Supporting Black-owned restaurants puts 'money where our mouths are': foodie
EDMONTON -- Oxtail, goat curry and smoked jerk chicken are all on the lunch menu at one west end Jamaican restaurant.
“What better way to get to know people than through food?” says Keno Matthews, in the midst of helping his aunt and uncle prepare for the daily lunch rush.
The Sunset Reggae Kitchen has been open for two years on 156 Street north of Stony Plain Road.
It’s now one of the many Black-owned restaurants on a fast-growing Twitter and Instagram list compiled by local foodie Ashley Côté.
“In order for there to be change in society, we need to put our money where our mouths are,” Côté said.
A movement to support Black-owned businesses has spread across North America in the wake of protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd.
Cote's list now includes dozens of restaurants, mostly in Edmonton and Calgary, owned and operated by people of colour who she believes can be better supported in those communities.
“Make sure their businesses are thriving or get them thriving because people that own businesses that are successful are really the ones that can make the change," she said.
Inside the Sunset Reggae Kitchen, Matthews said that kind of change could begin by people trying food from other cultures.
“You can eat mashed potatoes every day for the rest of your life and be content. But you never experience real personal growth if you don’t step outside your comfort zone,” he said.
“Have a little bit of Oxtail, try some jerk chicken,” Matthews suggested. “Not every ethnic food is spicy!”