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Meet The Locals

Q & A with Local Influencers

Name & Occupation

the buzz

Pat Bradley, Radio Personality at 103.7 The Buzz and Basketball Training Lessons

What famous local are you proud to call an Arkansan?

Barrett Baber, from Marion, has been working hard on his music for a long time and recently hit the national stage competing on NBC’s The Voice. Barrett is one of the most talented and humble people you’ll ever meet. Go download some of his stuff on iTunes now! 

Barrett Baber

Joe Johnson, from historic Central High School in Little Rock, is playing in his 15th NBA season. He’s a 7 time NBA All-Star… 7 times!! The great part is he’s a Little Rock kid who played for his home state Razorbacks. Same thing with Bobby Portis from Hall High School to the Hogs and then #22 draft pick this year by the Chicago Bulls. Doesn’t get better than seeing these locals’ dreams come true. Of course, can’t say enough about Corliss Williamson; from Russellville High School to the Hogs, then a long NBA career and now assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings. The Big Nasty won both NCAA and NBA Championships. And D-Fish! The incredible story of Derek Fisher, a kid from Parkview to the Little Rock Trojans who carved out a great career with the LA Lakers, among other teams. D-Fish is now head coach for the New York Knicks.

corliss

What’s your favorite dish at Cache?

I’d have to start out my dream meal at Cache with some Fried Calamari and Arrabiata Sauce to dip, then move along to the Caprese Salad, then it’s time to get serious with the Étouffée…there’s a little surprise on top that you’ll have to order to find out. Then I’d go back to the appetizer menu BEFORE dessert with the Baked Brie with Cranberry Jam, Grapes and Toasted Baguette with a glass of house Pinot Noir. Then, time to bring it all together with some dessert. Last time, I had warm Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Ice Cream, but it’s my goal to try every dessert there before I die. 

Caprese   Baked Brie

It’s your time to unwind with a cocktail, what’s your go-to drink?

 Only one way to unwind and that’s with an Old Fashioned, but ONLY with Knob Creek in it! Knob Creek Bourbon is aged 9 years for the big, bold flavor. Tip of the cap to the bartenders at Cache for making the tastiest Old Fashioned I’ve had. And always, always drink responsibly. 

Sarsaparilla Old Fashioned

What are your secret spots you tell visiting friends they can’t miss?

Now, if I told you it wouldn’t be a secret anymore… would it? But check out Crater of Diamonds State Park, you get to keep any diamonds you find. It’s the only diamond site open to the public in the world. Just don’t tell anyone, okay? I still haven’t found a diamond there… yet. 

When you think of Arkansas, what comes to mind?

Not being born here, I am an Arkansan by choice, not chance. It’s hard not to think about my time in Fayetteville at the U of A. Over the years, I’ve fallen in love with the many lakes, the Ozark Mountains and Boston Mountains, the rolling Arkansas River, the natural hot springs in the wonderful town of Hot Springs and, of course, #42… Bill Clinton!

clinton and kennedy

Which local charity has your heart?

I’ve been on the Youth Home Foundation Board for a few years and this year I’m honored to be the board president. Youth Home serves to provide care for emotional and behavioral health issues to young adults. Mental health across all ages and backgrounds is a serious issue that is still not discussed enough. Please visit YouthHome.org to see how amazing this place is and the incredible need it fills. If you’re interested in helping, there’s information on the the website.

Cache is not only an iconic river in the Arkansas Delta; it’s also a place for storing valuable possessions. What do you consider to be your most valuable possession?

My friendships/relationships will always be the most valuable to me, and by that, I mean priceless. True friends can’t be bought and will never turn their back on you. To me, there’s no bigger compliment than to be considered by someone a trustworthy and dependable friend/son/brother. Maybe someday I’ll add husband and father to that list… ha ha ha. Ehh, maybe not.

Woo Pig Sooie… yes or no?

I got Hog blood runnin’ through my veins.

