A&E hangouts: New Dirtbag cafe is grounds for more than just coffee


In Redlands, California, there are countless cafés to satisfy coffee cravings. Yet, Dirtbag Coffee offers the experiences of a coffee shop embedded in the heart of historic downtown Redlands. Within the shop, in addition to a hot cup of joe, apparel and merchandise is offered, created by Aaron and Angie Ohama, who founded Dirtbag Coffee on Feb. 19, 2021.

The front of the coffee shop seen from State Street. Dirtbag Coffee Shop has unique seating arrangements compared to other coffee shops. (MIRIAM YORDANOS/ Ethic News photo)

During a trip with her husband, Angie Ohama was in need of motorcycling gloves. After stopping at a shop and trying to find gloves, the Ohamas were motivated to open their own business. 

Dirtbag Apparel makes homemade items, such as crewnecks, rings, different types of jackets, leather bags, scrunchies and more. The items that are not homemade are from small and local businesses, including young entrepreneurs. For example, Dirtbag sells scrunchies that are made from a small business run by an 11-year-old girl. 

Dirtbag Apparel Shop is attached to Dirtbag Coffee. Dirtbag Coffee opened after Dirtbag Apparel Shop. (MIRIAM YORDANOS/ Ethic News photo)

Krystal Cannon, the manager and sales associate of Dirtbag, loves that the store always has something new each day. Cannon states, “It’s an experience here. What we have to offer and our value here. We have really put faith first and do value that anywhere and we make that the stable of our foundation.”

Originally a customer, Cannon would visit whenever in town and soon became close friends with the owners. Cannon discovered the local shop accidentally and fell in love with the coffee cafe. 

While walking into Dirtbag, there is a strong scent of coffee. The building has plants, a bunch of different colors and a very distinctive aesthetic. Step back outside and Dirtbag is surrounded by a community of many different shops on state street.

Gabby Valencia, a barista and sales associate, said,  “The aesthetic is pretty unique. The owners’ ride motorcycles and are very outdoorsy so they have a very collective style. We have funky chairs and I really like the vibe.” 

Unlike other coffee shops, Dirtbag doesn’t charge an extra amount for dairy substitution.  Besides coffee, they offer various Italian sodas and teas. 

Similar to other coffee shops, Dirtbag has different menus for different seasons at a time. Their current best sellers are mocha latte, vanilla latte, caramel latte and dirty chai latte.

Valencia enjoys seeing the regulars often and feels lucky to be a part of someone’s day, especially when they come in often.

One of Valencia’s favorite customers comes in often after having an art class. Her favorite drink is the Brown Sugar Latte, which happens to be a winter item from their summer edition menu.

Valencia says, “Our coffee is great too, but I mean in Redlands you could go to a million other places for coffee and it’s going to be good coffee. So, what we try to make a more unique experience is our customer service and our environment and everything else.” 

Currently, Dirtbag Apparel has a few selected items on sale and a new menu for the winter season. Check out the new menu and sale at their location on 204 E. State St.

A&E hangouts: The Olive Market’s impact on historic Redlands


The smiling faces of adults and children, the smell of pastries and coffee, wafts in the air, as soon as someone enters the Olive Avenue Market. 

The front of the Olive Market that can be seen on Olive Avenue. (AVA LARSON/ETHIC NEWS)

In historic Redlands, California, the Olive Avenue Market sits on the corner of West Olive Avenue and South Michigan Street.

The shop is filled with vintage candies, soda and drinks.

There are many seating areas in and around the Olive Market. The patio in the back has many picnic tables, benches and even a small play area for kids. It’s surrounded by plants and has a beautiful view of all the Victorian houses. 

The back patio of the market. In the back patio, customers, there is a place for children to play and walk around. (AVA LARSON/ETHIC NEWS

In the back patio, there is seating available for customers to dine. (AVA LARSON/ETHIC NEWS)

After being built in 1924, the Olive Market shared their shop with one of the first ever  Stater Bros Market from 1939-1974, according to the oliveavemarket.com.

At the Olive Market customers have a variety of drinks that they can choose from that come in many flavors and sizes. (AVA LARSON/ETHIC NEWS)

Sonia Rozzi, one of the owners of the Olive Market, says, “The little things make a difference, like knowing our customers’ orders before they even get to the counter.”

The logo of the olive market.(AVA LARSON/ETHIC NEWS)

Rozzi loves that the market has become a local hang out and makes people feel comfortable and welcome. Kids and teens from all over Redlands love coming to the market for a snack before or after school.

According to Rozzi, many of the older customers came to the Olive Market when they were kids.

Many of the customers have become friends with the employees and owners.

Michelle Buckman has been coming to the Olive Market since before they had ceramic cups. She walks everyday and always stops by the market with her friends.

The olive market’s seating on the side and in the back of the building.(AVA LARSON/ETHIC NEWS)

Employee, Sean Corrigan, says, “The Olive Market is my second home, and I love for anyone to come to visit me, and I want people to feel welcome.”

Many people take their kids to the market to get pastries and drinks, like Marty Morision, who takes his kids to get hot chocolate and cookies.

