Eventide Oyster Co

With the summer people nowhere to be found, Eventide Oyster Co is back on my weekly rotation. A dozen of oysters is mandatory for each visit, allowing one to share in the amazingness of the Maine coast, and for a taste of New England and Washington State gems.

From there, the comfortable luxuriousness can go as far as you, and your wallet, are willing to go. Crudo, stew, octopus, buns and rolls, sparkling, sake, sherry or cocktails. Eventide has all of your new favorites.







Sur Lie

Welcome to the newest hot spot in Portland! Sur Lie has entered the foodie landscape with quiet ease. Great service, actually creative cocktails, tapas style menu and robust wine list full of future favorites quickly made Sur Lie my new favorite go to.

Pea hummus was a table favorite. A bit sweet, and wonderful paired with a minerally white.

The cheese plate and house charcuterie were full of unexpected flavor combinations and accoutrements. They worked so well, we ordered a second cheese plate.




The house cured lox had a very fresh and clean flavor, surpassing all notions of what great lox can be.


Fried oysters with kale and bacon. Order it. Share it. Love it.





Chocolate torte with Arabica Coffee espresso ice cream. Nothing earth shattering, but delicious and perfect for sharing…and a little sherry!

Gather up your girlfriends and head out for a night of great fun, food, whiskey and wine!

Shop Local & Give Big This Holiday Season

It’s getting down to crunch time! But there’s no need to rush into bad choice this holiday season! Shop local, give bliss and spread the love this season. Here are some of Local Sprouts’ favorite shops, studios and organizations!



Bas and Lokes: Looking for something special for the special guys on your list? Looking for something special for anyone with style on your list? This American-Aussie duo design and maker really well crafted, and gorgeous, handmade leather goods.

Martian Embassy: Launch your holiday gift giving season into another galaxy! Quirky gifts for all the space cases on your list. The payload: all purchases support Sydney Story Factory!

Salt and Rock: Specialises in quality, technical clothing and equipment with an environmental twist for those with a real sense of adventure. And they carryPatagonia gear!


Bobo’s Coffee: Have a coffee lover, either naughty or nice? Beans from cooperatives in Uganda and Malawi, Bobo’s Coffee benefits the kids at Malayaka House, a home for children in Uganda.

Dobra Tea: Perhaps tea is more your cuppa. Dobra is serious about tea so you can sit back, relax and enjoy. Share the gift of relaxation and time with something special from Dobra. Better yet, visit one of their 5 teahouses and share some tea and time with someone special on your holiday list.

Creativity Explored: Creativity Explored advances the value and diversity of artistic expression. They provide artists with developmental disabilities the means to create, exhibit, and sell their art in our studios and gallery, and around the world, and have an AWESOME online gift shop!

Ferdinand: Owned by my friend Diane, Ferdinand is home to the drumming squirrel t-shirt (a staple in my closet) and all things letterpress, googley-eyed and crafty or vintage.

2 Note Perfumery: Carolyn and Darcy are creators at heart, and are both musicians with a long-standing love affair with the art of bottling nature. I love all of their perfumes, bath and body care products, especially the Clementine range only available in the holidays!

Planet Botanicals: A unique collection of natural and luxurious skincare products that are made with rare and indigenous plant oils and aromatic flower extracts from the far corners of the world.


GreenLifeStyle: With a mix of European designers, GLS represents ethical fashion and sustainable organic living. No hippie business here, all style, on trend clothing and accessories.

Ifil: Knit one, purl one. Cast on some beautiful yarns for the knitter on your list!

Susie Sweet Dress: Treat your sweetie to an original design with vintage flare. Fab dresses which will make the season bright!

Two Thirds: Two thirds of our planet is covered by water. Share something special with the little fish or surfer on your holiday list. Rockin’ tees, bags, jackets and gear.


Lila East End Yoga in Portland, Maine

Yoga Vermont in Burlington, Vermont

Yoga con Gracia in Barcelona, Spain


  1. Vermont Cares works for and with Vermonters affected by HIV/AIDS to promote wellbeing through a continuum of prevention, support, and advocacy services.