Pat Razorback

Favorites around Arkansas:
LR Neighborhood:
Downtown area. Growing up in the concrete jungle, I always gravitate to the energy of downtown.
Breakfast Spot: I very rarely go out to eat breakfast, but when I do, it’s the Breakfast Sandwich at Boulevard Bread Company. The Pancetta, Fried Egg, Lettuce, Tomato and Aioli between Bread is good enough to even get me up early! Only bad thing is no matter how much you beg, they won’t serve it to you for lunch. 
Store: 
Hog Heaven! That’s where I get all of my Razorback gear. And Sweet Love on Cantrell has everything you can dream of to fill your sweet spot! Owner Kelli Marks can whip up any kind of fancy cake your little minds can think of, too.
Saturday Activity: 
Wake up and watch the sunrise, read the paper, 5 mile jog, cycle to the top of Pinnacle Mountain, swim the Arkansas River a few times. Just kidding, no chance on those. After I catch up on my sleep then, in Fall it’s football, in Winter it’s basketball, in Spring and Summer it’s the beach or lake, hopefully. A lot of my time is also spent giving basketball lessons to pretty much all ages. And not just shooting lessons; dribbling, passing and overall concepts of the great game of hopes. And, believe it or not, defense, too. 

sweet love


 

Name & Occupation

Clint Stoerner, SEC Network College Football Analyst, Insurance Agent, Private Quarterback Coach

Clint

 

What famous local are you proud to call an Arkansan?

Jerry Jones and Justin Moore are two people who immediately come to mind.

Jerry Jones not only gave me the opportunity to play professional football, but he also gave me the opportunity to become a member of a very exclusive group of men who started a football game in Texas Stadium for America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys. I love reminding people that Jerry was not only a Razorback, but a 1964 National Champion Razorback. Thank you, Jerry!

Jerry Jones

I have always been a huge fan of traditional Country music and no one out there in today’s music world is more true to their roots, as well as traditional country music roots, than Justin. I appreciate the way that he leaves everything he has on stage each time he steps onto one. His performance is as genuine and sincere as anyone’s in the business. I’m fortunate to have had the chance over the last 4 years to know Justin on a personal level and the fact that he hasn’t changed a bit from day 1 at Blacktop Boogie to headlining his own tour speaks volumes.

Justin Moore

What’s your favorite dish at Cache?

I went away from my norm of steak and/or chicken one day a few months back and can’t eat at Cache without ordering my new obsession, Shrimp & Grits. They are off the charts!

Shrimp and Grits

It’s your time to unwind with a cocktail, what’s your go-to drink?

 Depending on the environment I am in, I have two options I appreciate equally. Long, tough, stressful day letting off steam, I’m going Crown Reserve & Water. Just trying to relax, maybe Netflix and Chill, I’m going with a nice glass of vino. My go-to is a Pinot Noir, preferably from Meiomi.

What are your secret spots you tell visiting friends they can’t miss?

Cache… Obviously the food is elite, but I really appreciate the options available under one roof. The downstairs bar is a great place to grab a drink while you wait on your table and take in the scenery. The dining area will exceed your expectations in every possible way. The upstairs lounge is one of my favorite night spots in the city; great for hanging with friends, watching games, and meeting new folks. Also, the grill menu is awesome at Samantha’s Tap Room, the wine is on tap and the Moscow Mules are killer. Samantha’s is one of my favorite lunch spots. 

When you think of Arkansas, what comes to mind?

The Arkansas Razorbacks, there is nothing like Hog Nation and there is truly only one Razorback. I am proud to be part of it all! Duck Hunting also makes me think of Arkansas. I started 2 years ago and now my guys Harry, Coach, and Pawpaw have to babysit me several times a year at the Duck Club. All of my Texas friends are jealous as hell!

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Which local charity has your heart?

Over the years, I’ve been involved with Big Brother Big Sister of Arkansas, Methodist Family Health, and several others. The one thing they all have in common is, when I’m involved, I’m involved because I believe sincerely. I believe in the work these charities and causes do with all my heart. 

clint-stoerner-with-child

Cache is not only an iconic river in the Arkansas Delta; it’s also a place for storing valuable possessions. What do you consider to be your most valuable possession?

My Freedom. This probably doesn’t surprise anyone, but I love being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want. One of these days I’ll grow up, hopefully!

Woo Pig Sooie… yes or no?

Hell, yes!

Favorites around Arkansas:
LR Neighborhood: 
The Heights, love the pride in the Heights crew. Great people and great places to hang.
Breakfast Spot: Mimi’s is well worth the drive from downtown and you can’t beat the breakfast menu. 
Store: 
Anthropolgie for their candles; they are a must-have for the office and home.
Saturday Activity: 
Watching college football all day, baby! 

the heights


 

Name & Occupation

Mandy Richardson, Publisher of Little Rock Soiree at Arkansas Business Publishing Group

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What famous local are you proud to call an Arkansan?

