My Best Me

Great Coffee is Affordable, if you know where to go, get answers from Maurice Contreras at Volcanica Coffee

Great Coffee is Affordable, if you know where to go, get answers from Maurice Contreras at Volcanica Coffee

Just about everyone has their coffee preferences.  But the truth is, most of us aren’t enjoying coffee the best it can be and we don’t even know it.  The beans, the grinding, the flavor (or lack thereof).


And before you ask, nope, good coffee doesn’t need to be expensive.  Actually most great coffee is more affordable than the bad stuff you’re currently drinking.  True story.


But I wanted to get answers and advice from a coffee expert, so I had a conversation with Maurice Contreras from Volcanica Coffee.

Maurice Contreras Volcanica Coffee

Maurice Contreras, Volcanica Coffee

Native Costa Rican Maurice Contreras started Volcanica Coffee to import excellent-tasting coffee from volcanic regions, such as his homeland, to consumers. He started the company in his garage and now operates a coffee plant near Atlanta with 20 employees, including his wife and two adult children.


What is your favorite thing about coffee?


My favorite thing I like about coffee is really the flavor. That actually was how I got started. I’m from Costa Rica and for a long time I would do annual trips with the family. It was a family vacation. One of our trips we did a coffee farm tour. And just got to learn about coffee. And this is back in 2004. One of the things that dawned on me is how coffee in Costa Rica was so much better than coffee in the United States. I just didn’t understand why a 3rd world country had better coffee. The quality of coffee in the United States has really come down over several decades. So that’s when I thought that there was an opportunity to bring better tasting coffee or specialty coffee as it’s known today to the United States. That was really how it got started. It really was more about the flavor and just enjoying the richness of a Costa Rican coffee.


Is there a simple reason why first world coffee just isn’t as good?


Yeah, the general sense was because it became more of a highly produced, big production, big coffee house; and I’ll tell you a quick story. A lot of people don’t know this, the word Maxwell House, it actually is a chain of hotels. Some of them are still in existence. And so Maxwell House started from the Maxwell House Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. They served breakfast and they had really good coffee and it became really popular. It became very famous, and then eventually it became its own brand Maxwell House, and then it ended up getting acquired by corporate conglomerates. And that really good tasting coffee just turned into [not-great] coffee.


So that’s really what happened to coffee in the United States. At one time, back in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, people would really appreciate good coffee and then just kind of lost sight of what good coffee was.



From a coffee lover’s point of view, what would you say to convince them to give your coffee a try?


That coffee really is an enjoyable drink to be appreciated and enjoyed for the flavor of what it is. It’s not just something to wake you up. But really coffee and all the different varieties, there’s a lot of flavor notes, a lot of different flavors to be enjoyed. A lot of it depends upon the different regions. My recommendation is try it out and get some good coffee with some flavor notes that you enjoy. Like, for example, Ethiopian coffees, they have a lot of berry notes, a lot of fruit tones, even red wine notes. Some of those things can really open up people’s perspective on coffee.



Before we jump more into coffee, I wanted to ask you about your background as far as the work you did before Volcanica Coffee


My career was in marketing specifically I was in the wireless telephone industry. It really was just about creating a brand. I was part of the startup team at TracFone Wireless which is now a part of Verizon. I was the National Director, I created the brand. In fact, there’s still a lot of things in the brand that I created. I had a passion for marketing.


It was kinda like, “Hey, gee whiz, what if I created my own brand and just created a business?”


And so I actually was on a hunt for a couple of years thinking what would be a good business? And then I just kind of stumbled on coffee because it was staring me in the face.


There’s such a message in there. The success you’re currently riding is because you took industry knowledge of marketing, a personal passion for coffee, and took the risk of putting them together in a business start-up.


Yep, that’s true. It was a risk because I was making a good living, I had a young family, I didn’t wanna affect any of that. It was something part-time, working nights and weekends, that’s how it all started out. I


How did your family feel about that?  Was there anxiety?


It was definitely a struggle and I loved spending time with them and being with them. But part of how I resolved that was I would just wake up early in the morning and spend 1-2 hours before I had to go to work doing this. I didn’t want to neglect my family and I didn’t.