  2. Malayaka House is a home for children in Uganda, with a focus on cultivating active citizens through education, community engagement, health and agriculture.
    Malayaka House en español.
    Malayaka House auf Deutsch.

  3. Spark Microgrants helps poverty-stricken communities find and implement solutions to their most urgent problems and currently works in Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

  4. Africa ELI builds gender equity, improved economic conditions, peaceful development, and strengthened leadership capacity in South Sudan by advancing women’s education through academic sponsorships, partnerships, enrollment-retention programs, and life-skills development.

  5. Girls on the Run (Maine) inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

  6. AGE Africa provides life-changing opportunities to young women in Malawi through targeted initiatives in education, mentoring, and leadership development.

  7. Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors without Borders is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare.

  8. Educate! develops young leaders and entrepreneurs in Africa.

  9. Saint Michael’s College is a Catholic college founded by the Society of Saint Edmund in 1904. Their guiding principles of education, justice, and service to the poor are at the heart of the Saint Michael’s experience.

  10. Preble Street Resource Center, in Portland, Maine, provides accessible barrier-free services to empower people experiencing problems with homelessness, housing, hunger, and poverty and to advocate for solutions to those problems.

  11. Compass Project uses boat building and rowing to provide positive direction to youth by encouraging the development of personal responsibility and community and environmental engagement.

  12. OzHarvest Food Rescue is a non-denominational charity that rescues excess food which would otherwise be discarded. This excess food is distributed to charities supporting the vulnerable in Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide and Brisbane.

  13. Sabera Foundation provides meaningful equal opportunities through shelter, education and healthcare for the social and economic development of the poorest of the poor so that they gain dignity and respect in life, focusing on differentially vulnerable people in Calcutta, India.

  14. Fundaction Vistare makes a direct and efficient action against poverty based on education as a tool for more effective social sectors that, by their economic and social status, or geographic location, never reach the opportunity to access formal education, with a focus on girls education in Nepal.
  15. Water for South Sudan‘s mission is simple: drill borehole wells which bring safe drinking water to the people in South Sudan’s remote villages, transforming lives in the process.

  16. MOFGA helps farmers and gardeners in Maine to: grow organic food, fiber and other crops; protect the environment; recycle natural resources; increase local food production; support rural communities; and illuminate for consumers the connection between healthful food and environmentally sound farming practices.

  17. Education Outside is transforming public education by bringing learning to life in outdoor classrooms. Education Outside is committed to advancing science in San Francisco public schools, outdoors.

  18. Refuge Point provides lasting solutions to the world’s most vulnerable refugees.

  19. Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center in Portland, Maine, dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers. Focused on young writers ages 6 to 18, we seek to build confidence, strengthen literacy skills, and provide real audiences for our students. We believe that the power of creative expression can change our communities and prepare our youth for future success.

    826 Valencia is a nonprofit organization in San Francisco dedicated to supporting students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen when trained tutors work one-on-one with students and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

    Sydney Story Factory is a not-for-profit creative writing centre for young people in Redfern, Sydney. Our trained volunteer tutors offer free help to write stories of all kinds. Programs target marginalised young people, and those from Indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds, but are open to everyone.

  20. Seeds of Peace inspires and equips new generations of leaders from regions of conflict with the relationships, understanding, and skills needed to advance lasting peace.

  21. Africa Yoga Project has empowered people across East Africa by supporting physical, mental and emotional health, facilitating authentic personal expression, building supportive communities, and inspiring positive action to contribute to others. We are dedicated to delivering all that yoga has to offer to the diverse communities of East Africa, while at the same time providing opportunities for members of the global yoga community to participate and contribute.

    Off the Mat and Into the World uses the power of yoga to inspire conscious, sustainable activism and ignite grassroots social change. We do this by facilitating personal empowerment through leadership trainings, fostering community collaboration, and initiating local and global service projects.

