Category Archives: “Buy Local” Spotlights

These are spotlights on the local products I love. I’m all about supporting local businesses close to home, and I’ll only share the ones I love.

“Buy Local” Spotlight: Lola Savannah Coffee Company of Houston, TX

Hawaiian Grog Coffee - Hello, Luvah

As I’ve said before, buying products grown or produced in my own community is a new passion of mine. I find myself looking for local products more and more often when I shop. I like the idea of buying stuff made or grown close to home. It makes me feel like I’m helping make Houston a better, more self-sufficient place. With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to the Lola Savannah Coffee Company. They opened for business in 1995, and are known for producing an incredible array of coffees and teas while staying committed to sustainable agricultural practices. Their list of flavored coffees alone is staggering. My personal favorite is “Hawaiian Grog.” It’s incredibly tasty, and it also makes my house smell fabulous when I brew it. Here’s how it’s described on their website:

“You don’t need to be Hawaiian or groggy to enjoy this special mix of 100% Arabica beans, real coconut flakes, Highland crème, and just a hint of coconut crème. You’ll be saying “Aloha” with every sip!” -LSCC

They’re right. Sometimes, early in the morning, I whisper “Aloha, Hawaiian Grog! I love you soooo much!” before I take that first sip. It’s really good stuff, especially if you’re a nut for coffee and coconut like me. Other flavors I plan to try soon: Almond Bliss, Angel Dust, Chocolate Crème Brule, Strudel Cake and Tiramisu. My winner for their most unique blend is “Lunch with Elvis.” That’s right…it’s a peanut butter and banana flavored coffee. Yes, I know it sounds bizarre, but I’ve tried it and it’s actually pretty good. Unexpected, for sure, but it’s good! You’ve got to give it to them – it’s pretty clever.

I like to buy my Lola Savannah coffee from the large bulk barrels at my local HEB Market so I can grind my own, but HEB also sells small foil packages so you can try other flavors in small batches. They can also be found in Central Market and Fiesta stores in south Texas. If you’re not from the Houston area and/or you don’t have access to an HEB market, don’t sweat it! If you’re more of a tea person than a coffee person, that’s okay too! They sell both! They have a really nice website with online ordering. They’re also thoughtful enough to include a page called “Coffee 101” to help you learn more about coffee in general, and a “Brewing Tips” tutorial to help you make that perfect cup of Joe. Intrigued yet? I hope so. They certainly got my attention, and now they’re a part of my morning routine. You can check them out at www.lolacc.com.

As a special treat for one lucky reader, I’m giving away three sample pouches of Lola Savannah coffee. The flavors are Texas Pecan, Lunch with Elvis, and Chocolate Creme. Leave a comment telling me your favorite flavor or type of coffee and where you get it. Be sure to include your e-mail address. All entries must be received by midnight Central Standard Time on Thursday, October 7, 2010. One winner will be chosen at random and notified by e-mail on Friday, October 8, 2010. I’ll post an update on the blog to announce the winner, as well.

Lola Savannah Coffee Samples - 1.75 ozs. each

Disclaimer: The Lola Savannah Coffee Company of Houston, Texas has no earthly idea who in the tarnation NanaBread is, so it goes without saying that they have in no way compensated or bribed her to provide this endorsement. But that won’t stop her from buying her weekly pound of Hawaiian Grog and shooting her mouth off about it. The sample packs for the giveaway were purchased by NanaBread with her own cash money. That just proves how much she loves this stuff and how strongly she feels it must be shared with the coffee lovers of the world. Think of this as a public service announcement for fellow java junkies everywhere (12-step program not included).

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“Buy Local” Spotlight: Arriba Salsa

Lately, I’ve found myself gravitating towards local products at the grocery store. I like the idea of buying stuff made or grown close to home. It makes me feel like I’m helping make Houston a better, more self-sufficient place. For that reason, I’ve decided to start highlighting local products and/or producers I love. Don’t fret…there is no crass commercialism involved. I swear on a stack of Dove bars that I’m not being bribed or compensated in any way to promote any product. I just want to share the information; you can decide if you’d like to try them. Think of it like running into a stranger in the grocery store who turns to you and says, “Have you tried these yet? What did you think?” That’s not unusual for me. I seem to have random conversations with strangers in the grocery store quite a bit. I must have one of those faces. Anyway, here we go:

Local Product Spotlight #1: Arriba Salsa
I’m starting with this one because The Complete Package and I both love it to pieces. I’m not joking when I say that I have one jar in the fridge and three in the pantry at this very moment. We’re addicted. We eat it on everything and anything, but it’s also great straight out of the jar on tortilla chips. It’s good stuff.

Arriba Salsa - A Fiesta in a Jar!

Our favorite is the “medium” fire roasted Mexican style red salsa. It’s a perfect balance of roasted tomato flavor and heat. Not too spicy, but not too wimpy. It’s made by Riba Foods in Houston. They make a wide variety of salsas including Mexican style, California style and Texas style. They also have a line of pickles, peppers and olives as well as drink mixes, dips and sauces. We just tried our first jar of their Texas Pepper Works Candy-Krisp pickles and they are awesome! They’re sweet spicy pickles with a cayenne and garlic kick. Like the label says – not too spicy, not too sweet. I could eat the whole jar. I might not be able to feel my lips afterwards, but I could do it. If you don’t live in Texas or the Houston area, don’t sweat it! You can order directly from their website if you can’t find them at your local grocer. Here’s the website; the rest is up to you.
If you’re interested, you can check them out at: http://www.ribafoods.com/RibaCart/catalog.aspx

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