Awards, humanitarian, and scholar are just a few words that people associate with Tamara Bates. Growing up in Memphis, Tamara moved to Arkansas’ Capital to attend Philander Smith in 2011 where she pursued a Bachelors of Science in Biology. During this time she obtained many awards including the White House Competitiveness Scholar during President Barack Obama’s Administration. Building off of that, she also was named Student Humanitarian of the Year. Did we mention she did all of this and still obtained the President’s 4.0 scholar honor?
Falling in love with Little Rock, she chose to stay here and help progress Little Rock as a city. She is currently an Enrollment Services Specialist at Philander Smith. "After working for Hillary Clinton in 2016 I decided to go back and share my expertise and talents. Philander Smith College shaped me into the woman that I am today and with open arms I was welcomed in to bring my innovative and forward thinking to help us advance the mission of Philander Smith College."
Tamara was named Humanitarian of the Year in 2016 and named HBCU Top 30 Under 30 Young Professionals to Know.
"I believe every single day I add energy and value to the people and spaces that I encounter. My goal is to leave each encounter with someone better than I found them ."
In today’s times, you can’t be a thriving young professional without being involved in some nonprofits and Tamara isn’t new to this. She works with RESULTS Educational Fund to bring political action to help end poverty, Big Brothers Big Sisters, American Red Cross, and the Ronald McDonald House.
She is also involved in many other organizations around the area, including Urban League, Saint Mark Baptist Church, and even takes the time to sit with residents at assistant living campuses.
By: Ross Grant
Those who know what the Ketogenic Diet (keto for short) is and what it consists of, know that if you stick to the rules, you can get serious results. Along with those serious results, come some pretty strict guidelines for what you can and cannot eat. During the week, it’s no problem to prepare meals to get the macronutrient results that you want. The weekend on the other hand can be a total nightmare. Your group message starts blowing up about an hour before work is over with suggestions for dinner and drinks that night. At this point, there are two options: run home as soon as you get off work and eat the same chicken you’ve been eating all week (probably not), or go meet your friends for dinner and drinks. So, we put together this quick guide for a few of our favorite spots around town with keto friendly options for those nights when you just can’t resist the temptation.
Cheers in the Heights - Southwest Chicken Salad
Calories: ~510 Carbs: ~9
Our first stop on the list is a local staple and neighborhood favorite: Cheers in the Heights. Right off Kavanaugh Boulevard in the heart of the Heights, this locally owned gem has one of the best salads in town. While most restaurants offer a salad option on their menu, not many can compete with the southwest chicken salad. This romaine salad has bacon, tomatoes, mozzarella and is topped with a hearty serving of seasoned grilled chicken, a large dollop of sour cream and a scoop of their yummy guac. Pair it with the creamy bell pepper dressing and you have a keto salad that is sure to leave you satisfied.
Cregeen's Irish Pub - Duck Wings
Calories: ~427 Carbs: ~2
When first starting keto, you try to keep some of your favorite foods in your diet however you can, but thankfully wings don’t have to go out the window! Creegans Irish Pub in North Little Rock puts an Arkansas twist on the classic chicken wing and goes for duck. On a recent “Wing Wednesday” tour around Little Rock we came to the conclusion that Creegans falls in the top three for wings in the 501. Its only $10 for a 12 count of bone-in duck wings, and they come in all of the flavors that the chicken wings do, with our favorite being the sweet Thai chili. That price will leave you smiling, happy and still in ketosis on your way out the door.
Brewski's Pub & Grub - Hamburger Steak w/ Salad & Broccoli
Calories: ~520 Carbs: ~7
While somewhat new to Little Rock, Brewski's has quickly become a staple for weekend game days. With tons of TV’s, games to play and a fun atmosphere, it’s nice to know that even a local bar has good options for those sticking to their new year’s resolutions. Their menu offers a few good options, but our favorite by far is the hamburger steak. Smothered in grilled onions and seasoned to perfection, we like to pair it with the Caesar salad and broccoli on the side.
