Dominic Brown Encourages Others to Get Out and Travel


( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Brown is Using His Talents to Get People Out of The House and Into Their Towns to Try Food From Small Businesses

ENSPIRE Contributor: Alexandra Rivera

Dominic Brown is the creator of TallTravelEats. His brand was created to inspire people to travel the world to see what different places have to offer while supporting small businesses along the way. Brown grew up with humble beginnings and is set on giving back because of his upbringing. His vision for TallTravelEats was changed because of the pandemic. It was very tough seeing so many small businesses close because of COVID. 

Brown started by using his platform to promote restaurants in his hometown. Many were reluctant to leave their homes during the height of the pandemic. During this time, Brown went out in his community and documented takeout and popular dishes throughout his state. This helped restaurants in the area remain open. TallTravelEats was featured on CBS 6’s “We’re Open” which highlighted restaurants open during the pandemic. Brown continues to support restaurants and small businesses and give back to the community. 

ENSPIRE talked with Dominic Brown about his journey. 

Photo of Dominic Brown at the Broad Museum next to Robert Therrien’s sculpture.

You spoke about your humble upbringing. How did it shape your work in helping the community?

My humble upbringing in Richmond, VA helped to develop my strong work ethic and the person I am today. I was inspired as a kid by watching various members of the community return to the community and volunteer to assist the less fortunate. So, I knew I wanted to give back in similar ways. In my spare time, I started giving back whenever I got a chance. Dedicating my time to help others is something that is important to me as well as my TallTravelEats brand.

What was your turning point in highlighting restaurants in your town all over your state?

My TallTravelEats brand was inspired by my travel experiences. When the pandemic first hit, I decided not to travel out of caution. There was a lot of uncertainty about traveling during the pandemic. One day, while sitting at home watching television, I noticed how many restaurants were closed because of the pandemic. I instantly thought of using my TallTravelEats platform to market restaurants to help them remain open.

At the height of the pandemic, I started going out to restaurants and posting photos of my favorite dishes on social media. Also, I was showcasing the process of takeout because many restaurants had converted to new takeout procedures. This was beneficial because it increased people’s confidence in ordering takeout from restaurants in a safe manner. The community work I was doing in Richmond got great feedback, especially from business owners. 

At that point, I realized that the work I was doing was helping many pandemic-affected businesses. The great feedback I received in the Richmond area motivated me to expand my work with various businesses throughout Virginia. I started collaborating with different restaurants and small businesses not only in Richmond but in the entire state of Virginia.

What was it like being featured on CBS and being named one of Richmond’s best?

I’ve been watching CBS 6 News as far back as I can remember. It was an exciting feeling when the news reached out to me about my takeout process at the Original Ronnie’s BBQ in Richmond. It was surreal to see TallTravelEats live on television. When I started TallTravelEats, I didn’t imagine having my work featured on the news. I will say that it was encouraging to see that what I was doing was impacting the community in a positive way.

Being voted one of the “Best Instagram” accounts by Richmond Magazine was an amazing feeling. I was surprised when I found out about this honor. To be voted one of the best accounts by the community was unreal. I’m so grateful to have so many people support TallTravelEats and my mission to help bring exposure to various small businesses.

Photo of Brown in Santorini, Greece via Instagram

Are you working on anything new to help the communities you visit?

I’m currently working on putting together various lists of restaurants, unique dishes, and small businesses to visit across the state. These lists will be curated by myself and will make it easier to discover new restaurants or rediscover old favorites to explore. Although there has been some return to normalcy in the tourism sector, there is still a long way to go before things are fully back to normal. My goal is to keep promoting small businesses in my home state of Virginia.

How do you push people to go out into their communities to help small businesses?

Through my TallTravelEats brand, I believe people can see my enthusiasm and commitment to supporting local businesses. To encourage others to come out, I use my experiences and food marketing expertise. People want to see what businesses offer before trying things in the social media age.

I knew if I posted mouth-watering dishes that made people want to eat through their phones, they would go out to support local establishments. In my humble opinion, I’m an expert at food marketing on social media. Many of my followers support my brand because they have witnessed TallTravelEats’ growth over the years. Having a following that supports you and the community is incredibly humbling.

Brown’s journey is far from over and he hopes to bring awareness to small businesses in Virginia that are outside of tourist hot spots. He is planning on continuing his work in highlighting the best food in the Virginia area.

Check out TallTravelEats Recent YouTube Video!

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