Today, Good News Monday is a little different from the
usual messages you find here. It's a bit more personal. At Mikula|Harris we
have been working on a campaign called Rooted in Appalachia for a few months.
The website recently launched, posters are showing up, and the initiative has
even gotten page one press coverage. I predict that this campaign is going to
be a huge success in Abingdon, Bristol and other surrounding communities. It's
good news in so many ways and I'm glad I can finally tell you about it.
The Abingdon CVB partnered with a non-profit called
Appalachian Sustainable Development to promote restaurants and other
establishments that serve locally grown and made food products. Keep in mind
that these items include much more than locally grown fruits and vegetables,
although the region certain has them in wonderful abundance. It also includes
eggs, meats, beer, wine and other things grown or made in southwestern Virginia
and northeastern Tennessee. The initial target markets will be Abingdon and
Bristol with the potential to spread to dozens of surrounding counties.
After exploring a few different ideas, we settled on a
campaign that invokes some of the great traditions of living in the Appalachian
region. The objective is to make the Rooted in Appalachia program — indeed, the
entire notion of choosing local products — as much a part of life as the arts
community, traditional music, the Barter Theater and Bristol Motor Speedway.
The ads begin appearing next week, a series of four posters has been printed
and are popping up around the community, the website is getting steady traffic,
and perhaps most importantly, restaurants are signing up quicker than
All of this work means good news in many ways:
• For the farmers whose products will be in greater
• For the restaurants whose business will increase as
this campaign creates demand for local products
• For the economy which benefits by keeping consumers' dollars circulating right here in the Appalachian region
• For the environment because excessive packaging is not
used on local products and they are not transported across the country on big
• For the consumers who get fresh, delicious,
high-quality products at participating restaurants, inns and retailers
Next time you're in Abingdon or Bristol, seek out a
restaurant that supports Rooted in Appalachia. You'll be glad you did.