There’s so many people out there who aspire to take those steps and they always find reasons not to, but you found a way.  When people are drinking your coffee, they’re not just drinking delicious coffee, they’re supporting someone who took a huge chance, who followed his passions.


So segueing to the actual coffee part now.

Your website mentions coffee regions and how the region’s soil contributes to the taste.  A lot of our audience who’s into food and wine will realize the terroir aspect is very familiar to that.



Can you pick two or three regions and explain their soil and how it contributes to the taste?


I’ll start with African coffees. Their soil is very unique. Coffees from Africa tend to have a lot of berry notes, a lot more flavor of fruit which is very unique and very different compared to coffees from Indonesia.


Indonesian coffees tend to be lower in acidity. Acidity provides flavor but they’re still very good tasting coffees, even though they’re lower in acidity.  


Also the coffee in Indonesia, Sumatra, for example, Papua New Guinea, and even Hawaiian Kona coffees, those tend to have a lot of boldness. When you taste the cup, your mouth just tends to [recognize] that bold flavor, which you don’t get in African coffees. So those are a couple examples.


So really it is like old world wine versus new world wine. A noticeable difference in mouth feel depending on what region you’re going after.


When people ask, Hey, what kind of coffee should I buy? I always ask, what kind of flavors do you like? Start there. Then for people that are experimenting, try different coffees from different regions.





You mentioned that you’re from Costa Rica.  So tell us more about the Costa Rican volcanic regions.


It’s the most popular coffee growing region in Costa Rica, the Tarrazu area, which is very mountainous, goes up to 5,000 feet above sea level south of San Jose. Very steep. 


The coffee beans, because of the volcanic soil, have a lot of flavor. It’s a very mild flavor, but very flavorful as well. And because of the elevations, the beans are also very dense. They’re a harder bean. In fact, there’s a designation strictly hard bean that is used in the industry because of that. 


Being from Costa Rica I came here [to the U.S.] when I was a baby.  My mom would tell stories about how she would assist with her father, which is my grandfather, in the harvest. Because my grandfather was a teacher, he would work out in the rural areas of Costa Rica where the coffee bean farmers worked. They would assist during harvest time with picking coffee beans off the tree. There was the connection going back a couple generations in our family.


There has been a coffee influence throughout generations of your family.


Yes. For decades, maybe even a century, coffee was the number one product for Costa Rica. Today it’s tourism.


I’m glad you brought up tourism. We cover a lot of travel. If somebody wanted to visit Costa Rica, maybe even a specific coffee lover, is there a place you can recommend to come visit?


One of the farms that we work with actually has an Airbnb right on their plantation. We’ve had several customers that have made trips there and have gone and stayed at the house. It’s gorgeous.



More people are working from home and making coffee at home. A lot of us making coffee wrong. Can you just walk us through step by step the best way to grind and brew your coffee?


The single largest improvement in the freshness of your coffee is by grinding your beans at home.  A lot of people don’t know this: buying ground coffee, because it’s in smaller particles, tends to deteriorate very quickly. So you’re not enjoying the best of what coffee can be. 

So first of all, grind at home and it’s the type of grinder.

We recommend a burr grinder. The other type of grinder is a blade grinder, which is a cheap type grinder, which does not do as well as a burr grinder. 

Second thing is you wanna match your grind type to how you’re brewing. So there’s different levels, how fine or how course you want the coffee.  If you’re doing a French press, you want to have a coarse grind.  The opposite spectrum is an espresso grind. It’s almost like very fine sand. So if you had coarse coffee and an espresso maker, you’d have a bad cup of coffee. And the opposite too.  If you had a French press where you’re using espresso ground coffee, you would not have a good tasting coffee. A lot of it has to do with the extraction and this is the chemistry behind coffee.

Then in the middle of that would be like a traditional drip grind, which most people have which is a medium coarseness of a grind type. That works best to pour over or a drip grind.


Once you buy the equipment, you’re saving quite a bit of money by doing this all at home. More value and quality out of doing it at home?


Oh yeah. A cup of coffee outside can cost $3-6. At home, 50 cents per cup. Plus you’re controlling the flavor, how hot it is and how fresh it is.


How many cups do you think the average coffee person drinks per day?


The average is between one to two cups per day. Wall Street Journal says 66% of Americans have had coffee within the last day.



