Fire & Spice Smokehouse Announces Mural Design Contest For Its New Location!

Calling all local artists! Now is your chance to have your work immortalized at one of Huntsville’s newest restaurants, Fire & Spice Tex-Mex Smokehouse, that’s slated to open at South Huntsville’s Hunnington Center in September. The restaurant will be the first brick-and-mortar location of the popular Fire & Spice food truck.

Owners LeAndra and Thomas Poux recently announced the Art Project Paint-Off Contest, a challenge for local artists to design a mural for a wall inside the new space.

“Our business has a history of working with local artists for our branding,” said LeAndra. “We wanted to continue that tradition by asking Huntsville to submit their best designs for our mural.”

Contest Rules

Artists, be aware. There are some simple design rules that contestants must follow to be considered:

  1. Your art MUST incorporate a love of Texas AND the Rocket City.
  2. It must be designed to fit a 26’ x 6’ wall.
  3. It must complement the future design scheme of the restaurant, which the owners have called “new-age western.”
  4. Participants must sign and submit the Rules & Regulations documents available at http://www.firespicesmokehouse.com/art-project.html.
  5. The design must be sent in a readable format—pdf, jpeg, etc. (make sure it’s easy to open)

 All artwork must be submitted to info@firespicesmokehouse.com between July 25th and August 22nd to be considered. The winners will be announced on Friday, August 25th.

Prizes

As if having your design chosen wasn’t enough of an incentive, Fire & Spice has added more prizes to up the ante. The winner of the mural contest will also enjoy a very tasty treat that will keep on giving throughout the year.

  • Grand Prize (1) – Free Tacos for a Year! A special Gift Card will be rewarded to the winner with the amount of $15 per week. Winner’s artwork will be painted and signed by the original artist (winner) on the restaurant wall. (Be sure to read the Winner’s Rules upon entering.)
  • Second Prize (2) – Artwork will be signed by the original artist and framed inside the restaurant. Winner will also receive a T-shirt and $15 Gift Card to Fire & Spice Tex-Mex Smokehouse.
  • Third Prize (3) – Artwork will be signed and framed inside the restaurant and will receive a T-shirt.

But other participants won’t go away empty handed. Everyone who sends in artwork for consideration will be invited to a special Artist Appreciation Night that will take place sometime after the official grand opening. Guests will receive 25 percent off their meal and a chance to mingle and have fun with other local artists. The date for the event is TBD.

“The Huntsville area has so much artistic talent,” said LeAndra. “We are a city of engineers, but we also have this abundant creativity at our fingertips. I am always amazed at the work our local artists produce, and we knew they had to have a presence at the new restaurant. They help make Huntsville what it is—an imaginative community that never ceases to surprise you.”

LeAndra showing off her Fire & Spice tank at Monument Valley. Photo credit: Thomas and LeAndra Poux.

“New-Age Western” Design – A Tip For Contestants

The team at Fire & Spice has unique pieces they plan to incorporate into the design of their restaurant. From its metal bar to sugar skulls, the space will embody the Tex-Mex spirit mixed with a little Huntsville flavor.

Cool additions to the restaurant from Santa Fe, New Mexico! Photo credit: LeAndra Poux.

“We wanted to make the look and feel of the restaurant capture the beauty of the Lone Star State and our history of operating as a food truck,” said Thomas.

“A lot of metal, wood, and industrial elements will be incorporated, as well,” he said. “We’ve had this in our heads for awhile, and now the time has come to bring it to life. I think people are really going to enjoy the atmosphere we provide. The mural will be a large part of that.”

This will be the bar where customers place their orders. Photo credit: LeAndra Poux.

About Fire & Spice Tex-Mex Smokehouse

“Opening a brick-and-mortar was always a goal of ours,” said LeAndra. “We are very grateful for the way Huntsville embraced our food truck. It’s because of that support that we are able to expand this soon.”

The couple first discovered their famed food truck on Craigslist. Thomas was so sure of the concept that he and LeAndra packed up and moved to the Rocket City to pursue their dream.