The market also has a great brunch menu on the weekends that includes avocado toast, pancakes, different omelets and many more items.

The Olive Market’s brunch menu is only available on Saturdays and Sundays. (AVA LARSON/ETHIC NEWS)

The market opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 2:30 p.m. daily.

A&E hangouts: Redlands Ramen has oodles of noodles for hungry students


Redlands Ramen is the latest noodle stop located in the newly created Packing House District, a few blocks from historical downtown Redlands. Redlands Ramen was opened on Sept. 18, 2019, and has since been a success.

Two bowls of noodles with add-on toppings chicken and egg on Oct. 30. Redlands Ramen allows customers to customize their orders. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

A very strong street art vibe and underground influence is felt in Redlands Ramen. There are paintings and murals everywhere, with artwork reminiscent of downtown Los Angeles culture. While interesting, some of the murals may turn away more conservative and family audiences, as some of the murals feature suggestive imagery and partial nudity.

A mural highlighting various rappers in an artistic intepretation is shown at Redlands Ramen on June 17. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

Bryan Ramirez, the lead server at Redlands Ramen for over two months said, says that one of his favorite elements of the shop is “the inviting environment, along with the employees here with great personalities, with the cooks being especially full of integrity.” Ramirez feels this sets their restaurant apart from the competition.

The noodle shop also has a bar section, active at night, with the very late hours allowing for a midnight noodle run if you get hit by late night cravings, as many teens are often struck by. 

Because of the long hours, the different times of day have very different feelings, regarding the atmosphere. For instance, in the afternoon, it is a much more expected and serene atmosphere for an eatery in a small shopping district, but at night, it is transformed into a bustling noodle hub.

One of Redlands Ramen’s greatest strengths lies within its customizable menu. Of course, there are the base soups, such as the traditional ‘tonkotsu’ or the creamy, chicken based ‘Tori’, a popular choice for ramen newcomers. Some of the customization options include level of spiciness, ranging from none to spicy, and other ramen essentials, such as proteins and egg.

This previously mentioned customization has one major downfall however, and that is the price. If you get their most expensive base, the ‘Niku’ and you add Japanese pork, along with extra protein and all of the possible add ons, which have been standard for most other ramen shops in the world, it would cost a whopping $43.50. So while the price may be very high compared to other locations, it makes more sense when you consider its high quality ingredients and good service.

In conclusion, Redlands Ramen is a worthy option for hungry high school students who like an upbeat, street atmosphere. The food is delicious, however it can be expensive. Potential customers should be aware of the cumulative prices of the add-ons. 

Because of the friendly and helpful staff, the delicious food and the unique style, Redlands Ramen is definitely worth patronage.

Photos: Roast The Dead Coffee shop scares its way into Yucaipa

Originally published in La Plaza Press


Located at 12764 California St. in Yucaipa, this horror themed coffee shop is not something civilians would see in everyday life. The shop is based on the horror genre and multiple horror movies which makes it a very rare and uncommon theme to see in a coffee shop. It has grown in popularity since opening Valentine’s Day weekend, and it’s no surprise why.

The Roast The Dead Coffee shop sign at the entrance is just the beginning of a coffee shop experience horror-movie lovers will never forget. (DESTINY RAMOS MARIN/ La Plaza photo)

A small statue of Sam from “Trick ‘r Treat” (2007) stands with his lollipop alongside the disposables and menus holding treats for patrons to enjoy. (DESTINY RAMOS MARIN/ La Plaza photo)

An accurate replica of the Anabelle doll from “The Conjuring” franchise sits inside of her glass box in the resting corner of the shop along with a ouija board, a friendly ghost statue and two pieces of 80’s style furniture. (DESTINY RAMOS MARIN/ La Plaza photo)

In the corner of the shop, posters of the classic movies “The Lost Boys” (1987), “Halloween” (1978), “The Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984), “Friday the 13th” (1980) and “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” (1988) are accompanied by smaller photos of the classic horror movie characters Anabelle from the “Annabelle” film series, Leatherface from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” film series, Pinhead from the “Hellraiser” franchise and 2017’s Pennywise from the “It” films. (DESTINY RAMOS MARIN/ La Plaza photo)

Life size statues of the well known horror characters Micheal Myers, Freddie Kruger and Jason Vorhees stand on the right side of the shop constantly watching attendees enjoy their drinks. (DESTINY RAMOS MARIN/ La Plaza photo)

This part of the shop is where patrons decide which of the many delicious drinks and pastries they will purchase. Each of the unique drinks have creative horror-themed names such as ‘6 ft Under,’ ‘Freddie’s Nightmare’ and ‘The Myers.’ (DESTINY RAMOS MARIN/ La Plaza photo)

The final verdict for Roast the Dead Coffee is that it is an amazing shop and a must-see for all horror-movie lovers. The shop itself may not be the biggest, but in the end, that is only a fraction of what matters. It has delicious drinks and pastries, hard working and kind employees, a supportive community and a very pleasant vibe. In short, the shop has something for everyone to enjoy. It is heartwarming to see Roast the Dead Coffee exceed in all areas so well. Yucaipa is fortunate to have such an amazing and rare coffee shop in its community. 

