When I spoke with Crave chef Jason Doty about his Hand-Crafted Name contest, he said it was inspired in part by the Break the Chain - Eat Local movement.
"It's about us supporting each other," Doty said when I confessed I wasn't familiar with Break the Chain
Turns out that this very cool, very low-key movement — for which local independently owned restaurants show solidarity through T-shirts — can be traced back to Memphis' favorite cupcake-pusher Kat Gordon, owner of Muddy's Bake Shop.
According to Gordon, she and her brother designed the graphic for T-shirts to promote eatlocalmemphis.org, a blog created by Gordon's boyfriend Thomas Robinson.
Eatlocalmemphis.org is a relatively new site that covers local restaurants. Gordon says the blog will eventually feature profiles of restauranteurs, farmers, food writers, and "basically, everyone involved in our local food scene."
Gordon had the graphic printed up on T-shirts, aprons, and thermal tops by Bluff City Sports. On T-shirts, the Muddy's logo is printed on the back of the shirt at the collar.
She began selling the apparel at Muddy's and then she set the graphic free.
"It's a message important to share so we have made it available to all local, independent eateries who want to use it, free of charge, and they're welcome to put their own logo on it if they wish," she says.
"Jana [Misener] at Bluff City does the printing and will group orders so even us small businesses on a budget can participate!"
Among those who've taken up the offer are Fino's, South of Beale, Crave, and Cafe Eclectic.
Misener says she already noticing a pattern among participants: "They make an order, loved them, and order more."