American Pie Pizza - Chicken Bacon Ranch 10" Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Calories: ~400 Carbs: ~7
"I can’t do keto because I can’t give up pizza." - Literally everyone who thought about doing keto. Well friends we are here to tell you that you don’t have to give up pizza, but only change the crust that’s on the bottom of your pizza. Cauliflower crust pizza usually has around 14 carbs in the entire pie, so we recommend sticking to only half (maybe ¾ if you’re really hungry) of the pizza in one sitting. The 10” cauliflower crust pizza at American Pie can be made with any of their signature pies, or even made custom with your favorite toppings, but we recommend the Chicken, Bacon Ranch (what’s not to love?).
Soul Fish Cafe - Blackened Tilapia w/ Zucchini
Calories: ~375 Carbs: ~4
While Soul Fish may be known for their southern style fried catfish, this downtown café also offers several keto friendly dishes. One of our favorites is the blackened tilapia. Fish is a great source for proteins and healthy fats, and Soul Fish clearly knows what they are doing in this realm. You can choose what level of blackened you want and it comes with a side. We always get the sautéed zucchini which is seasoned to perfection. Steer clear of the hush puppies and fries (even though they are delicious) and you’re sure to be satisfied with your keto choice.
Our young professional of the month has a career path that not many can say they have done, but one that all can respect. Thirteen years ago our young professional of the month was working as an administrative assistant while earning her degree. After many years of hard work, you can now find Nicole Winters in the office of Legal Counsel II in the Corporate Legal Department of Windstream.
Growing up in Flint, Michigan, she always knew she liked law. Actually, since 3rd grade she knew she wanted to be a lawyer. Eventually her path led her to the University of South Carolina Upstate where she pursued a degree in political science and graduated Cum Laude. On top of that, she received the Top Political Science Student Award. After that, her education led her to a school that we are all familiar with - the Bowen School of Law. Here she also graduated Cum Laude and logged over 300 hours of community service.
Like any good young professional, Nicole is also involved in numerous nonprofits. Susan G. Komen - Arkansas has Nicole as an active member on the Race for The Cure Committee and current Board Member. Make-A-Wish Mid-South has her as a Wish Granter, the outgoing President of the YP Board, and a former Regional Board Member. She is also well involved in Women & Children First and the Arkansas Food Bank.
"My philosophy on volunteering is providing service to others is the least I can do to pay back all the good things in my life. Why have time and gifts if you can't share it with others? So basically, sign me up to help with just about any non-profit at least once." - Nicole Winters
By: Jackson Alexander
Most Arkansans, much like all good Southerners, can agree on a few things... We love SEC football, drink our tea sweet, and have a refined pallet for fried chicken. Sure, Little Rock is packed with the chain chicken joints, such as Chick Fil A and Slim Chickens, but if you’re looking for something with a bit more local flare, I challenge you to check out Stickyz Rock and Roll Chicken Shack in the Little Rock River Market.
Friends, don’t get me wrong, I love all fried chicken. I don’t discriminate. I’ve never had any issue going all in on any of the typical chicken places, but there’s something special about Stickyz unique chicken and the fun environment while there. In fact, their website says, “We’re a true Little Rock original located in the heart of downtown’s River Market District. We’re known for showcasing the best national and international touring bands, for our unique and funky vibe, and for our award winning chicken fingers!” Who doesn’t love that?
As a fairly regular Stickyz patron, I took the opportunity to chat with a few folks during a recent trip to the scrumptious shack, and I was able to ask one of the servers, Shelby, why she loved Stickyz. “Our environment is just a really fun place to be. Our food is great and inexpensive, and most of all, we have the cool shows and events for people to come see,” said Shelby. “It’s a great place to come. It’s a great place to bring your family during the day, but our drinks and the shows are an event better place for adults to check out in the evenings, too.”
As I sank my teeth into an original strip dipped in their Creamy Dill sauce, I admired the funky vibe and good energy. From the eclectic décor on the walls, to the random hand-shaped chair, to the comfy lounge areas, I reminisced on the times my friends and I had shared laughs, chicken, and a few drinks in one of our favorite areas of Little Rock. I took the moment to ask a passerby why Stickyz was the place she and her friends has chosen to come on a Friday night. Emily, an apparent Stickyz regular, said, “The margarita seasoning you can ask for on the chicken is to die for, and I’d take Stickyz over any other chicken place any day.” Her friend, with a blackberry mint julep in hand, stopped by and added that people come to Stickyz for the food but also for the fun environment and the awesome people watching at the corner of River Market Avenue and Clinton Avenue.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out Stickyz for yourself, I say grab a couple friends and head down to the River Market with an empty stomach and time to kill. Order a basket of chicken and a drink or two. Share a few laughs. Most importantly, support a local business that works hard to serve up delicious food and a great time.
