Sunday, October 25, 2009

Martha Green's Eating Room provides delicious delectables

Martha Green’s Eating Room has been in Redlands since the 1990’s. Green moved to California from South Carolina in search of an opportunity and she found it. The local bakery at that time had just closed, and Mrs. Green saw her chance at success. She started out with a small, personal bakery and later expanded to a bakery and restaurant. Originally Martha Green’s Dough-lectibles bakery, the current Martha Green’s Eating Room and Bakery is a great breakfast and lunch joint to try out.

“We have a variety of cookies…we have muffins, coffeecakes, tons of breads, pastries. We donate all of our day-olds to a church—The Harvest, in Redlands. We can pretty much do anything, if you bring us an idea, we can create, create, create,” said Kayte Carr, an employee of the Eating Room for eight years. “We have some new cookies we are doing… the Mississippi mud cookie is our newest cookie and it’s really good.”

Not only is creativity encouraged, but it is also rewarded and acknowledged. Green is open to suggestions, and more often than not, she adds employee creations to the menu.

“If you bring an idea, Martha will let you run with it. If it’s good, she’ll just let you put it on the menu or it will be a special or she’ll put it in the bakery as our newest feature. I think that’s the greatest thing that you can actually come here with ideas and create [them], and she’s cool with that,” Carr said in regards to her boss.

Martha Green also makes a point of giving back to her community in as many ways as she possibly can. She has helped raise funds for various local organizations.

“She’s very active in our community; she’s raised millions and millions of dollars for tons of charities. She’s just so compassionate and she wants to help and raise as much money for everyone that she can. She makes time for everybody,” Carr’s admiration for Green showed through her words.

The atmosphere of Martha Green’s Eating Room is welcoming and whimsical.

“It’s very pleasant; it’s very upbeat—friendly, family-oriented,” said Trishalynn Sanchez, who has been a waitress at the restaurant for about two years.

Employees are part of a close knit group of friends and family that are willing to make each other comfortable and happy.

“I like the job—the people are so nice here, and it’s close to home,” Mark Corrin, a bus boy, said of his job.

Monday, October 12, 2009

LifeHouse Theater continues 'family' tradition

"Robin (Sam Bell, center), Much (Shane Litchfield, left) and Little John (Chris Karraker, right) join with a merry band of men preparing for battle in LifeHouse Theater’s latest new musical, “Robin Hood” (October 3 – November 8)." Copyright LifeHouse Productions, Inc.

LifeHouse Theater in Redlands, CA, has put on many quality productions for sixteen seasons, all the while fostering a family. The actors and production team all agree that there is a special bond that comes from being involved in this particular theater.

“It’s the immediate family that I needed growing up—here I was exposed to the best of life… this place kind of saved me and my family in a very personal way. It just really put me on a very positive path in life and I will never forget this family,” Bethany Schwartzkopf, director of LifeHouse’s current production of “Robin Hood” said.

Schwartzkopf has been working with LifeHouse since the early 1990s. “There are people from all different walks of life involved in the theater and I’ve made some lasting friendships… they’ve made such a large impact on my life… in every aspect of it.”

Scwartzkopf explained that Robin Hood displays this bond effectively on stage.

“I want the audience to get out of Robin Hood an outpouring of what’s on the stage—that camaraderie, that fellowship, that longing for doing what’s right, longing for a beautiful world.” These values hit home among the community of actors and staff involved in LifeHouse.

“In LifeHouse in general, there’s a strong sense of community in this particular theater… there’s a big emphasis on being a community as a cast,” said Sarah Ayotte, who plays Queen Berengaria.

Other members of the cast agree. It’s about being humble and putting on a show for a purpose. “It’s about giving love to the audience,” according to Hannah Jeanette Ayotte who portrays Maid Marian.

The loyal guests of the theater are also considered “family,” according to Jeff DeWitt, general manager of LifeHouse.

“We have guests that come to see our shows that have given up cable TV, they don’t go see movies—this is their entertainment and to those people we are just so appreciative ‘cause they know when they come here they are not going to be bombarded with the messages of the world… they’re going to come here and they’re going to see family values reflected in our shows.”

The fact that the cast and staff make a point to stay humble provides for a wholesome experience the audience can enjoy.

Anthony Potter who plays the part of the Herald said, “Everyone is on the same level, we’re all going for the same goal and purpose… and that’s just really inspiring.”

Show Times:

Fridays 7:30pm
Saturdays 2:15pm, 7:30pm
Sundays 2:15pm

Robin Hood (October 3, 2009-November 3, 2009)
Unto Us: The Nativity Story (November 21, 2009-December 30,2009)
Cinderella (January 9, 2010-February 14, 2010)
The Cross and the Switchblade (February 27, 2010-March 28, 2010)
Pride and Prejudice (April 10, 2010-May 16, 2010)
Esther (May 29, 2010-June 27, 2010)
The Little Mermaid (July 10, 2009-August 8, 2010)
Pursued: A Jonah Story (August 21, 2010-September 19, 2010)

Call 909 335 3037 ext. 21 for reservations.
Visit LifeHouse at

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Augie’s Coffee House offers friendship to all

Augie’s Coffee House in Redlands, CA, offers friendship to all who walk through the door. Compared to the recent trend of the coffee conglomerate, Augie’s shines reflecting the unique neighborhood and families who are its regular customers.

“We came here and got a drink… and it was like walking into a different world… all these people know each other, the owner knows everybody that walks in here—by name. It just kind of blew me away…” new owner Andy Amento said of his first visit to the family-owned coffee shop. “We walked out after forty-five minutes and said ‘This is the kind of family business we want to own’ and it’s just grown from there…” he added. Andy and his wife, Linda, took over Augie’s in January 2009.

Linda Amento spoke warmly of the shop, “This is such a refreshing place for me to come; it’s hard for me to go home.”

The two want to keep the charm and tradition of Augie’s alive, but they would like to expand and improve the space itself. The entire upstairs section is currently inaccessible. Andy plans to engineer a stairway to replace the one that was taken out years ago. He also wants to construct a stage on the second level.

“We have a jazz band that plays here every Monday night… and on Wednesday we have an open mic night… and it’s wonderful… It provides a great outlet for all the local musicians. I have grown to love it and support it one hundred percent,” Andy said proudly. The musicians currently perform in the alley outside or the back room. Its brick walls house a variety of chairs and tables and a statue of an elderly waiter that looms over the guests. He is nicknamed Jitters and was originally in the bathroom until Andy realized how much he was scaring the guests.

All of the six baristas have what they refer to as a “snobbiness” towards coffee. “You learn the right way as far as proper water temperatures for extracting the right tastes… from the bean itself when you are pulling shots. As far as brewing coffee, there’s not one way to do it… there are so many different various ways that it pulls out so many different flavors from the bean… and all of them have a different taste… you learn to develop an appreciation,” Zack Pianko, an Augie’s barista, said. The coffee is always made correctly and the baristas would much rather start over than present a less than superior drink to a customer.

Along with the great coffee, and comfortable atmosphere, Augie’s offers friendship. Brian Lightfoot, another talented barista, said, “I think it’s a really open place. It’s a place that feels like a family to both the employees and the customers.”