From managing COVID-19 restrictions to simply keeping their doors open, the pandemic’s impact on restaurants has reminded us all of the valuable place they hold in the heart of our communities.
That’s why the General Mills Foodservice team decided to double the number of winners in its Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest, an annual contest that celebrates independent restaurants and food trucks, their one-of-a-kind dishes and the vital role they play in our communities.
The team awarded 20 winners this year, giving more restaurants and food truck operators the opportunity to win $5,000 as well as paid advertising and other marketing tools to promote their business.
“The goal this year was to recognize as many restaurants as we could, knowing they’re all struggling in so many ways,” says Kelley Walhof, Brand Experience assistant manager, General Mills Foodservice. “And we wanted to make entering the contest as easy as possible because we know restaurants have so much on their plates right now.”
To enter, restaurant operators were asked to upload a photo of their recipe using at least one ingredient from General Mills Foodservice’s participating brands, share how their business is doing and how their dish is bringing comfort to their customers during this challenging time.
In the past, the Foodservice team has traveled to the winners’ hometowns to award them in person and hold a celebratory open house at their restaurants.
But this year, the team surprised winners with the news during a Zoom call.
Surprising the winners
Veneé Pawlowski, owner of Black Magnolia Southern Patisserie in Greensboro, North Carolina, is a first-time winner for her Bourbon Banoffee Pecan Cinnamon Rolls.
“Cinnamon rolls bring warm, fond memories of comfort to people, and we want to do that with everything we make at Black Magnolia Southern Patisserie,” says Pawlowski.