Category: Uncategorized

International Dreamweaver: Kevin Leffler

By dweb247 on December 8th 2017

When it comes to manifesting your dreams, you need to dream big and trust that the world’s your oyster. We could all take some pointers from Kevin Leffler. After busting his hump apprenticing everywhere from Pennsylvania to Oregon and stops in between, he decided to firmly plant himself in the mountain town of Lake Tahoe, CA. One doesn’t usually associate ski-towns with exquisite, luxury footwear brands, but when that’s where you “feel most alive, most creative and most inspired,” that is precisely where you hang your hat. Check out Kevin’s artistry at

Featuring Leffler Bespoke Shoes & Leather Goods

This is More Than a Bag

By dweb247 on December 5th 2017

We’re big proponents of recycling. That’s why our shipping bags and boxes are 100% reusable. Sure, use them as bags and boxes, but why not put them to the creative test? Make someone a gift, decorate your house, add some pizzazz to your wardrobe – just don’t throw them away.

This is a practical portfolio.

It’s a clever clutch.

It’s a savvy sun visor.

It’s a wicked wildlife stencil.

It’s a gaggle of groovy glasses.

It’s a mounted moose for a mantle.

It’s a humorous hat.

Tag us in your creations @ToadandCoClothing and Check out what else we’re doing on the sustainability front.

Of Mountains and Beer

By dchulst on August 1st 2017


What is it about hoppy beer that makes us feel a certain type of mountainous way? Maybe it’s the similar aroma of hops and pine trees, or maybe it’s the parallels between a good buzz and altitude sickness. Whatever it is, a plethora of breweries are named after mountains. Whether it’s nationwide Sierra Nevada, or Santa Barbara favorite Topa Topa, lots of our favorite suds are branded under the name of a mountain or mountain range. We’re going to start a list of our favorite breweries having to do with mountains, but were going to need your help to make this list complete. Please leave names of breweries we have missed in the comments and we will update the blog as comments come in.

Adirondack Brewery
Altamont Beer Works
Appalachian Mountain Brewery
Big Bear Mountain Brewery
Bitter Root Brewing
Blue Ridge Brewery
Cascade Brewing
Catskill Brewery
Colorado Mountain Brewery
Denali Brewing Company
Figueroa Mountain Brewery
Grand Teton Brewing Co
Green Mountain Beer Co

Lassen Ale Works
Mount St. Helena Brewing Company
Mt. Hood Brewing Co
Mt. Rushmore Brewing Co
Rainier Beer
Rocky Mountain Brewery
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery
Sawtooth Brewery
Sierra Nevada Brewery
Siskiyou Brew Works
Smoky Mountain Brewery
St. Elias Brewing Co
Tioga Sequoia Brewery
Topa Topa Brewery
Uinta Brewing
Wind River Brewing

Featured Image courtesy of Waterline SB.

Wild Ideas Worth Living with Shelby Stanger

By dchulst on June 14th 2017


Have you ever had a wild idea but were afraid to act on it? Or maybe you started, but then self-doubt crept in, someone told you that it wouldn’t work, or you talked yourself out of it? Shelby Stanger is no stranger to both the fear of the unknown and the bliss of operating outside of her comfort zone. From deep in the world of corporate execs and renowned brands, Shelby took a plunge into the unknown to pursue her love of freelance journalism, photography and podcasts (spoiler alert: it was a total success). Her latest podcast,Wild Ideas Worth Living, is all about pursuing the dreams that live in our imaginations. Shelby interviews people from across the globe who have taken a leap of faith and just gone for it. From new business models to climbing rocks all over the world, Shelby highlights inspiring individuals who have followed their passions and transformed their lives. We’ll be adding a new episode every week, so sit back and get inspired.

Weekly Episodes:

Week 1:Sarah Robb O’Hagan, Author of Extreme You – Sarah is an adventurous business woman who has worked for Gatorade, Atari, and other notable organizations.


Week 2: Norah Eddy, co-founder of Salty Girl SeafoodNorah is the driving force behind a sustainable seafood company with an innovative way of doing business.


Week 3: Mark Lukach, Author of My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward In his new book, Mark details his wife’s struggle with mental illness and its affect on their marriage. Through sacrifice, commitment, and courage, Mark boldly shares the often untold story of mental illness and it’s impact on the families involved.


Week 4: Brogan Graham, founder of the November ProjectWith the November Project, Brogan has disrupted people’s idea of fitness by creating awesome free workouts that build community around the globe.


Week 5: Devyn Bisson, Documentary Film MakerAs a lifeguard, Devyn worked to save lives in the ocean. Now, as a filmmaker, Devyn continues to help others through the art of film production.


Week 6: Gretchen Bayless & Taylor Hood, founders of Roamerica Rentals By starting Roamerica Rentals, Gretchen and Taylor have pursued their dream of being able to travel with ease while building and maintaining a successful business.


Week 7: Izzy Tihanyi, founder of Surf Diva Surf School Surf Diva Surf School was born out of Izzy’s determination to build a thriving business in her bikini. Now in it’s 20th year, Surf Diva continues to build a community around teaching women of all ages to surf.


Week 8: Angela Davis, Fitness Evangelist and Motivational CoachAs a former member of the USA track and field team, Angela Davis knows a thing or two about getting fit. These days she motivates all types of people to realize their full potential, both in fitness and in life.


Week 9: Rebecca Rusch, Endurance Athlete and Adventure RacerRebecca has sent a first female ascent on El Capitan, river boarded the Colorado River, and set records for endurance mountain bike racing. Aside from her impressive outdoor accomplishments, Rebecca exhibits a contagious spirit of positivity.


Week 10: Grant Trebilco, Creator of One Wave Is All It Takes After overcoming his own mental health struggles, Grant created One Wave Is All It Takes to help people cope with their own mental health issues through surfing and awesome, shared group experiences.


