Caribbean Flayvahz: An Island Dream in Memphis

By–Elbert Hubbard Jr.

Caribbean Flayvahz started when a local out of college couple got together for an idea. It was based on family roots in the Caribbean and in Memphis. Louis and Carla Falkner had their restaurant open since 2018, and they haven’t looked back since.

“It started with my wife, she had a dream opening a restaurant,” said Louis Faulkner.  Most of our recipes come from Kittitian style cooking. It represents the whole vision of Caribbean Flayvahz. “

Carla Faulkner family comes from Queens, New York and her heritage lies in St. Kitts. The island was formerly known as St. Christopher Island. Louis family comes from Orange Mound in Memphis. Their history lead to opening Caribbean Flayvahz a local restaurant serving the Hickory Hill area in Memphis.

Louis said owning Caribbean Flayvahz as a young black business owner is no different than other restaurants.

“It’s a lot of grinding and hard work,” he said. “It is a lot of hours in the day put in.  Me and my wife are working along with the cashiers and the chefs so that the city can come around and try Caribbean Flayvahz.”

Carla Faulkner said she is half Caribbean, with her family coming from St. Kitts. She said most of her recipes comes from across the West Indies.

“Some of our dishes include Kittitian dishes, we have Jamaican dishes, and we have Trinidadian dishes as well,” she said.   “We did not just one name, and that is why we came up with Caribbean Flayvahz. I wanted the word flavors to be different because we are different. We are relaxed, cool, vibe, energetic, and it is a fun place to eat.”

She also brought a popular dish to the table and talked about the sides that normally come with the plate. The plate included curried chicken, steam cabbage, plantain banana fritters, and coco bread which is like a giant sweet roll. Some of their dishes came with rice, cabbage, and the coco bread.

Carla Faulkner’s favorite dish is a Caribbean favorite and American south favorite as well.

“My favorite dish is oxtail and macaroni and cheese,” she said. “I also recommend my favorite with coco bread. Coco bread goes wonderfully with any of our patties. We have jerk, curry, beef and vegetable patties.”

Carla Faulkner wanted to let customers know that this restaurant is on the rise.

“I would say to our customer base come and savor the Caribbean flavor, come and relax,” she said. “We have great food, spices, and great music and a great atmosphere so you can come a be yourself.”

The restaurant gained positive reviews from customers in the Mid-South area according to recent Google Reviews.

Local television chef cooks up healthy and tasty options

 

One chef in Memphis is known for her healthy options and tasty entrees. She made several appearances on WREG-TV’s Live at 9 cooking segments. She also teaches lessons in southern cooking and vegan cooking. Elle Green is known for her southern cooking, vegan options, and her array of assorted drink cocktails.

Some of her dishes range from southern appetizers to classic grilled and fried entrée’s to vegan substitutes that have multiple positive reviews.

One of her recipes like the Shrimp Creole Rice Balls include Arborio rice, shrimp, Cajun spice, bell pepper, tomato paste and a host of spices.

Chef Elle has appeared on multiple shows and media outlets such as Shape, Self Magazine, eHow recipes, and NBC Today Show. She contributes to multiple cookbooks anonymously as well.

She has clients across the Memphis area. Her customer review average is 4.8 stars according to GreenChef.com.

This Week in Memphis Restaurants

By–Elbert Hubbard Jr.

 

 

Soul Fish Café plans to open two new restaurants in the Memphis area. The new locations are planned for Cordova, TN and Oxford, MS.

Soul Fish Café has four locations in the Mid-South including East Memphis, Germantown, Midtown Memphis, and Little Rock, AR. The restaurant is known for their catfish specials and their side items.  The popular item at the Soul Fish Café is their fried catfish and their cornbread. Other items on the menu include Chicken, Shrimp, and Crawfish. The locations will open this spring. The Cordova restaurant will open on HWY 64 and the Oxford restaurant will open at Lamar Square in a new strip mall.

Gigi’s Cupcakes in Memphis will close for good. The restaurant filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Gigi’s had two locations in Germantown and Cordova. The company and the original Gigi’s location is based in Nashville. On January 6, the Memphis area locations filed for bankruptcy causing the stores to close. The bakery was known for cupcakes with over the top icing and designs. The company was sold to an affiliate in Ft. Worth, TX with no intention on reopening the Memphis area stores even with the mixed reviews with customers.

River Arts Festival brings a new light to Memphis

The River Arts Festival in downtown Memphis featured many events. One event included the River Arts Poster Artist for 2018 Maysey Craddok. Her work is exhibited across Germany and the United States. Her work was also featured in the Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis.

The main attraction of the festival was the Mighty Lights show. Big River Crossing and the Hernando DeSoto I-40 bridge displayed an LED light show. As many as a few thousand people showed up to the festival. Coverage of the Light Show was sponsored by WREG-TV Channel 3 in Memphis.

Other events included the River Arts displays, a contest for the Resident Artists, street performances from dancers in the local area, food trucks, and wine tastings.  The festival included some music acts featuring the Tennessee Mass Choir and local artists across the Mid-South.

The event ends at 5pm on October 28.

Donate to the MABJ Bernal Smith Scholarship Fund

African Americans who want to be journalists have a hard time affording college. Unlike their mainstream counterparts who have been offered millions of dollars in scholarships, our future journalists in Memphis have as little choice of scholarships. That is where the Memphis Association of Black Journalists comes in.  The MABJ is an organization where we promote newsroom equality. We also promote the employment of African Americans into newsrooms and Media organizations from low level to management positions.

The goal of MABJ is to educate future minority journalists about diversity, racism, and equal employment opportunities in the Memphis Mid-South area.

The MABJ started this scholarship fund when one of their well known journalists died of natural causes. This scholarship is a tribute to him and is given to local minority college students. 

If you would like to donate to the scholarship fund here is the link to the MABJ website.

mabj.org

Here are some of the locations for the meetings.

Memphis black owned BBQ shop shares a unique history

The Bar-B-Q Shop wasn’t always in the spot in Midtown Memphis, TN. The restaurant used to be named Brady and Lil’s on South Parkway in Memphis. This restaurant was known for its BBQ spaghetti.

The Food Network named the Bar-B-Q shop one of the top five shops in the nation for the best BBQ. The network also named the restaurant an honorable mention to the top three BBQ restaurants in the nation.

Memphis may be known for BBQ but this particular shop is African American owned. The shop was owned by the Vernon family in Memphis and is still a popular BBQ shop to eat.  According to several reviews on Facebook customers agree that the food is good and the service is good. The restaurant received 4.6/5.0 stars on Facebook.

The restaurant still stands in Midtown Memphis on Madison Street.

A Young Woman’s Experience with Type 1 Diabetes

Erika Hubbard is a school teacher at KIPP Blytheville Collegiate Prep in Blytheville, AR.  She lives in Bartlett, Tennessee with her boyfriend Antwoine McClellan and thier daughter Autumn. Since her childhood, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

She goes to the doctor every three months to fill her supplies and for her checkup. When her daughter was born she was born premature because of her diabetes.

“While I was pregnant I felt like a science experiment,” Erika said “I was at the high risk doctor once a month. The next day after the baby shower, surprisingly, my daughter was born.”

Ellen Hubbard is a nurse at St Francis Bartlett. She is also Erika’s mother. Hubbard said Erika’s daughters premature birth is common for women with diabetes.

“Some of the risks for premature birth had something to do with her being an independent diabetic,” Hubbard said. “Other risks for the baby are growth problems, heart defects, and brain development problems.”

Erika still lives in Bartlett with her family and she hasn’t had too many problems with her blood sugar.

 

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MABJ: Bringing Life to Young Memphis Journalists

The Memphis Association of Black Journalists is a Memphis based organization for young local journalists. Particularly, minority journalists whether experienced or fresh out of school. Some legacy members of the organization include longtime production specialist at WREG-TV Eddie Goss and WREG veteran anchors Alex Coleman and April Thompson who anchor together at 4:00pm.

Montee Lopez is the current president of MABJ. He is a morning show producer at WATN-TV in Memphis. Lopez said the purpose of the organization is to help young or veteran minority journalists network, get though the stressful work week of media, and to serve the Memphis community. MABJ also holds several events to support the organization.

Lopez said that the last fundraiser MABJ had raised about $300 for the scholarship fund. The goal is to give out two $500 scholarships for media based majors.

“We want to support our students and so we have set up this fund for books and supplies,” he said.

MABJ has over 30 members including recurring guest members in the organization.

The organization serves minority journalists throughout the Mid-South including Jackson, TN and parts of Mississippi and Arkansas.

Television production veteran retires after 38 years at WREG-TV in Memphis

Eddie Goss works from 3:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. every morning. He inspired many people including his coworkers and his employers.

His final day at WREG-TV was June 29th. He was one of few people who worked there earlier than some of his employers.

“I talked though Facebook and I told him thanks for everything,” said MarShon Calvin who previously worked at WREG in 2001.

Ron Walter the president and General Manager of WREG-TV said Eddie was a huge part of the production team.

There was a Facebook page created named Happy Trails Eddie Goss as another tribute.


This past Friday, there was a tribute to Goss at Pancho’s in Memphis.

Goss currently is retired but still freelances for several projects.

 

MABJ Black Male Media Project set for June 28

The Memphis Association of Black Journalsits will have their Black Male Media Project event in two weeks. This comes after the Trap Yoga event to raise money for the Bernal E. Smith Scholarship fund.

Montee Lopez the President of MABJ said the focus of the event is to raise awareness to the media as far as black male health, mindset, how they are portyaed in news, and promote HIV and AIDS Testing.

 

“The goal is to uplift young African American men who are portrayed poorly. Our target is the Frayser area of Memphis where the HIV and AIDS rate are high. We want to promote good health, and promote a better image for our young men.”

The event is scheduled for June 28th, at the Pursuit of God Church on Signal Street in Memphis.

 

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