Tag Archives: Chicago


Personal Care Spotlight: Luster’s SCurl® Launches New Beard Products



CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Luster's SCurl® brand launched their line of beard care products at the Bronner Brother International Hair Show during the summer. The iconic African American men's brand has launched a line of fine grooming products featuring some of nature's best ingredients to soothe, condition and strengthen skin and hair.  Men are taking a more active role in grooming and Luster's SCurl will continue to be at the forefront of trends, styles and innovation with its latest product introduction.  Facial hair has become more acceptable and a way for men to individualize their look.  There is less of a stigma associated with beards and men have become more expressive with their grooming style.

Luster's SCurl© new line of beard grooming products include:

Luster's SCurl® Beard Wash with a sulfate free formula that gently cleanses, softens and conditions both beard and hair.  The product is designed for daily use, and removes excess oils, while imparting shine.  Luster's Beard Wash is formulated with natural ingredients including Shea Butter, Aloe Vera Gel and Olive Oil.

Luster's SCurl® Beard Oil is 100% natural, with a blend of nature's best ingredients, including Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil and Vitamin E, that absorb easily while moisturizing and detangling.

Luster's SCurl® Beard Balm provides conditioning for maximum softness and manageability, and just the right amount of control for smoothing and styling beards. The 100% natural ingredients include Olive Oil, Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter.

"Luster's SCurl® signature brand is a leader in the men's category," said Tarcus Allen, brand manager for the SCurl© line.  "We understand men's grooming, and SCurl© has evolved to meet the needs of today's man, with products that provide outstanding results.  Our new beard products were formulated to provide maximum beard manageability, growth & shine."

Adding to the excitement of the launch at the signature tradeshow summer event, Luster Products teamed with Rolling Out Magazine to present their "Style Icon" awards to Atlanta taste makers, including Stephan Labossiere, Tariq Nevar, Youssef Barber.  Also participating was Chicago's own Rafael Laboy of Lake Street Barbering Co.

The growing interest in men's grooming products was instrumental in Luster's SCurl© developing their beard products for men who want to express their unique styles. Luster's SCurl® beard products are available at local Beauty & Barber Supply Stores and Sally's.  You can follow the conversation about SCurl© on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Luster Products
Luster® Products, Inc. is the leading African-American owned manufacturer of premium personal care products servicing people worldwide. Luster® Products, Inc. include the Pink® & Smooth Touch® brand, products for women; SCurl®, products for men; PCJ® Pretty-n-Silky & Smooth Roots children products; YOU®, unisex products, YOU® Be Naturalfor natural hair and Designer Touch, products for stylists.  For more information about Luster Products, visit www.lusterproducts.com. Luster Products, Inc. has served the needs of African American families through its premium personal care products as well as its contributions to the community for more than 50 years. Today, Luster Products employs more than 300 people worldwide. The company's products are sold nationally and internationally through a dynamic sales force and numerous retail outlets.





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perkse feat

Packaging Spotlight: Perkse Coffee & Tea


Designed by

Brian Rau

Chicago, IL, USA




Perkse Coffee & Tea Co. is a delivery service based on a monthly subscription. Every month showcases two different beans from around the world. In Collaboration with Salih Kucukaga



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Snack Spotlight: Rick Bayless’s Milk & Money Mexican Mix Granola



Top Chef Masters winner presents south-of-the-border flair for your bowl.  With roasted pumpkin seeds, peanuts and the same cacao nibs found in your favorite chocolate bar, this Rick Bayless blend introduces you to an authentic Mexican way to eat your rolled oats.Celebrity chef and celebrity flavor.  Paparazzi may photograph you while eating.
Milk & Honey Granola was first made in the spring of 2002 when Milk & Honey Cafe opened in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Now we want to share this local Windy City favorite with you!

About the Company
Born in Chicago’s eclectic Wicker Park neighborhood, Milk & Honey Granola has started what we like to call a granolalution – a shore-to-shore flavor revolution that’s wound its way from the menu of a boutique café to the stands of gourmet markets and the shelves of national grocers.

Wherever you find the Milk and Honey label, you can rest assured there are some things you won’t find with it. No preservatives. No trans-fats. None of the fake, sounds-like-science ingredients you might find on other shelves. These all-natural blends are naturally high in fiber and antioxidants that lay a foundation for health, happiness and the pursuit of deliciousness. So don’t just eat your granola. Do not let even one of these finely rolled oats or super fruits escape your mouth. Load up your bowl. Arm yourself with the biggest spoon you can find. Dig in and discover what real granola tastes like.



