For more information on the Taste of Forsyth, call (770) 781-3491 or go online at http://jrmmanagement.com/id101.html.
Restaurants are planning out their menu for next week’s annual Taste of Forsyth at the Cumming Fairgrounds.
More than 20 food vendors will be at the event March 30, including Mia Ristorante Italiano, which is returning for its second year.
“We had a lot of exposure,” said owner Joe Grella of last year’s experience. “A lot of families were there before Easter. It was a great atmosphere and we got to meet a lot of other vendors that were there. It was nice.”
Like last year, Taste of Forsyth will be on the Saturday before Easter. Tracy Helms, Cumming Fairgrounds event coordinator, said vendors are still trickling in. So far, however, there’s a variety of fare, ranging from Jamaican and Japanese to Italian, sweets and, of course, barbecue.
Helms said restaurants that participated last year “all did well.”
“With the crowds that we had last year, all the restaurants were slammed pretty much all day,” he said. “And with the Easter egg hunts, that was a huge draw, so people were there all day.”
Automation Direct is putting on this year’s Easter egg extravaganza, which will feature three different hunts separated by age groups.
In addition, Helms said master puppeteer Peter Hart will hold shows at the event.
Another draw for children likely will be the touch-a-truck display, which will feature Army vehicles, cranes, race cars, fire trucks and police cruisers for children to explore.
Helms expects about 10,000 people to attend Taste of Forsyth, which was previously run by the nonprofit Family Haven, before the city of Cumming adopted the food sampling event in 2011.
The food samples range in price from $1 to $4. With many restaurants offering multiple dishes, Helms said the event is a great way “to get a wide variety of food at one location.”
Vendors are responsible for a $400 booth fee, but are able to keep any profit they make from the event.
Grella said his restaurant made a small amount last year, but that’s not the focus.
“It was mostly for the exposure,” he said. “It was a great experience … the exposure was pretty good and it paid for itself.”
Grella said his pizza was the big seller last year, especially because of all the kids there for the egg hunt. It will make an encore performance at this year’s event, along with lasagna rolls, bruschetta and sausage and pepper gyros.
The Taste also boasts desserts, including fried brownies, shaved ice, baked goods and ice cream.
“And if there’s a restaurant that you’ve never eaten at before, you can try some of the food at a very economical price and not be out for a full meal,” Helms said. “You can try it and see if you want to go visit.
“This is a great way for vendors to market their product to people who’ve never before been in their restaurant.”