Eat Drink RI along with Sons of Liberty Spirits, Wildwood, Easy Entertaining, the RI Small Business Journal, and the RI Food Policy Council, have put together two Town Hall style forums, one with the candidates for governor of Rhode Island on Wednesday, August 13th, at the Sons of Liberty Spirits Distillery in South Kingstown and one with the candidates for mayor of Providence on Monday, August 18th, at The Café at Easy Entertaining in Providence. Both forums will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a reception immediately following.
Based upon Eat Drink RI’s motto “Food will help Rhode Island grow™,” each Town Hall will focus specifically on the food and beverage industry, asking the candidates for governor and mayor of our capital city how they plan on encouraging further growth in the industry, and their plans to work with and assist culinary businesses grow our economy. As Eat Drink RI founder and President David Dadekian says, “The next revolution in jobs and new businesses will be in the food and beverage industry, and Rhode Island is poised to be at the forefront of that economic growth through our restaurants, agriculture, aquaculture, food & beverage producers, distributors and much more.”
A portion of the questions to be asked at each Town Hall will be collected by Eat Drink RI from Rhode Islanders who own businesses and are workers in the food and beverage industry. While organizers expect high attendance by industry professionals, the events will be open to the public with registration for free tickets at eatdrinkri.com. Topics to be discussed may include support for existing culinary businesses, regulatory reforms, how to incubate new business, access to healthier food and increasing local purchasing.
Rhode Island Gubernatorial Candidates Town Hall – tickets here
- Confirmed: Ken Block, Allan Fung, Todd Giroux, Clay Pell, Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras
- Wednesday, August 13th, 6:30 p.m. at Sons of Liberty Spirits, 1425 Kingstown Rd., South Kingstown, RI 02879
- Moderated by Eat Drink RI’s David Dadekian and Wildwood’s Jessica Wood
- There will be a reception sponsored by Sons of Liberty and Wildwood following the session with the candidates.
Providence Mayoral Candidates Town Hall – tickets here
- Confirmed: Jorge Elorza, Dan Harrop, Michael Solomon, Brett Smiley and Chris Young
- Monday, August 18th, 6:30 p.m. at Easy Entertaining, 166 Valley St., Providence, RI 02909
- Moderated by Eat Drink RI’s David Dadekian and Easy Entertaining’s Kaitlyn Roberts
- There will be a reception sponsored by Easy Entertaining following the session with the candidates.
The food and beverage sector in Rhode Island is one of the few consistently growing areas in our economy with long established businesses thriving and new ones opening almost weekly. Business owners are passionate about the culinary scene here as evidenced by the thoughts of some of the Town Halls sponsors:
Jessica Wood, co-owner of Wildwood, says “I love Rhode Island! LOVE IT! Rhode Island has ocean front farmland, how can you beat that? My commitment to this state is based in employment as well as sourcing local foods. As a company we take pride in sourcing from local farms. We have taken company field trips to meet the farmers and truly understand where our food is coming from. I also commit to employing Rhode Islanders. To do this we need support from our government to truly be successful in this movement.”
Michael Reppucci, CEO & Founder at Sons of Liberty Spirits Co., says, “Rhode Island farmers and their products have made our whiskey stand in its own class. We use locally grown cucumbers and pumpkins in our spirits and have won spirits awards at the world competition level for them.”
Kaitlyn Roberts, owner and executive chef of Easy Entertaining Inc., says “As deeply entrenched members of the Providence community, we are honored to have been selected as the venue for the Providence Mayoral caucus. As a company, our core values revolve around locally minded cuisine, seasonal ingredients and exceptional customer service. I am extremely excited to be co-moderating the caucus with David Dadekian of Eat Drink RI. I am looking forward to relaying the questions that we have as service industry leaders and those of my peers. Ensuring that the city runs as a well-oiled machine is critical to our success as major players in the hospitality industry, and being a part of this caucus will only allow us to discuss the different ideas of achieving that goal.”