by Jennifer Yarbrough
Hop on your bike, meet up with the neighborhood kids at the end of your street and head on down to the corner store. Pedal as fast as you can to be the first one there so you have first dibs on the fireballs in the big jar, or first crack at the Orange Soda in the cooler. Ah, memories of summers gone by. Thanks to The Poppin Box in Bartram Walk, you can re-live those summer memories and make some new ones with your kids or friends! The Poppin Box is part candy store, part popcorn emporium, part giftbasket headquarters and all fun. Owners Jim and Christine Espinosa have worked hard to ensure that the store is stocked full of delicious, high quality candies, all showcased in old-fashioned glass jars. They have also created over 70 flavors of popcorn, both savory and sweet that are made fresh in-store. Their friendly staff will let you sample popcorn before you buy—take advantage of this and taste outside your comfort zone, you might surprise yourself! They have the basics—butter, cheese, caramel, but they also offer Key Lime Pie, Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt, or Fruity Loops, guaranteed to pique your taste buds! Wanna try a flavor combo not on the menu—they’ll take your request! In fact, one of their most popular flavors—beer cheese, was a customer request that’s now on the menu!
In addition to candy and popcorn, they offer bottled sodas, Claude’s popsicles, gourmet teas and more. Any of the items they sell can be assembled into custom gift baskets or promotional packages for your local business. They also host children’s Birthday Parties, what a unique experience!
The future looks sweet at the Poppin Box, as they will soon be adding fudge to the menu. They are also excited about their new “Food Trailer,” that will bring the popcorn to you at community and private events around the area.
What are you waiting for? Pop in today and take a sweet trip down memory lane.
The Poppin Box
116 Bartram Oaks Walk #102, St. Johns, FL 32259
Connect on Facebook @Thepoppinbox1
by Jennifer Yarbrough
Raising awareness and funds to support appendix cancer research and ultimately finding a cure.
Kate was a wife. She was a pilot. She was a friend. She was a daughter. In the midst of a recurrence of a rare form of cancer, she said that “finding a cure for cancer is like finding one special grain of sand on the beach…the more help the better our chances.” In the midst of her battle, she called on others to help fight for cancer awareness and for a cure. Her husband, Greg Waidmann, carries that message on today as he, and other “Souls of the Beach,” continue to promote awareness and research through their non-profit.
Kate Schwikert Waidmann attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, played collegiate soccer, and pursued a career in aviation. Being a pilot was more than a profession to her, it was her passion.
In 2012, in her early 30s, Kate was diagnosed with appendix cancer that then spread to her abdomen, her colon, and right kidney. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy and then entered remission. Sadly, the cancer returned in 2014 and she passed away that year. Throughout it all, Kate maintained her positive attitude, her tenacity, and her love for family and others. While in the hospital she, along with her husband Greg, arranged to have stuffed animals delivered to children at a local hospital. They also decided to start a charity to help bring awareness to appendix cancer.
Souls of the Beach
When discussing the name of the charity, Kate insisted it have something to do with the beach because she and Greg were “beach people.” They lived close to the beach and spent many days playing beach volleyball and jogging, and many evenings strolling along the shore. She flew with her husband Greg to many destinations, but her favorites were always beaches. She especially loved Scotland Cay, Abaco, Bahamas.
Souls of the Beach raises funds through the online sale of positive, motivational t-shirts and decals at soulsofthebeach.com. They also participate in the “Color Me Kate” 5K started at Embry Riddle to support Kate and Souls of the Beach. Funds raised by the Non-Profit go to a Scholarship at Embry Riddle in her honor and to Dr. Paul Sugarbaker’s Foundation for Applied Research in Gastrointestinal Oncology (FARGO).Dr. Sugarbaker is a pioneer of heated chemotherapy used in the treatment of different gastrointestinal cancers, he was also Kate’s doctor.
Souls of the Beach is looking forward to holding a 5K fundraiser in the St. Johns area in the near future. Please visit their Facebook page, “Souls of the Beach,” to stay updated and get involved in raising awareness for and finding a cure for appendix and gastrointestinal cancers.
Greg would love to talk to anyone interested in joining the cause. He invites the public to stop by his shop, Fully Promoted (540 SR 13 N, Ste 105, Fruit Cove, FL 32259) to pick up a free window cling to raise awareness and visibility for the cause.
Photos by Mindy Kerr of Nature's Child Photography
What makes a community great? It's all about the people who live and work there and the sense of connection they feel with one another. Sometimes it is reflected in how they come together in the face of adversity.
