The Taste of Downtown Bryan Event brought over 500 people to Downtown Bryan on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 and raised $6,515 for the Brazos Valley Food Bank, enough to buy well over 20,000 meals for local families and individuals in need. It was an opportunity for Downtown restaurants to get hundreds of people in to try a sample of their best dishes on what would have otherwise been a slow Tuesday night. It was a great time for the restaurant crews and attendees alike.
There wasn’t a specific profit motive as the event was geared toward sampling food and generating goodwill while raising funds for the food bank. However, the restaurants who participated all ended up profiting. Some, like the wine bar that participated, sold 130 glasses of the $3 special alone, plus other wines and appetizers, raking in an extra $1000 total gross sales for the night. It resulted in new regular customers and catering jobs for other participating restaurants.
“Social Profit is not ‘let’s make money and then do good’, it’s integrating doing good into the business model. There’s a sustainable ROI in service oriented social cause work. Profit and social good are tied together. The more profit, the more social good.” – David Flash
The roots of BrazosVIP.com and Taste of Downtown founder David Flash’s motivation to start the event can be traced back to the core value of social profit, as articulated by Dr. Leonard Berry of Texas A&M’s Mays School of Business.
Back in the early 2000’s, Larry Hodges of Copy Corner would substitute teach for Dr. Berry when he went to Darden Restaurants Board Meetings out of town. Flash, who was working for the Austin American-Statesman at the time, drove over to Aggieland and attended the class Larry taught. Huge bonus! The class was co-taught by Pierre Dube that year, who also followed Berry’s core values in building his Freebirds World Burrito chain. The pictured “core values cube” was a hand-out from Larry that has been in Flash’s office ever since.
A seed planted a decade ago by a local businessman, leading by example and giving his time to teach the next generation, grew into Taste of Downtown Bryan, a successful, fun event that helps Downtown businesses showcase their best and profit in the end, all while helping people.
Flash says, “Social Profit is not ‘let’s make money and then do good’, it’s integrating doing good into the business model. There’s a sustainable ROI in service oriented social cause work. Profit and social good are tied together. The more profit, the more social good. In my case, I get folks to go places, do things and buy things for a living as a marketer. Many local business who use my media outlets see great results. The Taste of Downtown event, among other things, serves as a demo of that core competency. Just like the restaurants get catering orders from attendees who like the food, I get a few ad orders from business managers attending who might want more traffic.”
About Taste of Downtown Bryan
On Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 14 Downtown Bryan businesses participated in Taste of Downtown Bryan, an event sponsored by BrazosVIP.com that drew over 500 people and raised $6,515 for the Brazos Valley Food Bank.
On Thursday, December 17th, the owners of the businesses that participated in the Taste of Downtown presented a check for the $6,515 to Teresa Managapora, the Executive Director of the Brazos Valley Food Bank.
The following Downtown businesses participated:
Brazos VIP, Caffe Capri, Casa Rodriguez, Chocolate Gallery, Downtown Uncorked, Jim.n.i Boutique, The Kyle House, LaSalle Cafe, Margie’s Bar & Grill, Molly’s Eatery, Mr. G’s Pizzeria, Proudest Monkey, Revolution Cafe & Bar, and The Village Cafe.
The goals of the Taste of Downtown event were to:
• Promote Downtown Bryan as a dining destination, with more walkable restaurants in one place than anywhere else in the Bryan-College Station Area.
• Help feed those in need by raising money for the Brazos Valley Food Bank.