Archive for small business

Cause Its Good

Posted in DC: Dining & Cocktails with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by substanceandstyledc

175545_372083282869238_510260500_oIn a city where new becomes old very fast there is a U Street area bar and restaurant that opened several months ago that is only gaining in popularity. Why? Perhaps it is because it has a friendly staff, or because it has great food, maybe because it has cool cocktails and beer selections.  One might also think it is because all the profits from this philanthropub go to charitable organizations.  Located at 1926 9th Street NW, just two blocks from the U Street Metro station, Cause bills itself as a bar where having a good time helps a worthy cause.  Try it. Cause we know you’ll love it too.


Sweet Caroline’s

Posted in DC: Dining & Cocktails with tags , , , , , , on March 5, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

There was a lot of talk about the actresses of the film The Help. Viola Davis won several awards for her portrayal of Aibileen Clark and her cast mate Octavia Spencer walked away with an Oscar for her role as Minny Jackson. These stars truly shined on screen. But they weren’t the only ones who made a lasting impression.

The visuals of the delicious cakes and pies in the film could make anyone not just hungry, but salivate. In particular there is a seven layer caramel cake in the movie that everyone raves about. A nine inch round cake, with multiple layers held together by frosting that looks so good and sweet that it may be a sin.

Well, the makers of the on screen beauties, the seven layer caramel cakes used in the film, are just up the road in Annapolis, Maryland. For more than a decade Caroline’s Cakes, known mostly for their seven layer caramel cakes has been serving up a variety of cakes and cupcakes to happy customers. Several years ago the bakery opened up a small café two doors down that offers a delicious breakfast and lunch menu.

Over the weekend, Substance & Style took a road trip to Annapolis to experience Caroline’s firsthand. The first stop was to the bakery where we were greeted by a friendly staff person who was very knowledgeable and helpful in guiding us to which cake may best suit our palette. After deliberation and temptation we decided to stick with what originally brought us there on this sojourn – caramel. Next we went to Caroline’s Gourmet to see what was on the menu.

The café is intimate and warm and just when you thought you’d met the friendliest staffer in the world at the bakery – you realize in fact that she has competition from the two young men at café. They made you feel like you were in your family members kitchen and whatever you wanted they were going to make with care and serve it with a smile.

While everything on the menu sounds delicious our party indulged in the curried chicken salad on lettuce, a chicken foccacia sandwich and slices of the seven layer lemon and caramel cakes respectively.  The taste of the food was absolutely worth the gas mileage from the District to Annapolis. We washed down our lunch with ice cold bottles of Cheerwine soda. Bottled since 1917, it has been called the “Nectar of North Carolina.” You’ll have to buy a bottle. We bought several to take home with us.

The cake is what we went for, the lunch is what made us linger and the overall experience is what will bring us back for more.

Front entrance of Caroline's Cakes.


Inside Caroline's Cakes.

Inside Caroline's Cakes.

Caroline's Gourmet

Expand Your Local

Posted in Commentary, Culture, DC: Dining & Cocktails with tags , , , , , , on December 26, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

One of the most wonderful things about Washington, DC is that there is always something new to discover and someplace to go that you have never been. Whether you have lived in Washington for just a few months, a few years, or even your entire life, there are an abundance of opportunities, experiences and adventures that are to be had. So often, however, those of us that dwell in the DC metro area find ourselves bound by habits and routines of going to the same familiar places. We’ll eat at the same restaurants out of complacency. Likewise, we’ll patronize the same theaters, museums, parks and galleries. We will attend the same festivals in the summer year after year, if for no other reason than it’s what we’ve always done. It is convenient and less scary not to venture beyond our normal paths and neighborhoods that we know so much about. We behave this way because it’s easy and comfortable. It is effortless and doesn’t take much thought to do what we have always done or go where we have always gone. It also means, though, that we continue to see the city through the same lens which we have always seen it. But 2012 we can all challenge ourselves to do something different!

The Substance & Style 2012 challenge to each Washingtonian is to spend an entire day in a ward of the District of Columbia where you do not reside, work or frequently play. Take the time to get to know and enjoy the city in a new way. From Dupont Circle to Fort Dupont, there are numerous parks to picnic, play or relax in. Art galleries like Honfleur and Morton Fine Art are great examples of the numerous galleries on either side of the Anacostia River that offer visitors visual treasurers. The DC Public Library also offers an array of programs and activities in libraries across the city. Cultural Tourism DC’s Neighborhood Heritage Trails provides self-guided walking tours of neighborhoods including Deanwood, Mount Pleasant, Tenleytown and Barracks Row. The walking tours are directed by signs that provide a great deal of history, stories and photos while you walk and create your own memories In every Ward of Washington, there lies something to enjoy and new people to meet. We simply must seek the opportunities to do so.

Visiting the cultural and civic sites in other neighborhoods can be entertaining, educational and empowering as it also is a chance to support many of the small and locally owned businesses that are the heart of the local economy. Building community and sustaining it requires us to make conscious efforts to shop and support local entrepreneurs. Substance and Style’s charge to you is to expand your “local” in 2012. Don’t just cross the street, cross the river. Spend a day on Barracks Row and an evening on U Street NW.  Reach beyond your ward. Celebrate the diversity of the city. Expand your local!

Brand U.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 10, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

After serving on Capitol Hill as press secretary for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, David Baldwin Barnes (above center) has turned his attention to a domestic policy agenda. His new venture, Gait Consulting offers image and communication consult to professionals looking to enhance their personal and professional brand. Baldwin is a firm believer that the way you present yourself to the world is an extension of your personality and understands the intimate relationship between self-esteem and image, and infuses every aspect of his services to cater to the whole person, not just the clothes. Are you ready to take your personal style to the next level? Contact Gait Consulting for an initial consultation. Also check out his latest contribution to Gen Juice.

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