There is a small business here in St. Johns that is one of a kind; Rivertown Fine Wine & Spirits on CR 210 near Publix. What makes it special is the owners, Frank & Bonnie Dvoravic. The couple has been here since 2006, with 2017 marking their eleventh anniversary. Over the years, they have seen a lot of changes with new people and neighborhoods, and new businesses coming and going. Their consistent presence, friendly personalities, and all-around kindness have made them both well-known and loved in our community. Here is a place where hello and how may I help you really mean something.
Inside Rivertown is an extensive selection of fine wines and liquor, with highly rated brands and favorites specifically chosen by Bonnie and Frank. A beautiful glass case along the left wall houses fine cigars, Bonnie’s specialty, from all over the world. Near the back of the store is Frank’s collection of Bourbons, over 100 varieties, which he has specially selected for his customers. Frank has been in the liquor business for over twenty years and during that time he has developed a passion for good bourbon. They also have a large selection of Tervis Tumblers covering an entire section of the store.
Each year in honor of the store’s anniversary that coincides with Bonnie’s successful battle against pancreatic cancer, they hold a silent auction to benefit PANCAN, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Community members are familiar with the big green bottle on the counter where customers may donate to this excellent cause. In 2016 they raised over $16,000! So far in 2017, they have already raised $7,200!
Which brings us back to the topic of COMMUNITY. A few months ago, Rivertown was broken into. Both the community and Frank & Bonnie were taken off-guard. Property was damaged and money was stolen from that very special green bottle on their counter where they keep donations to PANCAN.
What happened next was an amazing example of how St. Johns as a community came together in force to show their support for this beloved local business. Like the little girl who told her Dad she wanted to donate her allowance to Rivertown. Or, the regular customer who came in and asked Frank how much he lost. Frank told him it was about $400. Not long afterward the man came back with $400 - he had gone to the bank to get it. A local woman heard about what happened and started a go fund me account which raised over $1200. The response from the community was overwhelming and although Frank and Bonnie never expected it they were grateful beyond words.
There is a photo taped near the entrance to Rivertown that shows Frank and Bonnie’s beautiful Riverfront home not long after Hurricane Matthew had blown through and left its destruction last fall – there is a rainbow shining over the dock and it is about the most beautiful sight you’ve ever seen. Bonnie took the photo, she said, to remind her of how lucky they are and how things always have a way of working out. Frank and Bonnie devote themselves every day to giving back whether it is through PANCAN or just a friendly smile to someone who stops by the store. In return, they have helped create the kind of community that cares. Thank you, Bonnie and Frank for all you do to make St. Johns great!
Frank's twenty-plus years in the liquor business come into play when selecting premium bourbons & whiskeys for the store.
Bonnie's Speciality Knowledge in Premium Cigars helps customers choose the perfect one for their needs
Tips from WJXT-4 Anchors
Dr. Deckard is involved in every aspect of running her her practice on a daily basis and that level of care is what comes through. Pets R Family is special because everything they do comes from the heart. “We practice high quality medicine and spend lots of time getting to know our clients and patients. Attention to detail is extremely important. And our focus on treating the Owners, as well as the furry patients is a key point of difference for us. We believe that each patient is uniquely different, and deserves our complete focus to assure the highest quality medical and personal care experience.”
One of the best parts about Pets R Family is the special animals who are at the clinic daily. The PRF animals include Barnaby, the lovable orange tabby, Charlotte, the black and white diva, and Sunny the fun loving golden retriever. Sunny was adopted from G.R.E.A.T. Rescue in town shortly after PRF opened. She is part of their Pups N Play, Vets N Training program and she goes with them to schools and other events. Its seems like Dr. Deckard has room in her heart for any animal who needs her, like the beautiful Siamese kitty she recently adopted from its owner.
Dr. Deckard, her husband Brad and their two children Abigail (12) and Gavin (10) live right across the street from the clinic in Cimarrone. Abby shares her Mom's love of animals and dreams of becoming a Vet, and both children come in after school to help, in the process learning hands-on about Veterinary medicine, community, and kindness from Mom (What lucky kids!).
St. Johns Magazine
100 Years: One Day At A Time
Bartram Trail High School
Best Buddies St. Johns
Dr. Kathleen Deckard
Furniture & Fine Art
Life On The River Is Good
Local Businesses St. Johns
Motherhood: A Balancing Act
Networking St. Johns
Special Needs St. Johns
St. Augustine Art
St. Johns Education
St. Johns Real Estate Team Menton & Ballou
The Cookie Swap
Yofrodipity's New Menu!
St. Johns Magazine is a fun and friendly resource guide connecting the growing communities of northern St. Johns. We focus on the positive aspects of life with entertaining features and articles promoting local businesses, people, places and events!
St. Johns Magazine is published monthly and distributed free of charge to select homes in northern St. Johns, Florida
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