Shop Local for Valentines Day: Gift ideas for that perfect someone from Redlands small businesses


As Valentine’s day is just around the corner, the stress of finding that perfect gift may be creeping in, however there are many Redlands’ small businesses that can help. During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic it is critical that small businesses are supported; by shopping locally one can beat the large crowds at the larger retail stores, such as Kohls and Target, and get quality products on safer and faster terms. 

Here are some businesses in Redlands that are selling specific Valentines Day items, some are still taking Valentines day orders, which will make for that thoughtful, special gift for you or your Valentine. As a reminder please order or shop as soon as possible to allow for a smooth holiday. 

Clarity Candles

Let the smell of love fill the room on Valentine’s Day with a gift from Clarity Candles. This small business owned by, Redlands East Valley, senior, Brooklyn Fashempour is selling limited edition Valentine’s candles with the 4 different scents called Be Mine, XOXO, Cupid’s Arrow, and Rose’s are Red. Other candle items available for purchase include her newest collection Salt Air and Honeydew, Ginger Coconut and Amber, Woody Leather and Brandy, and many more. Shopping is still currently open for Valentine’s Day. 

Three of the different candles that Clarity Candles offers, possible Valentines Day gift ideas. (Photo credit Brooklyn Fahsempour)

4 oz candles are recommended by Fashempour as “they are so small and cute, but, the 8 oz size makes perfect gifts as well.” 

Order type: Locally in Redlands for pick up, shipping, pre-order 

How to order: Online by going to claritycandles.shop/ 

Yayi’s Yums

Looking for a business to hit that sweet tooth? Well Yayi’s Yum owned by Valerie Alfaro, a junior at Citrus Valley High School, has got it covered. For the holiday specifically her bakery is selling limited edition heart shaped cookies, heart shaped cinnamon rolls, and Valentine’s themed cupcakes. Her main menu also includes various flavors of cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and cinnamon rolls. She is currently taking orders until Feb. 13 and on the 14 she will only be supplying pickups. 

Valentines Day themed cupcakes, just one of the possible gifts available for purchase from Yayi’s Yums. (Photo Credit to Valerie Alfaro)

Order type: Locally in Redlands for pick up, pre-order 

How to order: Direct Message @yayis.yums on Instagram Or By calling (909) 665-0381

Swank Design/Swoon Home 

By having a double category store Swank Design/Swoon Home has a variety of personal items that are sure to gain a smile. Selling themed pillows, vases, candles, bath and body items and books there is sure to be just the right item fit for your important someone. Shopping for Valentine’s Day is still available. 

Table at Swoon Home store, featuring the Valentine’s Day themed items they have available. (Photo credit to Swoon Home and Swank Design)

Raelena Vasquez, the owner of the shop, states “all of the above” when it comes to a recommendation of products. 

Having five stars on both Google Reviews and Houzz this local business will not disappoint. 

Order type: In-store and curbside 

How to order: In-store shopping Or Online by going to https://www.swankdesignhome.com/

Above the Stem

Above the Stem is the one stop shop for your traditional Valentine’s Day; as they sell various flower arrangements, chocolate, swiss chocolate, cards, bears, soap, pens, lotions, and candles. It is important to note that Above the Stem is not only selling roses but also other elegant flower arrangements containing flowers including Calla Lilies, Tuples and Ranunculus to name a few. Nevertheless don’t fret about the supply of traditional roses! According to Prerea Kapadia, the owner of Above the Stem, they “have plenty of roses” with the bouquet of “designer choice being amazing” as well. 

Focusing greatly on supporting the community Above the Stem gets most of its merchandise and materials from other local shops in Redlands. They are open for orders and walk-ins on Valentines Day as they will have their displays in the front of their store as customers can pick what they would like and have it brought to them outside of the store as a COVID precaution. 

Order type: In-store pick-up, pre-order, delivery  

Opening the door to a beautiful bouquet of flowers is sure to be a heart pleaser on Valentines Day. (Photo credit to Above the Stem)

How to order: In-store shopping by calling (909) 335-850 Or Online by going to https://abovethestem.com/

Emerson Fine Jewelry

Find the perfect set of jewelry to complement the beauty of your loved one this Valentine’s day. At Emerson Fine Jewelry elegant, hand crafted pieces that are sure to elevate the day. For the holiday specially they are selling the items: Silver Horizontal Bar Bracelet, Love earrings, It’s only love necklace, Puffed Heart Pendant With Diamonds, ANGÈLE 3 Mini Hearts On Chain. They are a family owned and operated business located in the heart of Downtown Redlands. They are still currently taking Valentine’s Day orders. 

One of the necklaces for sale on Emerson Fine Jewelry’s website with a Valentines Day themed message. (Photo credit to Emerson Fine Jewelry)

Order type: In-store pick-up, delivery  

How to order: In-store shopping (Extra covid safe in store) Or Online by going to https://www.emersonfinejewelry.com/


Want a more personalized touch to your gift? WashingtonWildflower has you covered. Owner, Elysse Washington hand creates every piece order, with items including one-of-a-kind home decor and embellished hair clips. Some of her Valentines pieces include a Floral heart wreath and Valentines XO set. She is still currently taking Valentine’s Day orders. 

