Beacon Coffee

I have to admit that I am a very picky person when it comes to food and drinks. Especially good coffee, in my eyes, has to taste like my moms, or at least a certain way. Nothing was ever better than my mom’s coffee. Unfortunately my mom lives on another continent and I always complain that the coffee I make at home just doesn’t taste as good, may it because of the water (we have a lot of calcium in our water) or the machine (which I bought cheap on Amazon).

I recently found a coffee shop that can compete with my mom’s coffee. The Beacon Coffee Shop on Olivia’s Park Drive in Ventura. Picky me, I didn’t want to go to the regular coffee chains and the name Beacon Coffee caught my interest.

I am now a regular guest there and drink my stomach friendly coffee with enjoyment. As I got to know the owners John and Jennifer more, I wanted to share my experience with you and prepared a little interview.

Jennifer, what made you decide to open a coffee shop here in Ventura and how long have you been running the shop?

John has been in the coffee industry since 22 years and I started in 2002 when we met at a coffee shop. We started in Ventura in 2010. At first, we were only a roasting company. That’s why we are in the industrial area. The ventilation here is necessary for our roasting machine. We decided to run a coffee shop and started to build out. It was so small, there was only one round table where customers were drinking their coffee and we were working [laughs…]. We expanded the wall to have space for tables and chairs. The pictures on the wall are from our trips.

Where do you get your coffee from?

We buy directly from farms all over the world. As we looked for good quality coffee, we travelled to all of the farms where we are buying from, looked into the process of planting and harvesting the beans and built great relationships with our providers. Our quality beans come from Columbia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Ethiopia. Each year we travel to our supply chains and work closely with the farming community, which is a lot of fun.

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What kind of water do you use?

To make good coffee, it is important to have the right mineralogy in the water. We have a water filter system that gives us the best water we need to make our flavorful coffees.

How important is the quality of menu to you?

Our customer base is very cautious of what they are eating and where it comes from. They are looking for high quality products. For our coffees, we make our own vanilla which we buy from a local extract company. The cacao we use is direct traded and organic, non-GMO, gluten and soy free. From the cacao we make a chocolate sauce fresh every day and use it in our mocha. Our milk is organic and/or gluten free. Our lavender mocha is made from home grown organic lavender and extracted with hot water. My good friend is a chef and he makes all the gluten free biscotti’s, bars and scones. Since he is gluten intolerant himself, he blends his own flour for the pastries.

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If you were a customer in your own café, what would you order from the menu?

[laughs..]…I always take a black coffee and an espresso. No milk. My favorite are the lavender almond scones. They are so good!

What do you feel sets you apart from other coffee shops?

Since we started as a roasting company, we roast our coffee right on the spot. People can actually see the roasting process through the window and talk to John and me regarding any questions they have. For each customer, we brew the coffee fresh. People really appreciate to see where the coffee comes from and how it’s made, they enjoy the taste and feel welcomed through our good customer service.

Aside from your business, what are some personal hobbies or local activities you enjoy?

John and I love to explore new restaurants. We enjoy wine tasting and good food, travelling and live music. Our dog Parker always comes with us and we like to spend time outside.

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If you want to check out Beacon Coffee, it’s on

5777 Olivas Park Drive, Suite R in Ventura

Check it out online:

http://www.beaconcoffee.com/visit_contact.html

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Leprechauns want to celebrate!

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I love the color green! St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect day to GO GREEN and celebrate the heritage and culture of the Irish in general, as well as to celebrate most commonly-recognized patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461).

Since I am new to Ventura, I have looked up what you can do and want to share with you what I have found.

There is going to be the 2015 St. Patrick’s Parade in Ventura. The Parade begins at the San Buenaventura Mission on Saturday, March 14th at 10:00 am and moves up Main Street by the Judges Stand on Chestnut and continues on towards Cemetery Park.

Here is the parade route map: http://venturastpatricksdayparade.com/parade_route_map.html

Of course you want to celebrate the Irish way! Here are a few Irish pubs in and around Ventura for you to go:

Dargan’s

Irish Pub And Restaurant

  • 593 E Main St
  • Ventura, California 93001
  • (805) 648-3001

Brendan’s

Irish Pub And Restaurant

  • 1755 E Daily Dr.
  • Camarillo, CA 93010 Cross Streets: Between Brently Ave and Murray Ave
  • (805) 383-4100

Garman’s

Irish Pub

  • 932 E Main St.
  • Santa Paula, CA 93060 Cross Streets: Between N Mill St/S Mill St and Davis St
  • (805) 933-4600

Corrigan’s

Irish Pub

  • 75 E High St.
  • Moorpark, CA 93021 Cross Streets: Near the intersection of E High St and Walnut St
  • (805) 532-1500

Brendan”s

Irish Pub And Restaurant

  • 495 N Ventu Park Rd.
  • Newbury Park, CA 91320 Cross Streets: Near the intersection of N Ventu Park Rd and W Hillcrest Dr
  • (805) 498-5050

Brendan’s

Irish Pub And Restaurant

  • 30315 Canwood St, Agoura Hills
  • CA 91301Cross Streets: Near the intersection of Canwood St and Reyes Adobe Rd
  • (818) 874-9400

Good Luck and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

HOW TO SPICE UP SALAD-AND WHERE TO GO

One of my New Year’s resolutions is staying healthy and eating more raw vegetables. Salad is the perfect way to do it, but it’s pretty boring as well.

Every time I started to eat more salad I was over it in 3 days, just couldn’t chew on plain leaves anymore! I could have used salad dressings, but they are mostly full of unhealthy ingredients and high in calories (that might not affect all of us, but I am one of those people whose liver can’t work with too many chemically made ingredients and I feel very sick if I eat too much of it; unlike my husband who can eat what he wants and feels completely fine…yes I am very envious of him!).

I could have added some other things like raisins, dates, figs, walnuts, almonds, feta cheese, shredded mozzarella, chicken, turkey, fish, bacon, cracker and so on and so on. That sounds fantastic! My idea of eating more raw vegetables would have turned into a complete feast instead of a healthy snack in between. That also wasn’t very attractive (well, definitely yummy, but who wants all those calories?).

Back to the beginning: HOW TO SPICE UP YOUR SALAD! Or, how to spice up your salad and still make it a low-calorie meal.

Salad

A friend of mine gave me a surprisingly amazing Christmas gift that solved all my problems in a second! She gave me a set of fruit vinegars and a gift card from “Vom Fass”.

Fruit Vinegars

It included eight different flavors (Raspberry, Mango, Calamansi, Grape/Ginger/Lemon, Pomegranate, Quince, Cherry and Pear).

My husband grew up always eating salad with a main dish and he was more than pleased to see that I had something new to bring to our oh-so-unalluring salad life. First I tried Calamansi and I think that’s one of my favorite. Then I used it on some salmon and I love it! The second vinegar I tried was Cherry. It says on the description that it is excellent with walnut or hazelnut oil, but since I just had olive oil, I mixed the vinaigrette out of the two ingredients I had. Mhm…my taste buds were jumping with excitement!

Not only can you measure how much vinaigrette you use, but it’s a healthy way of spicing up a salad. Oil is an important part of a diet so that your body can absorb more vitamins.

I was curious where I can buy more vinaigrette in Ventura when mine are gone and with the gift card I felt lucky to get more of the good stuff.

Store

The store “Vom Fass” is on 451 E. Main Street in Ventura and just recently opened in September 2014. I talked to one of the owners, Mike, and one of his employees. They explained how I can use the different oils for salads and cold dishes compared to the other oils that actually can be heated and used for cooking and baking. For example, olive oil is great for salads, to sauté or roast, but not on high heat. They also have other oils for cooking and baking as well as health oils for smoothies and oatmeal.

OILS

Mike’s favorite vinaigrette mixes are lemon oil and date vinegar, hazelnut oil and raspberry vinegar, walnut oil and pear vinegar. His favorite vinegar is a Spanish Red Wine Vinegar named “Vinagre Viejo De Montilla” and I must say he has a really good taste. It was delicious!

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When you come into the store you can sample the oils and vinegars before you choose what you want. Next to the good explanations by the staff (they know what they’re talking about!), you can read the descriptions under each product and get an idea what you can use it for. You can sample all the oils, vinegars, liquors and spirits.

I am a big fan of olive oil and got myself the Garlic Olive Oil, Oregano Olive Oil and Lemon Olive Oil.

My Oils

There are plenty of different shaped bottles to choose from (I think the fish is so cute, I also saw a heart shaped bottle) and you pay one time for the bottles, then bring them back to refill.

Bottles

You can get gift cards and gift baskets tailored for you. When I went in the store they had a sale going on for 20% off the vinegar sets. Also, assorted wine and liquor are available to buy. For your next get together there are plenty of things to spice up your salad and meat dishes, ideas for new recipes and hey, personally, I think it’s a fantastic gift! Thumbs up!

Wine

Today I made another salad (my one-salad-every-day-rule has been going very well!) and tried Garlic Olive Oil with Pomegranate Vinegar…

My Mixture

All I can say is I am not tired of chewing on leaves anymore!

Check out the store in Ventura!

http://www.ventura.vomfassusa.com

Time to try new things in 2015! How about Coffee?

Happy New Year! I wish you a wonderful year of joy, happiness, health and prosperity!

One of my new year resolutions is to try new things and go to different places. We moved to Ventura 4 month ago and I have seen quite a bit so far. Now I am ready to explore more and I want to share with you places and things I like and recommend.

Where do you go to get your coffee? I know Starbucks or The Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf is very popular and probably the first choice for a lot of people. There are more places in Ventura who are worth to explore. One of my favorite is Simone’s Coffee And Tea. It is on 7818 Telegraph Road in the corner on the right next to CVS. I’ve never spent much time looking around that shopping area, until one day I really craved for a coffee and walked in the store. Surprisingly this little oases has a lot to offer.

Simone’s Coffee Shop Ventura

Next to regular coffee, it has specialty coffee like Red Eye, Bianco-, Mint-, Cinna-Mocha, Brevi Latte, Vanilla Cream Latte, Con Panna and more. Non coffe specialty drinks are ( just to name a few ) Chai Creme, Chai Cocoa, Bianco Cocoa and Steamed Moo. They also have assorted Blended Beverages, Cold Beverages, Non Coffee Shakes and Fruit Smoothies.

Optional to your coffee you have the choice of getting organic milk, lactose free milk, soy milk or almond milk. Just ask.

Menu

What I really like and recommend for people who have intolerance to certain foods like me are the gluten free options they have, besides the regular baking goods.

Gluten Free Baking Goods

I have seen Chocolate Chippers, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Lemon Poppyseed Scones and Apricot Almond Scones, which is my favorite.

Almond Apricot Scones

The Apricot Almond Scones is very soft and moist While the Chocolate Chippers are harder. They are all Vegan certified and for gluten free food super delicious!

Inside you will see things you can buy. They just had a 50% sale on Christmas goodies.

Christmas Sale

Figures and Goodies

Ventura is a great place for vacation and they have things you can get as a souvenier.

Souveniers

I enjoy going there, the coffee is good and it is something different from regular coffee shops.

Definitely a place to try out! 🙂

New year, new blog? Make it a great one.

What a great way to become a good blogger. I just started myself and I am excited to take this opportunity!

The WordPress.com Blog

New to blogging? A new session of our introductory blogging course starts on Monday, January 5 — and all bloggers are welcome, whether you blog on WordPress.com, a self-hosted WordPress blog, or somewhere else entirely.

Blogging 101 is four weeks of daily bite-size assignments that take you from “Blog?” to “Blog!” — along with a supportive community to encourage you all the way through. At the end of the course, you’ll have a blog you’re proud and excited to publish, and that others are excited to read.
Here’s how it works:

  • Assignments fall into three broad categories — publishing posts and pages, customizing your blog, and engaging with the community — and are designed to build on one another.
  • We’ll post a new assignment here on The Daily Post each weekday at 12AM GMT. Each assignment will contain all the inspiration and instructions you need to complete it. Weekends are free (but we’ll…

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How to really Lose Weight and change Your Lifestyle

Christmas is over and New Years Eve is coming up soon. I don’t know about you, but if you feel full and gained some unwanted weight like me over the holidays, you are on the right page!

You probably have seen hundreds of crash diets, wonder pills and “healthy” lifestyles already. I suppose nothing has worked for you so far; or you had some short term results and went back to were you were before in no time. If you are asking yourself “How can I lose weight fast” and “How can I change my lifestyle” then we have something in common.

I am struggling with weight since I am 6 years old and I do have my ups and downs. Trying differed diets always pushed me to overeating/binging afterwards for weeks. I guess I am always scared to miss out of something…I love to eat!

Let me tell you that no diet or lifestyle has anything to do with your results. Now that sounds motivating, I know…Let me tell you something else: The reason why you were not able to lose weight or keep it off until now is that you couldn’t adapt to those. They were just not your thing! It’s that simple. And that’s OK!

Many people, including myself, want to have it all, right now. It’s all or nothing. We get excited dreaming about our perfect healthy body; beautiful, sexy…yes! We are ready to start, highly encouraged…and after one week comes the hard downfall. We can’t do it! How can people just eat vegetables and teeny tiny portions???

That is not possible, it’s not working, you are hungry and want to eat! So what are you going to do now? Give up? Start over? With the same thing you couldn’t do in the first place? Eat like you want for a week and start the next? Procrastinating? Oh man…

There is some light after the tunnel ( just reading my own blog makes me depressed, so let’s get started with the good stuff here)!

Here is what I recommend:

1) Write down what you eat daily, weekly, monthly and out of that make a list of healthy food like fruit, vegetables, whole foods, brown rice, sweet potato, organic chicken etc. ( green ), unhealthy food like fried food, prepackaged food, fast food, sauces, fat meat, white bread, candy, chips, sweet liquid beverages etc. ( red )

2) Write down from the unhealthy food list what you can’t live without ( for example, I can’t live without chocolate )

3) Write down healthy food that you don’t eat or never tried, don’t like and tried before

4) Calorie counting IS a part of losing/keeping your weight, calculate your daily calorie intake ( online sites provide lots of calculators )

5) If you do exercise calculate the calories you burn

Out of your list and calculations plan your meals. Is there any healthy food you would be willing to try or introduce to your regular diet if it tastes better with something else or not too healthy? For example, could you eat that raw vegetable as a snack if you can dip it in peanut butter or a dressing, instead of eating it just plain? What are the unhealthy foods you can’t live without? How often do you eat those? Reward yourself with 2 days a week where you can eat the things you like, preferably when you do exercise that day (best 2-3 days in between like Sunday and Wednesday).

Let’s say you eat healthy food for 3 days, like fish, chicken, and brown rice, fruit, salad, raw veggies with hummus, guacamole or almond butter, a hard-boiled egg etc. Now comes the day you can eat the things you like; choose breakfast, lunch or dinner for your meal and go out to your favorite place or order or make your favorite dish. Have a snack and enjoy it, chips, chocolate, ice cream, whatever you like. The point is to feel satisfied with the lifestyle you have and still have the weight and health you want. Make sure when you have your cheat days you still check your calorie intake and go lighter on your other meals or/and do some exercise or walking.
Now look what kind of diet you tried and liked before, and what was the reason you couldn’t do it? Obviously too many restrictions on food and calories. Would you be able to eat good for 2-3 days, if you can have the things you like on the 3-4th day?
What if you can’t eat good for 3 days? All of us have cravings. If you crave, pick something you REALLY crave and something healthy, and eat it together. Example: popcorn and an apple, chips and a salad, chocolate and some cucumber or pepper. Make sure you eat the healthy food choice FIRST, then the food you crave. You will feel fuller faster and most likely don’t overeat on the choice you craved. Also, add the food you don’t like to your diet. If you can’t eat it the way it is, try a sauce with it, or maybe you can cook it with spices and it taste better. The reason why I am recommending this is to train your taste buds. A lifestyle change doesn’t come over night. It takes persistency. You want to have that beautiful body, that great skin, that strong shiny hair, but it takes a lot of healthy food to get it. As you eat the same food over and over again, you get used to it and eventually like it. One step closer to your goal!
I hated Brussel sprouts for years and years. Every time my mom made it I wanted to crawl under the table. Surprisingly I love Brussel sprouts now and can eat a whole bowl by myself. It didn’t come over night, but it happened.
Attention: When you have your cheat day or crave and eat, watch your calories. Again, the complete calorie intake makes the difference between weight loss and weight gain. If you go overboard, make sure you stay the next 3 days in your calculated caloric intake.

This is a first step to your new you! By changing the way you eat slowly and not giving up everything you can handle cravings and resulting stress better. It is good to have a backup plan when you feel like eating. It definitely has helped me.

*This is my first blog~thank you for reading*