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Taste – Fall 2020


By Griffin Nelson | Photos By Sara Wise

With many people working from home this year, they have had to find more creative ways to get themselves moving. Many athletes were understandably relieved when gyms opened back up, even with social distancing requirements, and with businesses like theaters and parks closed, families have had to get creative with activities. Many people are paying close attention to their diets as heat and jobs and closed businesses force them to stay inside. Iron Horse Nutrition in Watkinsville (and it’s sister company Classic City Nutrition in Athens) is doing it’s best to help customers make healthy decisions on a daily basis. Though many of Iron Horse’s regulars come from nearby Creed Fitness, it also sees customers from around the area, whether they’re purchasing supplements to take home or buying any of the amazing shakes or teas on the menu.

Iron Horse Nutrition is owned by Cory Waldrop and his wife. With his background as a U.S. Marine, a 19-year career as a police officer, a strong interest in health and fitness and an active lifestyle, Waldrop saw a need in the area. He had a strong support system in place, and the business just made sense.

Both the shakes and the teas at Iron Horse are designed to provide nutrients based on the customer’s needs. There are meal-replacement and post-workout shakes and protein add-ons, and the teas taste amazing (almost like juice) and contain natural caffeine from ginseng in addition to antioxidants and B vitamins. The shop always has the calorie count available on the menu for customers to reference and keeps the drinks as healthy as possible. Staff will also answer questions about anything on the menu. Meal-replacement shakes are dairy-free, high in protein and low in carbohydrates, sugars and fats. The teas are also very low in sugar so that the natural caffeine provides energy without the crash. There are creative specialty drinks like the black and red UGA tea, as well as seasonal drinks. In the summer, you might find refreshing drinks like the peach and watermelon “Southern Belle,” and in the winter, you might get hot drinks like an apple cider protein shake! With curbside pickup added shortly after the grand opening in March, Iron Horse Nutrition has made it easy to supplement meals in a healthy way both on the go and at home during this crazy year.


For many people, the idea of “having tea” probably seems like some faraway, fancy, British affair. It always looks amazing in the movies, with scones and treats and fancy china, and unless you’ve been to the U.K. and had the opportunity to experience it yourself, it just seems like a lovely idea and nothing more. Well, The Café on Lumpkin is in the businesses of making tea just as fabulous as you’ve imagined and easily accessible.

Owner Luke Martineac and his wife Rachel, have had tea regularly in their travels all over the world with Martineac’s past job, spending much of that time in Hong Kong and visiting that city’s world-renowned Langham hotel, sister to the iconic The Langham in London. When they landed in the Five Points neighborhood of Athens, Martineac saw an opportunity to bring both the concept of tea and a staple cafe to the area. With an opening scheduled for May 1, they had to make some adjustments, namely making takeout as easy as possible. Even tea can be ordered for takeout now, and the café has taken extra care to make it as special an event at home as it would be inside the beautiful 100-year-old-house-turned-restaurant:  Along with all the yummy sweets are instructions on how to brew your tea to perfection, a card identifying each of the treats, and even a QR code that takes you to a site that plays the cafe’s special playlist for the perfect ambiance. There are three tiers of tea available, so you can have anything you’d like — from a light repast to a celebratory spread — whether you are taking tea at home or at the café, or when you want to rent out the space for an event.

“Everything we’re doing is simple,” Martineac said. The idea is to take quality ingredients, make absolutely everything possible in-house, from the clotted cream to the mayonnaise to the pastries, and serve something accessible and uncomplicated but amazing every single time. With its location in a walkable neighborhood, the cafe has quickly built a steady stream of regulars. The takeout window makes it easy to pick up breakfast or lunch on the go. The entire menu is available online at, and an there is easy online ordering system. Breakfast is served all day, so you can get a homemade tart, avocado bowl, lox sandwich or breakfast burrito any time. Add on soups, specialty salads, three-cheese grilled cheese,  and the best chicken salad you’ve ever had at lunchtime. There of course is tea and other refreshing drinks served throughout the day, but the Afternoon Tea service really is not to be missed. All of the tea options include homemade scones with wonderfully yummy and traditional clotted cream (think “baked butter”) and jam, and then go up from there to include finger sandwiches, soup and more sweets. Whether you’re looking for an easy meal to pick up during the workday, need a place to meet up with a good friend or are looking to celebrate a special occasion, The Café on Lumpkin is quickly winning over the hearts of Athenians.


The idea of a CSA (community supported-agriculture) program can often seem inaccessible to the average person. Many may not even know that there’s another option besides the produce section at their local grocery store­ – an option that’s just as easy, provides more variety, and supports their own local economy and small farms. But Athens’ own CSA, Collective Harvest, is here to spread the word that quality, seasonal, local produce is available, affordable and easy!

There’s a positive trend working its way through the small farming industry today: the idea of community over competition, that they are stronger together and can support each other in a profession that requires a lot of hard but rewarding work. The first three farms to come together – Front Field Farm, Full Moon Farm and Diamond Hill Farm – came to know each other through the Athens Farmers Market. Together, they were able to provide wholesale produce to notable restaurants in the area and start a system that allowed community members to order their own produce.

After a few years of streamlining their process, they received some essential grants that allowed them to create their website, rent office space and hire a second full-time employee – Lisa Minerva – in 2018. This allowed the farmers to focus on what they’re best at – farming – without having to find time to balance administrative duties. Today, Collective Harvest has grown to include Hickory Hill Farm, Fry Farm, Lazy Willow Farm, Sundance Farm and Cedar Grove Farm.

With the addition of these farms, Collective Harvest has been able to provide for even more Athenians through the use of Harvie, a web-based platform that allows customers to fully customize their weekly shares of fruit and vegetables based on seasonal availability so that they’re only getting what they need each week, raising the quality of produce in kitchens throughout the county while cutting down on food waste. There are even programs like the “Fresh Food Fund” that include scholarships for students and others who qualify, making organic, sustainable produce accessible to everyone! The newest addition to the program this year is a drop-off option for added convenience. With an easy, online system for customizing your produce each week and multiple pickup locations, Collective Harvest makes it easy to eat the highest quality, organic fruits and vegetables and support local farms in the process!