So with volcanic, you’ve mentioned low acid. Tell us more.


Low acid coffee is actually a natural occurrence. There’s no additives that need to be added, at least we don’t add anything to our coffee. It’s just how it’s sourced. How it’s brewed also affects acidity. 


So for example, the cold brew method tends to lower the acidity of coffee. Even more than if you brewed it traditionally in a drip grinder. It benefits people who suffer from acid reflux; and different types of indigestion abnormalities can benefit from low acidic coffee just because the pH is a higher number. 


We have a lot of customers thanking us because they could not drink coffee before they heard about our low acid coffee, so now they can drink coffee again. 


We have a blend of different coffees called the low acid coffee, plus 12 or 15 other coffees that are also rated as low acid. We rated them, we’ve done the pH levels on all of them, and all of them fall into that category of being lower in acidity.



Volcanica has built up a really strong community on your social media avenues.  What have the results been like?


We’re on all the major socials: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok. It’s very easy to find us.  We take customer feedback really seriously. We’re always looking for input and ideas. 

We’ll get a request [to] carry a type of coffee or coffee from a region and we’ll always look into it. 

We offer 100% customer satisfaction. We take returns, even when the customer just didn’t like a coffee, which is no fault of ours.


When someone does suggest a new bean, a new region, is that an easy outreach to investigate, or is that a whole process?


It is a whole process.




What’s a great online shopping strategy for finding the right coffee beans?


Align yourself with a brand that has a quality product. Look at customer reviews, their roasting technique.   Then it’s a matter of what type of coffee do you like? What flavor notes? Something mild? Berry notes? Lower in acidity?


So I go onto your website to buy some beans.  What’s a safe way to pick a bean that I’ll probably enjoy?


We carry over 150 different coffees, which is a lot. Visiting our website you have to know your preferences. Having some [filtering/search ] tools out there would be beneficial to people helping the selection process, that’s actually on our roadmap for the future.


Part of the reason why we have 150 coffees is because we’ve been listening to our customers over the years.


Tell us something about Volcanico Coffee that not everyone knows.


We love to give back. We’ve been blessed, we’ve been very successful, so we donate 1% of our website sales to an organization called Charity Water. They build water projects in impoverished communities around the world. This year we’re actually sponsoring a well in Ethiopia for a particular town. We know that we buy a lot of coffee from Ethiopia and we’d love to give back to them.



What is the future of coffee?


The future of coffee is specially curated lots. We call them our “Private Collection”. Farmers that are actually fermenting their coffee with mango, peach, different types of fruits. We have a few of them right now. We’re hoping to be carrying more in the near future.


Our audience is listening right now. What would you like them to do?


If you’re interested in finding out more about coffee and experiencing coffee, start exploring. We offer a great cup of coffee. Great different flavors and varieties. We even offer decafs, flavored coffees, something for everybody.







Lehigh Valley is Falling in Love with the Flavors of Nazareth’s Indigo 52

Lehigh Valley is falling in love with the flavors of Nazareth restaurant Indigo 52

Indigo 52 is a Nazareth restaurant gaining big buzz both in the Lehigh Valley and throughout the East Coast. 

It’s not your average restaurant.  There’s a twist.

The menu, the owner, the ingredients.  Everything is special and there’s a reason why. 

Lehigh Valley is falling in love with the flavors of Nazareth restaurant Indigo 52

Lehigh Valley is falling in love with the flavors of Nazareth restaurant Indigo 52


It’s special enough to inspire families to drive hours just to enjoy a meal there.  More about that in a minute, let’s get to the food.

Nazareth restaurant Indigo 52 Menu

Restaurant Owner Felicia Rocchino has a “Food Vision” for the items they serve and if you’re a foodie, you’re gonna love this:

All their dishes are:

  1. Unique –  things you can’t find everywhere
  2. Better than what someone can cook at home
  3. Plated amazingly – be instagrammable!

Here’s what I sampled on my visit:

Lehigh Valley is falling in love with the flavors of Nazareth restaurant Indigo 52

Indigo 52’s Cauliflower wings

Cauliflower wings

Grain-free battered cauliflower with maple garlic (you could also choose hot buffalo or mild sauce).