Company: Milk and Honey Granola
Brand: Milk and Honey Granola
Slogan: Dig in & discover what real granola taste like
Origin:  USA
Category: Granola
Packaging: 160z (454g)
Claims: All natural, High in fiber
Variants: View Range Here
Price: 7.49
Where to Buy: Buy Online
Website: milkandhoneygranola.com







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Beer Spotlight: Anti Hero IPA


An American hop assault for all the ambivalent warriors who get the girl in the end. “Look, I ain't in this for your revolution, and I'm not in it for you, Princess.” This iconic ale features a blend of four hop varieties which creates a crisp bitterness and imparts massive floral and citrus aromas.


Profile: An American hop assault
Color: Brilliant Copper
Availability: 1/6 & 1/2 bbl, 12oz cans



About the Company
evolution Brewing is Chicago's new hometown craft brewery. Our brewpub in Logan Square is a bustling, neighborhood institution where friends and families meet to enjoy the freshest beer in town. Opening our brewery has been a labor of love. We think you can see that in everything we do ranging from the details of our carved fists holding up our mahogany bar to the pungent hop aroma of our Anti-Hero IPA to our creative dishes like our bacon-fat popcorn. Read More


Company: Revolution Brewing
Brand: Anti Hero
Origin: USA
Category: Beer
Packaging: 1/6 & 1/2 bbl, 12oz cans
Alcohol Volume: 6.5%
Price: Coming Soon
Where to Buy: Store Locator
Website: revbrew.com




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Crowdfunding Spotlight: Tonguespank Spice Co



Who Are We?
We're a spice company based in Chicago, Illinois. Our mission is to make exciting versions of foods that people use every day.


What Do We Make?
Some flavors just go together. Hot peppers and bourbon, wasabi and sake, garlic and grappa... you get the idea. We've taken some of our favorite combinations and made them into tongue-spanking spice blends that you can put on absolutely anything. NOTE: These are dry blends that contain all the flavor and none of the alcohol of their liquor ingredients.


Smoky Bourbon Pepper Blend
This blend begins with the sweet aroma of smoky morita chipotle peppers, adds depth and complexity with garlic and bourbon, and finishes up with a slow habanero-and-ghost burn that builds as long as you keep eating it. This goes well on eggs, burgers, grilled veggies... anything that can use a smoky heat. If you only try one variety, this is the one. But honestly, who wants to try just one?


Garlic Grappa Pepper Blend
If you've ever been inside an Italian kitchen, you'll recognize this smell immediately. All the Tuscan herbs are here, alongside the warmth of a balsamic vinegar and Italian brandy blend. Replacing the standard red pepper with habanero chilies kicks the whole combination up a few notches. Try it on pasta or in a marinara sauce.


Citrus Rum Pepper Blend
This blend is a must-try for seafood and pork lovers. Three different citrus fruits combine with spiced rum and cloves to create a tropical combination, plus a dash of habanero heat at the end (because this is Tonguespank we're talking about, after all). Another potential use: combine it with sugar around the rim of a cocktail glass.


Wasabi Sake Pepper Blend
Wasabi has a different burn than hot peppers: more of a sudden explosion and less of a slow burn. But why not have both? This blend combines the up-front hit of wasabi and horseradish with the long burn of habaneros, for a truly powerful combination. Try it on fish or sushi!


Scorpion Bourbon Pepper Blend
This is the hottest blend we make. We start with Smoky Bourbon and turn it up to 11. We use Trinidad Moruga Scorpions, said to be hotter than the current Guiness record holder at up to two million Scoville units (compare that to Jalapeños at 20,000). Peppers this hot are hard to find, which is why we sell this in smaller quantities. You won't be needing much anyway.


What Are We Doing?
Tonguespank is making a splash locally, but we know we have a great product and we're dreaming bigger than Chicago. We want spank tongues throughout the United States. With this Kickstarter, we're raising funds to start our first major production run.


How Will We Invest Your Money?
We'll Take Over Chicago Restaurants!

Tonguespank has been spotted in the kitchens of foodies throughout Chicago, but let's get it into the restaurants! We want to give away cases of Tonguespank to the local Chicago pizza joints. Let's get some more people hooked!


Let's Get Into Specialty Stores!
Every city has a ton of specialty food stores, and Chicago is no exception. To get Tonguespank on shelves, we need product and marketing materials--plenty of both. We simply don't have enough stock yet to offer it to stores--with your help, that can change


Let's Make Ghost Bacon Bits!
What are these? Well, picture bacon bits, except bigger and made of real bacon. Now picture ghost peppers and whiskey. Can you taste it? Do you want to? We've only produced limited runs of our Ghost Bacon Bits in the past, but for you guys we'll do anything! At $20k all backers get a sample-sized Ghost Bacon pack, PLUS we we'll offer the full-size jar as an add-on!


