Connect with us

With Just Getting Started, Deputy Mayor and City Administrator Dr. Kanika Tomalin is “telling the St. Pete story” through one-on-one conversations with change-makers. With many exciting plans and projects on the horizon, St. Petersburg’s upward trajectory remains strong. “So much has been done, but here’s the secret: We’re just getting started.

09/26/2020 | Episode 8 | 24:19

Just Getting Started: A visit with the St. Petersburg Foodies

St. Petersburg Foodies Lori Brown and Kevin Godbee, who write about food, restaurants, and trends in the business, talk with Dr. Tomalin about their website and podcast, and the difference between "restaurant reviewers" and people who simply write about their experiences and the foods they enjoy. They talk about their enthusiasm for "personality-driven" local restaurants, and about a couple of new and soon-to-open places. They also discuss the dramatic effects of the pandemic, and how restaurants - both locally and around the country - are adapting. Disclaimer: A segment of this interview is devoted to the restaurant capacity limits imposed by state government in the wake of Covid-19. The podcast was recorded before Gov. Ron DeSantis' Friday announcement that restaurants can now operate at 100 percent capacity.

Key Insights

  • The podcast was preceded by a Facebook page, St. Petersburg Foodies Restaurant Reviews, in 2015.
  • "We're not food critics," Godbee explains. "And sometimes we get criticized for not being food critics. We're food writers."
  • St. Petersburg Foodies is a commercial endeavor, not a hobby. Their content is for a niche audience that advertisers want to reach.
  • The integrity of the Foodies' process - not advertising for restaurants they wouldn't recommend - is easily tested, points out Dr. Tomalin.
  • The Foodies have published 200 reviews; currently, there are 11 restaurant advertisers.
  • It appears that more new restaurants have opened in St. Pete during Covid than have closed.
  • St. Pete, says Brown, is "on the cusp" of becoming a food destination. "I believe we have what it takes to be there and stay there."
  • Restaurants are adapting to Covid and promoting take-out meals, and delivery options. But restaurants don't make any money with third-party delivery services. The model is expected to change to self-deliveries.
  • "Ghost kitchens," gaining popularity here in large cities such as New York and Washington, will most likely come to St. Pete in time.

St. Petersburg Foodies Lori Brown and Kevin Godbee, who write about food, restaurants, and trends in the business, talk with Dr. Tomalin about their website and podcast, and the difference between “restaurant reviewers” and people who simply write about their experiences and the foods they enjoy. They talk about their enthusiasm for “personality-driven” local restaurants, and about a couple of new and soon-to-open places. They also discuss the dramatic effects of the pandemic, and how restaurants – both locally and around the country – are adapting. Disclaimer: A segment of this interview is devoted to the restaurant capacity limits imposed by state government in the wake of Covid-19. The podcast was recorded before Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Friday announcement that restaurants can now operate at 100 percent capacity.

 

St. Pete has all the amenties, or the best things you would like from a big city. While still having that small-town feel."

We will only accept advertising from a restaurant we would recommend to a friend. We turn down money."

Write Review
Share this article

0 Reviews on this article

About the host

Dr. Kanika Tomalin is a thought leader, policy-maker, community ambassador, and health advocate.

As the first African-American, female Deputy Mayor and City Administrator of one of Florida’s largest cities, Dr. Kanika Tomalin is a role model for women from all walks of life and an advocate for innovative policies, equitable community revitalization, healthy families, at-risk youth and education.

Her signature initiative, Healthy St. Pete, which launched in 2014, has made community health a priority and impacts the lives of thousands of Sunshine City residents. By creating access to healthy food options, implementing free fitness zones in city parks and adding resources for individuals and families to make healthy living easier – Dr. Tomalin has made a tangible difference.

Dr. Tomalin’s understanding of the critical role health plays as a determinant of overall quality of life was shaped prior to her career in the public sector. She quickly climbed the ranks in the healthcare industry, most recently serving as the regional vice president of External Affairs for the Bayfront Health Network and director of Strategy for Health Management Associates’ 23-hospital Florida Group.


The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

Email us: spark@stpetecatalyst.com

Subscribe for Free

Share with friend

Please enter email address you want to share this article with