To see the Stickyz menu and check out a listing of their upcoming shows, check out their website at https://www.stickyz.com/.
Most people might not know this, but there’s a local fine jewelry shop located right in the heart of Hillcrest. What’s the name of this fine establishment? You guessed it. The name is Hillcrest Designer Jewelry and it’s located at 3000 Kavanaugh Blvd – Suite E. If you haven’t shopped here yet for that special gift, don’t worry. There’s an open house on the 15th (December 15th). More about the open house later, though.
They provide quality jewelry repair, engagement rings, anniversary bands, etc. Not in the market for something like that? That’s fine, too. Eric Coleman, owner, also has it set up to where you can create a custom, one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry with their in-house design studio. This process uses everything from unique gemstones, to diamonds, to custom metals. You can checkout their site, here and their inventory page, here.
Check out the introductory video below
Eric is a jeweler and gemologist with more than thirty years of experience within this area. He grew up in Eldorado and then moved to Texas in 1981 to obtain degrees in jewelry technology and gemology. Always wanting to be a business owner, he moved back to Little Rock and provided the hillcrest area with professional jewelry repair, custom jewelry, and designer jewelry. Elizabeth Puckett, from Star City, AR, is a Graduate Gemologist and Accredited Jewelry Professional. She helps provide one-on-one customer service, tailor to your needs as an individual, and treat you like family. I mean, who wouldn’t want service like that?
“If you can dream it, we can build it.” – Elizabeth Puckett
One of the things that separates HDJ from the competition is by far the passion behind what they do and the services they offer. Also, like any good local business, the shop also helps with advocacy. Some of these include Access, GiGi’s Playhouse, The Arkansas Autism Foundation, and the Arkansas Developmental Council. When asked to sum up the company in three words, the three words were obvious… professionalism, family, and uniqueness.
Okay so back to the open house. This is scheduled to happen at their store on December 15th (you seriously don’t want to miss this). What a better time to buy beautiful Christmas gifts at discount prices? Did we mention that there will also be a $500 gift certificate give away? Mark it on your calendars.
"One of our specialties is creating something brand new out heirloom jewelry that is outdated or not “your style.” If you bring that jewelry in we can take the diamonds, gemstones, and gold and create something “new and you” out of it!" - Eric Coleman, Owner
What do you think of when you hear the word Y’all? For someone in the south, one might think that it’s a slang, southern word, however in the Metro Little Rock area we know it as a brand, a brand by Hillcrest Waterbugs.
Founded by Jennifer Cox in 2010, Hillcrest Waterbugs specializes in shirts, hats, bags and more. They pride themselves on being a local, eco-friendly, zero-waste retail shop; not to mention they are the first (and only) Zero Waste marketplace in Arkansas. Recently, Cox stated she started the company as a creative, fun outlet, but it’s become obvious to the people of Little Rock that the company has become an important outlet with an important message.
Don’t worry, we’ve made it easy for you. You can check out their inventory here.
Hillcrest Waterbugs have a special place in the hearts of locals because of their positive messaging. “All of our messaging is positive. Never negative!” said Jennifer when asked what made the company special. The company also strives to help non-profits by donating a portion of their profits to causes including those that work with hunger, homelessness, and the environment. The Little Rock Food Bank, The Van, and the Little Rock Zoo are just a few that they support.
“We aren’t better than anyone else. I think there is room for all of us. We offer positive messaging while saving the earth – what could be better than encouraging kindness, acceptance, and caring for each other and our environment?” – Jennifer Cox, Owner
The company is female owned and female driven. The brand is dedicated to creating the highest level of sustainable and fashionable products that embrace positivity and create a communication channel to help talk about saving the earth. They recently just launched the “Little Rock Shopping Bag” that’s sure to be a big hit. What’s a company without good values, right? Hillcrest Waterbugs falls into the category as well. They advocate regularly for human rights, LGBTQ rights, equality, kindness, and saving the Earth.
