Subrina & Greg Collier on Economic Empowerment Through Hospitality

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

“You can change people’s moods really fast with food.” This sentiment is at the heart of all that Greg and Subrina Collier believe. A husband and wife team behind six successful restaurants including Charlotte, NC’s-acclaimed Leah & Louise and the founders of the Bayhaven Food & Wine Festival, a three-day celebration of Black foodways, Subrina and Greg are at the forefront of the movement to increase the number of Black-owned business, Black chefs, and Black leaders in the hospitality industry. For them, this movement is about more than representation, as Greg Collier noted, “Representation is important. Being seen is important. But if there is a thing, funding is the most important thing. If we had half the opportunities other chefs had you would see different types of restaurants.” In this episode, part of Add Passion & Stir’s ongoing Rebuilding series, we connect with two inspiring leaders in hospitality who are creating pathways to economic empowerment for Black culinarians.

Resources and Mentions:

Subrina and Greg Collier

Subrina Collier & Greg Collier

Founders
Husband & wife team, Subrina Collier & Greg Collier, hail from Memphis, Tennessee but have called Charlotte, North Carolina home for more than a decade. Together, they have opened numerous restaurants including Yolk, an all-breakfast spot, and Leah & Louise, named by Esquire Magazine as one of the best new restaurants in 2020. Subrina is a 2020 James Beard Foundation Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Fellow and Greg is a two-time James Beard-nominated chef. They are the founders of Bayhaven Food & Wine Festival, a three-day celebration of Black foodways. The pair serve on President Joe Biden’s Small Business and Entrepreneurs Advisory Council and were recognized with the 2022 Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority Destination Impact Award.

Bayhaven Food and Wine Festival

Bayhaven Food & Wine Festival is a three-day celebration of Black foodways and the industry members who make them possible. Held in Charlotte, NC, the festival honors the diaspora, fosters education, and creates meaningful and joyous moments of celebration to promote a world where diversity and representation is equally visible in the arena of elevated food conversation and food festivals. 

Leah & Louise

Leah & Louise, a modern juke joint, features modern interpretations of Southern classics that honor Mississippi river valley foodways (Memphis; Jackson, Mississippi; and New Orleans). Esquire Magazine named Leah & Louise one of the best new restaurants of 2020.

Soul Sessions

Soul Food Sessions is a movement to acknowledge and support people of color in the culinary arts, restaurant and hospitality industries, and beverage services. They create innovative dining experiences with menus that reflect diverse specialties that include Southern foodways and other global gastronomies with an African twist. They endeavor to be a strong presence in the food community as well as an innovative one that provides excellent service and education to our supporters.  

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