Zoey Thomas is dedicated to encouraging and uplifting people. This was part of her motivation for opening Living Well Nutrition about a year ago in Statesboro. Spreading the gospel is also incredibly important to Thomas and plays a key role in the day to day running of her business.
She takes the time to include handwritten pieces of scripture or Christian quotes on the side of protein shakes and energizing teas heading out the door of her shop.
“We love hearing people’s responses of how they truly needed that energy and that verse or quote,” said Thomas.
Living Well Nutrition also emphasizes the additional health benefits of their beverages, whether that be fat burning coffee or collagen in a tea. However, what people constantly brag about are the delicious flavors!
“Went by this place today and oh my goodness I’m so glad I did. I got the Coconut Dream Tea and it was AMAZING! Will Definitely be back!!” Cheyenne Willis said in a Facebook review.
“I love this place. Very friendly staff and uplifting messages in the cups. The teas are so tasty too. Help support local small businesses. Go check them out asap!” Dianna Sammons-Floyd also said in a Facebook review.
Another product offered by Living Well Nutrition are their dry teas. Handed over as a small container of powder, the staff at Living Well will give you instructions on how to prepare the tea. If you can’t run by the shop everyday or want it on the go, dry tea is the perfect solution for your tea craving!
With future plans to start serving smoothie bowls, Living Well is a growing business. Stop by and see them from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday and 10am-2pm on Saturdays. Living Well Nutrition is located at 23669 US-80, near Fordham’s Farmhouse Restaurant. You can reach them at (912) 403-2686.
Sydney O. Davis
Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau
PO Box 1516
Jonny Womack, also known as Jonny Boy, didn’t start out as a baker. Long before the days of Jonny Boy Cookies, Jonny worked in the healthcare field, first as an LPN and later as a drug representative. While making his rounds to different doctor’s offices, Jonny would take his homemade cookies along to thank the staff. Big Boys Cookies was initially conceived to make Jonny’s cookies more professional.
By the time the holiday season came around, offices started calling Jonny, looking to get more of his cookies. Jonny just kept saying yes- leading to over 90 dozen cookies being ordered by different doctor’s offices! Armed with only a single Kitchen-Aid Mixer and a single conventional oven, the cookies began to be baked. Jonny would bake 30 hours at a time. Hannah, Jonny’s wife and “quality control”, would wrap and package them. Thankfully, two more mixers were borrowed shortly after.
After the holiday rush, over the course of a long car ride, Jonny and Hannah decided to take the plunge. In March 2016, the original Big Boy Cookies food truck hit the road. Turning your home business into something more does have its challenges. As part of their marketing, Jonny started a Facebook business account, which requires an address. Since they were a food truck, Jonny listed his home. One morning, while he and Hannah were sitting on their porch drinking coffee, a car pulled up. A couple had driven from Charleston to try their famous cookies! Of course, Jonny and Hannah welcomed them in, and baked them some cookies for their effort. As the business continued to grow, the next step was a brick and mortar, and in September of 2017 that’s exactly what opened along The Blue Mile in Statesboro, Georgia.
Jonny Boy now has over 50 cookie recipes, from Jalapeño Corn to Caramel Apple. Taking care of people has always been integral to Jonny and his cookies reflect that, with lactation cookies and gluten free and vegan options. Flavor is also at the core of Jonny Boy Cookies. Their original tagline was “Finally, a Cookie for Adults!”, which led to some confusion about the contents of the cookies…however, Jonny was quick to clarify.
“Our cookies have nuanced flavors that adults will pick up on and enjoy, but the kids will love too!” His personal favorite tends to change, but one that always stays near the top is the Molasses Cookie. These are finished with a roll in a coarse sugar, adding a pleasant texture to the outside. Jonny boy definitely has opinions about flavor.
“I won’t make an oatmeal raisin cookie- they’re gross. I do have an Oatmeal Rum Craisin though!” When asked about his best seller, Jonny said chocolate chip, noting that it’s most peoples “security blanket” cookie. Christopher Kimball, co-founder of America’s Test Kitchen, tried to create the perfect chocolate chip cookie by baking hundreds of cookies, an expedition that actually helped inspire Jonny, by showing him the variety and experimentation that went into baking cookies. Much like Mr. Kimball, Jonny has little formal culinary training.
