Houston Hosts Black Bloggers held its inaugural event over the weekend. Highlights included a lunch at Mico's Hot Chicken October 22 and a media preview at Fainmous Barbecue October 23. In addition to local Black bloggers like KeAndre' Jordan from My Southern Brand, there was a select group of Black bloggers attending from cities like New York, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Dallas.
Good Morning with Misti. B, along with blogger Grundy Wiley of Bless Tha Belly, to discuss the new event meant to showcase the the best of Houston's Black business, dining and cultural experiences to other Black tastemakers and social media entrepreneurs. Vicky V. told the host, Misti Buard, that the first ever Houston Hosts Black Bloggers was private this year and by invitation.
The event was in coordination with Black Restaurant Week and one of its co-founders, Falayn Ferrell, was on hand for the media event at Fainmous Barbecue to emphasize the importance of supporting the Black restaurant community, especially in the time of the pandemic. Black Restaurant Week is a multi-city culinary event throughout the country that celebrates the flavors of African, African-American and Caribbean cuisines. The organization recently established the Feed the Soul Foundation, a non-profit with a mission to offer aid to marginalized entrepreneurs in the culinary industry. The assistance consists of development resources to help foster sustainable business growth. Its Restaurant Business Development Fund offers financial aid with business development scholarships and emergency funding.
One of the recipients of the grants was Fainmous Barbecue, owned by James and Karen Fain, which received $10,000. The restaurant held a media preview to debut some of its new menu items and to highlight the work of Black Restaurant Week and its Feed the Soul Foundation. In addition, special thanks, and flowers, were given to Vicky V. for her efforts in organizing the restaurant showcase. In a speech to the crowd, Karen Fain said that the support of Black Restaurant Week had been the barbecue restaurant's saving grace.
The Fains, a married couple who have known each other since sixth grade, mingled with the crowd and related stories of their restaurant's beginnings and its relocation from Meyerland to Sawyer Yards. Hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee, the couple first brought their style of barbecue to Houston in 2011. When the opportunity arose to open at Sawyer Yards, the Fains closed the Meyerland location in January 2020, preparing to open the new location soon after. Unfortunately, when the Sawyer Yards spot was near completion, the city's restaurant scene shut down due to the pandemic. Through all the trials and tribulations, their business made it through.
The accompanying macaroni and cheese was a blend of cream and cheddar cheese with a sauciness that is not normally found on this comfort food standard. Others would do well to follow the Fains' example and go with a saucier macaroni. I missed out on the chickpea salad but it seemed to get rave reviews from those who were smart enough to grab a scoop.
Fainmous Barbecue was able to receive a grant to continue its success and survive the pandemic. There are many other Black-owned culinary businesses that still need a little help. Feed the Soul could use more helping hands from those who are able to do so.