Week 11: Emi Koch and Becky Mendoza, Environmental and Social AdvocatesEmi and Becky learned at a young age that you gain far more from giving than getting. With this mindset, they embarked on a mission to give back to communities around the world and create social and environmental change along the way.


Week 12: Eric Wolfinger, Award Winning Food PhotographerGrowing up, Eric had the goal of creating his own dream job. But how to combine his love of cooking and traveling? Answer; Photography. Tune in to find out how Eric made his wild idea a reality.


Make sure to check back next week for the latest episode of Wild Ideas Worth Living.

5th Annual Grilled Cheese Smackdown

By dchulst on April 7th 2017


Over the course of human history, food has taken on different meanings for different people. For some, food is simply the fuel that drives the body. For others, food is an art, creatively crafted to please all of the senses. And for an even smaller group, food is the centerpiece of a competition that knows no cosmic limits. A competition so vast that it’s been said that contestants prepare for weeks, fine tuning their creations, testing daring new recipes and sometimes even the limits of science itself… Born out of bread, cheese and boldness, the Toad&Co Grilled Cheese Smackdown is a culmination of visionary chefs, experimental ingredients and the desire to create one grilled cheese to rule them all.

The Competitors Table: A place of battle waged with bread and cheese.

Now in it’s 5th year, the Toad&Co Grilled Cheese Smackdown started in 2011 as a modest competition between Toads and friends. The goal? To create the greatest grilled cheese sandwich in the known universe. Over the years the competition has grown, just like our bellies on the night of competition. In its second year, the Smackdown escalated with the addition of the Golden Spatula, the highly coveted trophy awarded by an elite team of judges. The Smackdown grew considerably through its third and fourth years, but nothing could have prepared us for the epic clash of carbs and dairy that was the 5th Annual Grilled Cheese Smackdown held at Toad HQ in the early days of April 2017.

The real winners in this competition? Whoever got to eat this.

Undoubtedly, the best part of the Smackdown (besides the heaps of cheese consumed) is the support from our Santa Barbara Community. This year teams representing Alpha Resource Center, Santa Barbara Fire Department, Salty Girl Seafood,UCSB’s Bren School,Ontraport, and Visit Santa Barbara joined the competition. Toad&Co represented with three teams including past winners Nina and Ian. The judges had their mouths full this year with two 30-minute heats and 9 grilled cheeses comin’ in hot! And as much as taste will win over a judge, presentation turned out to be just as important this year. Contestants plating their sandwiches on everything from fine china to polished wood platters, and many sandwiches were accompanied by a specialty cocktail. In the case of SB Fire Department, a straight shot of tequila was the perfect garnish. Because getting the judges a little liquored up is surely a good way to win them over.

Team Santa Barbara Fire Deptartment bringing the heat with their spicy grilled cheese dubbed En Fuego.

As contestants crafted their delicacies, onlookers drank in a delicious pale ale from local Telegraph Brewingand fought off the evening chill with Tuscan Tomato Soup from non-profit Organic Soup Kitchen. As sandwiches began to take shape, hungry masses gathered round to snap up samples and compare notes. Even though the esteemed judges award the Golden Spatula, the crowd was tasked with picking the People’s Choice Grilled Cheese by the end of the night.

As attendees mingled around sampling the various specialty grilled cheese sandwiches, one sandwich began to emerge as the crowd favorite. Pure Cheese, a delicious combination of pepper jack and cheddar cheese, spinach and mushrooms, created by Alpha Resource Center,quickly racked up votes for this year’s People’s Choice Award. More than just a killer grilled cheese team, Alpha Resource Center is a shining star in our community – they’re a multi-faceted service center providing support and information for families of persons with developmental disabilities . Part if our mission is to empower adults with disabilities, so we couldn’t be more appreciative of all the great work Alpha Resource Center is doing to empower and integrate adults with disabilities in our community. Grilled cheese smackdowns, local park maintenance, rock bands, community volunteering – there’s nothing the Alpha folks CAN’T do!

Organic Soup Kitchen kept everyone full with their delicious Tomato Soup.
For those of us with a more traditional palette, the make-your-own grilled cheese station was a hit!

As an evening breeze began to whisper through the trees, the judges huddled around more for warmth than secrecy. Choosing between all of the cheesy goodness must have been a challenge, but a winner had to be crowned. In third place, Phil and Billy from Santa Barbara Fire Department Got the “Overall Hottest Award” for their spicy En Fuegosandwich. In second place, Toad’s Nina and Ian got accolades for their tres chic, artisanal sandwich, The French Onion. With second and third place announced, a hushed silence fell over the crowd (minus our Ops Manager Neil who was far more interested in finishing off the keg). Weeks of experimenting with recipes and cooking methods had led up to this moment: The Golden Spatula went to Natalie and Danielle from Visit Santa Barbara for their exquisite and entirely local-sourced Fromage de la Riviera!

3rd Place – Phil and Billy representing Santa Barbara Fire Department. Living up to their “Overall Hottest” Award, indeed.
Previous winners Ian and Nina ended up in second place this year. From the looks of it, they will be back with vengeance!
1st place – Natalie and Danielle representing Visit Santa Barbara. You go girls!

For anyone who’s ever been to the Toad&Co Grilled Cheese Smackdown, you know grilled cheese sandwiches are more than just food. They are shining effigies of the two greatest things on earth: bread and cheese. And when those most perfect things meet in the holy confines of a griddle, it’s pure magic. The 6th Annual Grilled Cheese Smackdown will be here before you know it, so everyone better start practicing now. Practice makes perfect, and that means lots of test-runs eating sample grilled cheeses. You know, in the name of science.

Friends, grilled cheese, and beer – good times guaranteed.