“If we knew what we were doing, we wouldn’t have what we have. I don’t have to follow strict guidelines- that’s how you get Chicken and Waffles!” The Chicken and Waffles cookie is a specialty cookie that carries a sweet, maple flavor with a spicy finish. Bold is a word that is used to describe Jonny’s flavors often, but is also important to him in the decision making process of each cookie- such as picking the correct bourbon for the Maple Bacon Bourbon cookies.
Next time you stop in, be sure to check out the Georgia Grown items they carry, including Cork’s Kettle Corn, Dee’s Nuts, Byne’s Blueberries, and Southern Pawz products. One product Jonny Boy offers that you may not be familiar with is their edible cookie dough, which is made with pasteurized eggs and cooked flour. Freezing cookie dough actually adds a depth of flavor and while it can be eaten as is, Jonny also says that baking the cookie dough is a delicious, worthwhile experience.
The food truck, now called the Cookie Wagon, is still on the go, available for events, and can be tracked through their social media. Johnny Boy Cookies is now able to ship nationwide and plans to expand their online offerings. Their cookies can also be delivered locally through Chow Now. Don’t see your favorite Jonny Boy cookie in the case when you come in? Order a half dozen and they will be happy to bake them up fresh for you!
The Grand Rebrand Celebration will be Friday, October 1st. When asked about the name change, Jonny was quick to say that he didn’t feel like they lost big boy- but gained Jonny Boy! “Jonny Boy” represents the new spin on southern tradition that Jonny prioritizes in his baking.
The Grand Rebrand Celebration will kick off at 9am as a full day of fun! Not only will fall favorites be available, including Pumpkin Snickerdoodle, Cotton Candy, and Oatmeal Butterscotch, but a brand new cookie will be announced! Pie Society and Sweet Spice, two food trucks, will be set up outside at 10:30am. BOGO discounts and giveaways, including the chance to win a half dozen cookies per month for a year, will be happening until 6pm. Swing by on Friday from 9am-6pm to get in on the action at 441 South Main Street, Statesboro. Give them a call at (912) 259-9866 or head to https://jonnyboycookies.com/ to check out their website.
All images courtesy of Jonny Boy Cookies social media accounts.
Located near the intersection of Savannah Avenue and Northside Drive, this locally owned restaurant needs to be on your radar! Northside Seafood has been around since 2018, but this restaurant has recently grown in popularity. If you’re looking for fresh fish, crab, or low country boil, Northside is the place!
Walking in through the front doors, the restaurant is fittingly filled with coastal décor, including a ship’s wheel mounted onto the front of the counter. Clean and organized, you’ll notice how smoothly this ship sails on your first visit! Ordering ahead is recommended, as the menu is large and ensures that all of your food is hot and ready to go at the same time.
Shrimp, whole fish, and crab sit on ice. If you prefer, you can purchase your seafood from the case, raw and ready for you to prepare at home! Alternatively, you can pay an additional $1 per large item (or $1 per lb) for the staff at Northside Seafood to cook up your choice. They keep an assortment of fish on hand, including fresh flounder, tilapia, whiting, catfish, croaker, sea bass, and red snapper.
If you opt for one of their baskets, Northside offers a wide variety of sides, including French fries, fried pickles, fried okra, plantains, sweet potato fries, and hush puppies.
Seafood isn’t the only thing that Northside is serving up! They also serve up fried chicken wings, which can be tossed in one of their eight sauces. Northside has classics like lemon pepper and buffalo, but also fun flavors like sesame and general tso. Chicken tenders and boneless wings are also available, but one of the standouts isn’t found on many menus. Their chicken livers are crispy, flavorful, and cooked to perfection!
You can call ahead at (912) 225-9888 or order through their website online. Give them a visit at 708 Northside Drive today!
