Jeremy Joyce, 28, founder of Black People Eats, is taking the Black Chicago food scene by storm with their first Blaktober Food Festival. Black People Eats is a food blog and website that provides a directory of Black-owned restaurants across the country. Additionally, on any given day on the Black People Eats Instagram page, you will find an abundance of photos and humorous yet informative videos of Jeremy highlighting Black-owned restaurants and their “best” dishes.
After witnessing the devastation that many of these restaurants were already facing due to COVID-19, followed by social unrest, lootings, and riots in response to the public murder of George Floyd by Minnesota law enforcement, Jeremy decided to do something to help. This past summer, he started a GoFundMe campaign with the initial goal of raising $20,000 to share between 40 Black Chicago-area eateries. Impressively, Jeremy raised over $75,000 to help prevent several local Black food spots’ permanent shutdown. Black People Eats‘ popularity increased – his Instagram followers grew from just under 40k to over 80k in a brief period. Jeremy used his influence to install yet another great concept in honor of Juneteenth, a holiday on June 19 that celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. Black People Eats brought together over 70 black-owned restaurants to offer $6.19 specials in the first and only citywide celebration of Black dining in Chicago.
Jeremy and his team did not stop there. They developed a plan that positioned Black-owned eateries on center stage once again, Blaktober, a month-long celebration held this October of Black dining. He’s enlisted the participation of over 75 restaurants to offer their featured dish at special prices during this event. Black People Eats shared the purpose of this event on their Instagram page:
“Blaktober is our virtual food festival where we will have Chicago restaurants offer discounted and/or specials every weekend the month of October. In addition to that, we will have virtual cooking classes, workout classes, and interactive classes for all of our followers nationwide.”
The VIP ticket is $35 and includes VIP access to Chef-hosted live virtual cooking demos, virtual happy hour with Black People Eats founder, Jeremy Joyce, PLUS a virtual game night, Afrobeats class, and a cookie decorating party. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here – Blaktober Virtual Food Festival.
Jeremy and Black People Eats have brilliantly and selflessly created fun and engaging ways for ALL people to enjoy delicious cuisine made by Black restaurants in Black communities, not just in Chicago but worldwide. Their commitment and genuine compassion for empowering Black dining establishments is refreshing and needed during this uncertain and unfortunate time that our country is experiencing.
Follow Black People Eats & Blaktober on Instagram @blackpeopleeats and @blaktober and like on Facebook @blackpeopleeats. Also, visit their website for more information on upcoming events and to view their restaurant directory at https://www.blackpeopleeats.com/.
Kim Durden is a food blogger and owner of Divine Dine Food Tours, the first and only entirely Black, woman-owned food tour agency in Chicago. Visit her website at https://www.divinedine.online/ and follow her on social media: Facebook @divinedinefoodietours | Instagram @divinedinefoodietours | Twitter @divinedinetours