Left to right: Erique Berry, Amber Owens, Jenelle Kellam, Ryan Jones, Lorri Ashly Lofton and Shay Jackson of Eat Black Charlotte. Photo courtesy of Erique Berry

Organizers behind Eat Black Charlotte are continuing local efforts to spotlight Black-owned food businesses with Eat Black Charlotte Week, happening June 4-12.

Erique Berry, Jenelle Kellam, Lorri Ashly Lofton, Cory Wilkins, DeAnna Taylor, Ryan Jones, Shay Jackson and Amber Owens are known for chronicling their foodie tales on social media. They formed Eat Black Charlotte last summer as more people sought to spend dollars at Black-owned businesses amid the social justice movement. The #eatblkclt hashtag grew quickly, showcasing posts of where to eat and drink in the Charlotte area.

Eat Black Charlotte Week joins other events amplifying local Black restaurants and their owners. Black Business Owners of Charlotte recently held Savor Black Charlotte and announced Charlotte Black Restaurant Week will return this fall Oct. 18-31. Greg and Subrina Collier of Leah & Louise will launch the inaugural BayHaven Food & Wine Festival Oct. 22-24.

“Even though it’s been a year since we started, we want to make sure that people still keep the Black restaurants in mind past us using a hashtag,” said Wilkins, who runs the platform, DailySpecialCLT. “That’s why we want to continue these events to put the restaurants at the forefront.”

The participating lineup includes 35 restaurants, food trucks and dessert vendors offering pre-fixe menus throughout the week. Eat Black Charlotte Week culminates on June 12 with the Food & Brew Festival at Unknown Brewing Co. followed by Desserts & Drinks at 1501 South Mint. Get your tickets here.

It’s been a tough year for the restaurant industry navigating through challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. As part of Eat Black Charlotte Week, organizers are hosting a series of online workshops to support business owners with topics ranging from marketing and branding to transitioning from a food truck to a brick-and-mortar business. Google Partner Latesha Byrd of Byrd Career Consulting, chef Michael Bowling of Hot Box Next Level Kitchen and social media professional Asha Ellison are some of those leading the sessions.

“We wanted to bring in experts to show our Black-owned businesses what they can do to grow coming out of this pandemic,” said food blogger Erique Berry. “We also want to make sure that our fellow Black influencers get a platform as well.”

Visit eatblkclt.com or follow Eat Black Charlotte on Instagram for more information.

Katrina covers Charlotte's Black business scene for QCity Metro. She's a Miami transplant, pescatarian and lover of the arts. She earned a public relations degree from the University of Florida. Got a...

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  1. I like food trucks, but what keeps some people of color away is having to purchase tickets. I understand they need numbers for various reasons, but it excludes many. Jms