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Savor Local Flavor at Inaugural Localicious

This version of the article may have limited photos.  To see the story with all the pictures, click here.

localiciousTIR Staff -
 The Fiscal Times reported earlier this year that buying local will go beyond grocery stores. Olga Bof, founder and president of Keep St. Petersburg Local (KSPL), and their 500 or so members are working hard to make that prediction come true with their first-ever Localicious - a string of events allowing people to savor local flavors from Oct. 12 - 19.

Building on their successful Localtopia, "A Community Celebration of All Things Local,” held in February, Localicious will feature locally-made food, drink, restaurants, breweries, growers, markets and community gardens.

Olga says KSPL has been a three-year detour on the way to opening her own independent business.

“I was doing research for my business plan for a children’s book and eco-toy shop, I found that it’s usually a bookstore that starts up a local-type organization because they’re the ones that are having to deal with the Amazons and the Barnes & Nobles of the world.” She reached out to the American Independent Business Alliance to see about getting a St. Pete chapter. About three years later they launched KSPL on Nov. 19, 2011, America Unchained Day, an event designed to help people understand the economic benefit of locally-owned, independent businesses.

Localicious is composed of five events and kicks off on Sunday, Oct. 12 with a community pot luck at the Pinellas Pioneer Settlement. People are asked to bring a dish/dishes made with local ingredients to share. There will be tours of the community garden, live music at the General Store and a money-stamping party/kids crafts at the Print Shop. Olga says holding it at the settlement which is a living history museum, is designed to encourage people to discover hidden treasures like this venue.

The first of two ticketed events is the Local Meltdown at Nova 535 on Oct. 16. Billed as “A Grilled Cheese/Mac-n-Cheese/Anything Awesome with Cheese Throwdown,” 12 amateur chefs will compete in three cheesy categories. A $10 or $20 tasting ticket includes one sample from each entrant and three voting tokens for People's Choice. The VIP Tasting Experience is $20 or $30 and includes one sample from each entrant upstairs with Mazzaro's Cheese Room and three voting tokens. Prices are based on date of purchase.

On Friday, the Grand Treats & Tunes Trolly Hop includes local "sweet vendors" and musicians in front of six establishments. A $5 wrist-band gets patrons aboard the trolley to travel between stops where there will be food and drink specials followed by a concert with UNRB playing music from a variety of genres with all-local taps from 8-10 p.m. at Urban Brew and BBQ.

OctoBEER Farmer’s Market at Green Bench Brewing Company is Saturday from 3 p.m to midnight organized by Local Buds, a food-centric artisan collective. The farmer’s market will feature 20-plus local businesses united with beer-centric collaborations. There will be music beginning at 4 p.m. and exclusive beer releases and drink specials all day.

The finale is at the Museum of Fine Arts on Sunday, Oct. 20 from 2 - 5 p.m. where artist and chef Ernesto Piloto-Marquez, promises to “erase the preconceived ideas about what separates the culinary arts and the visual arts.” “Localeverything” is a term the group might like to take on. Beyond their planned events, Olga says, “We want people to think local first in everything. We don’t want to just be known as a shop local kind of organization. It’s for everything you go to consume and you go to purchase. We want you to use a local option if there’s one there.”

For a complete schedule of events and to purchase tickets go to www.keepsaintpetersburglocal. org/localicious.


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