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Feed the Soul dining week elevates Edmonton's Black-owned cuisine

Feed the Soul Dining Week celebrates Black cuisine with 13 Edmonton restaurants participating. (Amanda Anderson/CTV News Edmonton) Feed the Soul Dining Week celebrates Black cuisine with 13 Edmonton restaurants participating. (Amanda Anderson/CTV News Edmonton)

Feed the Soul dining week is presenting an array of bold, traditional dishes of 13 esteemed Black-owned businesses in Edmonton.

This year, 13 restaurants across the city are participating during Black History Month.

The initiative aims to celebrate and support Black-owned businesses in Edmonton's culinary scene.

Spearheaded by a committed team, they focus on creating inclusive and safe spaces for local Black-owned businesses to thrive.

"We started Feed the Soul last year," Conroy Smith, the owner of Flava Café, said. "We just came up with it because it's a community event. I want to show support to the community. It's a community, it's a relationship, it's a family and that gives you a sense of home. I don't get to just have Caribbean or Jamaican cuisine. They have different African cuisine like Ghanaian, Nigerian and Senegalian, and you get to experience that feeling."

By shining a spotlight on the city's vibrant Black-owned food scene, this event celebrates the rich influence of the African diaspora on Edmonton's culinary landscape.

"When you go to Feed the Soul, you get to experience a community of love and have the Black culture in itself," said Smith.

For business owners, events like Feed the Soul dining week are beneficial because they increase visibility, attract new customers and foster industry connection.

"My business, it gets to be marketed. Feed the Soul offers that for us and offers our food to a wide range of audience that maybe i've never heard of before," said Smith.

Sara Awatta, co-leader of Feed the Soul dining week, says the feedback from last year was that the restaurants were able to maintain their business during slow periods of time.

"They saw 10 and 15 per cent increase in their sales," said Awatta.

Smith says Black History Month gives him a sense of belonging and makes him feel a part of society.

"Sometimes we don't feel that with everything that's happening politically and everything in the world but when you look at Black History Month having Feed the Soul tied with that, I think it was a really nice thing to do, to bring us together."

Feed the Soul Dining Week wraps up Feb. 11.

You can find more information and menus from participating restaurants here

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Amanada Anderson Top Stories

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