Tagan Gann-Couch, owner and operator of Gypsy Kit and Gypsy Uncorked, is a big believer and supporter of local commerce. She knows that for a community to thrive, local businesses must thrive. For local business to thrive, the community must shop and support those businesses. This belief is what motivated her to start an online community of local restaurants. March marks the one-year anniversary of www.eatlocal.com. The idea is to eat local during the week of March 12 through16 and score good deals with a chance to win prizes or gift certificates to all of the participating restaurants.
“We used to live in Austin, and they push for their local restaurants, bars, and stores. We had a card which gave us a good deal if we frequented certain locations,” said Tagan. “So, this was the idea that started it all. We started meeting with other local restaurants last year to network. We were trying to figure out ways that we can all go in together. We don’t have the big budget that Chili’s or other franchises have, so we thought we would get together and push this.”
Over the past 12 months several new restaurants have joined, taking the total from 14 to 24. These restaurants are all listed at eatlocal.com and will be offering great deals for patrons that visit the website. “Each restaurant will have their own specials on the website,” Tagan said. “At Gypsy Kit we will have “buy a taco get an order of fries for free”. We are using social media to promote Eat Local, and Design Works built the website. We wanted a website where someone can look and see all the locally owned restaurants in town,” she said. “For Eat Local, we are adding in some cool giveaways this year. Post on Facebook or Instagram, tag yourself eating the special, and you get a chance to win a gift card from that restaurant. Eat at every single location and your name goes into a drawing to win a gift certificate from every restaurant that participates”. To be in the running for the big prize, you get a punch card. Get it punched at each restaurant and when you hit the last restaurant, you leave the card there with your information on it. The next week they will a drawing for the winner. Last year Deli Planet, who has been open for 20 years, had such a large turnout during Eat Local Week, they broke records.
Tagan stresses that you don’t have to just eat local from March 12-16. “Make sure that you are always eating local, not just that week. We appreciate everyone who eats local and continues to eat local. Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—just get on social media and let people know where you are and how much you love the food”.
– Cindy Thomas