On this week’s The NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias, we talk with the co-chairs of the Philanthropy and Development Committee for the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, Eric Bennett and Kellie Thorn. We discuss the various issues the committee is tackling in the bartending and hospitality industry. This includes equity and inclusivity, personal wellness, and much more. We also learn about Kellie and Eric’s backgrounds, current gigs, and much more!
Pictured above – Eric Bennett and Kellie Thorn, co-chairs of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Philanthropy and Development Committee.
The NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias – Philanthropy and Development with Tales of the Cocktail Foundation – 2022Ep13
This time around we’re talking with Kellie Thorn and Eric Bennett, the co-chairs of the Philanthropy and Development Committee for the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF). Formerly known as the “Grants Committee,” the renamed group is tackling key issues in the bartending and hospitality industry with a broader approach.
Though the grants program continues, the Philanthropy and Development Committee is building new programs and expanding upon others, such as “Beyond the Bar,” a “platform to address challenges and opportunities within the global drinks industry, including mental and physical health, intersectionality, substance use, sexual harassment, diversity, equity, and sustainability,” according to the TOTCF website.
Kellie and Eric let us know about program priorities, some specific activities and approaches, and how their work isn’t just during “Tales” in July but happens year-round. They also discuss the diversity and talent of the committee members.
Also, we talk about their backgrounds and respective gigs including Eric’s new project in Birmingham, Alabama – a new cocktail bar, “Continental Drift,” in partnership with John Easterling. This builds upon their existing business, a food truck called “Drift Kitchen.” Kellie lets us know about her extensive experience and training in the business and highlights some of her current projects working with Hotel Effie in Miramar Beach, Murphy’s in Atlanta, Little Donkey in Birmingham, and the upcoming projects Westside Motor Lounge in Atlanta and Tasty Town in Birmingham.
Continuing on with our podcast-only segment, “Another Shot with NOLADrinks,” we talk more about the committee. We also talk about Eric and Kellie’s excitement about returning to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail this July, the event’s 20th anniversary! We even chat about the terrific, burgeoning food and drink scene in Birmingham.
Cheers and Be Well, You All!