(Originally published in Exposure Magazine December 20, 2017).
Recently while I was in Kansas City, MO for business, my friend suggested we meet at lunch at Trago Bar & Tapas. I took the opportunity to learn a bit about the place, the owner, and its origins. It was such a unique experience, I decided to do a review and share.
Trago is in a busy shopping area, so it’s convenient for those who might be multitasking. The appearance outside is rather unassuming and basic. The inside, however, is very inviting, warm, and welcoming. I was greeted by the owner, founder and Chef Kandi Kerns. The décor, the food and the atmosphere are just like Kandi: warm, friendly, open, and inviting. It’s understandable that the place is packed on the weekends, including the outdoor patio area.
Sherri: This is a very interesting space, Kandi. How did you arrive at the idea of this kind of establishment?
Kandi: It was inspired by my late grandmother. Her name was Anna Maria Rosa Carlota Urrutia Evans. All the recipes are inspired by her recipes in some way. I was going to start with a food truck, but then suddenly I found myself in this almost 2500 square foot building due to some unexpected financial help.
Sherri: What is your mission with Trago Bar &Tapas?
Kandi: When I returned to Kansas City, I was so welcomed into this community. I knew I wanted to create something that promoted community and made people feel welcome and connected. I wanted to incorporate parts of the community into it, also. We made the bar from repurposed materials, and much of it coming from the Habitat for Humanity store. The tile, the construction, everything is a little part of this community. We have local musicians play every Wednesday evening, which is ladies night.
Sherri: Who is your target customer or patron?
Kandi: (Chuckles) Myself! I strive to put together a place where friends and family could gather in an upscale, yet comfortable place with friends and family, and experience custom drinks and fine dining. A place where memories are made. It’s more than just food and drinks, but an experience people never forget!
Sherri: What do you see as your long-range goals having just celebrated your one-year anniversary on Halloween?
Kandi: I would love to see us within 5 years also in a free standing 2 story building, which would allow more events, live music and entertaining!
Kandi then asked what I chose to eat. Because I knew I wanted to sample a few things, I ordered 3 items to sample and share (which is what Tapas means- shareable plates- usually paired with drinks). I ordered Albóndigas en Salsa de Tomate (Spanish meatballs), Tacos Hinchados (Puffy Tacos), and Pan Plano con Brie (flat-bread with brie). It was so delicious. Fresh ingredients, and a very unique presentation to each dish as well. Palette appealing as well as beautiful to look at. We had fabulous service by Jessica, and I learned so much. Too bad I was driving, because the drink menu is stellar! Be sure to stop in at the Trago Bar & Tapas if you are in Kansas City. You can visit them online at TragoKC.com, follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/tragokc or stop in at 9261 NE 83rd Terrace, Kansas City Mo. I absolutely give Trago Bar& Tapas thumbs up, a 10, a 5 star rating or whatever measure you prefer. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss. Order the Puffy Tacos!
(Originally posted in Exposure Magazine on December 4, 2017).
Women….there is a Goddess within all of us. Audrey Davis-Dunning, CEO & Founder of Get Your Goddess, believes this with her whole heart. She has made it her mission to help women reclaim their power by connecting with their Inner Goddess. Although all women have one, somewhere along the line, many tend to lose touch with that Goddess and their confidence along with it. During Audrey’s 24 years of teaching women of all ages, she has found an unfortunate negative common denominator. The recurring theme is, “I’m not good enough.” Women say self-deprecating things to themselves while others are body shaming themselves on a daily basis. After years of experience, Audrey decided to make a change on how women view themselves. The Get Your Goddess Principles were born out of a desire to improve future generations of women by allowing them to reclaim their personal power. Audrey also wanted women to learn how to accept themselves exactly as they are, perceived flaws and all. Learning to love yourself, love your body and accepting that you are a Goddess is the foundation of Audrey’s teachings and Goddess mission.
Audrey has developed a program that embody five specific principles designed to acknowledge and celebrate the Goddess within you. Those five principles are Power, Beauty, Movement, Music & Achievement. Each principle is full of self-discovery and self-love activities and messaging. She revels in presenting this program because it allows women to step into their power. Audrey often shares this message at conferences, via social media and shares additional practices in her private Goddess trainings such as her most popular package called Unapologetically Goddess. She is also creating a Junior Goddess program for young girls. Make no mistake about this, Audrey’s purpose is very clear. She has created Get Your Goddess to inspire women of any age or race everywhere to embrace their Inner Goddess and move powerfully in the world like the Goddesses they are!
Please Get Your Goddess in gear at www.getyourgoddess.com to find more information and follow all the latest happenings.
(Originally published in the December 2, 2017 Edition of Exposure Magazine).
What a joy this beautiful lady brings when she shares her gifts with people. Chenoa Alamu is a talented, kind women that resides in Springfield, IL, and inspires others when she plays her violin. In October 2017, she was invited to participate in the Colour of Music Festival held every year in Charleston, SC. It is a music festival for black classical musicians founded by Lee Pringle. The festival just celebrated their 5th anniversary. She believes she was invited through word of mouth, but isn’t sure. She received an email over the summer asking her to be join them, and was elated her scheduled permitted her to participate.
Sherri: Can you share with us about how you became interested in the violin?
Chenoa: As the story goes, my mother took me to my first classical music concert when I was two years old. The Suzuki Violin Method, founded by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, was coming to tour the United States with Japanese children. She told me I showed an interest in the violin during that concert and wanted to enroll me at that age, but was told I was too young. She waited, and at age three, I started violin lessons. As they say, the rest is history!
Sherri: How does the violin relate to your life in terms of happiness and health? When you play or listen to music, does it affect you physically?
Chenoa: I experience immense joy when I play the violin, especially in an orchestral setting. Within the past few months, I’ve been listening to music set to frequencies that have helped me tremendously with my anxiety levels. I would say music has affected me more emotionally and mentally than physically. However, I do have some of my favorite songs chosen for my gym workouts that help keep me in the groove.
Sherri: How do you feel that being an African American woman has impacted your journey?
Chenoa: Growing up, I was told by white male teachers that I had two things going for me as a violinist: One, I am African American, and two, I am a female, I carried this as a sense of pride. However sometimes, I felt torn between two worlds, White and Black. My black friends didn’t understand what I did, although they supported me, and I didn’t quite feel accepted by my white peers, whom I grew up taking violin lessons with. This created a feeling of being off balance constantly. This may sound strange, but it wasn’t until I participated in the Colour of Music Festival that I TRULY felt I belonged, and had something to contribute. I was treated as an equal, not only among my peers but among people who LOOKED liked me and shared the same passion as I did as a classical musician. It was a very powerful experience for me. It boosted my self-esteem as a violinist, as a woman, and as an African American. Having a sense of identity is very important, especially for people of color! Although these two factors haven’t hindered me from experiencing and enjoying this wonderful field, they did have an impact.
Sherri: What is your greatest wish for inspiring the world with your gift of music?
Chenoa: I am blessed to be in a field that has afforded me many opportunities to travel, both in this country and abroad. I’ve met people literally from all over the world, who speak different languages, have different religions, sexual orientations, and no matter what, it’s MUSIC- we are all moved in some way through music. Beethoven’s 5th symphony is the same no matter who you are, where you come from, what teacher you studied with, or the music school you attended. It truly is the world’s UNIVERSAL language. I pray more people realize this, and continue to use music as a tool to bring us closer together!
These are my older blog posts, which originally appeared in my Exposure Magazine Column, "Healthy Living."