ia lab cover

2018, Thu

May

17

For your chance to win: tell us about your best/worst dating experience.

Scan the below QR Code to visit our WeChat post and tap ‘留言’ at the bottom of the post to enter, and we’ll choose three lucky winners on Friday to each receive a free ticket to I.A Lab’s Future Spaceship Party on Saturday, May 19th.

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ia lab flyer

Have you heard about the significance of 520? It’s a Chinese love word and number to know. 5.20, or May the 20th, is celebrated in China just like Valentine’s Day. Couples go on dates and exchange gifts while singles are encouraged to express their feelings to the one they fancy.

How did all this come about? Well, when you pronounce the numbers “5 2 0” in Chinese (五二零 wǔ èr líng), it sounds similar to “I love you” (我爱你 wǒ ài nǐ). What started as an online slang has evolved into a very romantic day.

stars

To mark the occasion, I.A Lab is throwing a Space Odyssey-esque party to everyone who loves a bit of dance music, clinking champange glasses and socializing. What’s more, all the guests are encouraged to wear neon bracelets to indicate their relationship status. Meeting new people (and possible matches) has never been easier.

Green 绿色 — Single 单身

Red 红色 — Not Available 有主了

Yellow 黄色 — Complicated 有点复杂

Tapping into the current virtual reality trends, I.A Lab is not your regular bar at The Bund. Although housed in a historical Shanghai building, it plays with the Tron-like concepts of future, space and adventure. I.A Lab’s sci-fi interior is sleek and smart, making it the ideal venue for celebratory drinks.

ia labs interior 1ia labs interior 2

What are you waiting for? Tell us about your best/worst dating experiences before Friday noon and you might win a free entry to the party that cannot be missed. “Go flight.”

I.A Lab

Address: Zhongshan East 2nd Rd No.8 ,1F , Room 102

(No.8 On The Bund / Jin Yan Building No.8)

Contact Number: 021-63080577

Hours: 19:00—03:00

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mito cover

2018, Thu

May

10

For your chance to win, finish the sentence: My favourite thing to do with mom is _________.

cool mom

Visit our WeChat account by scanning the QR Code below and leave your answer. We’ll choose one lucky winner on Friday to receive three ¥100 vouchers good for dine-in at Mito!

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mito interior

mito map

Mito is a modern Italian restaurant located in one of Shanghai’s most beloved venues, Found 158. Boasting spacious and eclectic surroundings, the eatery has won the hearts of millennials with simple, traditional and affordable family-style dishes that are ideal for sharing. Mito’s extensive drinks menu is also worth an honorable mention.

mito pumpkin ravioli

Pumpkin Ravioli (¥58)

mito grilled whole seabass

Grilled Whole Seabass (¥158)

mito wagyu rump cap

Wagyu Rump Cap (¥245)

mito wafflesWaffles with Canadian Maple Syrup, Ice Cream and Caramelized Banana/Bacon and Eggs (¥58)

Looks mouthwateringly delicious, doesn’t it?! Before entering the contest, please note:

– Voucher is limited to food items only.

– Valid on Saturday & Sunday, 11AM-4PM.

Give mom a day off from cooking and treat her to a lovely brunch this weekend. All you have to do is tell us about your favourite “mother and me” activities before Friday and the three of you might get to enjoy a lovely meal at Mito. Good luck!

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farmonize log

2018, Thu

Apr

19

For your chance to win, head over to our WeChat account by scanning the QR Code below and fill in the blanks: When I make _____, I always add _____ to make it taste even better.

farmonize qr

farmonize log

We’ll choose 3 lucky winners next week to each get a carton of ethically raised turkey eggs that would be of good use at your next brunch. Also, Sherpa’s followers can get a 10% discount on all Farmonize subscriptions (valid until May 2).

This week’s Winning Wednesday is slightly different from the previous competitions you’ve scrolled through. The reason being – we want to use our platform to share the story of a Shanghai start-up that succeeds in making the impossible possible. Growing chemical-free vegetables, fruit and livestock about two hours’ distance from the city center while supporting the local farming community? Consider it done.

How does Farmonize work for vegetables?

Choose what vegetable varieties you want to grow on your plot of land from a list provided by the farmer.

 Farmonize visits the farm, monitors progress, and sends you regular updates so you always know what’s happening.

 Once your sustainably grown vegetables are ready to harvest, they are picked and deliveredto your doorstep.

founder

We sat down for a chat with Roger Mu, the founder of Farmonize, to ask the Texas-born DIY enthusiast about his mission to provide wholesome foods grown locally, sustainably and ethically.

Hey, Roger. Is the kale madness over?

For Americans, we have this tendency towards ‘fad diets’ and ‘fad foods’. It’s a weird way of thinking. I just say – eat a variety of things and you’ll be great. Eat things that are whole and dark in colour, eat things that have been sustainably grown. For kale, there are definitely good qualities about it. However, this leafy green is more of a winter vegetable, and it tastes best when it has experienced cold weather. We could technically grow kale all year round, but it’s not going to be as tasty. To take this plant out of season and out of context just because people think it’s super healthy?

Didn’t you start Farmonize with Mexican peppers?

Yes. I grow jalapeños in China, and they’re not suited for this particular climate. They do terribly compared to local peppers. I do it because I like it, and I accept the compromises. I understand this process isn’t going to be perfect, but it’s the best thing I can do, and I have the power to do it with my own farm.

How many subscribers does Farmonize currently have?

