Bakery brings a taste of Argentina to metro Atlanta:

A metro Atlanta business owner says her goal is to “win over one American at a time” — but judging from the response to her baked goods, she’s winning them over much faster than that.

Belén de la Cruz is the owner of Belén de la Cruz Empanadas & Pastries, an Argentinean bakery first opened in Johns Creek and now expanding to Marietta. The main attractions are, of course, the empanadas, which de la Cruz says are ubiquitous in her native Argentina.

“Everywhere,” she says with a laugh. “What do you order on a Sunday night when you’re watching a movie? You order pizza, we order empanadas.”

And what is an empanada exactly?

“Anything that has dough wrapping a filling,” de la Cruz explains. “And that filling, depending on the country, can be anything. For us in Argentina, the most popular would be beef or chicken or ham and cheese.”

That sounds simple, right? Of course, it’s not — which is why when the mother of three settled in metro Atlanta and started hosting cooking classes for fun, her students were far more interested in skipping to the good part: “They told me, ‘Very nice to do it, it’s a lot of work…where can I buy them?’”

And thus, a business was born. Belén de la Cruz Empanadas & Pastries opened at 11730 Jones Bridge Road in Johns Creek in February of last year and, to the owner’s surprise, was an immediate hit.  

“We opened and I expected to sell a few empanadas, and really, we sold out the second day. I ended up crying because I was overwhelmed,” she remembers.

And if she was overwhelmed then, de la Cruz says she was utterly astonished at how the neighborhood support continued into the pandemic. Call-in and online orders and curbside delivery didn’t just help the business survive, they allowed it to expand to the second location, this one in Marietta. And with every bit of love she’s getting from the community, Belén de la Cruz says she’s giving it right back.  

The only difference?  Hers is a whole lot tastier. 

“We say that we bake with love and I really meant it. Every empanada has a lot of love here. There’s a lot of work in every empanada.”

For more information on Belén de la Cruz Empanadas & Pastries, click here.

Legendary funk band Tower of Power celebrates 50 soulful years: 

Going to live concerts just isn’t an option right now — but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the excitement and electricity of one of funk music’s greatest live acts.

Tower of Power is set to release “50 Years of Funk & Soul: Live at the Fox Theatre — Oakland, CA — June 2018” on March 26 (the set is already available for exclusive streaming and download on Qobuz), celebrating a half-century of the legendary band’s big, brash and dynamic music. The set was recorded over two nights at the Fox Theatre in Oakland and will be available as a digital download, a three-LP set, a two-CD/DVD combo, and a standalone DVD.

“We worked our butts off to rehearse and spent the months previous to that doing shows and rehearsing,” says drummer David Garibaldi of the Fox Theatre shows. “It’s the hardest I ever worked as a member of Tower of Power, and we work hard, anyway, historically.”

What’s so special about this particular release? Performing in Oakland is a full-circle moment for Tower of Power, which got its start in the California city and helped create a sound now known as “Oakland soul.” The band’s lineup has rotated multiple times over the years, but its sound has remained consistent through hits including 1972’s “You’re Still a Young Man” and 1973’s “So Very Hard to Go.”

“It’s really a milestone,” says Garibaldi. “Most bands don’t stay together more than a couple of years, you know? And we’ve been able to sustain it for all this time, and [be] pretty much consistent, working and touring since 1970. I joined the band in 1970, I’ve been in and out of a few times,  but all through that period of time, we’ve worked.”

We recently had the chance to sit down with Garibaldi over Zoom to chat about the band’s legacy and this latest release.  Click the video player in this article to watch our interview — and click here for more information on “50 Years of Funk & Soul: Live at the Fox Theatre — Oakland, CA — June 2018.”

Helping children stay active with Dr. Stephanie Waslh from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life: 

Staying active can be a struggle on its own. But throw in a pandemic and lockdown and things can become challenging.  This is especially true for children and parents trying to practice healthy eating habits at home. 

Dr. Stephanie Walsh from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life joins us with tips on how to help kids stay active. For more information click here.

Stars of “Delilah” Maaahra Hill and Jill Marie Jones join Good Day to talk about the new series:

“Delilah,” the new series on OWN tells the story of a headstrong lawyer as she seeks justice for those who need it most.   For more information click here. 

Dr. Contessa Metcalfe talks season eight of “Married to Medicine”:  Bravo is restoring a lifeline to fans of their hit reality show “Married to Medicine.” Season eight is right around the corner and this time the ladies are filming episodes during the pandemic. 

Dr. Contessa Metcalfe joins Good Day with more on how this season gives viewers a look at how they work on the frontlines and get involved with social justice movements. 

The Black Coalition Against Covid is teaming up with the Kaiser Family Foundation for a new series to help encourage the vaccine:  

Despite having one of the highest COVID-19 mortality rates in the U.S., Black Americans are among those least likely to get the vaccine. Dr. Rhea Boyd joins Good Day to talk about a new campaign launching to that targets Black Americans. It’s called “The Conversation: Between Us, About Us.”

The videos, featuring Black doctors, nurses, and researchers, dispel misinformation and provide accessible facts to help Black Americans make this important decision through open, honest, and credible conversation. 

For more information click here.  For more on Dr. Rhea Boyd follow her @RheaBoydMD  .

Food and lifestyle expert Chadwick Boyd shares tips and tricks to be more successful cooking with sheet pans. For more information on Chadwick Boyd click here or you can follow him on Instagram @chadwickboyd.

Pet of the day is from PAWS Atlanta: For more information on how you can adopt today’s pet “Uncle Bucky,” a 3-year-old Shepherd mix, click here.

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