Dried floral hanging wreaths, hair clips and palms palms can be found for sell, as the wreaths come in various different shapes as well as sizes. ( Photo credit Elysse Washington)

Washington states, “I just love making one of a kind pieces for people to love.” 

Order type: Shipping and local delivery 

How to order: Direct Message @washingtonswildflowers on Instagram Or Online by going to www.etsy.com/shop/WashingtonWildflower 

Sugar Bee

Sugar, Spice, and everything nice can be found at Sugarbee Cafe & Bake Shop. For Valentines Day the bakery offered a variety of gifts including: cocoa bombs, chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, breakable hearts, and more. However, they are no longer taking orders for the holiday as they are sold out. However, they also sell custom cakes and cupcakes for any occasion, as well as keto, vegan and gluten free desserts.  

A chocolate heart surrounded by chocolate covered strawberries, a sweet treat for a possible Valentines gift. (Photo credit Sugar Bee Cafe and Bake Shop)

Order type: In-Store pick up 

How to order: online by going to https://www.sugarbeecafe.com/


During these days of lockdowns, nail salons have been shut down and reopened again so now is the time to get your Valentine a manicure. Nailsbymeriel, owned by Meriel Wasbotten, offers premium manicures and gift certificates that will work as an exciting gift. The salon also offers pedicures to make for the complete nail package. Pricing ranges from 35-50 dollars. 

A gift certificate for a pedicure service by Meriel Wasbotten, a possible valentines day gift idea for a loved one or friend. (Photo credit to Meriel Wasbotten)

How to order/make appointment: Direct Message @nailsbymeriel on Instagram Or By calling (909) 528-8083 

Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to showing the ones closest to how much they are loved and appreciated, by purchasing locally for gifts both will be achieved as well as helping the local community thrive.  These are hard times for all, allow this holiday of love to be an outlet for everyone to enjoy. 

Featured Image: Valentines Day themed art. (Art created by Emily Walos/ Ethic News Art)

A&E Hangouts: Cookie Corner bakes its way into the heart of Redlands


It seems as though Southern California has had a massive growth in terms of the dessert industry, specifically the baking industry. This has intrigued many people, including folks who you would not typically see as business owners. Some have been incredibly successful; others not so much. One could understand how risky dropping everything to become a full time baker would be. Additionally, add three children, with one more on the way, and you would get Elise and Matt Thomas.

Elise Thomas shares her inspiration for their bakery, stating “I’ve always wanted to open a bakery because I love to bake, and I think that with this busy world that we live in not everyone is able to bake. There are a lot of moms at work that aren’t able to bake, so my dream was to bring the fresh baked cookies to all the homes that don’t have the time to do that.’’

Now, their bakery has become a welcomed addition to the community.

 A common question one asks when deciding to go to a bakery is how good the cookies taste. The fact of the matter is, they are the best, biggest and most bang for your buck cookies in Redlands, and arguably Southern California as a whole. The thing that many will appreciate about Cookie Corner is how sleek it is. When compared to some other bakeries in SoCal, the aesthetic of friendliness and mellowness is a welcome change to the often unnecessarily brash and brazen look of many other establishments.

Oftentimes when you eat cookies, you will become thirsty. Do not worry though, as Cookie Corner has you covered in that aspect as well. They offer their take on a “Twisted Soda,” a soda mixed with certain syrups, creams and fruit. They are all named after famous streets in the SoCal area, but Redlands has the vast majority of the namesakes. This is a nice reminder of how down-to-earth and inviting this bakery is.

 Now, as amazing and inspirational their story is, there is but one downside. Unfortunately. it’s frankly unfixable for now. There is a lack of seating, both outdoor and indoor. However, this is fairly understandable regarding the lengths they go to in making their store Covid compliant, and they will most likely add seating areas later down the line, making this a prime hangout spot for students.

 One final thing about Cookie Corner is their location on Stuart Ave., and how it will impact their business down the line. The bakery is located near the Studio Movie Grill, a popular theater that will certainly boost Cookie Corner’s business in later hours of the day, almost surely spawning a memorable phrase such as “dinner, movie, and a cookie.”

With Cookie Corner’s friendly atmosphere, ideal location, inspiring story, and absolutely delicious cookies and drinks, it is almost impossible to not fall in love with this homegrown bakery. So next time you drive down Stuart Ave. do yourself a favor and pick up a cookie.

Featured photos of s’mores, red velvet, and salted caramel cookies from the Cookie Corner. Cookie Corner offers many other unique flavors such as snickerdoodle and orange blossom. (Courtesy of Vanessa Aranda)

A&E hangouts: The Cookie Plug swaggers its way into Redlands


A half-stack of The Cookie Plug’s “phatties,” which is a collection of seven flavors of the customer’s choosing. (Ahlora Smith/Ethic Photos)

Despite recent health and exercise crazes, a new cookie bakery opened its doors in Redlands during November of 2019. This establishment has quickly become famous for its hockey puck-sized cookies, or “Phatties,” and its old-school rap theme.

