Photo Credit: Eat Black Charlotte
Charlotte Bloggers Turn Hashtag Into Weeklong Black-Owned Food Fest
Around this time last year, the United States (and the world) saw a resurgence of social justice protests and movements, after George Floyd senselessly lost his life at the hands of Derek Chauvin in the streets of Minneapolis. While he wasn’t the first or last Black person killed by police, something about his public killing heightened the support of Black-owned businesses everywhere.
A group of Charlotte-based bloggers, photographers, and influencers came together to rally support of their city’s Black-owned food businesses through the hashtag #eatblkclt aka Eat Black Charlotte.
Erique Berry, Shay Jackson, Lorri Ashly Lofton, Amber Owens, Ryan Jones, and Cory Wilkins put their influence and skills together, drawing in thousands of impressions in just a few months. After seeing the positive response to the tag, the group decided they needed to do more. They then enlisted the help of curator Jenelle Kellam and writer/editor DeAnna Taylor.
Welcome to Eat Black Charlotte Week 2021.
“2020 was a tough year for businesses worldwide, but especially the food and beverage industry,” the team said. “As we begin to rebuild and recoup, specifically here in Charlotte, we wanted to curate this event to help bring more visibility to the city’s Black food and drink businesses. We have all been avid supporters of these places and this was the perfect way for us to give back even more.”
The event will take place June 4-12, featuring over 35 of Charlotte’s Black-owned food and beverage businesses, including popular favorites like LuLu’s Maryland Style Chicken and Seafood, What The Fries, and Detour Coffee Bar. Participating restaurants/businesses will offer pre-set menus ranging from $5-$15 during the weeks. Patrons are asked to simply support as many of the businesses as they can.
To end things on a high note, the group will host a food, brew and culture festival on June 12, from 11a-3p at Unknown Brewing Company. While the brewery is not Black-owned, they are an ally of Black businesses. The food, brew and culture fest will have several Black-owned food trucks on-site including: Another Food Truck, Q’s Culinary Cart, Ms. Didi’s Caribbean Kitchen, Made From Scratch NYC, Ve-Go, and Jimmy Pearls. There will also be a special collaborative cocktail.
For those who aren’t ready for the day to end, there will be a desserts and drinks event from 4p-6p on June 12, at 1501 South Mint, featuring local Black-owned spirit brands and dessert makers.
“We couldn’t have done this without the help of our sponsors who truly believe in our vision. Extra special thank you to: Charlotte City Center Partners, Crafted, Rachel Sutherland Communications, Snack N Fun Box, South End Partners, SPGBK Watches, The LEPR Agency, Visit York County, Yelp Charlotte, and our title sponsor OrthoCarolina. With their help, we are confident this will be an amazing event.”