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Karina Ramírez: Baristas display skills in latte art throwdown

It might have been a small gathering, but a serious competition took place April 5 at Seven Mile Café.

Known as Thursday’s Latte Art Throwdown, the goal of the event was not only to create the best latte art but also to find Denton’s top barista.

Sadie Lynn Ryckoff of Big Mike’s Coffee Shop took the top honor.

Ryckoff, 24, is a general studies student at the University of North Texas. It was her second competition.

“I was nervous the first time, but it is a really good experience,” Ryckoff said.

Kevin Klingele, co-owner of the café, said many local baristas were a bit nervous to participate since bragging rights were riding on winning the event.

But he was thrilled to see the turnout, which included Eve Spayd and Angelo Fesperman of Big Mike’s, Meghan Stevens from Seven Mile and Coffee Eiland’s Connor North, who traveled from Richardson to participate.

Ryckoff’s winning prize was $30, the compiled ticket entrance fee of all the participants.

Seven Mile Café is located at 311 W. Congress St.

A new brewery will be opening in Krum.

Stefen Windham and David Miller are co-owners of the Independent Ale Works Co., which is at 11555 U.S. Highway 380, Suite 209.

Moving into the facility allowed them to begin the licensing process, which will let them begin operation as a craft brewery, Windham said in a news release. “We are extremely excited to have begun this endeavor.”

There are more $3 car washes coming to Denton.

Brad Mann, owner of The Wash Factory, is presently working on expanding his business. A second location is expected to open at 1900 W. University Drive in the fall.

The Wash Factory debuted in 2010.

More information to follow.

Independent Community Bankers of America, an entity that represents nearly 5,000 community banks, recognized April as Community Banking Month.

“Small-business lending has always been the bread and butter of community banking and because community banks are small businesses themselves, they understand the needs and the challenges small businesses face better than anyone else in the marketplace,” Jeff Gerhart, ICBA chairman and chairman of the Bank of Newman Grove, Neb., said in a news release.

The organization also said community banks with less than $10 billion in assets provide nearly 60 percent of small-business loans between $100,000 and $1 million.

For more information, visit or .

This week everyone in the social media spectrum could not stop talking about a new application on Facebook.

The company announced the purchase of Instagram, a free photo-sharing app, for $1 billion.

Instagram debuted in 2010 via the Apple iPhone and since has showcased the work of many photographers eager to try photo filters such as Hudson, Earlybird or Inkwell and share their photos with friends and co-workers.

Since news of the purchase, Instragram’s user base grew from 30 million to 40 million, according to, a technology news website. The increase also could be a result of Android’s 500 million users who also began to use the app last week.

There is ample time available for area residents to apply for Leadership North Texas Class 4.

Leadership North Texas is a nine-month, graduate-level regional leadership program designed to recruit, develop and support leaders who have a commitment to civic engagement and to the North Texas region.

Participants can gain valuable knowledge from regional and national experts on various issues facing North Texas.

The program also encourages participants to address the challenges unique to the region.

The Leadership North Texas application deadline for the 2012-13 class is June 8.

For more information, call 972-621-0400 or visit .



Insurance Connection USA, a Denton-based insurance agency, recently added Elisa M. Thornton as an insurance agent and customer service specialist.

Thornton, a Denton resident, is a licensed agent and an account manager for individual and group health products.

She holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Insurance Connection USA serves customers in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, California and Washington.

For more information, call 940-382-4700 or visit .


Coming up

Don’t miss the chance to see Andre “Frenchy” Rheault get his head and beard shaved live for a good cause.

The Greater Denton Arts Council will host a celebrity roast fundraiser featuring the owner of Frenchy’s Lawn Care Service on Friday at 7 p.m.

Regular tickets cost $40 and VIP tickets are $100, which includes special seating and a bottle of champagne.

The Greater Denton Arts Council is located at 400 E. Hickory St.

For more information about the fundraiser, call 940-382-2787

The Argyle Chamber of Commerce will host a LEADS luncheon at Palermo’s Italian Café, 2652 FM407 in Bartonville.

The event is scheduled for noon Wednesday.

Lunch will be available for purchase.

For more information, e-mail .

KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her email address is  .