I am gonna attempt to collect myself and actually talk about the love that was personified at Open Bite Night: Reloaded.
Honestly, I still don’t really know where to start. The idea for the Open Bite came from us hosting open mics and figuring out a way to translate that concept into a platform for up-and-coming food artists. We remembered how hard (and expensive) it was for us trying to start our catering business and since we’re not too far removed from that, we can empathize with those trying to crack into the food industry or even just get their food hustle on on the side. The Open Bite is not only a way for cooks to get their food out there, but it is also a training ground. The Open Bite can be used to see if would-be caterers are comfortable cooking for hundreds of people, if their menus are “public friendly” and to work out timing (shopping, cooking, setting up, etc.). And then if they make mistakes, we’re here to help them, give them some tips, encourage and motivate them. This is one of the most important motivators for us because when we first started catering, we totally bombed two catering gigs and almost quit because we were met with ridicule, condescension and people having laughs at our expense. We quickly learned the necessity for thick skin and that also led us to want to help our food brethren even more.
But thank God for God because He kept showing us that we couldn’t quit and then completely blew our minds by planting the idea for the Open Bite in us to birth — and birth we did. It is a culmination of everything we do: event planning, cooking, performance arts, ministering, public speaking and a whole host of other things. This was also a way for us to bring so many different worlds together, that likely wouldn’t have been together otherwise, so that people can see the value, talents and resources that exist WITHIN our community — in each other. This is the event that God used in order to show us exactly to whom and how to demonstrate love to a giant audience at once. And the love was a two way street.
I, personally, am still floating on clouds because of what took place on Saturday. I still can’t even wrap my head around it. But as not to write a whole book, let me get to the thank yous. FIRST AND FOREMOST, THE BIGGEST THANKS GOES TO The Learning Tree!!! We could not have done this event to the magnitude that we did without your support, backing and ability to see our vision. This was your event, too, and we couldn’t have asked for better people to work with. Amanda Wolf, thank you for holding down the details and administrative side with me and keeping everybody sane and informed. DeAmon Listener Harges your far-reaching sight is what had us the most excited to keep going and going. We can’t wait for the next endeavor. And along those same lines, WildStyle DaProducer, Dennis Adrien Green, Luke Sama Hazel and my oldest brother Maurice Broaddus, Y’ALL WERE PIVOTAL TO THE SUCCESS OF THIS! Man, we all make a GREAT team and it was a pleasure working with you all. I, for real, can’t wait until the next one. Seeing everyone’s perspectives and input and hard-work go into this was mind-blowing. Kelly Everitt, again, you were the saving grace, ray of sunshine and smiling face that we desperately needed on the team. And since you missed out on the actual food pass, I’m totally cooking dinner for you as well as Lauren Nowlin for all of your hard work and flexibility. To Robin G. Jackson, Januarie York, Damon Dulin, Carla Wimmersberger, Ross Wimmersberger, y’all know. Thanks aren’t enough. Love you so much for everything, mostly for existing and loving me/us. And to our big kids Emminence Campbell, Calvin Campbell, Joel Townsend,Israel Townsend y’all were such a big help and you didn’t even complain that much. We love you guys SO MUCH. You all are our BIGGEST most FAVORITE blessings.
And to my husband, Earl Townsend, the ‘E’ of ROE Creations, my business partner (x2), my fitting piece, my sanity in the chaos, my sounding board when I ramble, my prayer partner, my deep breaths during a panic attack — I love you so much. Thank you for jumping into this crazy business world with me and riding out like the G you are and have been since I suckered you into this entrepreneur stuff in 2012. If we really wanna talk about someone I couldn’t do this without, it’s you.
And to every single person that came out, ate from the food vendors, made donations, took pics, shared the event, joined in our hashtags, cheered for the performers and everything else that it took for this to have the 800+ person turnout that it did, THANK YOU!
We are beyond blessed. Thank you just seems so terribly inadequate, but it’s all I got … lol