It’s easy to find yourself in a restaurant rut. Maybe you can’t find someone to go out to dinner with, or you’re finding yourself only going back to your tried and true favorite. Food & Beverage Social Club is doing something entirely different: They have made it their mission to showcase the Charlotte food scene in a completely unique light, with curated, exclusive culinary events, designed for Charlotteans to Eat and Drink Together.
What makes F&B Social unique is their ability to offer more than one type of culinary event within the club. Their hope is to provide as many different experiences as possible, from day-trips to larger expo style events, cultural events, food festivals, and beyond. The club’s events are designed intentionally, so you can meet like-minded people who share the same love for dining out and exploring our wonderful city.
We sat down with Chelsey Sanderson of F&B to learn more about their concept, and introduce you to some of the many fun events that they have planned for the city.
Tell us about the idea behind Food & Beverage Social Club.
Food & Beverage (F&B) Social Club is a newly-launched group of culinary enthusiasts in Charlotte who come together at our premier event experiences. Our team plans between 3-6 events per month around the Queen City, all related to food and beverage. Whether it’s a themed pairing dinner, an interactive cooking class, or an event that ties in culture, we aim to offer a plethora of culinary experiences for our members.
What gave you the idea to start something like this here in Charlotte?
Our founder, Mike Pruitt, recognized that Charlotte was an ideal backdrop for a club such as F&B Social. Mike has lived in the area for over 30 years and has been ingrained in the culinary scene through his professional and personal endeavors. According to Mike, “life is all about creating memories” and many of his favorites have been around the dinner table. In an effort to bring people together, support local businesses and causes, and experience beautiful food and drink, he founded F&B Social Club!
Tell us what a membership to F&B Social Club entails. Are there non-member options?
Our club is membership based, but we do offer non-member tickets to many events so Charlotteans can see what we’re all about. Membership is billed on an annual basis; our introductory pricing is $100 for an individual membership, or $150 for two designated members. As we grow and expand our member base, we will offer non-member tickets to the majority of our events. This way, you can experience our club prior to formally joining. However, some of our most exclusive dining opportunities are for members-only.
Becoming a member of F&B Social will provide some special benefits such as members-only events, the lowest ticket prices, focus group opportunities, preferred access to tickets prior to the general public, amongst other things! Another great benefit of becoming a member is being surrounded by like-minded Charlotteans who enjoy making memories over good food and drink. Many of our members have already created friendships from attending events and meeting new people!
What sort of events do you offer for members?
F&B Social offers many uniquely themed pairing dinners, whether it’s a journey through Italian wines, a Sake pairing meal, or a Charlotte beer pairing dinner. We also enjoy offering events that incorporate culture, such as “Food is Art” – a multi-course dinner that is inspired by works of art at the Mint Museum. Later this year, we will host a large fundraiser called “Fork Cancer”, that will bring Charlotte’s culinary leaders together, to raise money for local non-profits.
What are some specific events that you have coming up that you can tell us about?
Our monthly Chef’s Table Series allows Charlotte’s culinary leaders to design a custom dining experience for our members. We have hosted off-the-menu dinners with top restaurants such as Supperland and Peppervine, and the roster for the rest of the year is top-tier.
This Autumn, we will be hosting an overnight retreat at The Inn at Little Pond Farm, where guests will be able to enjoy special food and beverage experiences, surrounded by nature. We look forward to offering more retreats and culinary adventures outside of Charlotte, in the near future!
What sort of community do you hope to foster with this club?
After spending so much time in solitude over the past two years, we hope to provide an environment for Charlotteans to curate new friendships with other local culinary enthusiasts. F&B Social has a very “come as you are” type of environment. We have singles and couples who attend our events, people in their 20s and people in their 60s. We have people who live in Uptown, and people that drive in from Cornelius. As long as you love good food and drink, you are invited to come and ‘eat, drink, together!’
Will you be working with local restaurants to host these events?
F&B Social Club in Charlotte works alongside local restaurants, chefs, mixologists, distilleries, breweries, and nonprofits to bring our events to life. We are thrilled to be able to support so many Charlotteans with our club’s initiatives. We invite our members (and the public) to nominate businesses that we should consider working with!
Who, exactly, is F&B Social Club for?
Our members are passionate about Charlotte and all of the amazing culinary opportunities that we have within our city. They love to experience unique cuisines, meal-styles, and pairings. They want to be introduced to restaurants or experiences that they would likely not get to enjoy, if it weren’t for our club. They want to have a robust social calendar, and they trust us to produce high-quality events that will be worth their time and investment. Our members want to network with other like-minded individuals in a comfortable setting. And most importantly, they appreciate great food and beverage!
What are you most looking forward to with F&B Social Club this year?
Our team is most excited to get to know all of our inaugural members! The best part of our club is the amazing group of Charlotteans that we have curated thus far. It is important for our team to get to know our members and learn about their stories.
We are also looking forward to allowing our restaurant partners to get creative and re-invigorate their love of food, through our events. One of the best parts of planning F&B events is seeing a chef’s face light up, when we tell them that we are totally okay with an off-the-menu dining experience. Food and drink is meant to be creative, and we love providing those opportunities to our culinary partners.
In partnership with Food & Beverage Social Club.