“There was just something about it,” said Thomas. “We left everything and moved to Huntsville where LeAndra is from. We lived with her parents until we could get everything up and running.”

Since then, the truck has been rebranded—with help from talented local artists—and has stayed busy for events, parties, and day-to-day business. The popularity of the truck led to the next goal for the team, opening a restaurant.

“The food truck will stay in business, as usual,” said LeAndra. “The new Smokehouse will allow us to expand our offerings and serve an area of Huntsville that we believe will embrace the Tex-Mex fare that we love so much.”

As for the contest, LeAndra had one thing to say.

“Show us what you’ve got, Huntsville. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!”

 To learn more about Fire & Spice Tex-Mex Smokehouse or the contest, visit www.firespicesmokehouse.com. Or, follow the company on Facebook.

 Submit all art for consideration to info@firespicesmokehouse.com by Aug. 22!

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Elitaire Boutique Nominated For 2017 Emerging Small Business Of The Year

On August 15th, the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber will honor the success of small businesses and individuals that have made an impact on the community with an Awards Celebration. One of the contenders, Elitaire Boutique, was nominated for Emerging Business of the Year.

The women’s boutique opened in October 2016 at The Garage at Clinton Row and has quickly grown into a Downtown Huntsville favorite. The shop’s success is evident as it reached another milestone—a nomination for one of the Chamber’s prestigious awards.

We recently sat down with Kayla Adams, owner of the elegant boutique, to discuss the nomination, coming events at the shop, and what she thinks makes for a winning business.

How does it feel to be nominated for this award?

We are very humbled, excited, nervous—all of these feelings! But ultimately, we are grateful and honored to be nominated alongside all the other fabulous small businesses. Being a finalist is already a win for us.

Tell me a bit about the 2017 Small Business Awards.

Like I said, just being nominated is a big deal to us. Every year, the Chamber honors businesses in several categories; we were nominated for Emerging Business of the Year.

The 32nd Annual Small Business Awards Celebration will happen at the Von Braun Center on August 15th. I am really looking forward to honoring the amazing businesses that have thrived in the Huntsville area. Everyone is a winner in my book.

What do you believe makes for a successful business?

First and foremost, I believe that you have to offer excellent customer service. Without our customers’ support, we wouldn’t have made it past the first day. Providing them with our absolute best is something we continually strive for.

Secondly, you need an amazing, unique product offering. All of our brands are new to the Huntsville area. We want customers to be able to find something exquisite and exclusive without sacrificing style or quality.

And last, but not least, I truly believe in community over competition. This is the mindset in which my husband and I have built Elitaire. It’s also the second reason why our brands are new to the area. As a small business owner, I don’t want to carry a brand that is already being represented in Huntsville by another small business.

I focus on providing something different and giving our customers more shopping options in our city. By doing this, we are also able to refer our customers out to other stellar, local boutiques in Huntsville. This encourages them to keep shopping local.

What do you think customers love about your shop?

I think our customers love our store because it offers women the chance to find their own sophisticated style and feel beautiful—but with unique, high-quality clothing you can’t find anywhere else in town.

We will always be a store that is classic and sophisticated, but we love adding an unexpected, eclectic edge that makes our customers feel avant-garde. We want our customers to leave with a certain “je ne sais quoi” they can’t find anywhere else.

Speaking of customers, do you have any events lined up for them in the near future?

Yes! We are having a free pop-up yoga event coming up on the last Saturday in July. It’s a great way to unwind in a beautiful space with friends. We offered the same event earlier this year and it was a huge success.

In the Fall, we will also have jewelry trunk shows. And stay tuned for a fashion show (or two)! We have a few other surprises up our sleeves that I can’t announce quite yet, but just know it will be an experience you won’t normally find in a retail store.

You said you have several unique brands available. Are there any you’d like to highlight?

I come from a nonprofit background, so it’s very important to me that we give back in any way we can—we do that through our “Purpose Brands” that we carry in the store and online.

The Shine Project

The first is called The Shine Project. This nonprofit helps America’s inner-city youth become first-generation college graduates. These students not only make the jewelry, bags, and screen-printed tees we carry, but they also help in the design and selling process. They even answer the phone when I call customer service! These kids are learning excellent communication skills and work ethic that will help with employment in the future.