“We smoke while you sleep” is a tagline that tells you a lot about the philosophy behind Dolan’s Bar B Que. Pit masters are used to early mornings and labors of love, but Mary Beth Brown has even more responsibilities as the operator of Dolan’s. Mary Beth co-owns the restaurant with her sister Lazar Brown Oglesby (Honey Specialties). We recently spoke with Mary Beth while touring the new location.
Mary Beth explained how diners will order at a front counter. Her goal is fast service for everybody. “I want you to be able to come in and grab something quick, especially during lunch. An hour for lunch goes by very fast, especially if you’re trying to go in somewhere and sit down. There aren’t a lot of places in Statesboro that operate like that.”
There is a drive-thru window that will be used exclusively as a pick up window for Dolan’s orders that have been called ahead, another testament to the speed and service Mary Beth wants to offer. However, if you aren’t in a hurry, Dolan’s will also be a great place to hang out. Their porch will be pet friendly and they plan to have live music on a regular basis. Relax and watch your favorite team on one of the TVs while enjoying a beverage, since Dolan’s also has your libation needs covered.
You’ll be asked while ordering if you want bar service. If yes, you’ll be given a separate table marker that will alert a bar server. Dolan’s will have a full bar, featuring nearly 10 signature cocktails that are all named after Statesboro Bars of the past. This includes drinks like The Wooden Nickel, The Flame, Animal House, and Legends. There will also be a focus on featuring locally sourced spirits, such as a frozen Arnold Palmer based drink that will include Savannah Sweet Tea Bourbon.
One of the features of Dolan’s that people have noticed from the outside is what has popped up behind it- a large, brick pit and chimney. Mary Beth explained that Dolan’s will actually have two pits for barbecuing: a traditional brick pit and a barrel pit. The brick pit is modeled after a pit on the family farm used by Dolan, Mary Beth and Lazar’s granddad, who is the namesake of the restaurant.
“There are certain things I like better on the brick pit and certain things I like better on the barrel. And in Texas, the holy grail of BBQ, a lot of them do it the same way. They cook their pork butts and chickens on the brick, which is what my intention is. Brisket and ribs on the barrel.”
Distinct from the dark greens and rustic aesthetic, a portion of the dining room stands out, with white tile and blue cabinetry. This is the new home of Honey Specialties where you can purchase cheesecakes, chicken salads, and casseroles. This corner will also sell Dolan’s sauces and merchandise like t-shirts and hats.
When asked why Dolan’s was being opened in Statesboro, Mary Beth smiled, and began by very graciously acknowledging how wonderfully Millen has supported both Dolan’s and Honey locations.
“On any given Saturday in Dolan’s in Millen, the majority of the people that are dining with us are not from Millen. At least half, if not more, are from Bulloch County- Statesboro could support this vision, while I could stay local.”
The potential impact a restaurant like Dolan’s could have on our community can’t be understated and Mary Beth’s excitement is infectious. She has many ideas she wants to implement down the road, such as Sunday brunch and bingo night.
“It’s almost done. I had one of these moments; it was when the electricity finally got turned on. I came by, it was close to dark, and all the lights were on, inside and out. I almost started crying. We’re so close.”
If you want to join the Dolan’s crew, they are currently accepting applications for most positions on their website (https://dolansbbq.com/). Look for Dolan’s Bar B Que to open in late September or early October on the Blue Mile.
Ask locals about D’s Friendly Diner and they’ll tell you that it’s one of Statesboro’s best kept secrets. Open since 2012, it is the ideal small town restaurant experience. From the welcoming atmosphere and kind servers to the tasty diner cuisine, there’s little not to love. D’s has a variety of sandwiches, salads, burgers, and breakfast platters, as well as plenty of opportunities for customization.
Open from 7am-1:30pm seven days a week, you can enjoy their breakfast or lunch offerings anytime. From the red checkered tablecloths to the pictures of regulars hanging on the walls, D’s Friendly Diner is a local joint full of good food and good times.