Both the interior and exterior of the shop have graffiti-adorned decor complete with splashes of neon that are typical of the 90’s hip-hop aesthetic. Inside, there are parodies of popular hip-hop songs that have been twisted to match the dessert-centric establishment, creating entertaining puns for those who are familiar with the songs. There are no seating areas at the location, so the cookies hold more of a grab-n-go label.

Patrons can choose from any of a dozen uniquely-titled cookie flavors to consume for $4, or they can mix and match multiple cookie types into one of the shop’s many package deals.

On top of the package deals, The Cookie Plug has different deals for every day of the week, so there’s always an extra layer of savings whenever one gets a craving.

The bakers have done an excellent job at perfecting the cookies’ consistency as they remain decadently moist and chewy despite their significant size.

Aside from its ginormous cookies, the shop also sells “Purple Drank,” a fresh lemonade that has been dyed purple, as well as keto-friendly cookies for all the dieters of the community.

Since the shop has only recently opened, the menu is quite minimal, although its potential to expand is quite optimal. Its low-traffic location just off of State Street may call for some overshadowing concern, but the treats are projected to succeed long into the future.


Location: The Cookie Plug

Address: 501 E Citrus Ave., Redlands, CA

Group size: Individual, pairs or small groups

Pet friendly: Nothing openly against them, but furry friends should probably stay outside

Price Range: $4-$30

Overall rating (out of 5): 4.5 phatties

Augie’s shakes things up


Outside of Augies Coffee shop in the Packinghouse District on Euraka Street in Redlands, California (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic Photo)

Augie’s, the popular downtown coffee shop, operated from their original Redlands location at the red-brick building on North 5th Street for 10 years. Augie’s is the place in the community where people would gather to study, drink coffee and socialize. Loyal customers were disappointed when they found out in May of 2018 that Augie’s would be moving out of the red-brick building.  

When Augie’s was notified that they had to move locations with a short window of time, they found a perfect spot on 300 East State Street, just a couple blocks east from their original location.

The new location has a very calming environment with very stylish decor and many desks for students to study inside and seating outside among fresh greenery. It “warmed our hearts to see so many people drinking Augie’s coffee and enjoying the spaces that we try so hard to make enjoyable,” Augies Coffee posted in an instagram comment.

Augie’s expressed being grateful to receive the love and support of its patrons over the last 10 years via Instagram posts. Even while Augie’s was finding a new location, they had help from their customers, who set up a gofundme page to help the baristas when the old Augie’s location had closed.

Augie’s continues to thrive with loyal customers, as it states in another Instagram post, “Augie’s is a community of people. It’s not a red building, it’s you and I.”  

Augies quaint interior with new artwork. (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic Photo)

With Augie’s out of the red brick building, it has been replaced with a new business called the Back Alley, which provides a bar, entertainment, food, live music and coffee.

On Oct. 1, Augie’s Coffee Roasters announced the opening of another new location in the Redlands Packing House District, adding on to the expansion of their business into other surrounding cities, including Riverside, Temecula and Claremont.  The shop keeps the stylish and aesthetic vibe that the rest of the shops do, and includes lots of seating space. A black-and-white mural of bees and flowers inside the shop makes this location unique.

Parliament prides their fine chocolate in cacao beans from around the world


Chocolate souvenir trading cards on display at Parliament Chocolate feature different countries. Each card represents one of the six countries from which Parliament imports their beans. (SHANNON COCKERILL/ Ethic photo)

When you first walk into Parliament Chocolate, you’re greeted with the scent of fermented cacao beans. Located at 15 E. Redlands Boulevard in Redlands, the shop is petit and quaint, filled with an assortment of delicious chocolates.

The shop has been open for five years and is owned by the same creator of A La Minute, Ryan Berk. Berk originally wanted a source of chocolate for their ice-cream shop, so they bought their own chocolate shop.

A Parliament is a group of owls; the original shop before Parliament Chocolate was called White Owl Cafe. The new name is a clever homage to the original cafe.

A variety of dark chocolate truffles are displayed over a bed of cacao beans.  (SHANNON COCKERILL/ Ethic photo)

This small company makes dark chocolate confections with the exception of one type of milk chocolate. Their dark chocolate is 70% cacao, and the employee in charge of bar production, Amia Tadjalli, explained why the company chose a 70% ratio rather than a more common 50-60%. “It’s 70% because it’s a perfect balance between chocolate and sugar. Chocolate is like wine or coffee, you can’t add too many ingredients, or it loses its original purpose,” Tadjalli said.

Amia Tadjalli, Parliament Chocolate employee in charge of bar production, greets customers with a smile as she explains the assortment of truffles. (SHANNON COCKERILL/ Ethic photo).

The cacao beans come from six different countries: Tanzania, Thailand, Guatemala, Peru, Belize and the Dominican Republic. After the beans are dried and sorted, they arrive at Parliament where they are sorted again by hand to remove the imperfect beans. Then, the beans are roasted and go through a refiner that removes the shells. After the beans are refined for five days, the chocolate is then added to a tempering machine to melt it down. Finally, chocolate is poured into a mold and cooled.