These were delicious and better than what I expected. The flavor, the breading; and each piece held together well, even after dipping.

Indigo 52’s Vegan “Crab” Cake Bites

Vegan “Crab” Cake Bites

Mini heart of palm bites, seasoned, and served with a house made cocktail dipping sauce 

Great flavor, very moist.  The same tender and moist notes (like most vegan “crab” cakes) also made them fall apart easily.  Delicious, but delicate.

Indigo 52’s Hand-cut Sweet Potato Fries

Hand-cut Sweet Potato Fries

Served with house-made maple garlic dipping sauce

I wanted these to be great and they were.  Big flavor, excellent snacky side dish and the maple garlic is a winner.  

Lehigh Valley is falling in love with the flavors of Nazareth restaurant Indigo 52

Indigo 52’s Chicken Marsala Rotini

Chicken Marsala Rotini

Anti-biotic free chicken breast, over pasta with julienne onions, mushrooms, organic spinach, fresh herbs, with marsala sauce. 

This was the highlight.  A very well-balanced dish.  On different bites, the onion stood out, then the mushroom, then the marsala.  There’s a lot of nuance here and the sauce pulls it together.   Also, it’s a big portion.  Take the remainder home and give yourself a present for lunch tomorrow.

Indigo 52’s Apple Pie stuffed French Toast

Apple Pie stuffed French Toast

3 slices topped with a house-made fresh apple cinnamon “filling”, house-made cashew cream, and 100% pure grade A maple syrup. 

The brunch favorite brings a big bold flavor. And, again,  a lot of food. Each bite makes you smile.  If you’re into boozy brunches, this plate deserves a glass of bubbly.

Felicia’s Passion for Nazareth restaurant Indigo 52


Felicia is a triple-threat.  She has a creative eye, a global expertise in restaurants and retail and she has a personal passion creating this concept to help others.

Creative in the way the restaurant looks and feels.  It’s funky.  It’s whimsical.  It’s playful.  As you walk in, the decor gives your eyes flavors to enjoy, while the menu handles your taste buds. 

Indigo 52’s Felicia Rocchino and Chef Kadel Woody

Expertise from years at her previous corporate work helping successful restaurants launch and grow into hugely popular brands.

And personal passion.  Yes, it’s very personal.

Recently, Felicia was living the life of a big city retail and hospitality professional based out of Philadelphia, helping restaurants grow and fulfill their professional dreams.

Nazareth restaurant Indigo 52

Indigo 52’s funky, whimsical, playful decor gives your eyes flavors to enjoy

Problem is, she was always feeling sick; and in and out of dozens of doctors offices trying to understand why. Year after year, test after test, with no answers. 

One day, she met the right doctor who decided to give her a different test and there she learned the truth – Felicia has Celiac Disease.

Celiac Disease is sensitivity to gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, which is in… a lot of food. 

Nazareth restaurant Indigo 52

Indigo 52 is gluten free and dairy free

Truthfully, many of us suffer from different nutrition allergies, with different levels of sensitivity in reaction.  The statistic is 1-10 people. 

A strong majority of people are un-diagnosed.  Some people react with a stomach ache, others are rushed to the hospital for a few days of care.

Those who end up with stronger reactions (like needing a hospital visit) tend to never eat out or get take-out, because the risk isn’t worth it. 

Even “gluten-friendly” food tends to not be so friendly.  The restaurant and its kitchen needs to enforce incredibly disciplined action and even then, it’s still a risk.

But Felicia Rocchino’s Indigo 52 practices incredibly disciplined kitchen practices to make it safe for immune-compromised people. 

And around the country, people are taking notice.


“That’s Just The Way Life Is.”  Nah, it doesn’t have to be.


A local family always stops by the Nazareth eatery when they’re picking up their college-aged daughter because their family is immune sensitive and Indigo 52  is one of the only restaurants on the East Coast that truly offers safe food.  So they’re willing to drive hours for a meal there.

Nazareth restaurant Indigo 52

Indigo 52’s seating and decor

Same thing for a Lehigh Valley couple who became used to not eating out because of the risk.  Then they tried Indigo 52 and to their relief, it was perfect.  As a result, they even had their anniversary dinner there and Chef Kadel catered the menu toward romance.

