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December Employee Spotlight: VANESSA PEDRONI

Meet Vanessa, our Key Employee from PURE taqueria Woodstock!

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Vanessa is so sweet and nurturing to everybody. She carries herself with grace, we just think so highly of her.

-Woodstock Teammates

11 Questions with Vanessa

 

How did you find PURE taqueria?

I live in the area and would come eat here with my family. I started working here in March 2016. It's in the center of the town with a lot happening around here.

What's your favorite item on the menu?

Veggie tacos, Hangar Steak & Key Lime Pie!

What's your favorite drink on the menu?

Skinny Pomegranate!

What is your proudest moment at PURE?

My proudest moment was when I was asked to be Key Manager. I felt that my hard work was really recognized and that felt great! 

I also was put in charge of organizing the walk-in cooler and Steve, our owner, said it was the best he has ever seen.

Do you have any special talents?

I speak FOUR languages, Italian, English, Portuguese & Spanish. 

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I really like to snowboard and once a year my family takes a snowboarding trip to Italy together.

What is your happiest when?

I have two! First is when I graduated from Kennesaw State in 2015 with a Psychology degree and secondly, when all my applications were turned in for grad school.

I want to study Industrial Psychology. Hopefully at NYU!

If money wasn't a factor and you could choose to spend a day anyway you would like, what would you do?

I would buy an island in the Caribbean, live as a hippie & make jewelry. 

What is a goal you are currently working towards?

My main goal I am working on is getting into grad school. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Thailand! I have never been to Asia and I want to experience the culture. 

Do you have any favorite quotes?

"We see the world as we are, not as it is."

 

 

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Thank you for reading more about our awesome Key Employee from PURE Woodstock, make sure you say hi next time you're there. We enjoyed learning more about Vanessa and hope you did too, stay tuned to see where we travel next month!

 
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Five Secrets to The Best Holiday Season Ever
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It's the most wonderful time of the year! By now, you've probably done all your holiday shopping and are perfectly relaxed by the fire, right? Well.. maybe not. But that doesn't mean this year can't be relaxing, exciting, and fun. We're here to help.

Here's five ways to make this the best holiday season ever:

1. Make sure your home is decorated to bring you JOY! 

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Decorating for Christmas doesn't have to be daunting.  One of our owners, Michele Sedgwick, has some tips to getting the simple, rustic, Christmas look you've always wanted. In addition to planning PURE's holiday decor, Michele decorates next door at Alpharetta's event facility, Next to PURE.  

In order to get the simple rustic look, Michele recommends a natural and organic base pallet. Although she chooses to decorate a bit differently depending on a restaurant or space's personality, most of her designs are a base of neutral decorations with some pops of color. Most people won't have rustic beams in their homes, and that is okay. In order to get a natural, organic wood look, supplement with drift wood decorations like wooden trees, ornaments, and wreaths. Pair these things with simple greenery. 

Speaking of Greenery, what kind of greenery do you primarly use and recommend for a rustic look? 

I primarly use hand-cut magnolia branches, cedar garland, and juniper. If you can, cut your own magnolia if you have it in your yard- it will save you some money!  A live tree can add a very unique look to a home as well. It would be a great addition to a smaller home or apartment.

Where do you purchase your Greenery?

I get most of my greenery at Reeves, though I will hand-cut some things if they are in my yard. Depending on your area, you will likely be able to find a live tree several places, however, I recommend Pike Nurseries. 

Because Michele is also an owner of Theo's Brother Bakery, the artisan spot has a multitude of seasonal decorations. Many of the pieces Michele uses from Roost and other stores can be purchased there. While you are headed that way for your seasonal goodies, pick up some cute ornaments for your tree!

2. Get in the Spirit with a Good Holiday Playlist. 

Make your own mix on Spotify with all your favorite classics.  Listen to it everywhere- On the way to work, while decorating your house,  while cooking dinner. Don't have the time to make a playlist? We've got you covered.  Listen to our PURE Christmas Playlist or get some inspiration from some of our other favorite playlists below: 

Classics: Classic Christmas Favorites 
Indie/Alternative: A Merry Alternative Christmas
Relax: Cafe Christmas @ Foodstory

3. Try Something New this Year. 

Whether its volunteering your time helping others, going on a ski trip with your loved ones, getting out of town for the holidays, or simply cooking something different for Christmas dinner, get out and try something new this year. You never know which new thing you try might become a beloved tradition each and every year. 

