Hello fellow food and travel lovers, I’m back! It’s been a few weeks without updates on the Gourmez, but I’m sure you managed to entertain yourselves with all those other awesome food bloggers in the Triangle or elsewhere on the Interwebs. I had a good trip to Washington, and I do have some photo blogs coming up for you on that, but first, we must dig into the fantastic weekend I just had at TerraVITA!
I’ve introduced you to TerraVITA before. It’s a food and beverage event in Chapel Hill that’s focused on biodynamic, organic, and local products and all of that important discussion about just what biodynamic, organic, and local even mean. I was a media participant this year, and I have so much material just recapping my adventures that you may be sick of hearing the name TerraVITA by the time I’m through. First up is the Media Farm Tour that took place last Thursday, November 1. Several other members of the food media and I hit up five different stops, driven around by the fearless Keith Minton, husband of Colleen who’s the amazing organizer of TerraVITA.
The day began bright and early at 8:30 am on the morning after Halloween. This is what I was doing the night before on Franklin Street—
—so you can imagine I mean it when I say bright and early. Luckily, we started with breakfast and coffee at Southern Season in Chapel Hill. My twitter feed explodes whenever I mention Southern Season (@southernseason), so if you somehow don’t know it, then let me introduce you to this establishment focused on offering gourmet foods from around the world and the South. Larry Shaw, the CEO of Southern Season, gave us the 411 on the image and retail space revamping they’ve undergone in the past year since the store was sold by its original owner.
Their goal is to be at the forefront of style and taste in food and to move away from the gift baskets and catalogues that had become Southern Season’s focus in recent years. So the retail store no longer packs in as many products as possible in those old, unattractive, tall, wire shelving units and is now closer to a food experience with lots of spaces for sampling products, a renewed emphasis on fresh wares like the bakery and butcher cases, and even adding a coffee bar, ice cream parlor, and florist shop.
Debbie Suchoff led us on a tour of the store and its new additions. Debbie also happens to be mother to Sam Suchoff, owner of the Pig restaurant in Chapel Hill, which I still haven’t tried yet. This must be remedied! But onward with the tour.
This coffee shop space is all new and part of their focus on creating smaller, intimate spots to experience their products in.
Jason guided us through the display cases for baked goods, cheeses, and meats, and they looked as tantalizing as ever.by