Because of the growing unique demand, Indigo 52 has become reservation-only with diners driving from hours away to have a very specific and risk-free meal.

This Lehigh Valley restaurant has become one of the very few healthy (and delicious) stops on the East Coast to offer a consistently safe (risk-free) experience to immune-compromised diner.  And word is spreading quickly.


Chef Kadel’s work is Art, Magic and Flavor


Chef Kadel Woody has been working in Lehigh Valley restaurants since he was in high school.  Learning his kitchen secrets from time at Widow’s Tavern and Grille, Two Rivers Brewing, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza.

Felicia and Kadel connected when she knew she needed someone magical to create these unique and challenging dishes and her first several chefs couldn’t give her the results she envisioned.

Chef Kadel’s plating is art.

Chef Kadel’s ingredients are magic.

And the flavor is in every bite.

The kitchen is open so that diners can watch him create magic from their seat or even step over and get a closer glimpse. 

Local Food Brings Big Flavor

Most of Indigo 52’s ingredients are local.  Some come from Nazareth farms literally down the street from the restaurant and their delivery is walked over.  That’s very local.  That’s fresh.  

Felicia and Kadel are big supporters of the local community handing out snacks at nearby businesses and contributing delicious bites at neighborhood events.

Indigo 52 Review

Cuisine: Very strong. From their locally sourced ingredients and an inventive menu, to Chef Kadel who’s able to create custom experiences for even the most sensitive diners.

Ambience: Fun, playful.  Small town quaint with ambitious creativity

Service: Now that they’ve switched to reservation only, once you’ve been seated you get plenty of friendly and knowledgeable support.  The kitchen proudly goes out of their way to service your specific needs.

Hospitality: Because Indigo 52 is such a unique experience, if you visit knowing how special your experience can be, the kitchen and staff go out of their way to surprise and delight you

Indigo 52 is located at:

52 S Main St
Nazareth, PA 18064

Indigo 52 is open Thursday – Saturday, 10a- 8pm, reservation only

Make a reservation here.

To browse their menu.

Your Summertime Adventures Deserve a Refreshing Taste, Here’s the drink for you

Your summertime adventures deserve a refreshing taste, with healthy results and supporting a good case, taste CaliWater.

This summer many families are going on adventures – from a fun night out, to local road trips to traditional vacations and everything in between.  Families are looking for flavor, looking for healthy options, when possible choosing to support social good.

Recently we tasted a solution that solves all of this and more.

CaliWater is the latest celebrity-driven brand on an already crowded grocery shelf to promote flavor, fun and health.

Before you judge it, have you tried cactus water?  If not, honestly it’s worth a taste. 

Open your mind (and your mouth) to the world of cactus water. Try the taste of CaliWater.

The Flavor

CaliWater comes in two subtle, but very different flavors:

Ginger + Lime

It’s a drink that adds a pop to your tongue.  

Tasting-wise, on the nose is heavy lime that for me became a palette cleanser.  Got a funky taste in your mouth?  This can will save you.  The lime notes carry over on your palette and the ginger adds a refreshing zing.   The linger lasts, leaving a pleasant and refreshing taste.

Wild Prickly Pear

Tasting-wise, on your nose its a bit sweet and even floral.  As you taste, it’s giving your mouth a sweet, refreshing bath similar to a bite of watermelon.  

But How Healthy is CaliWater?

The simple answer is: very healthy.  

Caliwater contains 5 naturally occurring electrolytes to boost hydration and is packed with skin fortifying antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and 200mg of Prickly Pear Extract which is a proven hangover relief. 

Prickly Pear Cactus has shown to lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar levels, and provides natural anti-viral properties. Known as a “superfruit”, the Prickly Pear Cactus has been the health solution go-to for many all over the world.

Proven Hangover Relief

Let’s repeat an important part.  The drinks include 200mg of Prickly Pear Extract which is a proven hangover relief. 

Cali water also serves as a fantastic mixer for your favorite cocktail.

Created with passion, love, and a clear mission in mind

Earth-friendly activists Vanessa Hudgens and Oliver Trevena bonded while enjoying a prickly pear margarita.

They launched CaliWater, California cactus water that goes beyond just hydration. 