  22. Handel and Haydn Society Education and Outreach Program provides a comprehensive, active vocal music education to 10,000 children annually in Greater Boston and beyond.

  23. Best Buddies is dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

  24. Surfaid International is a non-profit humanitarian organization whose aim is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions in Indonesia connected to us through surfing.
BRomley the Snow Dog! photo credit: my favorite sister

Bromley the Snow Dog! photo credit: my favorite sister


Meet Jess from Mad Hatter Cupcakery!

Who doesn’t love a little sweet treat? I know I do, and Mad Hatter Cupcakery is serving up the sweetest treats for sweet tooths of all kinds! Vegans take note! Jess and her team are whipping up some amazing cupcakes and other desserts fit for vegan kings and queens. I have She recently shared a bit about her take on local with us, check it out below.

Jess from Mad Hatter Cupcakery in Sydney

I’m Jess, aka ‘cupcake girl’ or ‘the tall chick from the show, two broke girls’. I’m a self-taught baker who got a little bored with their corporate job and decided to bake cupcakes for weekend markets. I didn’t foresee that the markets would turn into a business that would lead to a shopping centre kiosk and local patisserie but it did! It’s been a crazy, uphill journey and I have learnt so many valuable business lessons along the way, most from mistakes but never the less I am stronger for it now. It’s during these hard or stressful times that your motivations fall under the microscope and you see what really makes you ‘tick’. For me, it’s the satisfaction of creating something that will bring joy to others. This pushes my creativity to look for ways to reinvent treats and challenge conventional baking to create exceptional vegan desserts.

LS: Where is your local neighbourhood and what do you love about it?

Jess: Our local is Glebe. My husband and I moved from Brisbane a few years back and stayed at the local backpackers the first week to find a place to rent. We loved the suburb so much we didn’t leave! It’s such a quaint but interesting suburb, I love the fact that it is so close to the city yet there is enough room and trees to make it feel like you’re out of the hustle and bustle.

LS: If you were showing someone from out of town around your local area, where would you take them?

Jess: When we have visitors we take them down to Jubilee Park, walk through the back streets. Stop for a coffee or meal on Glebe Point Road, walk through the University of Sydney grounds and take them to Glebe Markets on the weekend.

LS: What does ‘local’ mean to you?

Jess: Our first market stall was at Glebe Markets and our kiosk is at Broadway Shopping Centre so we have managed to keep the core of our business local. Running a small business makes you appreciate the effort and passion required to operate any small business. So if I ever need anything, whether it be food, clothes or services and I know there is a local business who offers what I’m after then I’ll opt for them.

MHC Pop-Up

LS: Hidden local gem?

Jess: The Annex on Ross St, they recently opened and have an awesome fit-out. Enjoying a coffee and read there is always a treat.

LS: Local person, cultural or food experience Local Sprouts should seek out?

Jess: There is a man every Saturday/ Sunday morning who walks through the streets of Glebe with newspapers for sales and blows his whistle to signal that he is out front. I have never met him but have heard his whistle and seen him from afar, if you ever cross his path please say hello to him from the cupcake lady!

Get yourself over to Glebe for a little exploration and definitely get yourself over to Mad Hatter Cupcakery for some sweet treats! Here’s a glimpse at the new shop opening December 2013 in Darlinghurst!

Opening Soon! Mad Hatter Cupcakery Shop!

Mad Hatter Cupcakery
24 Flinders Street Darlinghurst, Sydney
Website: www.madhattercupcakery.com
Twitter: @mhcupcakery

Reel Food Night

It is back and this year it is a local film about real food! Join Youth Food Movement and see the premiere of their original short film Sourced. Throw in some handcrafted goodies and a panel discussion following the film, and you have yourself a great Thursday night!

The film explores our role in the future of small-scale agriculture and localised Sydney food systems by tracing the stories and farmers behind our food from paddock to plate. Heaps of food films are US based so it’s pretty exciting to be able to see an Australian story! Get your tickets here and I’ll see you at the movies!

RFN poster full details

Take a bite of this!