Vanilla bean sea salt caramel is the most popular truffle at Parliament Chocolate in Redlands. (SHANNON COCKERILL/ Ethic photo)

Their chocolate bars are unique and one-of-a-kind. The chocolate bar wrappers have a different bird or owl to represent each of the different countries they received their cacao beans from. Each of the chocolate bars uses cacao beans from the company and country they represent. For example, the Thailand Chanthaburi Chocolate Bar uses cacao beans from the company Kokoa Kamili, and the wrapper features one of the company’s signature owls.

Handmade Parliament chocolate bars are another popular featured item. The solid chocolate bars are also sold at other local shops in Redlands, such as A La Minute on Citrus Avenue, Augie’s Coffee on State Street, Kith on Orange Street, and Gerrards Market on Central Avenue. (SHANNON COCKERILL/ Ethic photo)

Since Redlands is a small community, Parliament teams up with other local businesses for ingredients. The chocolate shop works with nearby farms for oranges to use in their famous Orange Honey Truffle. In addition to supplying A La Minute with chocolate for their ice cream, Parliament works with Augie’s Coffee. The chocolate shop provides Augie’s with chocolate syrup for drinks like the Parliament Mocha; in return, Parliament uses Augie’s coffee grounds for three confections, including the Augie’s Coffee Truffle. Their most popular chocolates are the Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Truffle and Orange Honey Truffle.

The refiners used to sort through the cacao beans can be viewed from the Parliament Chocolate store front window.  (SHANNON COCKERILL/ Ethic photo)

A&E Hangouts: Martha Green shares her tasty treats


Martha Green’s is a business located on Citrus Avenue in Redlands, which provides delicious bakery goods at a cheap price. They also have a seating area next door so you can conveniently stop to get a dessert on your way out.

Martha Green’s hanging sign in front of the store on Citrus Avenue. (BELLA ESPINOZA/ Ethic Photo)

Martha Green’s serves many bakery items from pumpkin cheesecake to giant chocolate chip cookies. There are even an array of allergy-friendly options for those limited in their food options, and the friendly staff is always waiting to happily assist anyone with questions. Those in a hurry can call their shop to pre-order a custom cake and pick it up shortly after. The shop also sells lunch and breakfast items for those who are not a fan of baked goods.

One of the display cases in the bakery of Martha Green’s showing many delicious baked goods. (BELLA ESPINOZA/ Ethic Photo)

The atmosphere is very calm and relaxing due to its earthy and homey feel. You can order breakfast and most lunch meals. The menu has things such as soups and salads that you can also order with many different appetizers.

Martha Green’s is the perfect place for tea lovers, as Thursday-Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. is tea time at Martha Green’s. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance because all the treats during tea time are carefully made from scratch. Tea time is 25 dollars a person and welcomes everyone regardless of age. During tea time, you will be presented with a three tiered display filled with a selection of fruit tarts, cookies, scones, mini sandwiches or salads of your choice.

A view of the many decorations behind the Martha Green’s bakery counter.

Martha Green’s is a perfect place for a relaxing day to spend with friends or family and enjoy delicious food and drinks.

Martha Green’s Bakery Hours

Monday-Friday from 7:00am to 6:00pm

Sunday from 8:00am to 3:00pm

Saturday from 8:00am to 4:00pm

Martha Green’s Restaurant Hours

Monday-Friday from 7:00am to 3:00pm

Saturday and Sunday from 8:00am to 3:00pm

Located: 105 E Citrus Avenue Redlands

Review: Beneath a Scarlet Sky features a beautiful true story


22-year-old heart-throb Tom Holland caught the eyes of many when he came out as Peter Parker in the Marvel universe in Captain America: Civil War. Then, it was Spider-Man: Homecoming, Infinity War and now it is Spider-Man: Far From Home.  But what comes after this? Well, the actor’s next film, excluding the animated Spies in Disguise, is based off an Amazon number one bestseller: “Beneath a Scarlet Sky.”

While you could wait a year or two to see Tom Holland’s face on the big screen, you could also sit down with a beautifully written novel based on a true story before you go see it in theaters.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky is about a forgotten Italian war hero named Pino Lella, whose character will be played by Holland. He starts off as just an average teenager obsessed with girls, food, and music — that is, if your average consisted of living in World War II Italy. After his hometown of Milan gets bombed by the Americans, Pino is sent off to Casa Alpina, where he spends his time helping Jews cross the border, a very dangerous mission he accomplishes group after group.

Once he turns 18, however, his parents force him to enlist in the German army, fearing that he will be conscripted to fight in the Italian army, which has a much higher mortality rate. Upon coming back with an injury, he comes face-to-face with Hitler’s left-hand man, General Leyers. Next thing Pino knows, he is his driver. Awed by this new opportunity, Pino’s uncle tells him to spy for the resistance and the Allies. Now, Pino risks his life to send information to the Allied powers while falling in love during one of the darkest times of history.