FashionABLE

Another “Purpose Brand” we carry is called FashionABLE. Their motto is, “It is widely known that if we are to end extreme poverty two things must happen. One, we must create jobs for those lacking opportunity, and two, we must do so for women.”

This is the gap that FashionABLE has been helping—women who have been victims of extreme poverty, abuse, and human trafficking in Nashville, Ethiopia, and Peru. These women hand-make beautiful pieces of jewelry, leather goods, and clothing—and they are all original.

E.S.CO

E.S.CO is owned by Emma Steelman who is a local, self-taught silversmith and artist. She hand-makes each piece of jewelry out of silver or gold and also uses hand-selected real stones in her design. You will never find two pieces that are alike.

We feel it’s important to support local artists and businesses, and we are always looking to showcase that talent in our store.

What do you love about your job?

Honestly, I love everything about it. But I love my customers the most. The people I am able to meet through this career and the relationships that have grown from it are priceless to me.

We love to provide customers with the best shopping experience possible, so we will always be listening and adapting to what they want while providing our best customer service.

You will always be greeted with a smile when you walk into Elitaire Boutique.

Check out the FULL LIST of award contenders here.

 And stay tuned to Elitaire’s Facebook page for more updates from the shop. Or follow them on Instagram @elitaireboutique.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Crunkleton Promotes Lauren Plott To Property Manager

Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate is excited to announce that Lauren Plott has been promoted to Property Manager!

In her four years working at Crunkleton, she has served as the Office Manager and assisted with all property management tasks. In her new role, she will continue to build tenant relations by making monthly phone calls with tenants, visiting properties, and working with clients to manage assets.

Lauren Plott Property Manager

“I want our clients to know Crunkleton has their needs in mind and that we are there to make sure problems are solved,” said Lauren. “We aim to go above and beyond as a property management service and create positive connections that help businesses thrive.”

Crunkleton offers full-service property management for all sectors of commercial real estate. Lauren will manage a diverse portfolio consisting of retail, office, medical, and industrial properties and focus on delivering first-class service.

“Crunkleton strives for a high level of professionalism; that carries over to our property management,” said Wesley Crunkleton, Principal. “I’m confident that Lauren will continue to provide quality service and deliver the attention needed to ensure our clients’ assets are being properly managed.”

Lauren volunteering at Lincoln Village Ministry with the Crunkleton team.

When Lauren isn’t busy at Crunkleton, she volunteers her time as a member of the Carillon Club and Valley Presbyterian Church where her husband, William, is the Senior Pastor. She also beams when talking about her three children, Hunter (21), Bradley (18), and Catherine (13). Her free time is spent attending their many activities and enjoying time together as a family.

To learn more about Crunkleton’s Property Management services, click here.

 You can contact Lauren by email at lauren@crunkletonassociates.com, or give her a call at 256-536-8809.

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HALEY CLEMONS
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CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Innova Primary Care: Leading The Way In Patient-Centered Health Care

“Providing quality medical care is about more than prescribing medications and performing procedures,” explained Brooke Uptagrafft, Medical Director of Innova Primary Care. “It’s about making patients feel valued and going much deeper than what society considers to be the standard for primary health care.”

With the dream of leading the way in patient-centered medical care, Dr. Brooke Uptagrafft and husband David Uptagrafft have relocated Innova Primary Care to a newly renovated building on Chateau Drive in the heart of Huntsville.

“We were out of room at our previous location,” said David Uptagrafft, Director of Operations. “We have a lot of plans down the road for offering more services, and this space gives us the ability to do just that.”

The new facility will allow the practice to focus on the needs of individual patients through faster service, increased one-on-one time, health coaching, and more.

Brooke and David also shared some exciting news. Innova is now an officially recognized PCMH (Patient-Centered Medical Home) Level 3 practice.

“The PCMH recognition is pretty unique to the Huntsville area,” said David. “This recognition points to our ability to provide the highest quality care while reducing costs, improving patient-staff relationships, and putting patients at the forefront of importance. It’s a reform in health care delivery that supports the shift to value-based care.”

