Thursday, May 15, 2014


Less then a two hour drive South East of Raleigh, heading towards the Eastern Shore is the little country town of Kinston, NC. It's pretty quiet and rural, but its the home of two of North Carolina's finest gems, Mother Earth Brewing and Chef and the Farmer Restaurant. Located within a block or so of each other, it's the perfect overnight trip from Raleigh. We've been a couple times now and both times have been fabulous. Recently they have expanded their offerings to include two additional locations in the same block, the Boiler Room Oyster Bar (also offering some amazing burgers!) and The Red Room which is great for cocktails and live music.

We decided to make the trip last weekend, four moms uniting in Kinston to enjoy some great company, beer and food. We accomplished just that. Josh Brewer, Brewer Master for Mother Earth made us feel right at home when we arrived and even gave us a personal tour of the brewery. They are an amazingly efficient brewery with sustainability being a primary focus. They are known for their fabulous tasting beers and are expanding into the distillery business as well. We really enjoyed getting to see the inside of the brewery and spent the afternoon on the back patio sampling more Mother Earth beer.




You may have heard of the show A Chef's Life based on the story of Chef Vivian Howard and hubby Ben Knight and her restaurant in Kinston, Chef and the Farmer. The series is available on PBS and features a 13 episode series of 30 minute stories each week showcasing some of Eastern NC greatest farmers and seasonal produce. True farm to table food. The film crew are especially creative and Chef Vivian is so fun to watch as she talks, prepares and explores local ingredients and how to incorporate them into her seasonal menu at the restaurant.

We enjoyed a late dinner at Chef and the Farmer on Saturday night and tried out flash fried collards, homemade grits with goat cheese and arugula, Blueberry BBQ Pizza and the delicious FarmerRita pizza. Chef Vivian was at the restaurant Saturday with her family enjoying a late dinner and was kind enough to stop by our table and talk a little with us. We chatted about the flash fried collards and the proper way to eat them. We talked about the show and we are excited about the upcoming season two coming this Fall. Southern hospitality at its finest!

Make sure to book a reservation before you go so you are sure to get a table! Cocktail specialties from the bar are also a must! 

Within the same block you can spend some time at the Boiler Room Oyster Bar. Fresh oysters from the Eastern coast and freshly ground burgers are the main staples here. Cocktails and local beers are served up here as well. It's a fun lively spot and another must stop in Kinston. For late night, check out the Red Room. Around the corner from Mother Earth, check their schedule for the music line up.

Plenty of great local food, beer and "Motherly" love to be found in Kinston, NC. Make time for a road trip this Summer!

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

American Made and Raleigh Designed Menswear: Lumina Clothing Co.

Just off the very busy Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh, you may not realize it but there's a great thing happening at Lumina Clothing Co. at 123 East Martin Street. Lumina Clothing Company's specialty is menswear and all things that have to do with great mens fashion. Pop in there anytime and you will meet the laid back and very friendly guys who run the store and if you are looking for a little help in putting together your look, casual or business, the guys at Lumina can get you set up and looking good in no time!

It's an early morning in downtown Raleigh when I knock on the door to Lumina Clothing Co. I'm excited to hear more about their company and their offerings. Immediately I'm struck by how friendly and approachable these guys are. I am welcomed in by Barton Strawn and Paul Connor and we spend a little time chatting about local Raleigh happenings, weekend events restaurants, etc. 

Their focus is smart luxury menswear and their down to earth personalities put me at ease as I am not an expert in mens clothing. But these guys are. Lumina started their business in 2009 designing neckwear and with the goal to produce quality luxury menswear in American factories.

It is extremely important to them for customers to know where your clothing comes from and to own a better quality product. They often visit the factories and know the folks who are producing their clothing. Their product line has since grown to include jeans, shirts, trousers, accessories and some new lines of men's face and grooming products...all American made (if not NC made!) (I bought the Duke Cannon "Big Ass Brick of Soap" that smells fantastic!) 

They have forged friendships and connections with many of the other locally owned businesses in the area. Trophy Brewing Company has been known to drop off a growler or two! These guys know mens fashion and want to be your one stop shop for guys clothing and accessories.
Lumina Clothing Co. is proud to say all their products are made in the USA with a special emphasis on trying to make as much as possible come from North Carolina. Lumina Clothing offers the best quality for the best price and when you shop with them, you can enjoy knowing that what you are wearing is proudly made here in the USA and as local as possible.

Lumina Clothing Co. was featured in a recent NY Times article about Raleigh and spotlighted in Walter Magazine.

Stop by this First Friday and meet these guys. Grab a beer.  Get some great fashion advice.

Tell them Raleigh What's Up sent you.

Use the code "RWU10" and get 10% off your next purchase online. If you mention the code in the store, you will get 10% off your purchase!

Follow Lumina Clothing Co. on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.