanal doughnuts to Miami. Owners Andy Rodriguez and Amanda Pizarro traveled across the country for these desserts and wondered why Miami didn’t have them.

“We realized that Miami is usually at the tail end of a lot of gastronomic trends and we just really wanted to do something that was for our city. Bring a little bit of culture that we didn’t have from other places around the country to our city...because I feel like Wynwood is part of the town, part of Miami that’s most accepting to kind of different things,” Rodriguez said.

Prior to having their storefront, “Salty,” as it is affectionately known, was trying to keep up with their customers' insatiable demands from a pop-up truck. Even now that they have been able to move into their storefront, The Salty Donut regularly has lines stretching down the street and often sells out of doughnuts before the business day is done — not surprising, due to its widely varied consumer base.

“I think we’ve got kids [who] are super trendy and kinda fashion-forward. I think we’ve got, you know, grandmas and grandpas that are 80 years old that come in and get our doughnuts,” Rodriguez added.

With quirky items like the pancetta, cheddar, and cornbread cake doughnuts and classics like the traditional glazed buttermilk, Salty offers a treat for every flavor profile. The menu is thanks in part to veteran pastry chef and The Salty Donut Executive Pastry Chef Max Santiago. With his 20 years of experience, Chef Santiago can change his menu regularly.

“Whenever anyone asks me, ‘You do just doughnuts?’ I don’t do just doughnuts, I do desserts,” he said.

And those desserts are just as pleasing to the eye as they are to the stomach. As customers walk in to satisfy their doughnut craving, many can’t help but stop to snap a shot for Instagram or Facebook.

Watch this episode of REACH Miami to see what all the fuss is about at The Salty Donut.

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These Beverage Experts Are Pumped About Sustainable Straws and Szechuan Peppercorn

This episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse is chock-full of great beverage insights from coffee makers to bartenders and spirit distillers. Host Chelsea Keenan hears from beverage experts about consumer trends they are seeing and trends they are pushing for in the next few years.

The founder of Intelligentsia Coffee, Geoff Watts, and Sourcing Director Michael Sheridan take us to the root of coffee, or more specifically— the cherry. Coffee is grown on trees in the form of cherries. These are then picked off the trees and from there the seeds can go through a variety of different processes at different stages, all creating different flavors from the same coffee bean. Watts outlines the process for honey coffee, a very popular process with today’s consumers.

“You can take it off the tree and immediately take off the skin and put the coffee into a big tank... and let it sit and ferment or have an enzymatic breakdown of this sticky mucilage on there.”

As farmers and coffee houses are looking for ways to differentiate themselves, natural processes like honey coffee are beginning to gain traction.

Bartenders Danielle Dang and Robin Goodfellow chime in with trends they have been seeing behind the bar. The American population is moving towards favoring more responsible, sustainable practices. In an effort to be a part of the movement, Goodfellow says he needs help from industry suppliers.

“Like, there's this huge big straw debate going on in the cocktail industry, like ‘Don’t give straws to guests! It’s ruining the environment!’ you know? And guests wants straws,” he explains, “so as a designer, I’m furious that straw companies are not making biodegradable straws. This is not my problem: To use straws or not to use straws. Make it better!”

Be sure to watch the episode for other great insights from our experts on this episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse.