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Lakeland, you beautiful city! We're in our second weekend of business and the support you've shown us is unreal. You've kept us busy rolling dough, pouring cold brew and cold beer, and telling stories about the goods we chose for the Bear Cat & Big 6 Trading Post.
We wanted to take a little bit of time from our busy weekend to tell you how much you mean to us, and to say thank you for your amazing support when we opened. We had a ball serving you and celebrating with you! Here are some pictures from our opening weekend:
Later on our opening day, we had a get-together to celebrate our new space. Even though it poured buckets that night, people stayed and partied in the rain!
Each and every person who made it out to eat beignets and explore and party with us -- thank you! We love you.
There were some people who made it all possible and deserve some extra kudos:
Ashton Events, for their amazing planning and the team that made sure the coolest party ever went smoothly.
Sunshine Canning, for the phenomenal pickle bar and other goodies they shared.
The Corner Store, for the amazing sweet potato salad and the best corn we've ever eaten (ever). They have a spot at the 801 E. Main spot -- come check them out!
On The Avenue, whose music set the tone for an amazing night.
Lady Miaou, who made sure we were dancing 'til the sun came up.
Eddie Green at Southern Food and Barbecue, who made the best dang barbecue.
Acu-Temp, who made a heroic effort to get our air conditioning units installed before the opening.
Wish Vintage, who helped us put together the space for everyone who attended.
And you all, who made it perfect.
There are a few things I never leave home without. I always have my wallet and phone, of course, and a pair of headphones, my pocket knife, and a lipstick in case I need to go somewhere and assume a least a semblance of professionalism. Recently, my Izola water bottle has been added to the extremely short list of things I almost always have on my person.
When Jarrid and Robyn gave me this water bottle for my birthday earlier this month, I was mostly excited because it was cute (even though I can't paddle my own canoe, and I ended up running into a cypress tree the last time I tried). NOW I'm excited about it because I've discovered that the whole "It'll keep your drinks cold way longer than you thought possible" thing isn't just clever marketing -- it really does keep drinks cold for hours.
This thing goes with me all over the place, including the office (where one time I forgot about it and left the cap off, and found my water still icy cold four hours after I remembered where I'd put the bottle -- just imagine what it'd do with the lid ON), the gym (where it's cool-looking enough that I can pretend it cancels out how ridiculous I look flailing around on the elliptical), the 801 East Main space (where we are currently working almost literally around the clock to bring you the coolest spot in Lakeland), and everywhere in-between. I walk everywhere, so its relatively compact size is perfect; it fits in my purse and is excellent for when I'm trekking around town.
Izola purports that it keeps drinks hot, too, just as long as it keeps them cold. I can't attest to that personally yet, as it's still too hot to lug around hot drinks in my purse, but I'm sure it's great for hot coffee, hot cider, and anything else I can think of to put in there. I'll plan on keeping hot chocolate in it for the Lakeland Christmas parade this year and will report back.
These nifty things are going to be in stock at the Bear Cat and Big 6 trading post, which opens on November 7. If you snag one, let me know! We can walk around Lakeland and drink cold (or hot) drinks together, toasting each other with our wonderful water bottles and not worrying about the temperature of our drinks.
Guest writer: Abby Jarvis