Tamurai Tea is your place for fine tea and more in Fort Wayne

When was the last time you had a good cup of tea? In a java powered world, tea often takes a backseat to coffee concoctions. But the folks at Tamurai Tea want to change the way people approach tea through a more spiritual and intentional approach.

The facility is more than just a retail outfit. In addition to being a purveyor of fine organic teas, Tamurai offers meditation classes as well as educational information. The owner, Tom, has been a practitioner of meditation for more than 40 years. His vision behind Tamurai is to provide a place for tea lovers and have their spiritual needs fulfilled, all under one roof.

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The staff at Tamurai Tea believe tea can promote health and well being.

Speaking of tea, you can find Rishi and Organic India Teas, and Organic Eden Foods. They also carry a variety of tea accessories, including teapots, tea brewers, infusers, Matcha whisks and bowls, loose leaf jars, and canisters. Supplements are also available for purchase. Insider’s Tip: As this is high quality tea, don’t expect to pay supermarket prices. 

The Matcha tea has a particular significance, as it served as an inspiration for the shop’s namesake.  Used by samurais in Japan 700 years ago in preparation for battle, they were receptive to the highest form of prayer, affirmation, and intention. It’s easy to see why Tom has a fascination with this potent tea. He found it fitting to name the shop Tamurai, as a nod to the power of tea in energizing and invigorating drinkers.

Just as the tea fuels the body, Tom wants the meditation classes to cater to one’s mental needs. People of faiths are welcome to attend the sessions. Private, semi-private, special group, and/or corporate sessions available anytime by appointment. Group classes are available every Monday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. for $7.50. per session.

The shop is located at 9187 Lima Road, in the White Swan Plaza. Hours are 7 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday and 10 am to 2 pm on weekends.

About

Lauren Caggiano was raised in Fort Wayne, and returned in 2007 upon graduation from the University of Dayton. The president of WriteOn LLC, she specializes in writing, marketing, and French translation. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, yoga and volunteering. In the summer you can catch her riding around downtown on her vintage green Schwinn. For more information, check out her website: www.lcagg.com.

Bring the Kids to Glenbrook Square Mall!

Need to do some shopping, but not sure if the kids will enjoy it? Why not look at Glenbrook Square, Fort Wayne’s all-indoor shopping mall?

Glenbrook features many nation-wide mall staples – J.C. Penney, Sears, Macy’s, Christopher and Banks, and Carson’s. There are also restaurants in the mall, like TGI Fridays and Red Robin, to name a couple of the sit-down places. Then there is the food court with Chick-fil-A, Charley’s Grilled Subs, Subway, and wonderful-smelling far-eastern cuisine. Keep wandering the halls and you’ll find Auntie Anne’s pretzels and Orange Julius, too.

But what do the kids get to do, besides munch at the food court?

Check out the Glenbrook Carousel, located near the ground-floor inside entrance near J.C. Penney. This double-decker carousel features all sorts of exotic animal rides – tiger, elephant, rabbit, giraffe, and zebra. There are also a few regular ponies, too – some with jeweled saddles. A few bench seats are mounted on the carousel, in case an adult wants to come along for the ride without climbing atop a prancing triceratops.  The music has that classic, carousel sound – and the ride isn’t so fast that it will scare young riders. Parents can stand beside their children, if the young rider is small enough to need a little support during the trips round about. And the carousel tender is happy to run the carousel even if only a couple of kids show up, wanting a ride – you don’t need to wait for a group. Tokens for the carousel ride can be purchased right there, with the cost at two dollars per token. The more tokens you buy at one time, the cheaper it is in the long run.

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A well-turned rabbit waits for riders at the Carousel in Glenbrook.