Before I had kids I read quite a bit and am impressed by the number of authors that have come out of Arkansas. John Grisham is from Jonesboro and Maya Angelou, of course. Charlaine Harris lived in Magnolia; she wrote the books that inspired the HBO show “True Blood.” Recently, I have gotten into the HBO show “True Detective,” of which a man by the name Nic Pizzolatto is the Executive Producer and sole writer. Nic is from Louisiana, but got his MFA from the University of Arkansas. He wrote this amazing short story called “Ghost-Birds” that was featured in The Atlantic Monthly and I highly recommend everyone read it. It’s captivating. 

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What’s your favorite dish at Cache?

Hmmm… that’s a tough one. I love to snack on your pizzas with the girls after work or at our annual Soiree Women to Watch party. My favorite main dish though would have to be the Veal Osso Bucco. 

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It’s your time to unwind with a cocktail, what’s your go-to drink?

I have two go-to drinks – a glass of Chianti or an Old Charter & Seven with a twist of lime. I’m a ten year old Charter snob though and they’ve stopped producing it, so I’ve switched to Knob Creek and Seven.

What are your secret spots you tell visiting friends they can’t miss?

I always tell people to make sure they check out all of the river trails – great for biking and walking. Also, the bridges, I think our bridges at night are so cool. I also tell guests to check out our performing arts calendar… we have so many great shows and exhibits in town at any given moment and I want visitors to be impressed with the caliber of arts and culture we have to offer.

Big Dam Bridge night red lights

When you think of Arkansas, what comes to mind?

I have really grown to appreciate the outdoor activities that Arkansas has to offer since moving here. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that my husband is a major outdoorsman. I love telling people about the lakes, rivers and trails that are in Arkansas. It’s such a gorgeous state.

Which local charity has your heart?

Well, this is a tough one to ask the Publisher of Little Rock Soiree – a magazine created to help support the nonprofit community in town. I currently am most vested in the Early Childhood Education Program at Trinity Episcopal.

Cache is not only an iconic river in the Arkansas Delta; it’s also a place for storing valuable possessions. What do you consider to be your most valuable possession?

My family is my most valuable possession. I couldn’t do the daily grind without my husband, Kevin, life is so much more wonderful with him by my side. Also, our two daughters, Miller (4) and Wells (16 months), mean the world to me. I could do without everything else, but value the three of them more than anything. They are amazing people. 

Woo Pig Sooie… yes or no?

Yes! Although, I tell you, I’m from Missouri originally and it was an adjustment moving here eleven years ago, realizing that there are not any professional teams in Arkansas. It’s all about college sports, which is great! My oldest daughter really loves calling the hogs and it’s much cuter when she does it than when I do.

razorback

Favorites around Arkansas:
LR Neighborhood:
We live in St. Michael – a subdivision within St. Charles and I can’t say enough about it… the location, the parks and lakes, the pool. We adore living there!
Breakfast Spot: My kitchen – breakfast is my favorite meal to cook for the family so we rarely go out for breakfast.
Store: I love so many boutiques in Little Rock, it’s impossible to pick my favorite!
Saturday Activity: We typically are lazy heads on Saturdays. We all like to sleep in and lounge around the house, something we don’t do much of any other day of the week. Saturday mornings this summer have been spent at the farmer’s market – my girls love going and getting fresh produce, especially watermelon and cantaloupe. 

argenta-farmers-market-550


 

Name & Occupation

Melissa Thoma, Co-founder Principal Thoma Thoma, a branding and marketing firm in Little Rock

Melissa_Thoma_Headshot_Black-22lower res

What famous local are you proud to call an Arkansan?

When I think of Arkansas greats, my mind goes to social justice pioneers and leading figures in arts and culture. So I’m deeply proud of, and indebted, to the Little Rock Nine who displayed (and continue to display) amazing courage, tenacity, and character. Culturally, I’m so proud to call Johnny Cash an Arkansas boy. He’s hardly equaled in his influence on American songwriting and singing.

LR9_statue_f

What’s your favorite dish at Cache?