Created with passion, love and a clear mission in mind CaliWater hopes to promote healthy eco-friendly lifestyles and to make the world a better place. 

With up to 75% of Americans being considered chronically dehydrated CaliWater offer the tasty yet healthy alternative to water that also presents benefits for health and well-being. 

Giving Social Good

CaliWater’s goal is not only to provide health benefits to their customers, but also to raise awareness about the fight against childhood hunger. 

Partnering with No Kid Hungry a charity working to stop hungry children, Cali Wter pledges to donate $0.05 for every can purchased with the goal of donating $1,000,000 by April 2022.

Read for a Taste?

You can shop CaliWater here:

You can also browse your local Erewhon, Alfred, Bevmo,  Blueys Market & Cafe, Sunlight Organics, The Pie Hotel, Vintage Grocers.



Erin Michele Soto Pushes Through Her Trauma to Return to Her Hit TV Series

Erin Michele Soto Pushes Through Her Trauma to Return to Her Hit TV Series

Audiences know Erin Michele Soto from her work in the miniseries Shirley and Shelly and the TV series Studio City, the smash hit and Emmy – winning drama.

Around the world audiences see stars on red carpets, TV and movie screens; and often never consider the challenges these performers face to live their dreams. 




So many people recognize a star’s good looks, their talent, the laughs and tears from the characters they portray. But the audience doesn’t really get to know the person behind that work.  Today Erin is sharing a deeper look into her journey. 

Erin Michele Soto Reveals Her Bright and Her Dark

Recently we had a chance to sit down with Erin Michele Soto and she revealed the brightest and the darkest moments of her story and the excitement yet to come.

Actress Erin Michele Soto Pushes Through Her Trauma to Return to Her Hit TV Series

Actress Erin Michele Soto Pushes Through Her Trauma to Return to Her Hit TV Series

Like so many, Erin moved to Southern California with big Hollywood dreams. But she did not become the struggling cliche.  She had the talent and good fortune to quickly find work as an actress and as a dancer.  

Tragedy on a Celeb-Filled Dance Floor

Erin Michele Soto’s grace on the dance floor quickly brought her attention.  She found A-list work immediately in Modern, Ballet, Jazz dance genres. Stars of the stage, small screen and silver screen all demanded her time, attention and help.

Then as her star was rising, suddenly it all crashed down.  Literally.  One day in the middle of dancing, Erin fell, hit her eye and the trauma from the fall punctured her brain.

The next moments created a chronic ailment that took Erin over a year for her to recover.  The glitz and glamour lifestyle was replaced with being bed-ridden and living a small, dark, lonely  life.

Hearing Soto reflect back today, there’s still a pain in her eyes and her voice.  But a growing strength and courage in her soul.

Was her journey hard?  Yes.  Painful?  Yes.  Encouraging?  No. 

But, Erin wasn’t done yet.

Ironically, her body really thought she was finished.  She rarely left the house.  She couldn’t socialize with friends.  She forgot how to do the smallest tasks constantly, things like closing her house door; she would routinely black out as she walked through her neighborhood.

The things most people find common, this talented star was suddenly struggling to complete.

“No One Can See My Pain”

Even worse, her mind was playing tricks on her.  

This normally proud, healthy, optimistic person was suddenly having thoughts of self-harm.  It was a dark time.  The good news is, she knew better.  Luckily, she never acted on those dark, harmful thoughts.

Your Village Supports Your Recovery Journey

To meet Erin is to fall in love with her.  Her energy, her spirit, her intelligence, her motivation.  Luckily, even in her darkest moments after her trauma, Erin’s community rallied to cheer her on and find ways to help her while she struggled to live daily life.  She bravely chose to get professional mental help which also supported her and returned her closer to light and happiness.

She learned to over-power her own thoughts and regain positivity.  She now meditates daily and credits that mental strength with her return to courage and creativity.

“I used my imagination

to get back into the world”

Back on Set

Just over a year after her life-changing trauma, Erin was itching to get back to performing.  The injury focused her true passions in using her voice in acting.  Performing, acting, dancing.  But she was dealing with a very foreign feeling: insecurity.  Could she remember her dialogue?  Could her body move as gracefully as it used to?  Would she feel as comfortable acting as she did before?

As a performer, Erin had to “learn to walk” again.