Visit Statesboro Staff Recommendations:
Becky Davis is a fan of the Eggsplosion Burger, which takes the classic combo of burger and egg, and makes it D’s style, with the egg cooked to your preference.
Justin Samples recommends the Philly Omelette that’s filled with philly steak, melty swiss cheese, onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Add a little bit of hot sauce and this savory dish is sure to start your day off on the right foot!
One local hack Visit Statesboro recommends for D’s Friendly Diner? Skip the toast. Order a biscuit instead, which is cut in half and warmed on the griddle. With a little bit of jam, it’s the breakfast equivalent of dessert.
Nestled in the corner of College Plaza, Coconut Thai Cuisine is a hidden gem. Kamolwan Amy Kawpunna has been the chef and owner since 2016, bringing bold Thai flavors to Statesboro. Walking into Coconut Thai Cuisine, the lighting and gold accents on the wall create an open, enticing space. There are lots of details to notice, with one wall being almost entirely covered by a collage of mirrors and frames. One very telling fact about this restaurant is their commitment to not using monosodium glutamate (MSG) in their kitchen. This restaurant also offers vegan and gluten free versions of their sauces and most dishes, so make sure you talk to your server if you have dietary restrictions.
If you want to enjoy a beverage with your meal, Coconut Thai Cuisine has a full service bar with frequent drink specials. There are a number of cocktails on the menu, as well as a variety of regional liquors and spirits from places like Savannah Distilling and Ghost Coast Distillery.
Coconut Thai Cuisine also has an interesting deal for the adventurous- you can make your meal a “Taste of Thailand”, meaning that you get the chef’s choice of appetizer and dessert with your entrée for an additional $4. This is a great way to introduce yourself to the flavors Coconut Thai Cuisine has to offer.
When starting your meal, there are many appetizers to consider. Their Steamed Dumplings are wonderful. If you’ve never had an authentic one, treat yourself! The Basil Roll consists of vegetables wrapped in basil and steamed rice paper; it is a lovely vegetarian option that tastes like the definition of fresh. However, the star of the appetizers has to be the Blue Mussels. Cooked and served in a creamy lemongrass broth, the mussels take on an excellent bright, garlic flavor that makes this dish a must try.
After your appetizer, it’s time for the main course. There are a wide variety of chef specials, including dishes like Australian Lamb Chops and Steamed Sea Bass. There are also curry, fried rice, and noodle dishes that let you decide the spiciness and proteins, helping tailor your dish to your taste. One standout dish is the Ahi Tuna, which is served over their fried rice with cashews and golden raisins.
If you haven’t tried Statesboro’s only Thai restaurant, stop by Coconut Thai Cuisine for lunch or dinner any day of the week! Check out their website or give them a call at 912-225-3757.
Even on your first visit, there is something familiar about Uncle Shug’s Bar-B-Q Place. Perhaps it’s the warm southern welcome you receive when you open the front door. It might be the aroma of wonderful smoky meat that immediately conjures images of juicy pulled pork and crispy skin. Or maybe it’s Stacy Underwood himself, the man behind the Uncle Shug’s restaurants in Statesboro and Brooklet, guaranteeing you’re getting some of the best southern cooking around.
Uncle Shug’s BBQ Place, previously Uncle Shug’s on Main, opened on July 28th to eager Statesboro diners. Their menu has a range of BBQ staples, including brisket, ribs, chicken, and pulled pork. Each entrée has the choice of being “small” or “large”, which determines whether you have one or two sides. Orders are placed at the front and you are given a placard for your table.
Food is quickly delivered to you, hot and ready to enjoy. The ribs are flavorful enough to be eaten on their own, but don’t miss out on trying Uncle Shug’s BBQ sauces, which will be waiting at your table. The brisket, a cut that can be hard to cook, was tender and rich. Surprisingly, one of the things people are raving about most are the French fries. Cut fresh daily, these crispy, shoestring fries are tossed in Shug’s Seasoning as soon as they come out of the fryer. The Seasoning is a top-secret family recipe that is made in private by Mr. Underwood himself- no employees allowed!
