Sam & Cole: How Will Jaguars Approach Draft?

With the draft three weeks away, the Jaguars are in an intriguing position holding the number 3 overall pick. Sam Kouvaris and Cole Pepper discuss what the Jaguars will do and how the team will be viewed nationally. Also, a word or two on Bubba Watson’s win at the Masters and what it means for the future.

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Sam and Cole: Jaguars Complete Season Sweep of Texans

The Jaguars beat the Texans 27-20, Jacksonville’s second victory over Houston in 11 days. Sam Kouvaris and Cole Pepper discuss the game, and why it was the most significant game of the year, plus a word on high school football and Jameis Winston.


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Pepper’s Pick: Green Man Gourmet

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by Cole Pepper
September 10, 2013

In cooking, there are a number of factors that, when combined correctly, fuse to form the best possible experience for the eater. Above all of these factors is the simple concept of starting with the best ingredients.

This is the mantra of Green Man Gourmet in Avondale.

Before we get into what Green Man Gourmet offers, a little bit on the origin of the name. A Green Man is a representation (usually a sculpture) of a face made from or surrounded by leaves that is often found as an architectural ornament in churches or other intricate buildings.

The Green Man represents a number of ideals. In many cultures, it represents natures power of growth or re-birth. That’s why Pete Eldridge chose to name his gourmet spices store Green Man Gourmet when he opened the business in October of 2010.

When I first encountered Green Man Gourmet, I immediately loved the interior and the selection of spices. It didn’t take my BBQ-centric mind long to realize that I had found a gold mine of resources from which to concoct rubs. And that was my first project with Green Man Gourmet.PeppersPicks logo

For the Super Bowl, I whipped up a rub that was very similar to one that I had used before at home, but this time, I used the high quality ingredients that Green Man carries (and a few more that added more complexity). The result? A very happy Super Bowl party. I used the rub on baby back ribs and some of the party goers, who have eaten a lot of my barbecue in the past. Many said that it was the best dish I had ever made. So, we started packaging Cole’s Rib Rub at Green Man.

In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t make any money from the sale of Cole’s Rib Rub, my intention was, and has been, to offer a local business something that might be attention getting and delicious.

By enough about barbecue. Green Man Gourmet has more than just spices. From local honey, to tea, to real artisinal chocolates and pastas and the most amazing olive oil I’ve found this side of Italy.

Basically, if you like to cook, you need to put Green Man Gourmet on your list to visit.

Address: 3543 St. Johns Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32205 (In the Shoppes of Avondale)

Phone: 904-384-0002

Hours: M-Sat: 11AM-8PM, Sun 12PM-4PM

Email: | Website:





Pepper’s Picks: Open Road Bicycles



The Pick: Open Road Bicycles (

I’m pleased that the first of Pepper’s Picks is Open Road Bicycles. I’m pleased for a number of reasons. First, I love to find locally owned and operated stores and restaurants that do great work. Open Road certainly does that. I also love it when the culture of a company is to go above and beyond.

Here’s my story.PeppersPicks logo

Last spring, my wife and I had our bikes stolen from our garage. Anyone who has experienced something like this knows how unsettling it can be to have something taken out of your garage while you sleep. After a few days of looking, checking with the police, scouring the neighborhood, I decided that it was time to replace my wife’s beach cruiser and then make a plan for replacing my road bike.

Open Road operates six locations in Jacksonville. I went to the Avondale location (3544 St. John’s Avenue). I was blown away by the lengths the staff went to for me. The easiest thing to do would have been for them to say, “yes, we’ll sell you a bike or two” and then take the money and go about their business. Instead, the staff offered to hunt down the lost purchase information on my wife’s bike (the beach cruiser had been purchased there several years earlier, before Holt Tucker, the current owner, took over).

Lifes A journeyAfter giving up hope of finding my wife’s bike, we discovered that the model was no longer available. The staff at Open Road did wonders to help me find a model that could replace the lost one. I was a little nervous, because I wasn’t sure what my wife would think of it, but the folks at Open Road were confident. When I rolled it out of of the garage, my wife’s face lit up. She loves it!

A couple of weeks later, I recovered my road bike. It was a wild circumstance that I won’t detail here, but it was clear that the bike had spent some time outside since it’s abduction. So back to Open Road I went. They got it cleaned up, tuned up and better than ever.Open Road Team poster

Open Road is a Specialized Bikes retailer. They have cruisers from a couple of hundred dollars to the high performance for the serious biker or triathlete. They know their bikes. Then again, that goes without saying. What sets them apart for me, is the service. It’s obvious that Open Road Bicycles puts customers first. That’s why they are the first to be Pepper’s Picks!

Connect with Open Road Bicycles:

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Holt Tucker at the Avondale location of Open Road Bicycles.