I eat a plant-based diet (fancy way to say vegan) and the chefs at Cache never fail to create or adapt delicious dishes for me! That said, they always have great vegetarian options on the menu. My pick goes to the Grilled Portobella mushroom!

It’s your time to unwind with a cocktail, what’s your go-to drink?

Simply put–Bubbly! Those tiny, effervescent bubbles lift spirits and elevate any occasion. One of my favorite sparkling wines is Gruet out of New Mexico. I’m a wine enthusiast, and have enjoyed Cristal, Dom Perignon, and some other fancy French Champagnes, but this is a lovely, moderately priced Brut that is made in the method and doesn’t disappoint. Try it!

GruetBrut-e1383943575961

What are your secret spots you tell visiting friends they can’t miss?

Out on an island in the middle of Lake Ouachita is a natural miracle akin to the monarch butterfly migration. Known as Bird Island, this is a large Purple Martin roosting site. Literally tens of thousands of birds summer here, and at sundown, they are drawn to this tiny island to settle in for the night. You take a boat out to the island at sunset, as you draw near, the Martins begin to group and swoop over your boat heading toward the roost. They form a giant bird funnel cloud circling around and around the island until at last, like a sigh from a drowsy baby, they come to rest in the trees in a collective exhale. It is amazing—and not to be missed. Call the state park for a tour if you don’t have a boat. We bring all our guests here—without exception.

bird island 2

When you think of Arkansas, what comes to mind?

Natural beauty. Our environment is so diversely beautiful. Our people have an authentic beauty. Our cuisine is farm-fresh and soulful. So many of our towns and cities evoke a charming beauty. This is just a beautiful place to live!

Which local charity has your heart?

I work with so many great organizations doing amazing things for the spirit, health and well-being of our community that I can’t begin to list them! But I’ve served the board of Wildwood Park for the Arts for more years than I can count. I started out there as an opera singer and have just rolled off as president of the board. 105 acres of beautiful park and garden space in west Little Rock, serving up arts and culture in a natural setting—that is an amenity we should all be proud of. Check out the newest walking/biking trail, and find out about the incredible new program for kids, Wildwood Academy of Music and the Arts (WAMA) at Wildwood!

wildwood park

Cache is not only an iconic river in the Arkansas Delta; it’s also a place for storing valuable possessions. What do you consider to be your most valuable possession?

Hmmm. Thinking of “literal” possession, I guess I would choose my wedding ring and accompanying diamond bands that my husband gave me and has been lovingly adding to over our 30 years together.

Woo Pig Sooie… yes or no?

Shoot yes! Proud alumna! Name in the sidewalk!

Senior_Walk-stock

Favorites around Arkansas:
LR Neighborhood:
Our first home was an old Victorian in the Quapaw Quarter, still love the neighborhood.
Breakfast Spot: Can’t beat One Eleven at the Capital
Store: Kraftco up on Cantrell Road. Been there forever with the best service around!
Saturday Activity: Long walk or run on the Big Dam Bridge and River Trail, or maybe gardening with our friends in the Heights Neighborhood Garden

Villa Marre1


 

Name & Occupation

Linda Harding… I am a photographer www.lindahardingphotography.com, gardener, mom to three grown children, and Coco to three grandchildren.  Shaylea lives in Alabama with her Dermatology Pathologist husband and two girls.  Rush IV (Buddy) works at Crews and Assoc., and Payne is Chef/Owner of Cache. 

Linda smaller

What famous local are you proud to call an Arkansan?

I am proud of our state!  From Johnelle HuntJ.B. Hunt Transport Services, The Walton Family and their contributions to our state and across the globe, Tyson Foods…and the list is endless.  But, I may be most proud of the fact that Arkansans care for one another and lift each other up.  We share with one another in times of need, care for our homeless and sick, and help out–of–towners feel at home while visiting Little Rock.  Our local folks are our real heroes!

What’s your favorite dish at Cache?

That is difficult!  Shall I just say the salmon?  Also, the caprese salad and the cured salmon appetizer.

Caprese Salad

It’s your time to unwind with a cocktail, what’s your go-to drink?

I’m pretty much a Cabernet woman. It’s good for the heart, right?!   With our selections at Cache, its easy to find the diversity in taste. Jeff Yant, our sommelier, does a fabulous job with our wines. We also have a reserve selection of wines, be sure and ask Jeff or our waiters about them!

What are your secret spots you tell visiting friends they can’t miss?

