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Charles Minter Tae Kwon Do

By Kim Hill Years ago in Jamaica, Charles Minter, just for fun, had his palm read. The reader told him he had more children than anyone she had ever seen. “You have many, many, many children,” she said. At the time, Charles had one daughter, and chuckled to himself, but a friend said, “You know, she was talking about your students.” Master Minter truly feels his students are like his children, regardless of their age. No matter how proficient they have become under his tutelage, he feels protective of them. Minter began studying karate when he was 15. Eight years later he opened his own studio. In the 37 years since then, he has helped thousands of students develop skills, balance, respectfulness, and confidence. “It helps develop the individual,” he says. “You don’t get lost in the crowd, everybody participates, everybody learns at their different level.” When asked how he first became interested in martial arts, Minter replies, “Well, truthfully, I like to fight. But as I got into the martial arts, I realized more and more that it was about many other things; fighting is just part of it. It turned into learning that you want to be the good guys, and that’s what we always teach our students, that you don’t use it for the wrong reason. The more you get involved with it, you realize that you have a responsibility, besides learning to take care of yourself and to take care of others, not to misuse it.” Minter attracts students of all ages and for a variety of reasons, from learning self-defense to competing at local, state, and national level competitions. Many adults just want to de-stress. “They can beat on the bags,” he says. Some see karate as an alternative to team sports because they can progress at an individual ...
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Body of Health & Life Introduces New Services to Improve Health

By Heidi Campbell Julie Mills-Watson, the owner and founder of Body of Health & Life, welcomes each client with a hug and a smile, and her caring, authentic nature keeps them coming back long after the healing process is over. Her desire to help clients return to health and wellness is evident in everything she does, from sharing healthy lifestyle advice to treating them with her healing touch. Mills-Watson opened Body of Health in 2010. Since then she has watched her therapeutic massage clinic experience consistent growth in not only the number of staff, but also in expanded services. The clinic now incorporates kinesiology taping as well as hot stone therapy to address sports-related issues and chronic pain due to the overuse of muscles. The Body of Health clinic offers a variety of unique services such as lymphedema therapies, detox ionic foot bath, hot/cold pack therapies, compression garment fitting, thermography screening, and massage therapy for special cases such as cancer, seniors, sports, and maternity. Now, with her latest expansion, Mills-Watson and her team will be able to spend more time working with scar and soft tissue clients. Hopefully, by working with local physical therapists to help improve a client’s range of motion, each person treated will now be able to return to a better quality of life. “While we are growing, and hope to continue, we will remain a therapeutic massage clinic and not a spa,” says Mills-Watson. “Many of our clients are acutely ill, and it’s exciting to think that we will be in a position to help even more people without having to delay their treatment. It's amazing,” she affirms, “how touch and manual therapy does so much to heal the body.” The motto of Body of Health is to help people "heal quicker, hurt less, and have a better ...
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Catching up with Brenda Bean of Parrot Productions

By: Rachael Brice Since we last caught up with her in August, Brenda Bean, owner of Parrot Productions, has been busy flying around Atlanta. Over the last couple of months, business has soared as Bean has performed in countless shows with her popular talking parrot crew, her trusty dog Albert, and her new assistant, Abby. Now that the holidays have come to a close, Bean is preparing for another busy year with a few new performing parrots that are equipped with new tricks and educational material that audience members will enjoy. Bean’s fascination for birds began in the mid-1980s when she purchased her first and favorite bird named Cash. Today she is the proud owner of over fifteen birds of various types from all over the globe. Five years ago when Bean noticed her birds were bored, she began booking performances at various venues and exhibiting her birds so she could teach and share her passion for them with others. Parrot Productions was born! Even after performing in over 200 shows per year, Bean is becoming more involved in the community. She is a proud member of the Snellville Tourism and Trade Association, and has begun to break off into different markets, including corporate events, customer appreciations, Bible study groups, and retirement homes. Most of the birds Bean has in her show are either highly or moderately endangered, or are rare. Some she has rescued from long-term homes where the owner can no longer care for the bird. Parrots live an extraordinary length of time and almost always outlive their owners. Many times the best thing for a parrot in that situation is a complete new environment where it has very little to remind it of the missing owner. “Bringing these birds back into a world where their grief is replaced with ...
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Excel Orthopedics: Excellent Care with a Hometown Feel

