Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Earth Heart Growers hosts Back to Earth fundraiser benefiting Joseph Fields Farm this Saturday

"Cultivating love through action"

Posted by Parker Milner on Tue, Jul 7, 2020 at 3:26 PM

Local nonprofit Earth Heart Growers will host a fundraiser benefiting Joseph Fields Farm this Saturday July 11. The event, titled Back to the Earth, will feature yoga, meditation and African dancing, with all ticket proceeds going towards the effort to update the Johns Island farm.

One of the nonprofit's main programs involves bringing students to Joseph Fields Farm to learn about organic farming, and the group hopes that the all day event will help further connect locals to Joseph and Helen Fields, who own the 50-acre farm. 

"We would love to assist Joseph in rebuilding their kitchen and building a fence on the fields where damage was caused by deer," the group wrote on the event page. "We are also working to change the floors in the kitchen and get new appliances and revamping as we can in the area that we use for our children's outdoor classroom area at the farm."

The festivities will take place at Joseph Fields Farm in two parts. Part one runs from 8:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. and features Yin yoga from Ashley Limehouse, African dance from local Gullah Geechee hip-hop and R&B artist Nina O'bani and other activities.

Later in the afternoon, pick up food from local vendors like Amor Healing Kitchen and Destiny Community Cafe while listening to reggae music from Unpolished.

Tickets are $35 a person and can be purchased online at Earth Heart Growers has additional safety guidelines in place to maintain social distancing standards. Guests are asked to wear a mask, and purchased food will be pre-packaged to limit interactions with vendors. 

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Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday: Several Charleston restaurants participate in 'Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice' coalition event

"All of us feel like we want to be part of the solution"

Posted by Parker Milner on Sun, Jun 21, 2020 at 7:15 AM

Several Charleston-area restaurants are joining the Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice coalition spearheaded by Nashville pastry chef Lisa Marie Donovan, Cheryl Day of Savannahโ€™s Back in the Day Bakery and Sarah Oโ€™Brien of Atlantaโ€™s Little Tart Bakery.

Sunday, restaurants in over 15 cities will donate 10 to 100 percent of sales to Color of Change, a black-led racial justice organization with 1.7 million members.

Over 20 Charleston restaurants are participating, including Butcher & Bee, The Daily, The Ordinary, FIG, Taco Boy, Wiki Wiki Sandbar, The Park Cafe, The Royal American and others.

The coalition is made up of "chefs, owners, bakers and makers banding together to actively support, learn from, work for and amplify the black voices and black leaders in our communities."

Mike Lata, executive chef and partner at FIG and The Ordinary, is leading the charge locally.

"I volunteered to front the Charleston arm of the coalition," he said. "I think in light of what's going on, all of us feel like we want to be part of the solution." 

Lata said that future coalition events will focus on local black-led organizations. Restaurants like FIG who are not open on Sundays will donate a portion of Saturday's sales to Color of Change.  


Monday, June 15, 2020

Local 616 owner Dwayne Mitchell releases two songs produced during coronavirus closure

"I needed to release those thoughts and ideas"

Posted by Parker Milner on Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 3:29 PM

Local 616 has not yet reopened since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, time that owner Dwayne Mitchell is channeling towards two passion projects: writing music and designing masks.

"I grew up playing music from the time I was 12-years-old," said Mitchell, who recently wrote two new songs, both of which can be found on SoundCloud. "Since I opened the bar, I was so busy with the day in and day out of running the bar, it left little time for me to just be."

The extended closure of Local 616 left Mitchell with the time to reconnect with Clint Fore, a classmate of his at Summerville High School. Mitchell played the trumpet and baritone horn, Fore was the section leader of the tubas.

The two lifelong friends aren't pulling out the brass instruments just yet, but they did team up to produce Mitchell's two songs, "Tree of Life" and "Diversion." Fore plays guitar on both of the songs that were written and composed by Mitchell.
To help combat the spread of the coronavirus, Mitchell is also partnering with The Midnight Society and the Business Company to design the Local 616 "Dwayngel" Masks, which are available for purchase on their website. One hundred percent of the proceeds from these masks will be donated to Local 616, and for each mask sold, The Midnight Society will also give three medical-grade masks to local hospitals in Charleston. 

"To be able to express yourself is very important to me," Mitchell said. "So everything that has been happening in the world today and the past few months and years has been building inside of me and I needed to release those thoughts and ideas."

Location Details Local 616
616 Meeting St.
Charleston, SC
(843) 414-7850
Bar, Sports Bar and Pubs + Taverns

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Monday, May 25, 2020

Charleston craft beer community mourning the death of Matty Symons, co-founder of Two Blokes Brewing Co.

