@Winston_Salem_Eats promotes a “shop local” initiative

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Catherine Regen

Life Editor Catherine Regen interviews Caroline Osborn about her Winston-Salem food Instagram account. Osborn touches on the importance of supporting local and Black-owned businesses during COVID-19. She also reccomends some local eateries that Wake Forest students might not be familiar with.

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Caroline Osborn and I am a senior communications major and entrepreneurship minor. I am from Winston-Salem and have lived in this city my entire life. This past summer I worked at KIND Snacks as their Digital and Social Media intern and the summer prior interned at The Variable as their Public Relations and Social Media Intern. On campus, I am involved in my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and the philanthropic group D.E.S.K. (Discovering Education through Student Knowledge). Also, just gotta say that I am pumped that Camino Bakery is now in the library. Best move on Wake’s part. 

Why did you decide to start a food and restaurant blog?

I have always been a huge foodie and have loved watching Winston’s food scene grow over the years. I really started it at first as something for myself and a way to remember and document the different restaurants I had been to. The original name of my account was not even “Winston-Salem Eats” it was “Ur Foodie Friend.”

Do you only profile Winston-Salem eateries?

I don’t only profile Winston-Salem restaurants. Junior fall I studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain and traveled around several countries in Europe. I decided then to create highlights for different states and countries to document where I had eaten, but also as a tool/food guide for my friends who were also studying abroad and traveling Europe.  

How has the account evolved over time?

After coming to Wake Forest, I saw it really turn into a tool for students and a tool for the Winston-Salem community. Sophomore spring, I really began to work on it more and made it something that I was proud of. Today, I have nearly 4,000 followers with people engaging with the content I post frequently. I have been asked to promote restaurants, been offered free meals and products and received a lot of positive feedback from my followers. 

Have you ever given a bad review?

I have never given a bad review. If I don’t like a meal I have had, I usually just wouldn’t post about it. I don’t want my page to be negative, I want it to be more about spreading awareness and supporting the many small awesome restaurants and businesses in Winston. 

What spots are you looking to try next?

I am always looking to try new spots in town. Most recently, I have been really excited to try Don Express, a Japanese food truck that is at Radar Brewing on Friday and Saturday. I am also really interested in trying Joyner’s W-S, a new neighborhood bar with historic drinks. The exterior, interior and drinks look awesome. 

Your account was really active in supporting restaurants during the pandemic and highlighting Black-owned restaurants. How did your involvement come to be? 

When the pandemic hit, I knew right away that I wanted to do something to support the local businesses and restaurants that I saw hurting. I reached out to a few of my favorites and asked them what I could do to help. Many responded saying to spread awareness about how their restaurants were operating and how the community could support them during this economic and health care crisis. I quickly made posts, similar to how-to guides, for how people in the community could support these restaurants. Additionally, I tried to reshare information and updates about businesses constantly on my stories. 

Similarly, after George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other innnocent Black individuals were killed due to police brutality, I knew I needed to use my platform to support and amplify black voices and black business owners in the community. I reached out to three other food bloggers in Winston and together we created an extensive list of black owned restaurants and businesses for people to support in the community. (Link can be found in my @Winston_Salem_Eats Bio) 

If you were recommending restaurants to someone new to Winston-Salem where would you tell them to go? For brunch,  dinner or coffee.

For brunch, try the new Young Cardinal Cafe or the OG Krankies. For coffee, SaySo Coffee has been my recent favorite spot. I am loving their Matcha Latte with Oat milk and also buying a Liter of their Lavender Latte with Oat Milk. One thing I love most about Winston are the awesome coffee shops. Camino, Krankies, Krankies Airstream and Bobby Boy Bakeshop are a few of my other favorites. In terms of dinner, prior to the pandemic, Canteen was probably my go-to dinner spot. Today, I am loving eating or getting take out from a variety of places including: Spring House, Downtown Thai, Mozelles, Cugino Forno, Mizu and trying different food trucks at breweries. Most of the time, I eat dinner at my off-campus apartment with local produce I get delivered each week from Fair Share Farm. I am buying my groceries mostly from Cobblestone Farmers Market, Smoke City Meats, Sea Products and Buie’s.  

(Honorable mentions: ice cream at Lil Dipper, wine at Caviste and drinks at Vintage Sofa Bar)

What’s a meal you get every time you go to a specific W-S restaurant?

Krankies — Texas Pete & Honey Biscuit with a Oat Milk Chai Latte.

Mizu — Sunflower Roll and Spicy Tuna Roll with Edamame to start.