Excel Orthopedics: Excellent Care with a Hometown Feel by Michelle Watson   Excel Orthopedics is an orthopedic practice serving Gwinnett, Walton, and DeKalb Counties. They have three offices located in Decatur, Snellville, and Loganville.   Drs. Maurice Jové, Nathan Jové, and Jeff Traub are partners, with Drs. Maurice Jové and Traub offering fifty years of combined experience. Dr. Nathan Jové, Dr. Maurice’s son, represents the third generation of orthopedists in the family, and has been a part of Excel Orthopedics for about a year and a half. In that short period of time, the practice has gained enough patients to keep him very busy.   Upon stepping into one of the Excel offices, it is immediately clear why the doctors are so popular. The staff is friendly and efficient, and the doctors are very respectful of their patients’ time. Patients are never in the waiting room for long, and yet they don’t feel rushed to get through their appointment once they are in an exam room.   The same medical care philosophy resonates with all three doctors. Each will say he believes in a family atmosphere and in communicating with and educating patients.   The family atmosphere is seen in so many ways. It is in the way that Dr. Traub tells patients he would make the same recommendations to his sister or his mother. Or in the way the three doctors go to the football games of several area high schools so they can be on hand should an injury occur. It is for these reasons, and more, that the doctors want to maintain a “small” and more personal practice, not incorporating or becoming part of some major health care conglomerate.   At Excel Orthopedics, communicating with the patients is a top priority. As Dr. Nathan Jové says, they are able to meet patients’ needs, as each one is different. Some want to get in, find out ...
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Participants Enjoy New Space, Weekly Excursions, and a Social Environment at SarahCare of Snellville

Participants Enjoy New Space, Weekly Excursions, and a Social Environment at SarahCare of Snellville By: Heidi Campbell SarahCare of Snellville has served the area’s elderly since January of 2010. Owned and operated by Aysha Cooper, the center is a medical model adult day care center with fourteen employees that are dedicated to creating a safe, warm, nutritionally and medically sound environment for people who need assistance during the day. Cooper, who is keenly attuned to the needs of her participants, is thrilled with the expansion that was completed in July of 2015. “We doubled our size!” Cooper shares enthusiastically. “We’ve added a men’s den, a serenity room, additional office space, executive offices, and five bathrooms – and we needed those!” Cooper realized that some of her participants could feel over-stimulated by the activities offered each day, so the new “serenity room” makes the perfect retreat. The room offers limited seating, aromatherapy, soft lights, books, and a fireplace, making it relaxing and quiet. The “men’s den,” equipped with a poker table, a putting green, a dart board, a television, and recliners, is quickly becoming a local favorite. The center can now welcome around sixty-four participants each weekday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. To help busy families, pick-up and drop-off service is available for the private pay customers. Through the end of the year, the enrollment fee is being waived in hopes of welcoming new participants. “We offer a day full of stimulating activities, primarily dealing with people that may have a cognitive or physical impairment that doesn’t allow them to stay safely in their homes by themselves,” Cooper explains. “We provide peace of mind for the families.” SarahCare offers a beauty salon as well as a visiting foot care nurse. They publish a monthly activity calendar bursting with events from group exercises ...
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Smiles by Simmons: A Dental Practice That Focus on Great Smiles

Smiles by Simmons: A Dental Practice That Focus on Great Smiles By: Heidi Campbell
Smiles by Simmons a dental practice in Snellville, prides itself on impeccable customer service and making patients feel at ease. Cherry wood furniture thoughtfully arranged in conversationsal style and fine art highlighted by the natural light pouring in through dormer-style windows help soothe even the most apprehensive patient. Whether patients wants to improve a gummy smile or to fill in gaps or chips, Dr.Simmons has the training and talent to create beautiful smiles, using state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technology.