Sick of the traditional Christmas dinner ham? Make some Tamales this year!  The tradition of making tamales runs deep in Mexico. In a New York Times article,  Gustavo Arellano explains the tradition and  process of making tamales as  the way "culture is communicated across generations, encompassing the value of family, nourishment, and collectiveness. "  FERNANDA SANTOS,  Wrapped in Tradition . 

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Check out an authentic homemade tamales  recipe by "How to Feed A Loon" here.

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4. Stuff your Stockings with Care.

What are your favorite things to pull out of your stocking Christmas morning? Socks, chocolate, gift cards, makeup, gadgets? What about tequila? Spice up the traditional stocking stuffers with mini tequila bottles like these.  Warm up the family  with a classic Mexican Ponche recipe like this one or with some Mexican Hot Chocolate.  Add a little bit of the tequila from your stocking  for an extra kick. 

5.  Make Time to Celebrate

Every year for nine days leading up to Christmas, Las Posados celebrations take over the streets of Mexico. Each night, friends and family gather together to celebrate the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlahem. Children and adults dressed like shepards and angels, typically with figures of Mary and Joseph travel  from home to home carrying candles and singing songs until reaching "La Posada", translated as "The Inn" or "The Shelter".  After reaching La Posada of the evening,  friends and family sing the traditional Las Posadas song, sung by those on the outside and the inside of the house.  The celebration emphasizes the difficulty for Mary and Joseph in finding shelter each night on the way  to Bethlahem. However, at the end of the song, everyone comes together to celebrate and pray with food, ponche, and a good old  piñata.

This season, take the time to spend time with your family and friends. Don't let the chaos of gift shopping, cooking, and preparing things get in the way of enjoying and celebrating the season with the ones you love. Whatever you do- whether it be holding your own Posada celebration, hosting a holiday open house, volunteering with your family, or hosting a cookie decorating party- make sure you enjoy and savor it. Enjoy the season by taking the time to celebrate. Don't let it pass you by. 

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PEYTON SEDGWICK
Pavo Cup twenty-seventeen

One of the great traditions here at PURE taqueria is our annual Pavo Cup that takes place every Thanksgiving morning. Our team joins us from all over Atlanta, sporting their PURE's jerseys, some having prepared for months ahead, training on the nights and weekends. 

Pavo Cup is fiercely competitive but also brings a sense of camaraderie to the field. Families gather on the sidelines, eating tamales, drinking ponche,  while cheering on Dad.  The sound of a drum beating intensely while the timer ticks to 1 minute, a vuvuzela echoing from one field to the next, kids laughing, dogs barking, players talking a little smack- Its all part of the experience. 

Before heading off to spend the evening with family and friends, PURE team-members gather together to play the great game, eat some good food, share some laughs, and burn off the turkey they will eat later. Since the start of the tournament five years ago, Inman Park has remained the undefeated winner. There have been some close calls but nothing has changed. But hey, we always have next year. A big thanks to Rush Soccer Club for letting us rent their fields on Thanksgiving Day- you guys rock!

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A Classic with a Mexican Twist

The weather is getting colder, and you know what that means..

 

It's hot
chocolate season! 

 

Whether you like it plain, with marshmallows, topped with whipped cream, or warmed up with a little patron xo, this one's for you...

 
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No need to reach for the mix this year, here's a recipe you'll have done
in a pinch (of chocolate, of course)!

 

Here's what you will need:

Serving size: one cup

1 cup Milk, 2% lowfat
Mexican chocolate like Abuelita
1 oz whipped cream
1/4 tsp chopped mexican chocolate (for topping)

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Heat milk in a small sauce pan.

 

 

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Finely chop 2 oz plus a 1/4 tsp of Mexican chocolate.

 

 

 

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Stir 2 oz of the chocolate into warm milk and whisk together until blended.

 

 

 

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Serve in your favorite mug and top with remaining chopped chocolate and whipped cream. Patron XO optional.

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Sip and enjoy :)

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PEYTON SEDGWICK
November Employee Spotlight: Emily Sipes
 

"everyone wants to be scheduled to work with emily!"