If you have not been lucky enough to fall in love with Soma Bites yet, get on it! Organic, gluten- and sugar-free and made with real ingredients you know and love, Soma Organics is on to something delicious. Perfect for a mid-day snack and a welcomed, and healthy, addition to a lunchbox.

Soma Bites!

Local Sprouts chatted with Colly Galbiati from Soma Organics for her take on local!

LS: Where is your local community and what do you love about it?

SO: Our business is based in Oatley and we love the family atmosphere, the village-style shopping ‘main street’ (the typical butcher who knows your first name), and the tree-lined drive.

LS: If you were showing someone from out of town around your local area, where would you take them?

SO: The Oatley to Como walk over the bridge – or a run if they were feeling up to it! (a cool 10km from Oatley to Oyster Bay and back – well worth it for the scenery).

LS: What does ‘local’ mean to you?

SO: Community atmosphere, working together for a greater purpose, relying on one and another and becoming familiar with who your neighbours and fellow community members are in order to live a comfortable and safe life.

LS: Hidden local gem?

SO: A homeware and café store called Edmonds and Greer in Oatley West – browse cookbooks and candles while sipping a luscious hot choccy…  and they offer super luxe blankets when dining el fresco on the chillier days.

LS: Local person, cultural or food experience Local Sprouts should seek out?

SO: For a gluten free food experience and gourmet food shop, Scrummies is a must – along with a Tobys Estate coffee and gigantic GF muffin – homemade decadency and they always have a fabulous playlist on!

Check them out!



Lush! Man, is it Ever!

John Fairley makes the best yoghurt! The absolute best! And when Local Sprouts discovers a local gem, it is our duty to share it with all of you. Katie tries to get to Eveleigh Market often and early to visit Ester’s Team for some Country Valley goodness.If you’re outside of Sydney, it is highly advised you figure out where you can get your very own piece of Country Valley. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it.

LS: Tells us a little bit about yourself!

JF: My name is John Fairley and I am a sixth generation dairy farmer.  In 2004 I started a company called Country Valley Milk, where we process  milk, yoghurt and cream on the farm.  I own the dairy which is 120 hectares and milk about 90 cows twice a day, everyday.


LS: What makes you tick?

JF: What makes me tick is providing good quality products to as many people as I can, locally. I also like to develop my staff for when they move on to bigger and better things.

LS: Any special details Local Sprouts readers should know about you?

JF: Country Valley products win many awards at the Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Show. The biggest prize is the Presidents Medal, which we won in 2008 with our natural yoghurt. This award is based on the quality of my product as well as the triple bottom line of the business of Country Valley.

LS: Where is your local community and what do you love about it?

JF: My local community is in Picton just an hour south of Sydney.  What I like about Picton is the closeness to Sydney, 40 min to the beach at Wollongong and 40 min to Bowral in the Southern Highlands. This is where I grew up and have lived for the last 50 years. I lived on a farm up in the end of the Valley and I now live only 100 m away from where I was actually bought up.

LS: If you were showing someone from out of town around your local area, where would you take them?

JF: If I had a visitor from out of town, I would first of all show them around the farm. I would then take them to R Coffee, which is my favourite coffee shop in Picton, for a morning tea. I would then take them out to Burragorang Valley lookout where we can look out over the Warragamba Dam. On the way home I would drop into a family friend of mine Mark Silm, and have a look around his orchard, which produces Cedar Creek Apple Juice.  I would buy my visitor one of his juices, which is the best juice around.  I would then take them to the George IV Hotel where we would sit on the veranda and have a beer and some food for lunch or dinner.

LS: What does ‘local’ mean to you and your work?

JF: Local has many definitions to many people. Local to me it is the Picton area, but then I go to Sydney where I sell a lot of my products, they all call it the local area.  The Sydney basin could be the best definition. We sell our products in Canberra, and even they call me local.

LS: Hidden local gem?

JF: I don’t really want to expose our hidden local gem because then it will not be hidden.

LS: Well played, John!

Country Valley