Freshly made hamburger patties, Georgia shrimp, and BBQ nachos are just a few of the other menu items that Uncle Shug’s Bar-B-Q Place has to offer. Keep an eye on this restaurant, as new menu items will likely be added soon!
Banquet space is available and, as always, Uncle Shug’s is offering catering. Come in and dine Tuesday through Saturday from 11am-9pm. For more information, contact them at 912-842-7484.
Walking into Bull and Barrel Steakhouse in downtown Statesboro is an experience for the senses. As soon as you step on to the intricate black and white tiles of the entrance, the smell of sizzling steaks and fresh herbs greet you. The bar, immediately to your left behind a chic wooden block wall, creates the background music of martini shaking and ice clinking. The upscale atmosphere is excellent and, while only operating since May of 2020, has already helped to make Bull and Barrel Steakhouse one of the most popular fine dining restaurants in Statesboro.
While perusing their menu, why not begin your experience with one of their cocktails? Whether you’re craving something classic (Paloma), fruity (Key Lime Martini), or a pick me up like the Flatliner (which features local Cool Beanz Cold Brew, Bailey’s, and Frangelico), Bull and Barrel’s talented bartenders are sure to have a solution.
You can always tell who has tried the Pork Belly appetizer at Bull and Barrel…they mention it anytime Statesboro food comes up! The crispy, smoky edges are a perfect contrast to the tender, juicy inside. The cold, flavorful coleslaw is an unexpected delight too.
Another popular appetizer is the Deviled Egg Flight. Three varieties of deviled egg are served with this flight, featuring okra, bacon, and pickle. Everyone in the South has an opinion on what constitutes the perfect deviled egg- but if your definition includes a creamy, smooth filling, you need to try these! Bull and Barrel provides a modern take on a southern staple with flavors (and a final sprinkle of paprika) that makes this dish feel like home.
Entrees at Bull and Barrel Steakhouse change with the seasons to ensure you’re getting the best ingredients. What you can always count on seeing on the menu is a selection of hand cut steaks and prime rib that will delight the meat lovers in your life!
Bull and Barrel Steakhouse is a wonderful addition to the culinary scene in Statesboro. If you want to dine here, they are open from 5:30-9:45pm Wednesday through Saturday. Reservations are required and can be made at 912-259-9990.
Want to truly make memories that will last a lifetime? Plan ahead to take back roads to your next vacation destination!
Chart a course that allows you to navigate back roads as often as possible and forget the blur of blinding billboards and big rigs. Enjoy the scenery provided by small towns and build unique stops into your route while leaving a little wiggle room. You never know when you might drive through a small town hosting a festival or parade so look at side trips or unplanned expeditions as a bonus! Historical venues, interesting restaurants, local breweries, or perhaps even guided tours can provide plenty of additional reasons to pull over, too.
Being flexible and keeping an open mind will maximize your experience. Make sure your travel companions, whether family or friends, are all on the same page about this up front. Pack unique snacks, create a travel-themed play list, and share fun road trip games to maximize your fun!
Enjoy traveling at your own pace with no worries of lost luggage or departure deadlines. Cherish your time in the car together and remember that adventure can be found in the most unexpected places.
National Travel and Tourism Week is an annual tradition for the U.S. travel community. It’s a time when travel and tourism professionals across the country unite to celebrate the value travel holds for our economy, businesses and personal wellbeing.
“Although most travel and events have been put on hold, one way to help make sure Statesboro continues to be a destination is supporting its restaurants, attractions and boutiques so they can continue to draw tourists once this public health emergency is over” said Visit Statesboro’s Executive Director, Becky Davis.
Win $100 in Statesboro Gift Cards!
Visit Statesboro is asking you to become a Tourist in Your Hometown this week to help celebrate one of the biggest industries in Bulloch County. Submit photos we can use to showcase the best we have to offer in food, festivals, events and attractions and you could win $100 in Statesboro restaurant gift cards!
Email photos to [email protected]
Submit as many photos as you’d like from anywhere in Bulloch County. Submissions will be posted on social media and winner will be announced May 9th.