-Duluth Team Members

 
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This month, we headed to Duluth to learn a little more about one of its star employees: Emily Sipes . Emily has been working for PURE taqueria in Duluth since February of this year. 

 
"I used to walk by every day and think,' 'man, that would be an awesome place to work,' so I started working here after I left my last job at another Mexican restaurant. "
 
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Emily tells us that she loves PURE because of its great vibe. She knew she wanted to work at PURE the minute she walked by, so one day she decided to just apply! Now, you can find her eating salmon totopos on a regular basis.

Outside of work, she spends her time extreme couponing.
"My spare bedroom in my apartment is almost full," she explains. Emily's new hobby has led to her team-members asking her for help saving money while shopping. She says its addicting and would like to one day be on the Extreme Couponing show!

When she's not couponing or working, she helps her family and friends out with budgeting and financial planning. Keep reading to learn more about Emily! 

 

meet emily

 
 

Q:What is your proudest moment at PURE?

It wasn't anything really big- A woman came in recently during the Duluth Fall Festival and really needed access to wifi. She needed to post something or get information to someone. We couldn't manage to get the wifi to connect but I sat her down and showed her how to use her personal hotspot from her phone to get internet access. I don't think her main intention was to come to PURE as a Guest, however, she had a margarita and was extremely gracious for my help! 
 

Q:What is one of your special talents?

Budgeting and Financial Planning
 

Q:What is something interesting we don't know about you? 

If I had to choose my favorite type of potato, it would be potato chips. 
 

Q:Tell us about one of your happiest moments.

One of my happiest moments was the day my boyfriend, Pierce, and I moved in to our apartment . The day was two years ago and before then we were in a long distance relationship, so it was really special and exciting.
 

Q:If money wasn't a factor, what would you do with your day?

If money wasn't a factor, I would sit by the pool with my sisters and Pierce and drinks margs all day!
 

Q:What is one goal you are working towards? 

We are working towards buying a house. One day I would really love to live by the beach.
 

Q:If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you travel ?

I would go to Paris because I'm curious to see if its everything we see in the movies-
 

Q:What is something unique you bring to PURE Duluth? 

Answered by a team-member- She has a great sense of humor and can make anyone laugh!
 

Q:What is one of your favorite quotes or sayings?
 

"Live everyday like it is your last!"

 

Thanks for being Sure with PURE, Emily! We're so glad you are a part of our team!

"This is the best job I've ever had. I really love it here."

PEYTON SEDGWICK
The Spook on Halloween

If you've been around PURE very much, you're probably pretty familiar with our annual Halloween party. Like always, this year was awesome- thanks to you guys. Our PURE family and friends always do an epic job of dressing up for some costume competition, dancing, and drinking each October. Couldn't make it? We promise there is always next year.

Let's take a look at what you missed. 

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PEYTON SEDGWICK
October Employee Spotlight: Isaac Perez
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"You'll
always
find him smiling"

- Chris Sedgwick

 

 

 
 

Our mission at PURE is to enrich the lives of our employees, owners, and Guests. We aim to accomplish these things collectively and individually. Each month we'll help you get to know some of the great PURE individuals helping us to fulfill our mission. 

This month,we recognize Isaac Perez for his dedication and work ethic at PURE for the last ten years. 

 

 

Why do you love PURE? 
For the lifestyle it brings- I really like my schedule! 
 

What is your favorite dish to make at PURE? 
My favorite thing to make is the seafood stew. It is a special-keep an eye out for it!
 

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy spending time with my family outside of work.
 

How long have you been with PURE? 
I have been working at PURE about 10-11 years. 
 

What is your proudest moment that you can remember at PURE? 
My proudest moments are when people like a dish I make. It makes me happy.
 

What is a special talent you have? 
Really just cooking- I like to play soccer. My favorite position to play is defense. 
 

What is something we may not know about you? 
On occasion, I cook over an open fire. Typically, Carne Asada. 
 

What has been the happiest moment of your life? 
My happiest moment was when my children were born. I have one boy and one girl, ages 8 and 6. 
 

If money wasn't a thing, how would you spend a perfect day? 
I would travel to Europe, especially France.
 

What is a goal you are working towards?
I would like to own my own business one day- probably a restaurant.
 

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you travel to and why?
I would travel to France to experience the culture because I am curious.
 