No more spoilers: to experience the whole story is to read it oneself. This novel was a brilliant piece written by Mark Sullivan who had the privilege to interview Pino Lella himself. He wraps up Pino’s story by bringing it back to present time, closing up old wounds and granting the misfortuned soldier peace.

On Monday, we celebrated veterans, and we can continue the celebration by reading a story about one. Pino’s story may have been forgotten, but Sullivan brings it back to the surface where we can all appreciate it, him, and other veterans. It was a great honor to be able to read Sullivan’s touching and thrilling novel and Pino’s narrative, but you know… It’ll be just as exciting seeing it on the big screen with Tom Holland’s face on it.

A&E Hangouts: Crepes of Wrath offers both savory and sweet crepes


Crepes of Wrath is a business located in Downtown Redlands that serves delicious, sweet and savory crepes. While wrath means fierce anger, it is vital to know before coming to Crepes of Wrath that the crepes are not angry, instead are quite enjoyable.

Crepes of Wrath offers many combinations of ingredients that are crafted into a crepe. Although savory crepes are $11 each, which might sound pricy for a dessert, they can actually be considered a meal due to the large size and the meats inside it. Types of savory crepes offered here include Alfredo, made with chicken, spinach, parmesan and alfredo, or Thanksgiving, with turkey, gravy, cranberry and stuffing. If you are looking for a dessert rather than a light meal, sweet crepes are the perfect alternative. Costing $9 each, sweet crepes contain fruits, such as strawberries, bananas and apples, as well as fillings like Nutella, honey and peanut butter; however, the price of sweet crepes can be slightly expensive due to the minimal toppings.

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Here is Crepes of Wrath’s menu consisting of both sweet and savory crepes as of Sept. 15, 2018. If you don’t want the crepes already put together, you can always make your own by choosing a batter, filling, and meat or fruit.                                 (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic news)

If you don’t like what is on the menu, you can make your own by choosing your filling, batter, and fruit or meat.  In addition, children 12 years old and younger are able to get a $9 savory crepe and a $7 sweet crepe as a smaller portion.

PHOTOS- Gabe Stanfield- editor (Sep 17- 2018 at 5-29 PM) (1)
Pictured above are three sweet crepes offered at Crepes of Wrath in Redlands. Along with the “Jessica,” consisting of lemon curd, blueberries, raspberries, sweet cream, there is also the “Jill” stuffed with strawberries, honey, and sweet cream, and the “Most Popular,” containing of nutella, strawberries, and bananas. Each sweet crepe costs $9 each and $7 each for children. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News)

Crepes of Wrath, like many other shops in Downtown Redlands, has a small shop, so it tends to get crowded quickly. While there is no seating, there is a counter where you can stand and enjoy your crepe directly outside. If you don’t want to stand or possibly eat in the sun, Orange Street Alley is available to walk to with Instagram worthy murals and umbrellas hanging from wires above for decoration along with seating.

Their customer service is outstanding because the employees are always friendly. The only other negative is that they occasionally blast explicit music without a care for their customers waiting inside, creating an unprofessional atmosphere.

My overall rating for this business is a 4 out of 5 due to their explicit music choice and lack of outdoor seating directly outside.

PHOTOS- Gabe Stanfield- editor (Sep 17- 2018 at 5-29 PM) (2)
The small wooden building is often looked past due to a couple of trash cans in front of the business and the bold “WE BUY GOLD” sign to the right of the orange Crepes of Wrath sign, making the eatery look even smaller than it already is.

Location: 31 East Citrus Avenue, Redlands, CA 92374

A&E Hangouts: Sugarbee is the bee’s knees when looking for a treat


Sugarbee cafe & Bake Shop, located in Downtown Redlands, is known for its wide variety of pastries and custom cakes for birthdays, weddings, and office parties. The most popular pastry is a big, chunky, chocolate fudge brownie, which is topped with powdered sugar. The pastry prices are at an affordable range from $1.99 to $3.25, and the custom cakes prices depend on the size. Along with their large selection of pastries and cakes, they also serve coffee and offer breakfast and lunch as well. Sugarbee cafe even provides dietary options for customers who are gluten-free and vegan. The employees are very friendly and helpful when it comes to choosing what you would like, making this a great place to go with friends when craving something sweet.  This is a wonderful place to stop by in Downtown Redlands because this cafe is a 5 out of 5!

A&E Hangouts: Chaca Tea sets the bar for boba

Chaca Tea Bar is located in the Albertsons shopping center in Redlands. Local Redlands residents can also order their favorite frappes or teas to be delivered using the DoorDash service. (Maggie Snavely/ Ethic photo)


Chaca Tea Bar is a drink bar located on east Redlands Boulevard, which makes it a great after school snack. Chaca serves milk teas, flavored teas, frappes, slushies, smoothies, and even mini cakes to go with them. You can also add multiple different topping to go in your drinks, like honey boba, fresh mango, ice cream, and many other unique toppings. One of the most popular orders is milk tea with honey boba and is a cheap affordable price. Chaca also gives you a stamp card with you first order and they give you a new stamp on your card every time you buy another drink until you stamp card is full, you then can get a free drink next time you come. The atmosphere in the shop is very nice and calming and is a perfect place to listen to music while doing your homework with free Wi-Fi. The staff is very friendly and always greets you with a smile when you open the door, leaving you with a desire to come back again.

