EAT – Explosive Flavors
By Griffin Nelson | Photography by John Antaki
We all remember the days of having Fuse on Broad Street … the days of creative menus and unique cocktails. Some Augustans are even willing to make the short drive to Aiken for the same recognizable quality food and service. Well, thankfully there’s now another option: Fuse Mobile! Though technically a separate business, Fuse Mobile is owned and operated by Tylené and Kevin Matson who worked with Fuse restaurant and owner/head chef Chris Najmola for years, aligning their core values and enthusiasm for good food.
The Matson duo considered owning a restaurant in the past, but it didn’t seem attainable until the possibility of a food truck and the support of Fuse arrived on the scene. With some elbow grease, the capable pair turned Fuse into a mini restaurant on wheels, ready to cook up street-food-style versions of Fuse classics while diving into personal recipe explorations. Crowd-pleasing dishes allow them to be creative while still catering to dietary restrictions. “It’s not your ordinary food truck,” explains Tylené.
Wherever Fuse Mobile lands, you can expect a few recurring items like the classic brisket tacos — complete with pickled red onions, cilantro and fresh shredded cheddar in a corn tortilla.
The beauty of being on wheels and associated with Fuse, means they can frequently rotate menu items to keep regular customers from getting bored. They are constantly offering exciting dishes throughout each season for the freshest and best tasting food.
In the short time that Fuse Mobile has been open, they’ve already had great success with the inclusive and creative menu. Find them at the Highlander in North Augusta every Sunday from 7 p.m. until late, and the rest of the week they rotate around town to popular areas and festivals like Earth Fest in Downtown Augusta on November 12 and the Hungry Hornet Food Truck Festival in Aiken, December 2-3. You can find their weekly schedule and menus on Instagram (@fuse_mobile). You can even request they come to your neighborhood by contacting the Matsons at [email protected] or via their Facebook, Fuse Mobile.
ARTISAN – The Gift of Augusta
There are so many amazing artisans in the Savannah River Region and it’s always special to shop local for gifts throughout the year and during the holidays. The advantage of shopping with Augusta Gift Baskets is that you’re able to support multiple small businesses and save time trying to curate a special gift yourself. As they point out, “How else can you support eight local businesses in one click?” With almost two years of business under their belts, Julie and Randall Williams have built relationships with many makers, bakers, roasters and others to form unique gift combinations for their baskets.
Shippable, deliverable and easy to order online or over the phone, whether you’re purchasing a single present or buying in bulk for client gifts, each basket is lovingly crafted by Julie, the “basketologist.” The business plan also provides a way for the couple to bless each of their customers. With Randall’s background as a pastor and business owner and Julie’s background as a nurse in the hospital/home-health fields, they understand how special a gift can be.
Through connections, a crew of cheerleaders and a team of business guides, Augusta Gift Baskets creates a selection of gifts for just about any event at any price point. Ranging from $50-150, you’ll find baskets for baby showers, chocolate lovers, graduations, new homeowners, tournament week and more. The Flavors of Augusta is by far their bestseller and with good reason. Chock-full of edible treasures like honey from Augusta Honey Company, La Bonbonnière chocolates, Oak Creek Farms peach jam, Watanut shortbread cookies and more, it’s sure to say “From Augusta with love.”
In the shop, you’ll see local businesses like Augusta Candle Company, Buona Caffe, Ubora Coffee Roasters, Stone Roastery, The Frosted Cutter cookies and Trevathan Goat soap. Not only do they support Augusta by using local products in their gift baskets, they also donate all of their tip money to Christ Community Health Services, an organization providing health care for Augusta’s underserved.
With the holidays approaching and unique gifts on the mind, Augusta Gift Baskets is making it easy to bless family, friends and the community at the same time! Visit online at augustagiftbaskets.com for basket selections and to order online for delivery whether it’s for the holidays or just because. After all, “Any day is a good day to say thank you!”
SIP – Coffee with a Kick!
It’s hard to imagine a world where there are too many local coffee shops. But it’s easy to imagine a world with too few, especially if you’ve been living or working off Belair Road. That is until now with the addition of Goat Kick Coffee Company — the team fills a void in the community with loads of enthusiasm! What started as an idea for a small coffee shop quickly morphed into big dreams for coffee, community and connection.
The woman/veteran-owned business is the brainchild of the Bojescul and Jacobs families. By investing time, money and a lot of energy they learned how to best serve the area. Step one involved understanding the process of growing coffee and building relationships with growers, then learning how to roast the beans to perfection.
Natalie Jacobs and Jennifer Bojescul are the pair with boots on the ground, taking those beans and creating the drinks that Columbia County residents have quickly come to know and love.
Starting with a coffee trailer has allowed the team to finalize the menu and get to personally know many of the people who drink their coffee on a regular basis. It has also helped them to increase company awareness while they finish building their shop at Evans Town Center. Eventually, the original roasters, at 104 North Belair Road, will be a take-out coffee spot perfect for early commuters and those on the run.
As for coffee, the “706” blend has quickly become the favorite roast for customers whether they’re purchasing drinks or beans to take home. Goat Kick Coffee Company has blends for everything from drip coffee to espresso drinks and cold brew, and practically any of the menu items can be customized. The current favorite is The Goat — a white mocha and hazelnut flavored drink, topped with whipped cream, caramel and cinnamon that Bojescul describes as “a very warm, happy drink.”
The Muddy Kid (referencing the enthusiastic, caffeinated kid goat in their logo) is an Oreo™ cookie-style blend of vanilla and mocha. The Aloha Mocha will satisfy lovers of chocolate and coconut. For those looking for something different, the team at Goat Kick has curated a great selection of tea, Lotus energy drinks, smoothies and more!
It’s exciting to see the community welcome a local business that provides a much-needed caffeine kick! With big plans in the works — like the ability to order custom-labeled coffee and cupping classes (the method of evaluating quality coffee) for the future — there is no doubt that Goat Kick is here to stay, and the community isn’t sure how they ever survived without them!
Appears in the October 2022 issue of Augusta Magazine.
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