Erin was eager to return and try.  She chose a small, local theater in SoCal’s modest San Fernando Valley.  

“To her surprise, relief and excitement,

all of her worries went away.”  

To her surprise, relief and excitement, all of her worries went away.  Her mind and body cooperated and she had a blast performing again in front of huge crowds.

“If something brings you joy,

push through your fears”

Today, Erin is busier than ever.  She’s currently working on projects for both stage and screen, taking meetings as an actress for both tv and film.

She credits her friends, family, health professionals and community with helping her overcome her dark moments.  Her continued meditation keeps her mind clear and strong.

As a performer, she’s excited to be in front of an audience – whether you’re watching her in-person on stage, on your television or on the big screen.

With confidence, motivation, discipline and support from your community, everyone can rebound from their challenges and return to what they love.  Erin Michele Soto is a brilliant and inspiring example of this.

Follow Erin Michele Soto on her social media at:


Treat Yourself to VIP treatment at Catalina Dry Bar in Bethlehem

Catalina Dry Bar in Bethlehem

Treat Yourself to a Great Experience

Blow outs never go out of style!

Whether you’d like a blow out for a fancy event or simply to up your hair game, Catalina Dry Bar provides luxurious blow outs at an affordable price.

Their goal is to provide you with VIP treatment so you walk out as the best version of yourself. Contact today and treat yourself to any one pampering services!

From word-of-mouth recommendations to online reviews, more people in the Lehigh Valley area are finding their way to Catalina Dry Bar!

Call today to schedule an appointment, or stop in and find out more.

Looking for a Celebrity Beauty treatment? Blo Dry Bar in Easton

Blo Blow Dry Bar in Easton


Let them roll out the pink carpet for you any day of the week—no special occasion necessary.


Looking for the celebrity treatment?

Their Blo On The Go mobile service brings the stylist straight to you, whenever luscious locks are required. If you’re pressed for time, have a special celebration or need them on-set, they’ll be there for you with blow dryers in hand.


Congratulations, babe!

They want to make this exciting time in your life the most beautiful it can be! Ugh, they always cry at wedding stylings.

Their team of bridal beauty experts will provide flawless hair and makeup for any of your celebrations. Let them pamper you for your engagement photos, bridal showers, bachelorettes, and of course, THE BIG DAY.

They also offer styling for your entire I-Do Crew. Treat your bridal party to a day of beauty, style them for an amazing photoshoot, or book them in for the big day. They want them to shine beside you. Beautiful photos, guaranteed.


Come party with them!

They love a good bash at Blo and they definitely love to host. Book your bachelorettes, bridal and baby showers, holiday parties, or birthdays for adults and kids and they’ll take care of impressing your guests.

After all, who doesn’t like a little pamper with their party? And don’t worry… what happens in the salon, stays in the salon.

Book your charitable fundraiser, networking event, or product launch in Blo’s beautiful, open space to create a unique experience that they won’t forget.

They’ll handle the pampering, paparazzi not included.

Lehigh Valley’s premier beauty bar is Allentown’s Banks Beauty

Allentown’s Banks Beauty Bar

The Lehigh Valley’s premier beauty bar. Extensions Nails Make-up. Lashes & more.

Located on the Eastside of Allentown. Conveniently between Allentown and Bethlehem off of Union Blvd.

909 N Sherman Street, Allentown PA 18109

Banks Beauty Bar is aiming to be your one stop shop.

Housing some of the top beauty professionals in the Valley.

If you need a last minute appointment, please text 267-354-0416 they’ll do their best to accommodate you.

They include the hair with braided services, ponytails and locs (unless otherwise stated). Black and off black is provided.

When scheduling nail appointments please arrive with bare, acrylic and gel free nails. Otherwise, choose “Soak off” add-on.

Lehigh Valley’s Luxury Bridal Beauty Experience at Alisha Nycole & Co. in Easton

Lehigh Valley’s Luxury Bridal Beauty Experience at Alisha Nycole & Co. in Easton

At Alisha Nycole + CO they specialize in a luxury Bridal Beauty experience. They provide on-location hair & makeup services for special events in the Lehigh Valley and beyond. 