What Do You Get Out Of It?
All kinds of stuff! To raise funds for the next step, we're selling our signature products. In addition, we're offering brand-new gear, including t-shirts, shot glasses, and--if we can hit our stretch goal--a new product! This is the first time Tonguespank has been available outside of Chicago. Take advantage of this campaign to try it out!


Kickstarter Campaign Page


Facebook Page

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Crowdfunding Spotlight: The Radler Bavarian Beer Hall and Restaurant


Help bring Chicago's German food scene to the 21st century!

The Mural
The Mural


Chicago is a city rich in German heritage. Over the years German restaurants and beer gardens throughout the city have failed to keep up with Chicago's progressive food industry. Some have even fallen away from the traditions of the food culture in Bavaria.

The Radler will be Chicago's contemporary Bavarian beer hall and restaurant. Using locally sourced meat and produce, The Radler will bring the cooking traditions of Germany, Austria, and The Czech Republic to the 21st century. Going one step further, to make our ancestors proud, The Radler will be serving fresh locally made Bavarian styles of craft beer alongside our aged beer list.

That's right! We are bringing back the beer hall baby!

Nathan and Adam
Nathan and Adam


Nathan Sears and Adam Hebert first came up with the concept in September of 2011. Shortly after, they decided to partner up on the project to bring concept to fruition. Nathan Sears spent the majority of his career at Michelin Starred Vie Restaurant. As Chef de Cuisine, he honed his skill set in sausage making and team leadership. Cooking, for Nathan, is an endless world of flavors, colors and excitement. The instant gratitude from guests and knowing the job was well done, draws him back day after day. "At the end of the day you want to love what you do and I am doing that in the kitchen." - Nathan Sears. Adam Hebert entered the restaurant world at a very young age. He has spent time in every facet of the restaurant business starting as a delivery boy for a Chinese restaurant and most recently Managing Robert DeNiro and Drew Nieporent's award-winning Tribeca Grill. Adam's love of service and dedication to hospitality took root as a young boy, cooking and entertaining at a small family cottage in Michigan. “Some of the most rewarding meals of my life have been on the deck of that tiny little lake house. Friends, relatives and strangers gathering together over a meal prepared with love throughout the course of the day. Good company almost always makes for a great experience." - Adam Hebert


Your donation will be utilized for a number of different things to help us get off the ground, including but not limited to the following:

1) Protect the existing 120-year-old mural we found in the space.

2) Commission a local artist to paint a mural showing the history of The Radler and Bavarian beer culture.

3) Commission Local sculptor Andrew Arvanetes for the art work that will allow patrons to enjoy the action of the kitchen through the beauty of a bicycle.

4) Buy barrels for our aged beer initiative.

5) Purchase produce for our Friends and Family pre-opening from local farmers and market.


With the funds raised through Kickstarter, Adam and Nathan will be able to open The Radler in Logan Square this September 2013. There is still a lot to be done and no time like the present to do it!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Everything in life has its fair share of risks and challenges. For us, that's what makes the restaurant industry so much fun. The risks we take and the challenges we face only make us stronger, more knowledgeable and better prepared for the future.

Once we have reached our funding goal we will be able to move forward on finishing the work with in the space. However there are a few potential set backs such as city inspections and building permits that might slow us down. We assure you this will not stop us form getting you the rewards you deserve for your contributions.

Thank you again for your support!

Adam and Nathan

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Product Spotlight: Go Picnic Ready to Eat Meals

GoPicnic has revolutionized the concept of boxed meals, offering nutritionally balanced, shelf-stable, ready-to-eat boxed lunches and meal boxes that require no refrigeration, heating, or preparation. No bigger than a hardcover novel, GoPicnic boxed meals are easy to transport in a laptop bag, backpack, or handbag, and are meant to be enjoyed anywhere, anytime.

Each GoPicnic meal box is packed with palate-pleasing foods from premium brands. Plus, all of GoPicnic’s delicious foods are made with clean ingredients, which means they contain no trans fats, no high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), no added monosodium glutamate (MSG), and no artificial flavors or colors. GoPicnic’s high-quality ingredients are clearly labeled on the packaging of each box lunch, so even people with special diets, including all-natural, gluten-free, kosher, vegetarian, and vegan, can enjoy GoPicnic boxed lunches when they’re on the go.


