Ro and Earl Townsend
Ro and Earl Townsend complete each other like a poem in motion: their passion the simplicity of a haiku, their life’s work the disciplined form of a sestina. They do small group catering and community organizing. Ro and Earl Townsend make up RoE Creations (which puts on the Open Bite Night events) and gROE Inc. (which serves the neighborhood).
An Office Manager for an IT firm, Ro’s gifts include being a(n):
-musician (plays 25 instruments)
-writer (author of the book Put Some Shoes On)
All about artistic expression, Ro could teach:
A Senior Vacation Specialist, Earl’s gifts include being a(n):
-spoken word artist
-encourager of people
All about personal development, Earl could teach:
-discerning and living into ones gifts
Their community organizing began with small poetry sets. It evolved into the RoE-dega, a candy store which helped them identify needs in the neighborhood. Eventually they formed gROE Inc–Gather Resources, Offer to Everyone–which feeds kids in the neighborhood after school.
Ro began doing chocolates and confections since she was 14 years old. When they began dating, she taught him how to do the chocolates. Then they started cooking for one another which quickly turned into a game of oneupsmanship. Realizing they were both talented and creative, they toyed with the idea of catering. Thus RoE Creations was born.
In 2012 they started in catering. After a successful launch, they recognized how difficult it was to get their food out for tastings, being both costly and challenging. They conceived the idea of doing an open mic for food artists instead of spoken word artists. They wanted to give aspiring food artists and businesses a platform for people to eat their food without coming too far out of pocket (and to immediately make their money back). Thus their Open Bite Night events were born.
“We never imagined ourselves doing something remotely to this magnitude. But look at it: there’s all these people, all this food, all this love, all this energy. And it’s beautiful. That we had a hand in this is crazy.” -Ro on Open Bite
A neighbor described Open Bite this way: it’s equal parts a networking event and a family reunion.
“She doesn’t begin to know what she means to me and what she’s taught me. What it means to be a friend to somebody. What it looks like to truly embrace the Word and not just use it. God put her in the position to be in my life, who I needed when I needed her. I’m so proud of her. I love her forever.” -Januarie York, nationally renown poet