Food-lovers: whet your appetites for Loving Local 2019! This annual fundraiser benefiting Project Green Fork showcases the talents of our PGF member establishments while supporting local service industry businesses and their efforts to reduce waste, conserve energy/water and prevent pollution.
Enjoy delicious specialty offerings prepared by chefs and brewers from some of our favorite PGF-certified restaurants.
Sip on locally brewed beer, including a selection from PGF-certified breweries. Craft cocktails and wine will also be available!
Stroll around the beautifully landscaped outdoor space at Carolina Watershed while listening to live music by Marcella Simien.
Participate in our popular bottle pull, and go home with a bottle of wine or spirits. All proceeds benefit Project Green Fork.
Featured Chefs & Establishments
The Vergos Family, Charlie Vergos Rendezvous
While everyone in Memphis has their favorite barbecue spot, few can question that Charlie Vergos Rendezvous is a quintessential Memphis institution. The Rendezvous started serving their signature dry rub ribs in a basement in downtown Memphis in 1948, setting the standard for Memphis-style barbecue ever since. Mr. Charlie’s kids- John, Nick, and Tina- have since taken over to manage the restaurant and they still serve the world famous ribs the same way over half a century later.
The Rendezvous has been a Project Green Fork-certified restaurant since November 2010. In that time, they have recycled over 268,965 lbs. of plastic, aluminum, and glass, and 106 tons of cardboard. They’ve also given over 6,000 gallons of pre-consumed food waste to a local farm to be turned into compost.
Cordelia’s Market is a true throwback to the days when your neighborhood grocery was as much of a community center as it was a place to stock your fridge and pantry. Since the day they opened their doors 20 years ago, their mission has been to serve their neighborhood not just by ensuring that all of their grocery needs are met, but also by hosting community gatherings as a way to ensure that the neighborhood has a place to congregate without having to leave “the island.”
Along with grocery items and a fantastic selection of beer and wine, Cordelia’s has increased the size of their Project Green Fork-certified cafe space and renamed it “Table & Taps.” Cordelia’s Market aims to have an ever-changing menu that caters to their wide range of customer pallets, while producing very little food waste.
For them, being a good neighbor means following environmentally sustainable practices whenever possible, such as supporting local producers. In February, Cordelia’s became the first local grocery store in the Memphis area to eliminate the use of plastic bags!
Sabine Bachmann, Ecco & Libro
Sabine was born in Germany to a great mom who cooked two delicious meals daily. She eventually moved to Italy to study veterinary medicine. There she fell in love with the people, the country, and also food and wine. Marriage to an American baseball player brought her to Memphis where she worked in the wine industry until she opened up Fratelli’s on Front Street, which later was moved to the Botanic Garden.
In 2014 she opened up ECCO with her oldest son Armando as head chef and in 2017 LIBRO where her other two sons, John-Paul and Mario also joined the family business.
Learn more about Sabine and her son Armondo in these interviews.
Founded by local Memphian, Alan Gary, Huey’s has been serving up Brews, Blues, and Burgers since 1970. Thomas Boggs became involved at the Midtown Huey’s in 1976, eventually becoming CEO and co-owner. He strived for the ideal of the best food, the best service and the best atmosphere.
Today, Huey’s is run by the Boggs family and now operates nine locations in the Mid-South area. Lauren McHugh Robinson is CEO/President, Ashley Boggs Robilio is Chief Operating Officer, and Samantha Boggs Dean is the Special Projects Coordinator. Mr. Boggs taught them the importance of service with a smile and giving back to the Memphis community.
Huey’s Midtown has been Project Green Fork-certified since 2011, and they are hoping to eventually certify all locations in the future!
Drew Barton, Memphis Made Brewing Co.
Born and raised in Memphis, Drew Barton moved to Asheville, N.C. in 2005 to pursue his dream of becoming a brewer. After being hired as a delivery driver at French Broad Brewery, he worked his way up to head brewer. During his time there, he supervised the company’s growth from 1,400 barrels annually to 2,800 barrels a year.
Drew left North Carolina in 2010 to start Memphis Made Brewing Co., which opened its doors October 2013. In 2014, they opened their tap room in Cooper-Young. Longtime stewards of environmental sustainability, Memphis Made became the first brewery to be Project Green Fork-certified in 2017.
Chris Taylor, Mempops
Founded in 2015 by Chris Taylor, Mempops started with one cart going from festival to festival, event to event. It didn’t take long for folks to take notice and begin to crave the latest sweet treats on the block. Their fruit and cream based ingredients are sourced from local farmers when seasonally available, and their creativity and desire to try new recipes know no bounds.
With three brick-and-mortar stores already in East Memphis, Crosstown, and Collierville, the Mempops brand is expanding to Summer Avenue this spring with a production center to help them field the growing demand for their delicious pops.
Mempops has supported Project Greenfork for three years and is in the process of being certified, as they are now able to recycle and compost at their new kitchen space on Summer Avenue!
Octavia Young, Midtown Crossing Grill
After moving to Memphis, Octavia Young worked several jobs, including at the Peabody Hotel and Horseshoe casino, before starting Midtown Crossing Grill. Young had been a chef for 16 years by the time she opened the pizzeria. To keep up with the healthier crowd in Midtown, Young has created vegan friendly options for her menu as a way to “expand our vegan impact.”
Even before Young had the restaurant Project Green Fork-certified in 2017, she always had a passion for sustainability, going above and beyond to keep up with current eco-friendly products and practices. In addition to helping make Memphis cleaner and greener, Young has worked hard to make sure this gourmet pizzeria & deli is a warm and welcoming Crosstown neighborhood mainstay, frequently showcasing both local and touring comedians and musicians as well as hosting a variety of trivia competitions.
Kat Gordon, Muddy's Bake Shop
Kat Gordon opened Muddy’s Bake Shop on February 29, 2008 (the perfect day for a leap of faith!), and over the years she has served not only as the owner and founder, but also dishwasher, copywriter, trainer, baker, cashier, and chief cake taster of Muddy’s Bake Shop.
She adores Memphis and all the incredible stories, projects, and individuals who make this place so special; she also adores cake, pie, cookies, and cupcakes . . . hence the bakery. Lately, her favorite part of her job is teaching workshops and helping develop leaders both within and outside of Muddy’s and exploring ways that a small, independent business with limited resources can still contribute at a high level and make a truly meaningful impact in its community . . . it’s exciting stuff!
Learn more about Kat in this Choose 901 profile!
Robata Ramen and Yakitori Bar
Venue & Musical Guest
Recently renovated and re-opened, Carolina Watershed is a transformed silo in the rough that is now a shining beacon for parched, hungry, and bored Memphians in search of something delightful and unexpected.
Explore a playground for all ages that includes rocks, cascading waterfalls, cozy nooks, an overlook, and stage areas for live music.
Wielding the torch of a veritable Creole dynasty, Marcella René Simien has successfully planted the seeds of her South Louisiana heritage deep into the fertile bluffs of Memphis.
Artistically confident, composed and courageous, Simien has been lauded by Memphis music legend Boo Mitchell as “one of the most soulful artist I’ve heard since the glory days of Memphis soul music. Her sound and stage presence is a constant reminder that soul music is still alive and well.”