The Buzz

Counter Culture tasters face off
Jun. 04, 2013 @ 02:50 PM

Coffee challenge: The Durham-based coffee roasting company Counter Culture Coffee is holding its second official Cup Tasters Challenge on Thursday.

Participants at its training centers in Durham as well as in Asheville, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., will taste multiple sets of three cups each. They will try to identify which coffee is different from the other two in each set.

The challenge will start at 7 p.m. Thursday at the company’s Training Centers, where it holds coffee education programs.

The Durham Training Center is at 4911 S. Alston Ave. The challenge is open to the public. The cost is $5 to enter the competition. It’s free to watch.


Patina, a furniture store, opens: The used-furniture shop Patina opened in mid-May at 2695 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. across from the gourmet food market and cafe Foster’s Market.

The shop is in 950 square feet of space that previously housed a gold store. It carries items such as small and large tables, dressers, love seats, chairs and Oriental rugs that were purchased at auctions, second-hand shops and word-of-mouth sales.

The owner of the shop, Durham resident Sissy Anlyan, began as a furniture collector more than 30 years ago, according to a news release. She previously worked in sales and marketing.

“I appreciate good design and quality furniture that is functional,” she said in the release. “Old pieces have a story and have breathed.”

The shop is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., according to the release. For more information, go to the website


Recyclique turns 2: Recyclique, a shop focused on up-cycled products made from scrap and waste that also sells vintage items, local crafts and other goods, has turned 2 years old.

The shop at 2811 Hillsborough Road supports the environmental education non-profit CommunEcos, according to a news release. The non-profit that holds presentations, films or other events outdoors or in the shop’s EcoLounge, which is in a rear room in the shop.

Themes of workshops have included beekeeping, up-cycled cold frames, climate change and lamp repair.

There are nominal fees, but most events are based on suggested donations.

“We’re a bit different from most non-profits in that we chose to use social entrepreneurship to support our educational work rather than relying on grants,” said Sandy Smith-Nonini, the shop founder who also teaches anthropology as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

Recyclique is open noon to 6 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. It carries vintage and other used goods such as jewelry lamps, clothing, hand bags, kitchen goods and small furniture.  It also sells locally made crafts.

“During much of 2012 we were just covering our expenses month-to-month with no surplus for buying inventory or for growth, but we think we’re seeing some real growth since February of this year, fingers crossed,” Smith-Nonini said in the release.

For more information, go to the website


Salvadoran restaurant: There’s a new restaurant called El Portal Salvadoreno at 821 N. Miami Blvd. in Durham.

The restaurant is near Miami Boulevard’s intersection with Holloway Street. It’s across the street from Durham Fire Station No. 3.


Straw Valley market: The market at Straw Valley, the development off U.S. 15-501 near its intersection with Interstate 40, is operating on Thursdays. The development is sandwiched in between the boulevard and New Hope Commons.

The market is from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and includes about three vendors selling produce and other items. The organizers are accepting additional vendors.

Straw Valley is home to the new and consignment furniture store Once & Again and other businesses.


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