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Tortuga Designs the place for homemade jewelry, gifts PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

If you love homemade jewelry and interesting gifts and antiques, Tortuga Designs Jewelry & Gift Shop is the place for you. 

Open in April, Tortuga is filled to the brim with homemade jewelry created by owner Lisa Stewart. 

There is nothing plastic or acrylic, everything is made with semi-precious stones. 

“This was my love,” said Stewart said of making jewelry. 

She spent 33 years in the medical field, and decided that she needed to follow her passion. 

And there was only one place she wanted to open her store – in Mt. Juliet. 

“I’ve been here my whole life,” Stewart said. “I love it.”

Tortuga has necklaces, earrings, hair bows, and tons of little gifts and antiques. 

Stewart will even gift wrap everything for you for free. 

She is also a dog lover and hopes to have a dog section soon in the store. 

She has already ordered some collars. 

Tortuga also has Wine and Design classes. 

She will bring out all her stones and materials for you to make your own beautiful creation. 

She will do small and large parties whenever it works for you. 

She’ll also open the store at anytime, as she lives close by the store and will come down and let you browse through her collection. 

Tortuga Designs Jewelry & Gift Shop is located at 11936 Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet. 

They are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. 

They can be reached at (615)294-4595. 

Eat, Drink & Be Merry: Blue Coast Burrito PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The inspiration for Blue Coast Burrito came from Playa Costa Azul or “Blue Coast Beach,” a stretch of white sand near the southern tip of Baja Mexico, where the Pacific meets the Gulf of California. 

People come from all over the world to bask on the sun-drenched beaches, eat the fish tacos, listen to the rhythms of Mexico and surf some of the best waves in the world. 

Blue Coast Burrito was founded with a vision to bring a portion of this atmosphere, and all of its wonderful unique cuisine back to Middle Tennessee. It has made its mark on Mt. Juliet. 

“The community has been great,” said President/CEO Bob Speck. “We have been well received. We couldn’t be more pleased to be here.”

The focus at Blue Coast Burrito starts with the food, which is made fresh from scratch everyday. 

“We do a lot of things extra that other people aren’t willing to do,” said Speck. 

The menu is centered on four main selections - burritos, tacos, salads and cabo bowls - all freshly made to the guest’s specifications. Selections from there include a large variety of tortillas and proteins, veggies, salsas and other toppings. Additional access to the signature salsas is available on the self service bar. 

Another Blue Coast favorite is the Fish taco, made with cod on corn tortillas with cilantro, onions, white sauce, cabbage and mild salsa. Still more variety exists with the quesadillas, nachos and the famous Las Paletas gourmet Mexican popsicles. 

Blue Coast Burrito’s hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. They are located at 640 S. Mt. Juliet Road, Suite 230 in Graves Crossing and can be reached at (615)288-3613.

Check them out on the web at 

Demos’ Restaurant partners with Habitat to benefit community PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, June 18, 2013

For the 10th consecutive year, Demos’ Restaurant has served it up for Wilson Habitat for Humanity. In addition to the Brooks Bucks fundraiser for Habitat in March, restaurant owner Peter Demos recently presented Habitat with a check for $3,495.79 from candy money proceeds. 

During the Brooks Bucks campaign Wilson Habitat sold 1,500 Brooks Bucks raising $7,500.  The fundraiser is named after the late Brooks Franklin, humanitarian and 30-year veteran writer for the Lebanon Democrat. The issue of poverty and homelessness in Lebanon led to the Brook Bucks fundraiser, which benefits one of Franklin’s most loved causes, Habitat for Humanity.  

Thanks to Demos’ Restaurant, the combination of the Brooks Bucks funding and the candy money has brought $10,995.79 to aid Habitat in fulfilling its mission of providing affordable homeownership opportunities for qualified families.

The Wilson Division of Habitat is currently fulfilling the dreams of two single mothers who are working diligently to provide positive home environments for their children. One house is a Women Build sponsorship, and the other is a Faith Build sponsorship.  When the houses are completed and the partner families have finished their education courses and working at the build site, both women will purchase their homes with a zero percent interest mortgage rate. 

The Women Build Committee has worked diligently for the past nine months to help sponsor a home for single mother of five Sarah Caves. Sarah has been attending her HomeWORKS education classes and working at the build site alongside volunteers at 418 Alydar Drive. 

Women Build Primary Sponsors include: Cracker Barrel Foundation, Lowe’s Foundation, Middle Tennessee Electric Customer Care, The Memorial Foundation, Modern Woodmen, Performance Food Group, Concurrently, several churches in Wilson County have been building a home for Habitat partner family Erica Neuble and her two children at 420 Alydar Drive. 

