Orange County's coffee culture just took a giant leap forward with the arrival of Portola Coffee Lab at OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa. It seems like just yesterday that artisan coffee roasters were elevating our coffee experience. Then came Jeff Duggan, founder of Portola Coffee Lab, a self-admitted "coffee geek" who took the time to research what really makes the perfect cup.
"Brewing is just as important as roasting," Duggan says. "If it's not fresh or brewed properly, we're cutting the process short. Our approach is that we represent quality from seed to liquid that ends up in your cup."
Before he opened Portola Coffee Lab, Duggan took a tour of the country's best coffee houses and found that San Francisco is on the cutting edge — even more than Seattle.
"The city's brew method technology and inventiveness is far advanced," Duggan says.
At Portola, he's drawn elements from several shops to bring Orange County's first coffee lab that offers three different brewing styles for coffee: one for espresso, and two methods for iced coffee.
Stop by from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and check out this new coffee experience in Orange County. Plus, if you're hungry, Wicked Wiches offers fresh, local and sustainable sandwiches.
Portola is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and it's at the OC Mart Mix at 3313 Hyland Ave. in Costa Mesa. For more information, visit http://www.portolacoffeelab.com.
One of my favorite Orange County-based photographers, the talented Sandy Heit, shoots incredible candid portraits of babies, children and families in natural light. Last year during the holidays, she had the fortunate problem of being overbooked with clients and had to turn work down. This year, why not book a family session in July and August when the kids are out of school and the weather is perfect?
And, as a special for Greer's OC readers, if you book during those months, you can get a single digital file (value $150) that can be used for holiday cards or gift prints. Regular session fees cost $250 for weekdays or $350 for weekends.
Sandy can travel throughout Orange County and Los Angeles, or can meet you at any location you choose.
Sandy Heit is at 2043 Westcliff Drive in Newport Beach. For more information, call (949) 515-3905 or visit http://www.sandyheit.com.
Call a Spade a Spade
Just in time for Father's Day, Jack Spade has opened its first Orange County boutique at Fashion Island. Originally a maker of utilitarian yet stylish bags in waxed cotton fabrics and heavy canvas, it's now a full-fledged line of relaxed and understated apparel and accessories.
Choose from classic sportswear; small goods such as wallets, key chains and travel kits; and an array of bags including briefcases, messenger bags, computer cases and duffels.
New arrivals include colorful Madras shirts, Pet Rock-themed wallets, windowpane plaid, shorts and canvas gym bags.
Jack Spade is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday between the Iris Fountain and Macy's at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. For more information, call (949) 719-0716 or visit http://www.jackspade.com.
A new colony in Newport
The popular Laguna Colony Company just opened a sister store, the Newport Colony Company, at Fashion Island. It's a new haven for one-of-a-kind furniture, accessories, décor, jewelry, bath products, candles and an international selection of products.
The Newport Colony Company offers a varied range of eclectic items such as Italian pottery and table settings from Vietri and Mariposa, as well as scented candles, lotions, soaps and room diffusers by Voluspa, Trapp, Antica, Thymes and Aquiesse. Jewelry by local and world-renowned designers including Sophia & Chloe, Energy Muse and Baroni. And, if you're looking interior design services and staging, Newport Colony Company offers that too.
The Newport Colony Company is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Nordstrom Court at Fashion Island. For more information, call (949) 706-0101.
The Laguna Colony Company is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at 384 Forest Ave. # 2 in Laguna Beach. For more information, call (949) 497-8919.
Sing along with Dad
Treat Dad to an old fashioned Father's Day concert at the Huntington Beach Central Library Theater at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Huntington Beach Symphony Orchestra will be performing Disney classics and patriotic tunes. Tickets cost tickets $25 or $15. For tickets, call (714) 274-5524 or visit the Library Theater Box Office. It's open 1 to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Wednesday, 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at 7111 Talbert Ave., in Huntington Beach. For more information, visit http://www.hbsymphony.org.
Feel pretty at Fashion Island
Beauty buffs love the excusive Inglot Cosmetics store at Fashion Island. The European-based beauty giant just launched a new 40-color palette of eye shadows called the Freedom System, as well as a new matte collection of colors. The days of searching for the perfect palette of shadows is over. Now you can create the perfect look with a tremendous selection of hues.
Inglot was put on the map more than 25 years ago, when a young chemist, named Wojtek Inglot created a line of cosmetics based on top-quality formulas and materials at a great value. Inglot continues to develop new products today. You can mix-up, move and touch 210 eye shadow shades until you're satisfied with a personalized set of eye shadows for $180. Also try the O2M nail polish, billed as the world's first breathable nail enamel, with increased oxygen and water vapor absorption.
Inglot Cosmetics is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Pacific Court near Macy's in Fashion Island. For more information, call (949) 640-9940.
GREER WYLDER writes Greer's OC for the Huntington Beach Independent each Thursday and the Daily Pilot and Coastline Pilot each Friday. She's the founder and president of greersoc.com, a free daily e-mail service that provides the latest in Orange County fashion, dining, music, events and trends. Her blog can be viewed http://www.greersoc.com and she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.