Mainstreet Guns & Range CEO is Committed to Teaching Safety to Gun Owners

Mainstreet Guns & Range CEO is Committed to Teaching Safety to Gun Owners By Heidi Campbell After years in the formal apparel business, Jim and Genny Hornsby retired in 2001, trading in their gowns for guns. “I’m thankful my wife was willing to let me do this,” says Hornsby, CEO of Mainstreet Guns and Range. “I was always a gun nut,” says Hornsby, “so when we retired, I knew I wanted to do something with guns. We opened a small store off of Arcado, and became the largest gun show dealer in Georgia.”In January of 2013, they opened their doors in Lilburn, stocked with 2,000 retail guns and over 120 rental guns. While handguns are their top sellers, they also sell military-style guns, self-defense shot guns, and hunting rifles, ranging in price from $200 to $2,000. The top selling brands are Smith & Wesson, Glock, and Springfield. “Our prices are the best around,” promises Hornsby. “We have gun show pricing every day.”Mainstreet Guns gives customers the rare opportunity to test out guns in the range before making a purchase. “We sell hunting guns, but those are really seasonal. Most shoppers,” reveals Hornsby, “come in looking for personal defense.” Aside from having the area’s largest selection in their retail showroom, they also host a climate-controlled, nine-lane shooting range. The range is open to anyone over twelve years old, if accompanied by a parent, those 18 and up with shotguns and rifles only, and those 21 and up with handguns and any other guns. Shooting practice is $12.00 an hour for the first person, and $10 for the second person. Women are free on Wednesdays. Yearly memberships for unlimited shooting are $299, and family memberships are available for $399 per year.With fourteen employees and an outstanding management team, the store is dedicated to customer ...
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Graft: Bringing Quality Food, Wine and Community to Grayson

Graft: Bringing Quality Food, Wine and Community to Grayson By: Rachael Brice Ashley Clemence, Chef and Owner of Graft restaurant in Grayson, is a busy woman. Over the last six months business for the buzzing restaurant in Grayson has not slowed down, and it recently celebrated its three-year anniversary. Her darling husband, Seth, is a steadfast foundation of "behind the scenes" support and help. Clemence continues to create new menu items as she develops new events for the community, carrying on the Graft tradition of providing excellent food and service to all who visit. “This is a unique community that truly supports families and restaurants,” Clemence said. “We have embraced a niche here in the suburbs to welcome all who enjoy creative, local, yet simple foods. Customers know when they walk through our door they will receive a special, unique experience.”While the restaurant was still a budding idea, Clemence realized the importance of supporting local farmers and ranchers in the area. She believes and knows that local support greatly impacts communities, families, and lifestyle choices, which is why this is a part of her commitment as a chef and restaurateur. This unique factor sets Graft apart from other local restaurants. With the exception of the fresh fish she receives from the North Atlantic and Pacific Northwest/Alaskan coast, the majority of the farmers she has cultivated relationships with are located between Grayson and Athens. Over the years, she has become invested in these families' lives and enjoys procuring Graft’s foods and produce from them. It is interesting that most farmers come specifically to Clemence to offer her the products they currently have in season. She works with about fifteen farmers at any given time to add variety to the selections she weekly offers.“These are real people with real products,” Clemence said. “Developing these relationships makes for a more wholesome process which fundamentally affects the menus, which change every six to seven weeks depending on what the farmers and ranchers have ...
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German Cuisine and Hospitality found at The Village Corner German Restaurant in Stone Mountain