The following congregations are sponsoring the Faith Build: The Bridge Fellowship, Cloyd’s Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Crossroads Community Church, College Hills Church of Christ, Faith Lutheran Church, First United Methodist Church, Mt. Juliet Church of Christ, Providence United Methodist Church, St. Stephen Catholic Community, 

Wilson Division of Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical Christian ministry that provides the life-changing opportunity for people to purchase and own quality, affordable homes. Prior to becoming homeowners, Habitat partner families attend home education classes, work at the build site, and volunteer at Habitat’s retail outlet, the ReStore to earn a zero percent interest mortgage rate. The work of Habitat in Wilson County began in 1993 and Wilson Habitat has now built 56 houses serving 58 families. To receive more information about Habitat for Humanity, call (615)453-4539 or visit

The Art Mill ready for grand opening PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Local Wilson County residents and business owners Scott and Kirsten Harris are pleased to announce the Grand Opening Celebration of The Art Mill Mt. Juliet on Friday, June 21 from 5 until 7 p.m.  

The newest location of their fun-filled interactive paint studio for adults and children is in Mt. Juliet’s TownCenter, an exciting new complex in the heart of the city at the corner of Division Street and 2037 North Mt. Juliet Road. Guests are invited to stop in to mix and mingle, grab a treat, tour the new studio and to enjoy special discounts during the Grand Opening Celebration.

The Art Mill Mt. Juliet officially opened May 20 with a full schedule of painting classes, summer kids camp and separate studio for private parties.  

“The thousands of customers that have painted with us since 2010 in our Lebanon and Cookeville studios will certainly enjoy that same high energy, bright colored, cool music infused look, feel and sound that has always made them dance a little in their seats, while our teachers help them create a fun painting that they are proud of,” said Scott Harris, owner of The Art Mill.  “We are a completely hands-on studio so there is absolutely no experience needed to have fun and paint at The Art Mill.”  

The Art Mill is open seven days per week with weekdays and Saturdays devoted to summer kids camp and kids classes while adults can enjoy the 7 p.m. classes and Sunday afternoons. Adults are invited to bring their own beverages and snacks to enjoy with their date or group of friends.  

“Registering for classes and camps is easy and is all done through our website,” explains Kirsten Harris, Director of Operations for The Art Mill stores.  “Choose your city and the calendar will pop up allowing you to view all paintings for the month.  Our on-line calendar lets you choose your favorite painting, letting you know the day, time and cost and you show up to paint. It’s just simple,” said Harris. 

“Private parties have also become such a large part of our business.  Our private party guests get the benefit of their own private studio with their own teacher with none of the set-up, clean up or mess in their own home.”  

There is a painter minimum of 10 to book a private event but The Art Mill does not charge an additional room or event fee.  

“We especially make kids birthday parties easy and each child gets to take home their own party favor, which is the painting that they had fun creating.”  The Art Mill is large enough and able to host corporate events, church groups, office parties, clubs, school groups, reunions, bachelorette and wedding showers and much more.

Scott and Kirsten Harris invite everyone to join them for the Grand Opening Celebration of The Art Mill Mt. Juliet  Friday, June 21 from 5 until 7 p.m.  Special discounts will be offered to guests such as half price gift certificates for painting classes, 25 percent off private parties that are booked for the Mt. Juliet location and half price for the Open Paint Night class at 7 p.m. Discounts on gift certificates and the half price 7 p.m. class are also being offered in the Lebanon and Cookeville locations for guests that visit the studio on June 21.  

For more information about any of The Art Mill stores, to view the calendar or to make reservations, please visit or call (615)444-8828.

Eat, Drink & Be Merry: Kelli Kakes PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

Mt. Juliet will have a independently owned full service bakery on the south end of town when Kelli Kakes Bake Shop opens Monday. 

The Kelli in Kelli Kakes is Kelli Beal, an EMT who decided to share her love of baking with the community. 

Kelli Kakes Bake Shop covers all kinds of items, focusing mainly on everyone’s favorite, the sweets. 

You can get cakes, wedding cakes, cookies and pies. 

You can even by cake by the slice. There will be a cake of the week each week which she will announce on social media, and you can come in to purchase any of those all week long. There will also be a pie of the week as well. Beal plans to rotate the flavors, and add many as time goes on. 

There is also a cooler there so you can purchase premade cakes and pies. 

Kelli Kakes Bake Shop will also have several different types of cupcakes, and also mini cupcakes for kids. Beal, who has a child, said parents will often go to a cupcake place and the child will only eat two or three bites and be done. This will give a cheaper alternative to make sure the kiddos finish it, and the parents get their money’s worth. 

Beal is going to try whenever possible to use produce from local farms. 

“There will be nothing in here that comes out of a box or can,” said Beal. 

That means that Beal will have a summer and winter menu based on what produce is in season. 

There will also be plenty of options of drinks and sodas to wash your cake or cupcake down. 

There will be a week long Grand Opening celebration starting June 17, and if you say you read this article or saw the advertisement, you will get a free cookie. There are also fliers circulating around the community that will get you a free cookie as well. 

Kelli Kakes Bake Shop is located in Paddocks shopping center between the Lowes and Walmart. They are still waiting on their sign, so look closely for the smaller sign on the window. 

They will be open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can reach them at (615)758-5951. 

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