Restaurants have been devastated by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many to shut down their operations with many states closing indoor dining until the outbreak has been contained. Other businesses around the such as food tours have also suffered from the lack of tourist traffic and regulars. For two women, they decided to pivot their food tours business to a curated box designed to help local food entrepreneurs.
Cristina McCarter is the founder of City Tasting Tours in Memphis, Tennessee. After the coronavirus forced the women to pivot their business with quarantine restrictions, McCarter also wanted to find a way to help local businesses impacted by the pandemic. After teaming up with fellow entrepreneur Lisa Brown, they launched their City Tasting Box for customers to support local black-owned brands from the comforts of their homes.
The Majority Box features all Memphis-based brands including Pop’s Kernel Gourmet Popcorn, Flying Sobie’s Memphis Gold sauce, Mae’s Gourmet Jam, Cxffeeblack Guji Mane Ethiopian coffee, Elle Elixir’s custom tea blend, and Chef Tam’s Black as Midnight blackening seasoning. Other boxes include the Official Memphis Travel box and Support Local box. The women say that with their city being so known for its vibrant food scene, they see their product as a way of keeping that spirit alive through the pandemic.
“Memphis is filled with famed BBQ and soul food restaurants and up-and-coming local food artisans and chefs. The Memphis food scene has more local eateries than chain restaurants, with a plethora of international cuisines and flavors,” said McCarter and Brown to BLACK ENTERPRISE via email.
“City Tasting Box celebrates the tenacity and resilience of the Memphis food scene and invites non-Memphians to participate in our food culture. While this is our pivot strategy, e-commerce has become a strategy for food artisans as well.”
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