You can get the Little Rock Shopping Bags here.
If you haven't checked out Hillcrest Waterbugs, you should. Their positive energy and branding is loved all around Arkansas. You can find out more at www.hillcrestwaterbugs.com or by following their Facebook page here.
Phillip Butterfield III, where some of you might know his name for playing quarterback for Arkansas State University or being a Financial Consultant for Stephens Inc., is no stranger to the 501 metro. You recently may have seen Phillip in Arkansas Business's 20 in their 20s with a lengthy accomplishment list.
After graduating with his MBA at Arkansas State, the 28 year old is currently a financial consultant for Stephens Inc. in Little Rock, where he recently was certified as a CFP, or a Certified Financial Planner for us non-financial folks. He's currently been there for 4.5 years, not looking to slow down anytime soon. When asked what his favorite part of his job is, he stated "Building relationships and trust with clients and future clients. Trust is the most important attribute in any setting, professional or social. At Stephens, relationships are built on trust through judgment and integrity. That is what I strive for with my clients and life."
Phillip has received several awards and recognitions. He was named Arkansas State College of Business's Emerging Alumni of the Year back in 2016.
Not being a stranger to the nonprofit world, he is also active with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas as well as the Hat Club, where he works with a group of people to help make lives better for everyone around the metro. Other organizations that Phillip is a part of are Central Arkansas Estate Council and Think Big Little Rock, where he leads the economic development task force.
We wanted to get to know Phillip a little better, so we asked him a few questions about himself.
By: Kody Robinson
October's full of cold weather, spooky houses, and kids going trick-or-treating. In these conditions we can't think of anywhere else we would want to be besides Abbi's porch with a nice cup of Ceylon or Cherry Fig bundled up in our favorite jacket while we wait for the day to begin. This amazing tea shop is located at 2622 Kavanaugh Blvd. in Little Rock.
Abbi has always loved tea. For the past 10 years of her successful advertising and marketing career, she has had a tea shelf where she stored her precious pots, cups, and loose leaf teas ready for any afternoon break during the day. In 2017, after taking some time to herself, she finally decided on doing something she had always dreamed of. Yes, you guessed it. She decided to be a business owner and open up her beautiful tea shop in Hillcrest.
"At the end of my sabbatical, my mom challenged me to think about what I really wanted to do. She knew I had been working on a business plan for years, but always as a whimsical dream. She knew what the answer was already, and with some major nudging and big pep talks about taking risks, I did it!"
You can read more about Abbi's amazing mother and sweet sister, which both work at the shop, here.
Like I stated before, my idea of a perfect morning is having a cup of Ceylon or Cherry Fig. Abbi offers more than just those, like black, green, and white teas all the way to lattes. Take a look at her outstanding menu pictured above.
You can check out Abbi's tea shop and learn more about her and her business here.
By: Kody Robinson
Pictured Left/Right: Jason Do, Tyler Strickland, Isaiah Baker, Grayson Fields
When trying to figure out what should be in Be501, we didn't just want to ask those who are in their 20's and currently live here in the Little Rock Metro Region. One of the main drivers for the #Be501 campaign is to make sure future young professionals want to relocate to the area, and what better way than to get them involved from the ground up, right?
Kody Robinson met with Regina Howard, IT Solutions teacher, back in early 2018. They spoke about the upcoming year and what the EXCEL program can offer to Be501 and vice-versa. Before the launch of Be501, Kody met the students that would help change the way the Little Rock Metro got involved within their community.
A main problem that needed to be solved before the official launch of Be501 was the ability to automate the events calendar. We didn't want just any event on the internet to sync to our platform, but we didn't want a manual, copy/paste method, either. The EXCEL students found a way to sync custom events from Facebook, Eventbrite, etc. with a one step process. This was crucial to our success, and future success, with Be501. Thanks to the help of these four, incredibly smart and resourceful students, Be501 can now thrive as the place to go for all your event needs.
After the success of this partnership, Be501 will continue working with the LRSD's EXCEL program to help advance the platform. We are looking forward to seeing what these students bring to the table. Stay tuned!
You can learn more about the LRSD's EXCEL program by clicking the link above.