Pictured above are milk tea with honey boba and Oreo cookie frappe. Many flavors at Chaca Tea Bar can be served either iced or hot. (Maggie Snavely/ Ethic photo)

A sea salt caramel with boba drink waits to be picked up at the counter. (Dorian Neighbors/ Ethic photo)

A&E Hangouts: Milky buns bring popularity to Afters Ice Cream


Milky buns. These two words are the reason people make the drive through multiple cities simply to fulfill their ice cream craving.

Ever since the first Afters Ice Cream opened in 2014 in Fountain Valley, California, their business has expanded into other Southern California cities like Pasadena, Rancho Cucamonga, and Long Beach.

Afters Ice Cream is notable for their late business hours, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., which is perfect for teens wanting to get a late night dessert, including their famous milky buns, unique ice cream flavors, and wide variety in toppings.

The milky bun, a warm glazed donut with a cold delicious ice cream scoop stuffed inside along with your choice of toppings, is one of Afters’ most popular choices.

Their selection of ice cream is quite unique, consisting of flavors like Milk and Cereal, Cookie Monster, and Jasmine Milk Tea. From various cereals to traditional sprinkles,  Afters also has a ton of toppings to choose from to better flavor your ice cream.

Prices will vary depending on what you plan to get.

Pictured above are Afters’ famous milky buns, costing $6.50 each along with your choice of one topping, at the University Village location in Riverside, California. (Mia Aranda/Ethic Photo)

In addition to its delicious milky buns, ice cream flavors, and toppings, Afters also offers their own merchandise with slogans like “Anti Diet Diet Club.”

Unfortunately, Afters does not have a location in Redlands with the nearest ones being located at University Village in Riverside and at Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga. At the Riverside location, there is plenty of parking and a good number of surrounding restaurants, making for a relaxing day with a meal and dessert afterward.

There is no seating provided inside; however, outside there are a few tables and a fountain to sit on if needed. Pets are allowed outside, but only service animals are allowed inside the buildings.

In addition, their customer service is mediocre as sometimes they rush you when placing your order while other times their service is fantastic; it depends on who serves you.

While Afters offers a limited amount of ice cream flavors, the fact that they have more unique flavors compared to other ice cream businesses makes up for it.

So, if you are looking for plain flavors, such as traditional vanilla, Afters would not be able to help you out. With a price ranging from $4 to $10, Afters is perfect for individual trips or small groups.

If you ever have that late night craving for some savory ice cream or are just in the area, check out Afters. It’s worth the drive.

Although Afters doesn’t have a wide variety of ice cream, their ice cream flavors are considered to be quite unique, such as Vietnamese Coffee and Peanut Butter S’more as pictured, at the University Village in Riverside, California. (Mia Aranda/Ethic Photo)

Afters has many toppings to choose from at the University Village location in Riverside, California. Toppings, costing $0.50 each, range from cereal to the traditional sprinkles. (Mia Aranda/Ethic Photo)

Afters also offers their own merchandise such as t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, and socks at the University Village location in Riverside, California. The socks above have a simple ice cream pattern while other merchandise usually include original slogans like “No Diet Diet Club” or “Fear of Diets.” (Mia Aranda/Ethic Photo)

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 (for lack of seating, mediocre customer service, and limited ice cream flavors)

After’s Ice Cream can be found at these following Nearby Locations:

2738 Alton Pkwy

Irvine, CA 92606

12513 N Main St

Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 (inside Victoria Gardens)

1201 University Ave

Riverside, CA 92507

A&E hangouts: Anaheim Packing House District is food-lovers delight


The Anaheim Packing District is an old warehouse that has been refurbished and now sells an eclectic array of foods from different cultures and rustic materialistic items. There are two levels of this market, and they are both packed full with shops, booths and, of course, people. There is a live band that occasionally entertains the shoppers, and the whole market is decorated with a large array of objects, such as tools to mini light bulbs. Outside, there is an open patio for customers to relax in the warm weather and enjoy their food. Some restaurant choices include sushi, boba, southern, Vietnamese and so much more. The complete cultural inclusion allows the satisfaction of all types of taste buds. The foods are relatively inexpensive, therefore it is worth it to have a taste of a large amount of the selection. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed in the warehouse, since it is so packed, but there is a dog park across the parking lot for pooches to play and have fun. The market is a great place to hang out with friends and experience the variety food has to offer, and it is only three miles away from Disneyland, so a magical day of great food and Disney is waiting just down the freeway.


Location: Anaheim Packing District (aka Anaheim Packing House)

Address: 440 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, CA

Distance from Redlands: 50 miles

Activities: Food and drinks, live band, a few merchants, outdoor and indoor seating

Group size: Individual, pairs, small or large groups

Pet friendly: No, but there’s a small dog park directly next to it

Price range: $5 – $20

Overall rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars