The Food Fort’s First Annual Showcase A Resounding Success

ECDI Spotlight — By on March 27, 2014 at 8:00 am

From zesty chipotle sliders to decadent blackberry sage donuts, The Food Fort’s first annual showcase attracted hundreds of hungry attendees eager for an introduction to the diversely talented “foodie-preneurs” that call The Food Fort Home.

“We spent months coordinating so many moving parts,” said The Food Fort Administrator, Jen Gable. “The showcase went off without a hitch, and we’ve received an overwhelming show of support from the Columbus business community since.”

Set-up For Success

Six food trucks, four pop-up carts and over a dozen private catering companies packed The Food Fort in hopes of connecting with company representatives, wedding and event planners through their love of food. Many members spent all day at The Food Fort’s commercial kitchen, preparing their samples for the night’s anticipated event.


Each showcase participant prepared their booth with their “fan-favorite” dishes. From Dinner Rescue Crew’s mouth-watering potato cakes to Fun’l Frenzy’s deep-fried dessert concoctions, savory smells began to permeate throughout The Food Fort minutes before the first attendee stepped through the door.

Welcome to The Food Fort

Greeted by Bob Kramer, the fort’s Director of Food Services & Safety, hundreds of attendees began to filter through The Food Fort’s entrance. Within minutes, the space was packed with eager spectators, moving from booth to booth sampling the eclectic assortment of food.

“The Food Fort Showcase put me in touch with client leads and resources that I had not yet uncovered myself,” said Chef Melissa Hura, owner of Dinner Rescue Crew Personal Chef Services. “It was a lot of fun and highly successful for my business…I look forward to the next event!”


Hura discovered The Eddie Grayson Culinary Lab at The Food Fort in its early stages in 2012. Using the fully functional kitchen provided, she has been able to successfully expand her personal catering services.

Her St. Patrick’s Day themed booth, strewn with green décor, was a hit. Highlighted by shots of Guinness and crème de menthe to go with her cuisine, her savvy presentation skills made her booth one of the “can’t-miss” spectacles of the entire showcase.

Special Thanks To…

Without the gracious support of sponsors, Car2Go Columbus and Columbus Corn Dog, The Food Fort Showcase would not have been such a resounding success. Antonio Robinson Sr., founder of CCD and fellow Food Fort member, was thrilled with the turnout as he networked with attendees.


“It was a huge success,” Robinson said. “I got the chance to meet other food ventures doing exactly what I’m about to start doing. The Food Fort members don’t look at each other as competition, but more like a close-knit family all trying to make a living with the help of one another. It’s a truly inviting and creatively fun atmosphere and I am glad I got to be a part of it.”

Are you interested in hiring Columbus’s best cuisine artists for your next party, tailgate or wedding? Are you a chef? Want to be your own boss? Contact The Food Fort today at 614-559-0196 for more information.

Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan (18 Articles)

Kevin joined Economic & Community Development Institute in June 2013. In his role as Food Fort Marketing & Development Manager, Kevin works with over 40 food-based clients to help develop their business by enhancing their networking and marketing efforts. He also oversees marketing and events to further develop The Food Fort brand. A Columbus native, Kevin attended The Ohio State University receiving his degree in Strategic Communication. He can be contacted via email at or by phone at 614-732-0573.