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October 5, 2022

If people have taken anything away from the pandemic, it’s that the present and the future are precious. They want tasty food, drinks and environments that celebrate the “now” with friends and family, and are ready to lend their voice to environmental and health issues that protect tomorrow. Today’s food and beverage trends provide unique experiences for the moment and focus on a sustainable future.

Marlo Richardson brings people together over Braymar Wines

Marlo Richardson, a black entrepreneur and native of Los Angeles, opened her first restaurant in 2010 and has been a fan of wine ever since. She says many of her favorite conversations with friends have happened over glasses of sparkling wine.

Last summer, Richardson launched Braymar Wines, named in honor of his two daughters, Brayli and Marli. As a longtime restaurateur and bar owner at Stage 21 Sports & Entertainment Lounge in Culver City, CA, had a great opportunity to observe what their customers value in a premium beverage. She gets all her grapes from the sunny coast of California and produces wine in her distillery. Their lineup includes a North Coast Proprietary Red Blend, a Sonoma Brut, a California Sparkling Rosé and a Chardonnay.

Braymar Wines debuted last July in four Los Angeles restaurants. The wine is also available online on their website. The mompreneur of two also has a new line of pre-made margaritas. Margarita flavors include premium, watermelon, pineapple and sour apple.

Tina Karras introduces vodka that supports regenerative agriculture

Tina’s Vodka, launched in 2021 by Tina Karras, is unique in the spirits industry. This women’s company supplies only organic, non-GMO and sustainably harvested wheat for its vodka. The result is an American liquor that is smooth, delicious and cheap. Tina’s has replaced Tito’s and other vodkas in many prominent California restaurants, is soon launching on the east coast, and enjoys national distribution via e-commerce.

Tina Karras entered the alcohol industry through an unconventional path. With only two suitcases and a guitar, he moved from North Carolina to Los Angeles. Karras pursued his dream of becoming a singer-songwriter and paid rent by working in restaurants and bars. He worked his way up through the ranks to eventually become the liquor buyer for the world famous Roxy Theatre. Countless liquor tastings and classes have shown him the glaring gap in the spirits industry for sustainably produced organic vodka.

She launched Tina’s Vodka on credit cards, a small bank loan and a dream. After pandemic delays, Tina’s Vodka is now distributed by Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, and his record is out on all digital platforms. Following his dream, he is improving the health of not only the spirits industry, but the entire planet by supporting regenerative agriculture through Kiss the Ground.

Stephen Schrutt of Hunger Thirst Group creates unique dining experiences and memorable moments

Stephen Schrutt is the Founder and CEO of Hunger Thirst Group. He grew up in Tampa, Florida and has animated the city’s food and entertainment industry with six innovative restaurants and bars.

Schrutt’s first concept restaurant, The Avenue Eat + Drink, opened its doors in 2011. With 55 TVs, two bars, and live music, The Avenue has quickly become the ultimate local hangout in town and is has been a popular dining destination for over a decade. Soon after, Schrutt launched a sports bar called No Vacancy, where patrons watch games on more than 50 TVs in indoor bars or on the patio.

Schrutt then launched Park & Rec as an interactive indoor and outdoor meeting space. In addition to food and cocktails, diners come for classic arcade games like Pac-Man, pinball, Skee-Ball, air hockey and giant bucket pong. Schutt’s next restaurant, Ballpark & Rec at Tropicana Field, open at Gate 7 of the stadium as the place to be at Tampa Bay Rays home games. Downstairs, people watch TVs and play arcade games around the bar and restaurant. Upstairs, on the patio, people hang out around the second bar and enjoy giant lawn games like Jenga, bucket pong, and connect four.

Schrutt’s latest ventures take the Hunger Thirst Group in a new direction. Dirty Laundry in downtown St. Petersburg is a former neighborhood laundromat turned Cuban-inspired speakeasy. Their new restaurant, Good Fortune, is an Asian fusion concept that offers a sushi and cocktail lounge, a private karaoke room and an outdoor patio.

Rahim Rajwani offers sustainable and ethical dining with Atelier Meats

Rahim Rajwani, co-founder of Atelier Meats, uses biotechnology and tissue engineering to invent delicious textured lab-grown meats such as steak, chicken breasts and pork chops.

Most people are surprised to discover that these meats look and taste like the real thing – because they are. Instead of slaughtering animals, Atelier Meats collects stem cells via a painless biopsy. These stem cells can grow a premium cut of meat and reproduce to grow more in the future. For vegetarians and vegans who have given up meat for ethical reasons, cultured meat presents an ethical protein option.

Lab-grown meat also alleviates the environmental problems caused by meat industries. Currently, animal husbandry is responsible for vast amounts of deforestation, land degradation, loss of biodiversity, global warming, and even air and water pollution. More than three-quarters of agricultural land supports animals that provide only 18 percent of global food calories and 25 percent of protein. Given the rapidly expanding population in the world, this is not sustainable. The transition to cultured meat technology will conserve forests, preserve biodiversity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent pollution. Not only that, cultured meat can be better tasting, higher quality, cleaner and healthier than industrial agricultural products.

These CEOs are taking the lead in the food and beverage industry. They create products and experiences that allow consumers to enjoy every moment as they seek a brighter future.

Photos provided with written permission.