Another fun place to explore is the Inside Scoop shop, located on the second floor of the mall, near the food court. This shop has more stuffed toys than you’ll see in many big-box toy emporiums. Inside Scoop has clear drums of jelly beans everywhere. Simply choose the flavor you want and fill a bag, like you do in the produce section of the grocery store. Stuffed toys line the walls. You can find everything from an economically-sized porpoise to a giant penguin, panda or manta ray. Be careful – the toys are stacked on shelves that stretch well up out of normal reach. You may need to get some assistance from a clerk if an especially cute plush animal catches your eye but isn’t quite at your fingertips.

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Look at all the toy animals at Inside Scoop!

If you just need a place to park and rest your feet for a few minutes, check out the Glenbrook fountain, located right outside the first floor inside entrance to the J.C. Penney store. A topiary bear dances in the center of the fountain while cascades of water stream and bubble through a variety of platforms. Wide, low ledges all around the fountain serve as handy seats while kids enjoy throwing change into the water. Don’t worry, the entire fountain is fairly shallow and not too wide, so you can protect little ones from taking a dip in their street clothes.

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Glenbrook Fountain – all change collected in the fountain is donated to Habitat for Humanity

If you’re coming to Fort Wayne and thinking about doing some shopping, check out Glenbrook for a family-friendly experience. There’s a little something there for everyone!

Louisa

About

Louisa is a lifelong Fort Wayne resident. A long-time musician and literature aficionado, Louisa likes to explore the classical music offerings that Fort Wayne has to offer. (She also likes to browse the Allen County Public Library's stacks for just the right book!)

Savor Indiana wines at one of Northeast Indiana’s wineries

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Satek Winery is just a short drive away from Fort Wayne. Stop by for a tour to sample their home-grown wines.

What’s better than a glass of wine? A glass shared among friends, of course! If you want to enjoy a glass (or two) in good company, Northeast Indiana is your destination. With at least three wineries within a 60 mile radius of Fort Wayne,  you have plenty of excuses to plan a girls’ weekend away. Here are a few of our favorites:

Country Heritage Winery: Located north of Fort Wayne in the town of LaOtto in DeKalb County, this winery feels homey and welcoming. The owners and staff are always friendly. Enjoy their tasting bar, where you can sample six varieties seven days a week. (Be sure to try the state wine, the Traminette!) Cheese is also available for pairing. You’ll also want to browse the winery’s showroom, which boasts their wine, accessories and other locally made gift items, like jams, jellies and BBQ sauces. Regular summer hours are 11 am to 7 pm Monday-Saturday and 10 am to 6 pm Sunday. Check out their website for events.

Satek Winery: Satek has earned a national reputation for itself, and it’s easy to see why. Over the years the winery has grown from 12 wines to a selection of more than 30. Satek produces international award-winning wine made from locally grown grapes in all categories: red and white, dry and semidry, sweet, dessert and fruit wines. The best-selling wine, “101 Lakes Red,” a blend of grapes grown on-site and purchased, is a tribute to the region’s copious amount of lakes.  Nearly half a million bottles of wine have been sold. They also host several events a year, so you’ll want to plan around those. If you want a more intimate experience, go on one of their tours, held Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30, 2:30 and 3:30.

 Two EE’s: It’s all about attention to detail at Two EE’s Winery, located south of Fort Wayne in Roanoke. The grapes used to make the wine have been hand-selected for their flavor and purity. The aesthetic is equally part of the Two E’s experience. Take in the outdoor patio and rolling landscape while enjoying one of their selections.  The winery regularly hosts artists and musicians, which adds to the charm.

Cheers!

About

Lauren Caggiano was raised in Fort Wayne, and returned in 2007 upon graduation from the University of Dayton. The president of WriteOn LLC, she specializes in writing, marketing, and French translation. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, yoga and volunteering. In the summer you can catch her riding around downtown on her vintage green Schwinn. For more information, check out her website: www.lcagg.com.

Sweetwater Sound: A musician’s one stop-shop for gear

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There’s no way else to describe it: Sweetwater Sound is a musician’s dream come true. As one of the largest purveyors of and resources for music and audio gear, Sweetwater means business.