In total we have about 25-30, and most of them are actually turkey subscribers. It’s been a lot easier to approach people with poultry. Vegetables are a bit more of a challenge. When you pay for something, you expect some sort of result right away, and the idea of paying for a product vs. paying for land, labor and supplies might seem daunting. You will get the product, but it’s going to take 4-6 weeks. We’re currently developing a community plot to make sure there’s a supply available at all times. Like any start-up, we’re trying to figure out what do people want, what we need to focus on, what to drop etc. It’s definitely a learning process every day.

farmonize info

Do you also do business with restaurants?

Before I did all this farming stuff, I was thinking about opening up a taco truck in Shanghai in 2010. Having been involved with F&B for a while, I understand how profit margins affect business decisions. It makes a huge difference if your food prices are 10-20% higher. For most companies, they see food or the ingredients they receive as a supply on which the operation needs to run. The marketing angle is usually a little bit different. You’re starting to see some change with places like Tribe, for example. But if you would ask a random restaurant all the critical questions: Where does this pepperoni come from? Is it locally grown pork? Imported? Do you use nitrates? Most people wouldn’t know, or they wouldn’t even care. Okay, the price for your dish is 25RMB. I like that. It’s big enough. It’s good.

For us, the challenge is to find B2B clients that actually care enough about what we’re doing for sustainability and for the local farms. This year we’ve talked to Egg’s founder Camden Hauge, Hugo de Mondragon from DODU, and one of the turkey program crowdfunders Austin Hu. But generally it’s tough. As far as I can tell, DODU really puts these messages at the forefront. The rotisserie works with CIWF (Compassion in World Farming) and they’re serious about ethics.

What’s the biggest misconception about Farmonize?

We don’t actually own the animals. We just help our clients manage the farm. That’s a very important distinction. The mental gap that’s the hardest for people to jump over is – we’re not selling products. What you’re paying for are the things our clients’ animals need to live: land, labor, supplies, and equipment. Think of it as a daycare or dog-sitting service.

How big is the plot of land people can “purchase”?

The basic unit is about 100sqm. We believe that’s enough to feed one person, and to replace a majority of their vegetable needs. Certain foods just take more time to grow – asparagus, for example. Leafy vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants – those are probably the best value. We can also grow potatoes, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes and taro, but since they retail for less some people might think it’s not as good of a value. But it’s really up to you how you use your 100sqm, so if you want to make tons of pesto every month you can use all of your land to grow basil!

Tell us more about your turkey program.

We started about a year ago. It came from my own motivation to buy fresh turkey in Shanghai. I’m very skilled at searching on Taobao, but for whatever reason, you couldn’t buy fresh, ready-to-eat turkey. The most common turkey you can get here is the Chilean variety (5-6kg) that has been sitting in a freezer for god knows how long. Once I started reading into how turkeys are raised in factory-like industrial farms… This was an eye-opener because we don’t really think so much about the production methods and the implications of our consumer behavior that drives the prices as low as possible. Having turkeys wasn’t actually that big of a deal because the farm already had chickens. It’s not rocket science. We started a crowdfunding campaign which I just shared on my Moments, and within a week or two we had five backers to support this project. About 8 months later we had locally-grown, cruelty-free turkeys. The reason why I segued into turkey eggs was… I never thought about turkey eggs because we’re growing these birds for meat. We wanted them to reproduce and start a new generation. In the second round of turkeys that started in August, there were a lot of extras that we purchased just in case, but thankfully no misfortune befell us. So right now I have a flock of 10 turkeys with half being female laying this ridiculous amount of eggs!

Part of it is the enjoyment and the story – being able to say I have this farm. Want to see my turkeys? Go see my turkeys! You want some eggs? Give me your address and I’ll send you some. For me that’s the core motivation that keeps me around. I just like having my own farm, being able to do these interesting projects, and to share it in a concrete way so that everyone can sort of understand. If you eat eggs, here are some eggs. Never tried a turkey egg? Well, I’ll give you some and you can find out how they taste like.

We tried. They’re delicious!

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fiesta2

2018, Thu

Apr

12

For your chance to win: Scan the QR Code below to visit our WeChat account and tell us ‘What song will immediately put you in a fiesta mood?’

qr code

leslie fiddle

Tap ‘Write a comment’ at the bottom right hand corner of this post to enter, and we’ll choose 3 lucky winners on Monday to each get 2 tickets (with 10 consumption vouchers) to Brownstone’s Block Party – Spanish Fiesta.

brownstone fiesta

Mark your calendars now because Brownstone is ready to go all out with their Spanish Fiesta-themed Block Party on Sunday, April 22. Expect to shake your hips to international DJs and dance performances while sipping on sparkling wine and refreshing juices. To keep energy levels high all day, you can bite into sizzling BBQ dishes, Spanish classics such as Paella and indulge in fresh oysters. What more could one ask for on a day off?

dancing

If you’d like an authentic Spanish experience, we recommend inviting a few of your amigos over to Brownstone – it promises to be a full house and a great atmosphere! Here’s the event lowdown:

Date : April 22, 2018

Time: 12pm – 7pm

Venue: 570 YongJia Road, Xuhui District

Price:150 RMB/person

Entrance includes 10 consumption vouchers

(Tel: 021 – 6073 7740)

fiesta2

Are you ready for some feel-good vibes? All you have to do is list out a song that makes you want to fiesta before 12PM on Monday and you might get to join in for free. Good luck!

  

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