Local Venues set to shine at Roots N Blues
COLUMBIA- Roots N Blues is the one of the most exciting weekends of the year, not only for people who attend the festival, but also for local restaurants and businesses that spread their name.
26 different Columbia food venues will make an appearance at Roots N Blues this weekend. Coming up with all types of creations and delicacies, this is their time to branch out and draw in a new audience.
Harold’s Doughnuts is one of the shops that will have a stand at the festival. The local donut shop has attended Roots N Blues since it opened its doors back in 2014.
Michael Urban owns Harold’s and says this is the longest event they have been a part of since the store opened for business.
"It’s a staple event in Columbia that people look forward to every year,” Urban said. “It’s a pillar event in the community and we want to be a pillar business in the community so it’s been a natural fit.”
The festival helps the shop not only bring in money, but also a flurry of brand new customers.
“We get to see customers who come into our shop and they see us in a different environment,” Urban said. “We also get to see a lot of new faces whether that be from Columbia or from elsewhere in Missouri or around the country.”
This year the donut shop is planning to unleash a new creation called the “King Richard” which is a donut named after one of the founders of the festival, Richard King.
“I think that’s going to be the crowd pleaser this year.”
Urban says the shop begins to plan weeks in advance. Harold’s sees an abundance of new customers that come into the shop, making this weekend one its busiest and most important weekends of the year.
Across town, Peggy Jean Pies is beginning its third year being a part of the festival and owner Rebecca Miller feels the company is finally comfortable with the work load it takes to get ready for the weekend.
“It’s always super hectic but it’s something we look forward to ever year,” Miller said.
Miller says, like the donut shop, the festival helps the pie shop bring in a combination of more customers and money.
“I would say whatever the money aspect is the reach to new people is the best part,” Miller said. “They start to follow you on social media and interact with you via the festival’s blog and come to the store front never knowing you were here.”
Miller says the shop puts in more effort and hard work this weekend than they do at any point during the year.
“It’s a busy weekend for us so every year we have to ask if we have the effort,” Miller said. “Starting in August though people ask if we are going to be there so how could you so no to such a tremendous opportunity.”
No matter which Vendor you are, you are guaranteed to bring in a new group of customers and have a good time doing it.
In a statement, festival director Julie King said, "We love to feature Columbia's best food trucks! We are so excited to share the pride we have with our community."
Roots N Blues has posted a full list of venues and their menus on its website.