Taste of Home
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 12, 2013 11:57 PM
Mini cupcakes from Bake My Day were the perfect sample size for patrons during Taste of Wayne. Bake My Day was given a Taste of Wayne award for best dessert.
Four-year-old Aubrey Smith sat contentedly in her stroller Saturday, playfully pulling off her sock while her mother, Ashley, approached the next booth at Taste of Wayne to retrieve a food sample.
"She's been coming since she was six months old," Mrs. Smith said. "This is her third trip."
The Grantham mother/daughter were enjoying the festivities in downtown Goldsboro with Brandi Talton, of Princeton, and her daughter, Haylee, 2.
"This is the first time we've been. I have always wanted to come, but it never worked out," Ms. Talton said. "I loved it."
It was the 23rd year for the event, a fundraiser for the United Way of Wayne County.
"It's for a good cause and it gets you to try new restaurants you might not have tried otherwise," Mrs. Smith said.
Held in Cornerstone Commons, 24 eateries set up stations this year, Tiffany Creech, event chairperson, said.
"It's almost a carbon copy of the way it was last year," she said. "It's our second year downtown. It worked out really well."
Pizza Inn has been handing out slices at the event since it began.
Owner Sean Nielsen said his father-in-law, the late H.M. Poythress, was very community-minded and believed in supporting events like Taste of Wayne. He and wife, Jill, enjoy keeping the tradition alive.
"We just think it's obviously a great opportunity for community involvement, to let people see what we have been doing -- some of the new products we have," he said.
It also afforded them a way to boost company morale, he said, explaining that management and staff are encouraged to make suggestions for new pizzas to introduce. Two of this year's offerings were chicken pot pie and Mak Attack -- a pizza that features beef, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles.
"The judging doesn't matter as much. Obviously we're competitive, but it's about the exposure," Nielsen said. "It's a great event. We won't miss it ever."
"I love it," added D.J. Lewis, a manager. "I love (promoting). I love talking to people."
Jo Morris, owner of JoJo's, was pleased with the potential new customers the event brought to the business that just opened downtown 12 weeks ago.
"It's a nice, steady flow of people coming through and a lot of faces we haven't seen before," she said of those lined up to sample the British fare that included apple crumbler, bread pudding and shepherd's pie.
Uniquely R's was also new to the Taste.
"We bought the building next to the Paramount. We live above it. We opened up the business four weeks ago," owner Ruth Glisson said.
The family-owned business -- along with her husband, David, son, Jonathan, and daughter and son-in-law Lauren and Alex Mark -- features seven varieties of coffee and 10 teas, including Goldsboro-inspired versions of each.
Mrs. Glisson said she moved to the community for her husband's job but when the contract ran out, decided to stay.
"I chose Goldsboro because of the people. This is the first time I have ever felt at home," she said.
Lana Linker, from Mount Olive, was attending Taste of Wayne for the first time, in part to support her son-in-law, a member of one of the bands providing entertainment.
"I have really enjoyed it," she said. "It's been really, really good. All the food is really good and the lines haven't been too long."
The Laughing Owl fare was impressive -- "That steak, it melted in my mouth," she said -- and Bake My Day, where her family buys all its birthday cakes, was also a favorite.
Jennifer Isenhower, owner of Bake My Day, returned for the second year, with cookies and mini-cupcake samples as well as a white chocolate pumpkin cake. The bakery also held a cupcake-eating contest, with the winner of the two-minute timed event receiving free cupcakes for a year.
And for those health-conscious patrons, the GoWayneGo booth -- where folks could sign up for the countywide initiative to inspire Wayne County residents to lose a million pounds by May 2015 -- Dr. Charles Hayes, a physician at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, was handing out directions to accomplish a mile-walk downtown.
Carl and 'Chelle's captured the first-place People's Choice award and $500 prize. Second place in the category went to the Laughing Owl, with Flying Shamrock named third place.
Other winners in the event include the following:
*Hometown Favorite: J.J. Ashley
* Special Occasion Dinner: Carl and 'Chelles
*Pub Grub and Appetizer: Heroes
*Fast Food: Zaxby's
*Healthy Food: Great Harvest Bread Co.
*Breakfast, Breads & Pastries: Great Harvest Bread Co.
*Desserts: Bake My Day
*Pizza: Pizza Inn.