By LINDA CHION KENNEY
More than 60 food and beverage establishments have signed up to participate in the month-long Taste of GRCC, presented by the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce and open to the general public.
The so-called “virtual-ish” Taste of GRCC, set to kick off June 23 and run through July 23, features food and drink from more than 60 chamber members, some of whom joined the chamber to participate in the event.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s taste has been reimagined to include both the public and the chamber membership, whose monthly luncheon meetings, held at The Regent, have been held virtually since the shutdown.
Traditionally, the annual June monthly membership meeting affords attendees a chance to sample tastes from chamber members, who are asked to bring 300 to 350 bite-sized samples from their restaurant, bakery, caterer, entertainment and other food and beverage businesses.
“Due to the current COVID-19 circumstances and social-distancing restrictions, we are reimagining our annual Taste of GRCC this year so we can still bring full value to our food and beverage industry members,” said Gabby Morford, the chamber’s event coordinator, in a telephone interview. “We’re adapting to current conditions and working to get the community involved in the best way possible.”
Toward that end, residents and visitors are asked to “visit the participating establishments, enjoy dine in or order for carryout, delivery or pickup at curbside, and then take a photo of your purchase, and post it on the Taste of GRCC Facebook group with the hashtag #tasteofgrcc,” Morford said.
The “order, eat, submit, repeat” promotion aims to build exposure and social media engagement for the participating food and beverage establishments. For the public, it’s a chance to explore new businesses and to win a prize in the process. For every dine-in, carryout, delivery or curbside pick-up purchase documented with a Facebook post or email submission, participants earn a chance to win one of dozens of prizes. Each prize has a minimum value of $25, and each person is eligible to win one prize only.
Community members also can earn a chance by leaving a Google review. Folks not on Facebook can enter as well via email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Facebook group page is at www.facebook.com/groups/tasteofgrcc2020.
Prize-winners will be posted on the Taste of GRCC Facebook group page by July 31. Entrants on Facebook are encouraged to tag the food and beverage establishment they visit and to like the business as well.
Participating food and beverage establishments, as of June 22: 3 C’s Catering; 3 Points Catering Company; Acropolis Greek Taverna; AJ’s on the River; The Alley at South Shore; The Apollo Beach Racquet & Fitness Club; The Barn at Winthrop; Beanie’s Bar Sports Grill; Beef O’Brady’s – Bloomingdale; Brandon Crossroads Bowl; C&J Specialty; Candor Grille; Cali Aji; Cali Café; Ciccio Cali Brandon; Chick-fil-A at Lake Brandon Village; Chick-fil-A South Brandon; Datz – Winthrop; Cold Stone Creamery; Firehouse Subs Riverview; Flavaz Jamaican Grill; Fred’s Market; Fresh Goodness; Fuzzy’s Taco Shop Brandon; Fuzzy’s Taco Shop Riverview; Gran Agave; IHOP Restaurants; Kazbor’s Sports Grille; Glory Days Grill; Kona Ice of Valrico; Kraftologee of Riverview; Latitudes Apollo; LeAnne’s Old-Fashioned Cookies; Leaven Brewing Company; Little Greek Fresh Grill; Lupton’s Restaurant & Catering; Moe’s Southwest Grill – Summerfield; Nothing Bundt Cakes; Outback and Carrabba’s Express; Panera Bread-Covelli Franchise; Papa John’s – Riverview; P.F. Chang’s; Pink Door Bakery; Pop A Beer and Grill; The Popcorn Spot; Riverview 14 GDX Theater Features Gastropub; Regalitea; Riverview Fresh Market; Riverview Sandwich Shop; Rosemary Grill; Summerfield Crossings Golf Club; Sunset Grill; Tampa Bay Cake Company; Teas, Bowls & Desserts; Texas Roadhouse; TopGolf; Your Pie; Willie Jewell’s Old School Bar-B-Q; Winthrop Liquors; Xscape Theatres; and Zaxby’s Gibsonton.
Visit: www.riverviewchamber.com to check with the chamber for any updates, and also check with the establishment you order food from to ensure your selected location is participating. Food and beverage establishments interested in participating must first become a chamber member. Call: 813-234-5944. Email: Debbie Kirkland, membership director, at Debbie@riverviewchamber.com. The chamber is in the CenterState Bank building at 10101 Bloomingdale Ave., Suite 102.