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"The Allen Associates team has cultivated working relationships with some of the top business minds in the United States. The firm's An American Story, leads us to brilliant little nuggets of creative capitalism and culture.."

- Benjamin Stephens, Top 10 Creative Blogs You May Have Missed 

An American Story


— Authentic American Inspiration —



"Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit." - Brooks Atkinson

To be of this mindset one would certainly have to have traveled the waters of the world in a luxury no- four wheeled land transportation could ever think to. With this in mind, Mr. Atkinson must have glided the sea in a Chris-Craft.

Perhaps destined for nautical excursions based on his first two names alone, it was in 1874 that Christopher Columbus Smith began building practical hunting boats at the age of 13. A turnabout boat venture was born, with an eye on mass production and affordable vessels. By 1927, Chris-Craft and their mahogany powerboats had ballooned into the world’s largest and premier fabricator of refined aquatic transport.

Over the century, Chris-Craft shared a heartbeat with America. The manufacturer became the source of wonderment for vacationing families, from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River. On their industry changing fiberglass yachts, harmless winks led to marriage, which led to divorce and the age old question (who keeps the boat?). When the Depression punched our nation in the gut, Chris Craft grunted too; when the second World War called for a team effort, the company put 12,000 vessels into the waters for our armed forces.

The trend continues today. In these trying economic times, a recreational boat is many things to many people. If the nautical adventurer is seeking a weekend fishing trip after a long and backbreaking week of clock punching, Chris Craft has him covered. If the Queen of England is looking for a shamelessly posh, customized yacht for a tea and cucumber sandwich affair, Chris Craft will provide the royal service. There are a countless stories in between- whichever way the wind blows, Chris Craft has the sails.

Just make sure to check in with the land dwellers from time to time.


Kickstand " The Original " Cold Brewed Coffee

The Luxe Concentrate

Remember the milk man? Probably not.

The theory lives on in Brooklyn though. Only instead of the creamy pasteurized daily source of calcium that does a body good, we are talking coffee. Cup of Joe. Jitter Juice. Java. The nectar of the God’s, our morning wakeup, our afternoon refresher, our midnight bad decision.

Kickstand Brooklyn is a startup that understood two things: Gotham is a mobile city, and Gothamites need their caffeine. So it began with a few rickshaws and a few million tired souls at the unending events that siege the city daily, and the once incongruent term “bike barista” was born. Growing with the mobile idea, Kickstand Brooklyn now offers Sunday and Monday iced coffee delivery service to the client’s brownstone stoop. No motor, sustainable and compact recyclable bottles ,and a gourmet flavor make for an evolving contingency of happy, green- conscious, and alert citizens who coincidentally reside in a city that never sleeps.

The worldly beverage is consumed in those NYC landmark paper cups, the famous blue and white trim with the Greek motif and the simple “We are happy to serve you” emblazoned on its side. One gets the feeling that at this rate, Kickstand Brooklyn might someday share the same lofty status in the realm of caffeine.


Brooklyn Brine Company

This is not your Grandmother’s pickling.

That is said that necessity is the mother of invention, and although in our most minimal state it can be argued that we don’t need Fennel Beets, Chipotle Carrots, Garlic Scapes or Minted Eggplant, to name a few, after a taste or two of these…well, much like beauty, necessity is in the eyes of the beholder. At Brooklyn Brine Company, where tattoos and preserving run concurrent with one another, a twist on the art of pickling, one that is as fresh as their product, has turned an ambitious startup into a growing enterprise. Featured wherever seasoned palates might feast throughout the crowded city of Gotham, and now nationwide through Williams-Sonoma and numerous other food commerce chains, Brooklyn Brine Co. and their upgrade to an age old American undertaking are slowly rebooting what was once banal and mundane and rebranding it with a hipster edge. Imaging aside, their next generation vegetarian delicacies simply taste phenomenal.

Brooklyn Brine Company lives with a bold mission statement: We make “Damn Fine Pickles”. A declaration, sans colorful hype and circus style marketing. A simple statement, about a product crafted of simple ingredients, yet a potent punch to what indie cuisine and small business can be.

If ever caught in a pickle, cross your fingers it’s from Brooklyn Brine Co.

Brooklyn Brine

Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud

Eddie Collins left, Lena Blackburne center, Ty Cobb right

Yep. It’s a real product. And the only product used by all thirty Major League Baseball clubs to break in balls. All minor league teams too. Give it that non sheened scuff, without scratching the leather of the hardball. Wear it in, without marring the beauty of the white leather and red stitching. Lena Blackburne, a Philadelphia A’s third base coach, discovered the product after listening to the complaints of an umpire concerning the usual ball weathering products. Tobacco juice. Infield dirt. Shoe polish. Schmutz, glop, and other unspeakables from under the bleachers. All of which left the balls in garbled disrepair, and, moreover, the performance of the balls became as capricious as all those products, and all the variables of whoever is applying those products are wont to do. Baseball wouldn’t want to seem capricious.

The one thing that baseball does better than seem capricious, is inculcate a sense of legend and mystery. Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud does just that. Legend has that Lena began scouting the brackish banks of the Delaware River in Southern New Jersey in 1938, and came upon a “secret location” rife with the perfect admixture of mud suited for, you know, rubbing baseballs. God Himself had beset the banks of a river with some divine ingredient. Sounds almost biblical.

Jim Blintiff runs the company now, and is purported to be the only person who knows the real location of Blackburne’s “secret spot”. He culls the mud himself, and cures it behind his house before jarring and shipping the product across the nation. The Baseball Rubbing Mud is sold in 32 ounce jars. No doubt, paleontologists of the future will puzzle over dirt native to the Delaware River found in trace amounts on the surface of baseballs, under the thin swath of inked autographs, entombed in glass spheres, and buried under rubble of shelving and books all over the globe.

Story, Billy Comparetto


Best Made Company

It began with an axe.

The gritty, rustic tool that man has used since becoming self aware thousands of years ago, the axe is both the anchor and an avatar for NYC based Best Made Company. Founded in 2009 by a North Canadian who knows a thing or two about the rugged outdoors, Best Made Co. caters to varying crowds with one shared trait; A desire to get their hands dirty.

"Big Jug" Pure Organic Maple Syrup

Along with other empowered gear and wares, Best Made aims to hearken back to an era when men were men, and became one with nature, craftsmanship, and each other through fulfilling projects. The instinctual yearning to build and create has not waned with the increasingly pampered times. In other words, with their finely constructed Best Made products, survivalists and weekend warriors alike are now kindred spirits. And for those hand models and internet worker bees who can’t afford to risk their precious paws, an axe from Best Made Co. still serves as fine art on a wall.

Seamless & Steadfast Enamel Steel Cup

Paul Bunyan would be so proud.

Story, JMA