German Cuisine and Hospitality found at The Village Corner German Restaurant in Stone Mountain By: Heidi Campbell With Octoberfest weeks away, and the brew pub fully operational, the Village Corner German Restaurant, Bakery, and Brewery is anxious to kick off the annual celebration. Beginning Saturday, September 26, when Octoberfest officially kicks off in Munich, and continuing for the first two Saturdays in October, the restaurant will begin its weekend festivities. Oompah-pah-pah band members, clad in full lederhosen and dirndls, will provide German musical entertainment for guests on the patio from noon until 8:00 p.m. Festive competitions will provide additional entertainment as patrons enter Keg-Throwing, Log Sawing, and Hold the Stein contests to win beer steins and t-shirts. “We usually welcome a couple thousand people during our Octoberfest celebrations,” says Carl Friese, one of the owners and operators of the restaurant, “and we hope to hit those numbers again this year. It’s a lot of fun!” The brew pub will also celebrate its year anniversary during Octoberfest. They currently have four brewing tanks, located behind the bar in the tavern, which supply six beers and one cider. “We are designated a brew pub, which means we can serve in-house. I’m still working on growlers,” says Carl, “since the laws recently changed. We offer not only steins but flights as well, so guests can sample four to six different flavors.” Since 1974, founders Hilde and Claus Friese and their three children have worked to build their unique business just outside of Stone Mountain Park. “We didn’t set out to be restauranteurs,” Hilde reveals. “We moved to the States right after college. I was a nurse working in Baltimore, and Claus was working in Washington. We had not planned to move to a place where we couldn’t find crusty bread!” Beginning as the small, wholesale “Basket Bakery” that supplied homemade ...
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Foggy Bottom BBQ and Cajun: Built on Faith, Family and Food

Foggy Bottom BBQ and Cajun: Built on Faith, Family and Food By: Rachael Brice Not many people would link BBQ and Cajun food together, but for Stacy Wilson, owner of Foggy Bottom BBQ and Cajun in Loganville, both BBQ and Cajun food are a way of life. A Louisiana native, Wilson has many fond memories of great family gatherings: children running around the backyard, his dad cooking, and everyone crowded around the TV to watch the replay of LSU’s most recent touchdown while eating copious amounts of crawfish. At a young age Wilson learned that Cajun food brings people together, and he later learned BBQ does the same. Today, Foggy Bottom strives to deliver a unique, memorable experience with their delicious BBQ and Cajun cuisine. In 2012, after working for seventeen years in software sales, Wilson decided to take a leap of faith and follow his passion for food, particularly BBQ, which led him to create the Foggy Bottom BBQ competition team. “I’ve always been a backyard chef and have always wanted my own company,” Wilson said. “I just didn’t know what the avenue or platform would be.” Wilson had all of the necessary supplies he needed – all he was missing was a partner. After a little coaxing, his friend and neighbor Phillip Folsom decided to team with him. After the first competition, Folsom was hooked. He and Wilson began competing together professionally in BBQ events all over Georgia, bringing home some great prizes, including a few Grand Champion titles. As the business evolved, Foggy Bottom started catering, vending at festivals, and providing fundraisers for local youth sporting programs. With some early credited success, tremendous support from friends and family, and the constant demand for great Southern food, Wilson and Folsom opened Foggy Bottom BBQ & Cajun restaurant in April 2014. The name comes ...
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Gentle Touch Dentistry: Dental-Health-Care

Gentle Touch Dentistry: Dental-Health-Care Stacye Carroll One could say Meghan Coradin cut her teeth on the field of dentistry. Following in the footsteps of her mother who worked for over twenty years as a dental assistant, Meghan began working the front desk when she was fourteen. Following a brief stint in a corporate environment, Meghan accepted the position of Practice Director at Gentle Touch Dentistry in Lilburn three years ago. “I prefer working in a private practice where you really get to know people; you get to see their ins and outs,” she says. “I enjoy sitting with the patients, discussing their priorities, and helping them achieve their treatment goals.” A visit with Meghan is part of the comprehensive treatment planning done at Gentle Touch Dentistry following a new patient’s first appointment. Treatment options, fees, and payment arrangements are discussed in detail, allowing the patient to make informed decisions about care. Appointment schedules are flexible, and patients can usually get in right away. Gentle Touch Dentistry keeps the focus on dental health through education and preventative care. According to Meghan, “We’d much rather be able to schedule someone to come in every six months for a cleaning than every three months for treatment.” Exams are thorough, and all patients over the age of eighteen are encouraged to take advantage of the new VELscope assessment for oral cancer. “Using the VELscope makes it possible for the dentist to see problems early, which means more conservative treatment,” says Meghan. Getting a crown used to be a two week process. Now thanks to the new CEREC dental restoration system used at Gentle Touch Dentistry, crowns are made in the office and are permanently set on the same day. The initial digital impression improves comfort, and a ceramic crown provides strength, durability, and a pleasing, natural appearance. If your teeth and gums are healthy, ...
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Stone Creek Pizza and Frozen Yogurt: A Local Success Story