Company: Go Picnic
Brand: Go Picnic
Slogan: Ready to Eat meals
Category: Ready to Eat Meals
Origin: USA
Packaging: 6.2oz
Price: $4.99
Claims: Ready To Eat, Non GMO
Varieties: Three-Bean Dip + Rice Chips, BBQ Beef Stick & Cheese Crackers, Edamame Kale Dip & Plantain Chips, Almond Butter & Crackers, Salmon + Crackers, Tuna + Crackers, Peanut Butter + Crackers, Hummus & Cracker, Black Bean , Dip & Plantain Chips, Turkey Slices & Cheddar, Sunbutter + Crackers, Turkey Stick + Crunch, Turkey Pepperoni & Cheese
Website: gopicnic.com


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Chipotle Testing Craft Beer in Chicago

A handful of Chipotle units are about to grab a few more coolness points, as the chain is launching a test of locally produced craft beers at some of its Chicago-area restaurants this month.

According to the Huffington Post, the 15 Chipotle units in Chicago will be offering beers by 5 Rabbit Cerveceria, a young, Chicago-based operation that describes itself as the country’s first Latin-themed craft brewery.

The brews to make the cut are the company’s 5 Rabbit, a golden ale described as simple and somewhat similar to Corona, and 5 Vulture, a dark ale with chiles and spices that’s been compared to Negra Modelo.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Chipotle deal is the biggest audience the indie label has had, but founder Isaac Showaki said they do not anticipate a problem keeping up with demand. The company has a new brewery in Bedford Park, Ill., and expects to be producing there by the end of the year. Their goal is to hit 6,000 bottles in 2013.

Chipotle says if the 15-unit test does well the 5 Rabbit brews could be expanded to the rest of the Chicago stores, and other craft beer labels could get a shot as well.

Full Article @ TDM

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Restaurant Quality Guacamole to Make at Home


Chef Rick Bayless, expert in Mexican cuisine, has teamed up with Frontera to create a guacamole mix. Due to the freshness factor of this product, it may not end up being a success but is undoubtably an innovative idea. The mixes are completely natural, contain no preservatives and are free from gluten.

Analysis and Impact:

Rick Bayless is best known for his television series Mexico: One Plate at a Time. He specializes in traditinal Mexican dishes with a modern twist. Bayless's new creation Guacamole Mix is intended to bring the flavors of the best Mexican restaurants to the home in an easy to prepare salsa.

The mixes are available in original and spicy. The original mix contains tangy tomato, green chile and garlic while the spicy mix uses roasted tomatillo, habanero and garlic. All users need to do is add avocado to finish the guacamole.

Company: Frontera.

Brand: Guacamole Mix.

Spotted in: Whole Foods, Chicago.

Presentation: 4.5 oz.

Price: $1.99 - $2.99 USD.

Ingredients:See website.

Available in: Supermarkets, online.

Claims: Captures the same flavors found in the best Mexican restaurants.

Website: www.fronterakitchens.com

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Hemp Milk

Hemp Milk; the Newest Trend in Non-Dairy Products


A growing number of people are looking for alternatives to dairy milk whether this be due to allergies, health concerns or ethical reasons. Previously, the most popular choice was soy milk, a beverage that has been widely available for many years. More recently, milk drinks from various nuts and grains have hit the market with one of the newest being hemp milk.

Hemp milk is a great source of protein for a vegetarian diet. It is also rich in omega 3 and omega 6, calcium, essential fatty acids and multiple nutrients necessary for a healthy diet including magnesium, phytosterols, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, calcium, fiber, iron, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin and thiamin.

Analysis and Impact:

Made from the seeds of the plant, hemp milk does not contain any of the chemical THC. It is seeing increased popularity due to health benefits not present in soy milk such as a lack of enzyme inhibitor phytate that can interfere with the absorption of essential minerals. Hemp milk is also free from the complex sugars oligosaccharides that can cause flatulence when improperly digested.

Hemp milk is also more suitable for those suffering from allergies as it does not have the same properties as those made from tree nuts; therefore, it is appropriate for those with soy, dairy or nut allergies. Brands such as Tempt and Hemp bliss offer the product in a range of completely dairy free flavors including vanilla, chocolate and unsweetened vanilla as well as original.

Company: Living Harvest & Manitoba Harvest.

Brand: Tempt & Hemp Bliss.

Spotted in: Whole Foods, Chicago.

Presentation: 32 oz.

Price: $3.99 & $4.99 USD.

Available in: Health food stores, supermarkets.

Claims: Contain omega 3 and 6, high in calcium and other nutrients, suitable for allergy suffers.

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