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Consumer Culture Large Photo


Consumer Culture

Picture yourself working 9-to-6 at a gig you can’t live without, while your sideline passion is all you ever dream about. Now imagine the alternate reality and consider the vision it would take to make that shift.

Without such risk takers, Atlanta’s consumer culture would be driven by the market interests of chain stores, franchises, and big-box retailers. So this year we celebrate the makers, those self-made entrepreneurs and sustainable small-business owners who’ve turned crafting hobbies into full-time hustles. Many work out of home studios, supplying product to local independently owned shops, and even shipping to stockists around the world.

Rachael Riedinger began leather making to fill a void. Through trial and error, she’s built Neva Opet into a recognized handbag and accessories brand. Sheree Swann started ReeFresh by Ree, her handcrafted line of tribal-print accessories, from scratch before making it her daily devotion just six months ago. Others, like Ateaelle urban merch brand owner Kirsten Daniel, have a vision for the city that fuels dialogue through design. We decided there are so many natural bath and beauty products made locally by the batch that they deserve their own category. Not to mention the holistic health practitioners, such as Crystal Jones and Leah Tioxon, who help us realign our third-eye vision.

Sometimes divining the future of a city obsessed with phoenix-like regeneration means looking to the past. It’s hard to overlook how century-old cultural staple Sweet Auburn Curb Market has provided the perfect blueprint for such upscale millennial rehabs as Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market. And no matter how sanitized this city gets, Little Five Points remains an eccentric shopping experience nearly 40 years strong. At least, that’s how we choose to see Atlanta in 2016.

— Rodney Carmichael

Best liquor store BOA Award Winner

You could argue that what makes a liquor store great is volume; the more bottles on the shelves the better. But you’d be wrong. What really makes a liquor store shine is the passion and purpose behind it. More specifically, the people. For more than a decade now, DECATUR PACKAGE STORE owner Herb Chereckmore...
You could argue that what makes a liquor store great is volume; the more bottles on the shelves the better. But you’d be wrong. What really makes a liquor store shine is the passion and purpose behind it. More specifically, the people. For more than a decade now, DECATUR PACKAGE STORE owner Herb Chereck has labored to ensure that his shop is stocked with all manner of world-class beers, wines, and spirits. Armed with encyclopedic knowledge and endless enthusiasm, Chereck and his staff oversee the most thoughtful, diverse, and interesting booze selection in town all while maintaining an air of unpretentious approachability. Here you’ll find all the big name brands as well as trendy bottles of bitters, amaros, and esoteric spirits. There’s a growing selection of craft sake and shochu, and Decatur Package boasts one of the most robust value wine portfolios in town. Whether you’re looking to impress your foodie friends with fancy cocktails or just looking for a great bottle of red to drink with dinner, Decatur Package has your back. less...

Best pathway to spiritual realignment BOA Award Winner

Remember that scene in The Matrix where Neo is presented with the option of taking the red or blue pill? Sometimes we’re slaves to our ego. Fears become demons, blocking us from being our better selves. What we need is a breakthrough, a respite to reawaken our capacity for self-improvement. EXHALEmore...
Remember that scene in The Matrix where Neo is presented with the option of taking the red or blue pill? Sometimes we’re slaves to our ego. Fears become demons, blocking us from being our better selves. What we need is a breakthrough, a respite to reawaken our capacity for self-improvement. EXHALE SPA AT LOEWS ATLANTA HOTEL offers all that and some. With a staff of passionate, trained professionals, they specialize in everything from traditional massage to energy healing (reiki), from acupuncture to om body therapy “tui na.” No matter what choice you make, you’ll leave better suited for returning to mere existence as usual. www.exhalespa.com/spa. less...

Best urban market BOA Award Winner

In an era when Atlantans crave the flavor of authenticity touted by refurbished yesteryear developments — from Ponce City Market to Krog Street Market — only one such food market has a century-old timestamp. Talk about a storied legacy. The Great Atlanta Fire of 1917 spawned the creation of the open-airmore...
In an era when Atlantans crave the flavor of authenticity touted by refurbished yesteryear developments — from Ponce City Market to Krog Street Market — only one such food market has a century-old timestamp. Talk about a storied legacy. The Great Atlanta Fire of 1917 spawned the creation of the open-air Municipal Market of Atlanta. Black vendors weren’t permitted to sell livestock or produce inside when its first permanent structure was constructed in 1924. Instead they were relegated to the curb outside — hence the name SWEET AUBURN CURB MARKET, as it’s known today. Located one block from the heart of Auburn Avenue, which was declared the “richest Negro street in the world” by Fortune magazine 60 years ago, the market maintains a choke hold on rich culinary traditions. And a visit is a veritable field trip for all five senses. As soon as you step inside, the sweet nuttiness of Miss D’s New Orleans Pralines meets your nose. Butcher cases treat turkey tails, hog maws, fat back, chitlins, oxtails, pork belly, pig feet, and red hot links like everyday Southern delicacies. Fresh collards, turnips, mustards, and kale line the aisles of produce vendors. And when you can’t bear it any more, there are plenty of mouth-watering eateries to feed your face — from soul food (Afrodish Restaurant, Metro Deli) to finger-lickin’ food (Arepa Mia, Bell Street Burritos, Grindhouse Killer Burgers, Sweet Auburn BBQ, Yum Diggity). Far from your faux-artisanal food court, this is where the moms and pops set up shop. less...
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