Published on August 10th, 2023 | by Elizabeth Tettleton1
The Snack Down! Food and Beverage Entrepreneur Showcase Thursday, August 17
The last days of summer are here, and the Leadership Lafayette class of 2023 is going to wine and dine you to the perfect bang at The Snack Down!
Many people may think of Mississippi food as simply catfish, fried chicken, and crawfish boils. When they think of Oxford, they think of The Grove, our postage-stamp Courthouse Square, the University, and Faulkner. But how many think of Oxford as a hub for small businesses and economic development? Our town has been recognized as a national leader in economic growth, but that doesn’t come by accident.
“This journey hasn’t been easy,” says Suprina Hite, owner of Greater Hites Coffee Company. Her company concept is a mobile coffee cart on wheels.
“You must be fully committed and dedicated. I have been in management for almost ten years, but it’s a different ball game when you are managing your own company. I strongly believe in the phrase, ‘It costs to be a boss.’”
Hite has been in the food and beverage (F&B) industry for over 15 years, and her passion for creating the perfect cup of coffee began while working at Einstein Bros. Bagels at the University of Mississippi campus. During her time there, she traveled to Colorado for hands-on training to obtain a certification related to the coffee bean industry.
“Greater Hites Coffee Company was established in May 2022 … I took my time to perfect it my way and on my own terms,” says Hite. “I hope to get the community and customer support to expand my brand into greater heights.”
Suprina Hite is just one of 19 vendors who will showcase their food and beverage at The Snack Down on August 17 at 6 pm at the Powerhouse. Tickets are quickly selling, so interested persons are encouraged to purchase ahead at OxfordArts.com/snackdown.
Kennerie’s Kitchen, specializing in fried chicken wraps, is excited to have a way to share his food beyond his snack cart. “I cook with love,” says Kennerie Young, Jr. “I started this business because I have a passion for food.”
Kennerie, like many small businesses in Oxford, struggle to find a consistent flow of clientele. They also may need support in areas that are not in their skillset—promotions and marketing—in a town where food trucks, catering, and snack carts are starting to pick up.
The Snack Down hopes to give the exposure for F&B businesses to an eagerly awaiting community.
“I’m not in competition with anybody,” says Kennerie, “I just wanna do what I love!”
Abbikadabbi’s Baking Co., Bar Muse, Boswell’s of Oxford, Debbie’s Cakes, G&G’s Fry CO., Greater Hites Coffee Co., Homemade on First Street, KaeBs LLC, Kennerie’s Kitchen, Manilla Skillet, Mrs. Hippie, Oxsicles, Queen’s Reward, Renae’s Sweet Treats, LLC., Soul2Soul (brought to you by Little Easy Catering), Southern Delight BBQ and Catering, Southern Sweets and More, Velvet Ditch Coffee Roasters, Wildfire in Wonderland
Ajax, BankPlus, Bar Muse, Bremma’s Cakery and Confections, Cathead Distillery, Coldwell Banker Signature, Conlee’s Landscaping, Daisy Gift Company, High Cotton Wine and Spirits Warehouse, Hotty Toddy Magazine, Larson’s Cash Saver, Lucky Elephant, Magnolia Rental, Ole Miss Athletic Foundation, Oxford Newsmedia, Oxsicles, Perkins Dental, Proud Larry’s, Road Runner Development, Roberts Wilson, PA., Small Business Development Center (SBDC), The Local Voice, The University of Mississippi (Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, McLean Institute, Office of Economic Development, and Office of Technology Commercialization), Thompson Machinery, Whittington Scrap Metal, WLP Materials, Zack Simmons Development LLC
Leadership Lafayette, which began in 1989, is a program of the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce. The eight-month program is a series of training sessions and activities designed for emerging community leaders intended to assure the continuity of leadership in Lafayette-Oxford-University community and assist already established community leaders, who are seeking more effective ways to contribute to the community. In addition to the monthly sessions, class members also participate in a community-based project.