I personally love dining at the Expo Bar.  The seats give a great look into the kitchen to see how things are getting prepared.  The Chef’s table always provides a special experience.  And, not to be forgotten, the patio upstairs is a lovely place to hang out while listening to music, watching a game on TV, or just visiting with friends!

Cache Restaurant

When you think of Arkansas, what comes to mind?

The Natural State.  Beautiful vistas, lakes, wildlife, hiking……

WEBBotney-Bay-Day-3_0165-970x647

Linda Harding Photography

Which local charity has your heart?

All the charities are amazing and do tremendous work for our state and families.  For that, I am grateful.  I am partial to the Thea Foundation, Paul and Linda Leopoulos and Easter Seals.  Thea Foundation offers scholarships to youth in all areas of the arts to gain confidence through creative expression.  A+ schools teach through creative ways to keep interest and learning fun.  Education is the key to the world for all our diversities.

Easter Seals provides education instruction, medical services,  integrative learning experiences for children through adulthood.  Not to mention living centers and Community Living Centers to live independently.

Cache is not only an iconic river in the Arkansas Delta; it’s also a place for storing valuable possessions. What do you consider to be your most valuable possession?

I’m not sure the things I value the most are possessions.  My husband Rush, my three children, Shaylea, Buddy, Payne, grands, my German shepherd Simon, and my 25 yr old (yes, I hand-fed her after she hatched) African Gray parrot, Grace.  I believe we are just lucky to call them ours and share our life with them.  Lest we not forget, a home, and basic necessities.   I am grateful.

Harding family

Woo Pig Sooie… yes or no?

Goodness, that is kind of political.  I  will not discuss sports, religion, or politics. 

Favorites around Arkansas:
Breakfast Spot:
My coffee at home
Store: Scarlet, Salon Scarlet, Vesta’s, Barbara/Jean, Botanica Gardens, and all the garden stores!
Saturday Activity: Gardening, photography, playing with pets

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Linda Harding Photography

 


Name & Occupation
Chris Little… Director of Pre-construction at ACE Glass, Principal at RPS Architectural Sales

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What famous local are you proud to call an Arkansan?

Johnny Cash or Bill Clinton… both put AR on the map for different reasons

JohnnyCash19692

What’s your favorite dish at Cache?
Maple Glazed Pork Chops with Corn and Mushroom Risotto topped with Grilled Asparagus

PorkChop2

It’s your time to unwind with a cocktail, what’s your go-to drink?
Kicking Mule

Kicking Mule

What are your secret spots you tell visiting friends they can’t miss?
Capital Hotel, Lost Forty Brewing , Samantha’s Tap Room, and Cache

capital hotel

When you think of Arkansas, what comes to mind?
The great outdoors! Nature

Which local charity has your heart?
ACH Foundation, Young Life, and studioMAIN

Cache is not only an iconic river in the Arkansas Delta; it’s also a place for storing valuable possessions. What do you consider to be your most valuable possession?
My relationship with family and friends. There’s nothing better…

Woo Pig Sooie… yes or no?
Hell yea!

Favorites around Arkansas:
LR Neighborhood: Downtown River Market District
Breakfast Spot: Root Cafe and Red Door
Store: The Independent
Saturday Activity: Anything outdoors, road biking, running, golf or hiking

 


 

Name & Occupation
Craig Renaud… Filmmaker

CraigRenaud2

What famous local are you proud to call an Arkansan?
Minnijean Brown Trickey

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What’s your favorite dish at Cache?
Blackened Salmon

It’s your time to unwind with a cocktail, what’s your go-to drink?
Good glass of red wine

What are your secret spots you tell visiting friends they can’t miss?
Most of my friends plan their visits around the Little Rock Film Festival. This year it will be all about Cache.

LRFF

When you think of Arkansas, what comes to mind?
Family, friends, and the Razorbacks

Which local charity has your heart?
The 20th Century Club’s Lodge and Youth Home

Cache is not only an iconic river in the Arkansas Delta; it’s also a place for storing valuable possessions. What do you consider to be your most valuable possession?
My cameras

Woo Pig Sooie… yes or no?
Of course, born and raised

Favorites around Arkansas:
LR Neighborhood: Downtown
Breakfast Spot: Capital Hotel
Store: Apple Store
Saturday Activity: Crystal Bridges

CrystalBridges4