"We'll miss you, Matty. Hooroo, good friend."

Posted by Parker Milner on Mon, May 25, 2020 at 9:26 AM

View this post on Instagram

It is with extreme sadness we have to announce that Matty Symons, head brewer and owner of Two Blokes Brewing, husband and father, our friend and fearless leader, has passed away. This was very sudden and unexpected from a severe stroke. There are no words to describe how grateful we are for the support we have felt in the last few days and we will definitely need it to get through this. While we are still coming to terms with this overwhelming loss, please be respectful of his family and staff's grieving period. We are taking on the challenging task of carrying on at Two Blokes without him. We plan to keep the brewery open because that's what Matty would have wanted. Try to be patient with us while we navigate through this difficult time. He was equally good at pissing people off and making people smile, but if you ever had the chance to share a beer with him itโ€™s easy to see why he was loved by all. Matty will live on in the brewery and the great memories we have shared. The brewery is open today for to-go beer orders and the picnic tables will be open 2-8. Flight is serving 4-8PM. Come out for a few beers and to toast to Matty.

A post shared by Two Blokes Brewing Co. (@twoblokesbrewing) on

The local craft beer and brewing community is mourning the death of Matty Symons, co-founder, owner and head brewer of Two Blokes Brewing Co. on Saturday.

A post by Two Blokes on social media Sunday said that Symons' death was sudden, from a "severe stroke."

"While we are still coming to terms with this overwhelming loss, please be respectful of his family and staff's grieving period," the post from the brewery read. "We are taking on the challenging task of carrying on at Two Blokes without him."

Symons grew up in Melbourne, Australia before moving to Charleston in 2007 to work for Blackbaud, according to a Gofundme set up to raise money for his family. He founded Two Blokes in 2016 with Sean Geddis, a co-worker who shared his love of beer. After studying at the Siebel Institute of Technology, Americaโ€™s oldest brewing school, Symons brought 20 years of experience to the Mount Pleasant brewery.

The South Carolina Brewers Guild is raising money for Symons' family, with nearly $25,000 raised by Wednesday afternoon. This Friday May 29, every brewery in the greater Charleston area will join the fundraising efforts by donating $1 for every pint sold that day. 

The trade group said on social media that, "The Guild is saddened to learn of the passing of Matty Symons, co-founder, owner, and head brewer of Two Blokes Brewing in Mount Pleasant. Matty was a valued member of the South Carolina brewing community, and is survived by his wife and daughter ... We'll miss you, Matty. Hooroo, good friend."

Two Blokes remains open, serving to-go beer orders placed online at

Location Details Two Blokes Brewery
547 Long Point Rd. #101
Mt. Pleasant, SC
(843) 654-4564
Breweries & Distilleries

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Pay It Forward campaign is expanding its reach in Charleston area

5,000 grocery bags and counting

Posted by Parker Milner on Wed, May 20, 2020 at 4:25 PM

Our Lady of Mercy has volunteers in place to help with the Pay It Forward initiative - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Our Lady of Mercy has volunteers in place to help with the Pay It Forward initiative
Pay It Forward started at the onset of the pandemic as a small initiative to deliver groceries to displaced restaurant industry workers. Less than two months later, the campaign has donated 5,000 bags of groceries to out-of-work industry employees. As the campaign continues to gain support in the Lowcountry, Pay It Forward is partnering with Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach and Tricounty Family Ministries to further serve the Charleston area.

The initiative, started by Michael Shemtov of Butcher & Bee, The Daily and Workshop, was initially using shuttered restaurants as distribution points for grocery bags, but recent reopenings left them in need of new pick-up spots. With these new partnerships, Pay It Forward is adding distribution points in North Charleston, Johns Island and downtown.

With the volunteers, fridge space and safety protocols already in place, these groups are ready to start right away. Our Lady of Mercy will operate out of The Outreach (1864 Brownswood Rd. on Johns Island) and the Neighborhood House (79 America St. downtown), and Tricounty Family Ministries will distribute from 2105 Cosgrove Ave. in North Charleston.

In a press release, Our Lady of Mercy executive director Ericka Plater said, "We are committed, as always, to ensuring that the most vulnerable among us receive the critical support they need to not fall behind. Teaming up with these extraordinary groups helps local farmers, eliminates potential waste and makes a bigger impact on the community where we live, work and play."

The work by Pay It Forward is also getting national attention. Earlier this week, Good Morning America featured the campaign as part of an online story.

Pay It Forward has raised enough money to keep the program going through mid-June when they expect industry employees to be back to work. F&B workers can apply for a provision bag online, and those wishing to contribute to Pay It Forward Charleston can visit

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