Driven by their Motto of #WeDOPerfect and #GetPerfectwithUs, they have cultivated a team of over 30 of the most sought after Bridal + Special Event Specialists. 

Their passion is delivering excellence from the time you inquire & chat with one of their Client Concierge staff members, through the booking process all the way up to the BIG Day with their Glam Team!

special occasions

They provide on location, high quality hair and makeup for special occasions.

Let they come to you and enhance your look for your wedding, photoshoot, sweet 16, prom, or other special occasion!

“Makeup Artistry should never mask or create a false confidence, but rather enhance a woman’s unique and favorite attributes.

Communication is key and makeup artistry is about creating a relationship with the client, listening to her concerns,

and bringing forth the best features.”

– Alisha Nycole

Healthy and Organic Beauty is ready for you at Sato Salon Organics in Allentown

Healthy and Organic Beauty is ready for you at Sato Salon Organics in Allentown

Sato Salon Organics has spent years doing the research for you because your health is as important to us as our own.

Sato Salon Organics products out-perform chemical brands in every way, including grey coverage and blonding. It’s not just about being healthy, it’s about your experience.

Sato Salon Organics offers a laid back, friendly atmosphere that focuses entirely on you, with plenty of perks.

Sato Salon Organics accomplished, experienced stylists and Master Colorist can give you exactly what you want, without the risk.

Allison H

  • Master colorist and balayage artist. (10yrs platform work/color educator/3 fashion week credits, published print and film work).

  • Trained with Sassoon, Bumble and Bumble, Kim Vo and more.

  • DevaCurl Technique Certified (Deva cutting and color for curls).

  • Blonding expert, efficient in a multitude of highlighting and high lift blonde techniques

  • Corrective color

Jennifer O

  • Classically trained cutter and colorist.

  • Balayage technique expertise.

  • Alternative shades.

  • Specialized keratin treatments, keratin certified.

  • Trained with Mastey De Paris, Keune, Sassoon and more.

Laura F

  • Specialized foil technique expertise.

  • Balayage.

  • Organic curl certified.

  • Precision cutter.

  • Expert blow-outs and finishing work.

  • Trained with Bumble and Bumble, Devachaun, Mastey De Paris, and more.

Ariana B

  • New Talent at Sato, with 4 years experience and having completed her Sato apprenticeship and advanced training, she is now joining our stylist team.

  • Hair Color Specialties include detailed Balayage techniques, fashion colors such as pastels and vivids, color melts and ombrès.

  • Nail services include Gel Manicures and Pedicures.

  • Completed Dēva Product Certification, and DēvaCurl Set and Treatment Certified.

Trudi Pina

  • Trudy has a passion to educate people to take care of their skin and themselves, your skin is the first step towards beauty and reflects your health . She reflects on her guests well being and wants to take some of the stress away!

  • 25 years as a certified esthetician in the lehigh valley.

  • Body waxing expert technician, full service waxing known for speed, efficiency, and comfort during your experience.

  • Green Envee Organic Skincare Certified. To many certifications to list including reflexology, Light Stim Therapy, Advanced Technology Acne Protocols, Collagen studies and advanced anti-aging protocols and more.

Michelle Fred

  • Many years experience with multiple forms of therapeutic massage. Including thai, traditional swedish, hot stone, reflexology and more.

  • 20 years as a certified massage therapist in the lehigh valley, and NYC.

  • Studied intensively in NYC and China adding additional techniques to her resume.

  • A physical therapy focused background

Bethlehem’s Apotheca Salon Specializes in Helping You Look and Feel Great

Apotheca Salon offers a full range of hair, beauty, and style services in a unique hybrid salon-boutique that feels just like home.

At Apotheca, their business is in helping you look and feel great.

Bethlehem’s Apotheca Salon offers a full array of hair, beauty, spa, and style services—all in a unique, cozy setting that feels more like home than a salon.

With a meticulous staff of experts, a shared passion for creativity, an eye for what’s new in the industry, and an obsession with getting the details just right, we’re here to work with you one-on-one to achieve exactly the look you’re after.



Dorney Park’s live shows are fun for the whole family 


Update your cut or color.

Unwind with a facial.

Curate your wardrobe.

Relax. Disconnect. From their sunny salon to homey boutique, they know you’ll feel as comfortable there as they do.

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