Food and fun will be the order of the evening March 19 when the Conway Chamber of Commerce hosts its first Taste of Conway.
Allison Smith with Kosta Bowls in Downtown Conway says she decided to participate because she wanted to get her business’ name out a little more, and she wanted to give people a healthy option at the event.
She plans to serve a creation with acai as its base. She’ll add a few strawberries and blueberries and top it off with homemade peanut butter, if guests want that, too.
She says her delicious-sounding treat is a great antioxidant and is good for energy and a good thing to add to anyone’s daily diet.
Plus, she said, it’s just fun to eat and a little bit different than what diners can usually expect.
As to the first Taste of Conway, she said, “I love that they’re doing it. They definitely do a lot to try to get more people involved in downtown. I think it’s just a fun, exciting way to do it.”
Event organizer Jeff Williamson, the chamber’s vice president of membership services, came up with the idea after participation in the chamber’s Business After Hours began to wane.
He decided to change the calendar from a monthly event to a quarterly event and to plan something that would build excitement and bring in more people.
Williamson, who works with Anderson Brothers Bank, said his committee had heard of similar events in neighboring communities that were hugely successful, so they decided to try it in Conway.
At least 12 area businesses plan to participate and, Williamson said, he will continue to take more until shortly before the event or when the venue is filled.
He expects the old Farmers Market at 217 Laurel St. to easily handle as many as 20 concessionaires.
Already in the mix are the Crafty Rooster, Bojangles’, Crooked Oak Tavern, Miss Margaret’s Soul Food, Grumpy Monk, Coastal Ale House, Tropical Smoothie Café, Kona Ice, Pepsi, Pelican Snowballs and Kosta Bowls. Also participating will be Chanti’s Radical Pizza that will open soon in the old Warehouse Restaurant building on Laurel Street.
Williamson said this will be sort of an introduction to the area for that business that already has a website and is holding a drawing for a full year of free pizza for some pizza lover.
Next Thursday’s event will run from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but tickets are $10 for five tastings.
Williamson encourages people to get their tickets now at the Conway Chamber of Commerce’s website so participants will have a better idea of how much food to prepare.
He said they’re planning now for 300 to 400 people, but that number could swell.
Also adding to the fun will be The Spots musical group. Williamson says he hopes some people who are walking by will hear the music and come in just to see what’s going on.
“It’s just going to be a great time, a lot of folks, great music, great good, just a great ol’ time,” he said.