What do you bring to PURE that is unique? 
My professionalism
 

Do you have a favorite quote, if so what is it?
"Just keep moving forward/improving"
 

What do you like to do in your free time with your family?
Go to the lake and swim. 
 

What color bandana are we most likely to find you in while working? 
Blue
 

 

PEYTON SEDGWICK
What's been going on?

We try to keep busy here at PURE taqueria!
Whether its karaoke at Roswell, yoga at Alpharetta, or just a fun night on the rooftop at Brookhaven, we've got it all! 
Check out what's been going on this past month! 

 

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Last week, Alpharetta hosted its first Frida Yoga night under the string lights between N2P and PURE. Our own Allison Acker, the Administrative Assistant at PURE taqueria Franchising, taught the awesome class under the trees and lights. 

Afterwards, yogis headed next door to grab Frida Pitchers with guacamole, scoring a free Frida Tank! 

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Oyster Party

Last week was a busy one at Alpharetta. Thursday served up some awesome Oysters, Chipotle Shrimp, and Mussel Soup

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Join alpharetta next Sunday on October 22 for a Falcon's Oyster Tailgate! 

 

 

 

 

Alpharetta will continue to host FREE Yoga Wednesdays at 6:30pm. When it gets chilly, we'll light up our flat-top fire pit for some evening yoga under the lights! Make sure to bring your own mat, towel, and sweatshirt for afterwards! 

 

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PEYTON SEDGWICK
Maria's Handmade Tortillas
 

"she is the powerhouse behind sunday's tamales, sopes, and handmade tortillas"

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What is your favorite item to make with homemade tortillas? 
- Mini Taquitos

How long have you been making homemade tortillas? 
-My entire life. 

Who taught you how to make homemade tortillas? 
- My mother taught me. 

 

At PURE, you can find Maria’s handmade tortillas in special dishes like the Enchiladas Mexicanas, Chiquitos tacos, as well as in the sopes for brunch. Maria has worked at PURE since PURE Alpharetta opened its doors in 2005.


She is the powerhouse in charge of Sunday’s delicious tamales, homemade tortillas, and sopes. For some inspiration, we decided to learn a bit more about her.

 

 

For some some added mexican authenticity next time you make homemade tacos, enchiladas, or fajitas, check out Maria's recipe below:

Ingredients:

2 cups maseca flour
1/4 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 and 2/3 cups water
 

Directions:

 

Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 


Add water one cup at a time. 


Knead mixture in between each water addition for a total of 2.5-3 minutes.

 

Prepare tortilla press with parchment paper or split plastic bag

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Roll about 1/4 cup dough into a ball.

 

 

 

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Place between parchment paper or plastic bag on press.

 

 

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Press tortillas with equal pressure.

 

 

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Remove tortilla from press and place on sheet pan with parchment paper until ready to heat.

 

 

 
 
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Heat tortillas over medium heat on a flat skillet for 1-2 minutes each side. 

 

Serve warm and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Now go make yourself some homemade tacos!

PEYTON SEDGWICK
The Giving Kitchen

During the month of August, PURE taqueria took part in fundraising for The Giving Kitchen to aid Atlanta area restaurant workers facing unanticipated hardships. Throughout the month, our Guests helped us us raise over $7,000 through donations, purchases of Dos Equis and our Giving Cocktail made with Camarena tequila, and special fundraising events. 

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Our PURE staff did an excellent job of informing Guests about the organization. Three employees with the highest donation totals received recognition for their performance including Kristen Reinkemeyer from Alpharetta, Dominick Racano from Brookhaven, and Ryan Sharpless from Brookhaven.  Kristen came in first place with $744.00 in donations, Dominick came in second with $730.00 and Ryan came in third with $338.00. 

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A big thanks to our Guests and employees who helped spread PURE love! 

For more information about The Giving Kitchen, visit https://thegivingkitchen.org.

PEYTON SEDGWICK
PURE celebration
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Birthdays are something of a tradition around here. Just like our PURE locations celebrate our Guests by dressing up and banging trays together, we take our birthdays very seriously. At our corporate office, we've already celebrated five birthdays this month- the last being our President, Chris Sedgwick's. Along with the traditional birthday cake and song, we celebrate with pink fairy wings and re-written famous songs as well. We like to keep things PURE weird around here. 

 
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Let us celebrate you- stop in for your birthday for a good time!

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PEYTON SEDGWICK