But the pursuit of creating a better primary care experience in Huntsville began earlier in 2011 when Brooke and David moved back to the area and Dr. Brooke accepted a position at a local practice.

A Brief History of Innova

After Brooke completed her residency, the couple decided to return to Huntsville—their hometown—in order to be closer to family. After looking at practices in and around the area, they were contacted by Dr. Tim Howard and Dr. Michael Carter for an interview. In October 2011, Dr. Brooke joined Gleneagles Family Medicine.

“It was a wonderful place to start,” said Brooke. “In 2013, Dr. Howard decided to retire. So that meant there was another influx of patients. We experienced rapid growth from then on and officially launched the BrookeMD Primary Care brand in 2016.”

After several conversations, Dr. Carter and BrookeMD decided to officially divide the practices. The team successfully shared the space at Gleneagles Drive for a year. But as BrookeMD continued to grow, the need for additional space could not be ignored.

“We looked at all kinds of options,” remarked Brooke. “But when we found this building, we knew it was what we needed. So, we purchased it and began remodeling.”

In January 2017, BrookeMD Primary Care rebranded itself to Innova Primary Care to represent a team-based mentality and rebirth at its new location.

An Innovative Space

“This new space means patients are going to be getting back to rooms even faster,” said Brooke. “We already have short wait times, but this change means we will have more space to place guests into a room, freeing up providers to spend more time with patients without feeling time crunched.” She also said the space would make more services possible later this year.

“We have added a Care Coordinator to the team, and a Health Coach is coming later in the fall,” she said. “We will be doing a lot of patient education right in the exam rooms without having to schedule them to come back at a later date or call them on the phone.”

As a primary care facility, the space had to serve many functions—one of which was enabling a comfortable space for staff and providers to have conversations with their patients.

“The functionality and form of the space were vital in our effort to make care more personalized and emotionally safe for our guests,” said David. “We didn’t want our facility to be intimidating or dehumanizing, we wanted to create something that would encourage and empower patients to be an active voice in their healthcare.”

At Innova, every exam room is equipped with comfortable chairs and a cafe table where patients can view their medical records on the computer monitor with their provider.

Image courtesy of Innova Primary Care.

In addition to more spacious and functional exam rooms, the new facility also features consultation rooms that serve as a safe space for patients and staff to discuss any health concerns or have new patient orientations. David also mentioned the importance of technology within the new facility that makes operations run smoother.

“Technology is a big component of what we do,” he said. “The model for health care is changing rapidly, and we provide our patients with tools that make the process of receiving quality care much easier.”

Patient Empowerment Through Technology

In 2014, Innova made Healow—a health and online wellness app—available to patients, allowing clients to book appointments, check in, view lab records, medications, and more. The app is also password protected for enhanced privacy.

“We want our patients engaged,” said Brooke. “Healow is one way to accomplish that. A large number of our patients utilize it, and we continue to see steady growth in its use.” With the expectations for quality medical care shifting, Innova strives to advocate positive change through patient empowerment tools. This includes the adoption of state-of-the-art technology.

“We have more exciting news regarding our technology at Innova,” teased David. “Stay tuned for future announcements when we share more about an exciting partnership.”

A Passion to Make Patients Feel Valued

Brooke and David carry something into the practice each day that’s worth much more than a functional new building or high-tech medical tools. They have a desire to make everyone involved with Innova feel important and cared for.

“I believe that the world is a broken place,” Brooke urged. “I feel that I am here, and have been given the skills and the experience to try and make the world a little less broken.”

“For some people, Innova is the place they go to feel valued. When they walk out the door, they may not feel it anymore. But when they are at our practice, I want to give them a little piece of that. At Innova, you are cared for—mind, body, and soul.”

To learn more about Innova Primary Care, visit https://innovaprimarycare.com. You can also follow them on Facebook.

For media inquiries or questions about the new location, contact Innova Primary Care Public Relations Coordinator, Morgan Boone, at morgan.boone@myinnovacare.com.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM