Taste of Alabaster has successful first year

Published 2:23 pm Friday, November 19, 2021

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By WILLIAM MARLOW | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – The Alabaster Business Alliance hosted the inaugural ‘Taste of Alabaster’ sponsored by Central State Bank on Thursday, Nov. 19, prompting a new annual tradition for the city featuring local restaurants.

During the event, more than eight Alabaster-based restaurants shared samples of local delicacies with attendees.

Held at Siluria Brewing Company, the local eateries in attendance included BOHO Tea Bar, K & J’s Elegant Pastries, Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken, CreACTive Wellness, Coastal Eats, Joe’s Italian Pizza, Pasta and Caffe, Bert’s Desserts, and Buddy’s Bar-B-Que.

ABA President Leigh Hulsey described community participation during the event as encouraging, and said the organization plans to transform the food festival into an annual event.

“We are extremely pleased with the turnout and feel like it has honestly exceeded our expectations,” Hulsey said. “We had a lot of great support in the community and from businesses that sponsored the event as well as from participants and vendors. We’re incredibly thankful for all of them because we could not pull this off without them.”

In the spirit of ‘Taste of Shelby County,’ Hulsey added that the festival spawned as a way to provide Alabaster residents with an opportunity to celebrate local business owners and to taste culinary creations from right in their own community.

In addition to great food, all proceeds from the event will benefit Alabaster high school seniors in the form of the Alabaster Business Alliance Scholarship Fund.

“It was also to create a way to give back to this community, and we thought that the best way to do that would be with kids because they will be future business leaders,” Hulsey said. “So, we wanted to be able to invest in them.”

The scholarship will be available for students enrolled in both public and private school.

“We wanted to find a way to support them too, because we know it’s hard for parents to send their kids off to school, and we want to make sure that we make this available to kids that traditionally just don’t have access to these types of scholarships,” Hulsey said.

The funds will specifically assist students applying to either trade schools or pursuing a traditional college degree.

Hulsey added a final objective of the event was building relationships with both community residents and city leaders, and said that the city of Alabaster had provided strong support in the months leading up the event, with planning beginning as early as September.

“We would like to thank the city of Alabaster, and City Administrator Brian Binzer, who has come to all of our board meetings and addressed any concerns,” Hulsey said. “He’s just been a huge asset and has been very helpful in partnering with us to make sure that we were effectively doing what we’re trying to accomplish. The city has just been supportive so we’re very grateful for that.”

Of the first event, city of Alabaster Public Relations Manager Neal Wagner said the city is pleased to see residents’ enthusiasm for the new event, and the great impact it is having on the Alabaster community.

“We were thrilled to see such a successful first year for the Alabaster Business Alliance’s Taste of Alabaster event on Nov. 18, and we hope it will become a new annual tradition here in the city,” Wagner said. “We’re always happy to support our partners in the community like the Alabaster Business Alliance, especially with an event like this that raises money to support scholarships for high school seniors throughout Alabaster.”

The second annual ‘Taste of Alabaster’ is already planned for October 2022, according to Hulsey.