Here’s what you can expect when you visit their campus, just off U.S. 30:

Workshops: Sweetwater regularly hosts workshops put on by legendary producers such as Alan Parsons and Chris Lord-Alge, as well as musicians like Joe Satriani, Adrian Belew, Chick Corea, and Victor Wooten. These sessions are open to the public. Just register on their website.

Open Jams: Join other musicians or aficionados the second and fourth Tuesday of the month for a family-friendly Open Acoustic Jam. Held in Sweetwater’s Conference Hall from 5-8pm, these jams are open to players of all skill levels, and guitarists of all ages are encouraged to attend. This is a great opportunity to connect with other people with similar interests.

Gear Fest: If you’re toying with the idea of buying your own gear, the annual Gear Fest is a great time to see what you’re missing. Scheduled this year for June 6-7, experience exciting giveaways featuring thousands of dollars’ worth of gear, as well as hundreds of manufacturer exhibits and dozens of workshops. And for the best part: it’s free!

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The Academy offers a chance to learn from the best Fort Wayne has to offer.

Academy of Music: Itching to dive into the music world? Here you can take advantage of lessons and classes for guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, voice, and recording. Whether you’re just starting out or taking your skills to the next level, staff can match you with the right instructor for your playing style, personality, and creative goals.

Insider’s Note: The family-friendly environment is ideal for parents waiting or for the time before lessons. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi, a free arcade, and a wide selection of refreshments.

Although not directly related to their products, their gourmet style cafe is not to be missed. I have eaten here a few times, and I assure you there is something for everyone. Also, it’s worth noting that the LEED-certified building conserves water, energy, and resources. Sweetwater is just plain cool all around!

About

Lauren Caggiano was raised in Fort Wayne, and returned in 2007 upon graduation from the University of Dayton. The president of WriteOn LLC, she specializes in writing, marketing, and French translation. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, yoga and volunteering. In the summer you can catch her riding around downtown on her vintage green Schwinn. For more information, check out her website: www.lcagg.com.

Shop til you drop at Fort Wayne’s locally owned shops

If you’re anything like me, you enjoy bringing back gifts from your travels. You won’t leave empty-handed after a visit to Fort Wayne. If you’re looking to find a memorable gift, look no further than this post. Here are a few Fort Wayne stores you should make a point to visit:

The Olive Twist: The Olive Twist, located in the Covington Plaza on Fort Wayne’s southwest side is your go-to for a custom blend of olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. Curious about the taste of a particular variety? Try a sample at their tasting bar, then create your own blend to discover a new world of flavor! Staff members will also be delighted to make suggestions and help you learn new ways to enjoy these age-old delicacies!

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Add a splash of color to any outfit with a scarf from CwOw.

Our Daily Brew: As a self-proclaimed tea junkie, this place makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop. They carry a variety of coffee and tea sure to please any friend or relative. I recommend the loose leaf variety, as it makes for a more robust cup. The shop is also located on Fort Wayne’s southwest side,  in Times Corner Plaza.

Hedgehog Press: Artist/shop owner Julie Wall Toles’ creations are just plain adorable. At her shop, located at 1126 Columbia Ave., you’ll find an assortment of artsy gifts. Think hand-crafted stationary, coasters and jewelry. She also offers workshops if you feel so inspired.

Creative Women of the World: If you’re looking for a feel-good gift, CWoW is the place. They market original designs created by women living in developing countries.  For example, here you’ll find jewelry designed by women rescued from slavery in Central Asia. Haitian primitive art, hand-embroidered frameable cards, and journals made from recycled cement bags all support artisans in Haiti as they continue to rebuild after the earthquake. The shop is located at 125 W. Wayne St., next to Irish pub JK O’Donnell’s.

Happy shopping!

About

Lauren Caggiano was raised in Fort Wayne, and returned in 2007 upon graduation from the University of Dayton. The president of WriteOn LLC, she specializes in writing, marketing, and French translation. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, yoga and volunteering. In the summer you can catch her riding around downtown on her vintage green Schwinn. For more information, check out her website: www.lcagg.com.