Stone Creek Pizza and Frozen Yogurt: A Local Success Story tacye Carroll In February, readers of Our Town Magazine were introduced to Stone Creek Pizza and Frozen Yogurt, which had just taken over the space formerly occupied by Domino’s at the corner of Lilburn Stone Mountain and Miller roads. Before opening their first location, Ready to Go Pizza in Decatur, Lisa and Adam Kotter enlisted the help of certified master chef Derin Moore in developing a recipe for the highest quality, best tasting pizza. Stone Creek offers an extensive variety, from deep dish to thin crust, and a wide array of toppings such as sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and fresh spinach. In the months since opening, the veggie pizza has proven to be a customer favorite. Adam attributes this to the fact that Lilburn is a “health-minded community.” The availability of halal-certified and kosher toppings appeals to a diverse customer base and, if told ahead of time, every effort is made to meet dietary restrictions. The cheeses used at Stone Creek Pizza are vegetarian friendly, and more than one customer has pronounced their gluten-free crust the best around. From pizza to frozen yogurt, the menu has something for everyone. Wings come in such flavors as roasted garlic, sweet chili, and, of course, the local favorite, hot. You can even have your chicken baked on a pizza along with your favorite wing sauce, ranch dressing, and blue cheese crumbles, which, according to the menu, is “buffalo wings the way they should be” You can get your bread cheesy with toppings, twisted with a side of sauce, or bathed in butter with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar. And we haven’t even gotten to the frozen yogurt yet! Since opening Stone Creek has sold over 70,000 ounces of frozen yogurt. “Many customers,” says Lisa, “come in for pizza and ...
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Richard Tucker, Owner of the Beverage Superstore of Grayson, Always Saves Time for His Community

Richard Tucker, Owner of the Beverage Superstore of Grayson, Always Saves Time for His Community By Heidi Campbell The Beverage Superstore, selected as the sole retail package store of Grayson, is not merely a package store. With a 15,000 square foot floor, customers can find over 750 different beers, both traditional and craft; wines from all over the world; and plenty of spirits to stock the most extensive bar. “We have years of experience, volume buying power, and a facility that brings our community immense pride,” says owner Richard Tucker. “We are pleased with the fact that, from a customer service standpoint, our variety of products and low prices place us above our competition.”Tucker continues to bring new people and opportunities to the store. Claire Addison, from the Suwanee Beverage Super Store, recently transferred over to manage the wine department. She not only has a wine sommelier designation, but she is also an experienced wine buyer who loves to talk to customers about the nuances of wine. “We are also excited about the opening of our Tasting Room,” shares Tucker. “In this separate area, adjacent to our showroom, we will be conducting regular wine and beer tastings and educational seminars of both wine and craft beers. We designed the room to have the look and feel of one of the many high quality tasting rooms seen in Napa in the California wine country.” Tucker is enthusiastic about the success that his Grayson store has seen, and how that success has helped the local community. “In addition to helping the City of Grayson initiatives, local charities, and educational foundations,” he shares, “our significant contribution to the revenue stream of the city has enabled city officials to provide no cost residential garbage service to its residents.” Helping the community is important to the Beverage Superstore, which donates ...
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