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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
Food & Dining

Magazine offers tastes of Tampa Bay

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ST. PETERSBURG - Sarasota has one. Orlando does, too.

Now, Tampa is an Edible town as well.

Edible Tampa Bay magazine joins an award-winning network of publications across the country that focus on local food, growers and seasonal ingredients.

Kay Clark, the St. Petersburg-based publisher and editor, began distributing 30,000 copies of the quarterly publication's first issue this week to local stores and advertisers. The magazine is listing delivery locations on its Facebook page.

Clark says she and husband Brian, the magazine's advertising director, purchased a licensing agreement from Edible Communities of California to publish the Tampa Bay edition.

Clark, a University of Georgia journalism graduate, works as a corporate communications writer for Raymond James financial services. Her husband is a local representative for a direct-to-customer wine distributor. They will be publishing the magazine in addition to working their full-time jobs.

"We enjoy cooking and going to eat in out-of-the-way places," Clark says. "I also tend to be environmentally focused. [The magazine] lined up to be something we'd both be interested in and care about and be excited about."

Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian founded Edible Communities in 2002 in California. The chain of independent publications now extends to 81 magazines in North America. In 2011, it earned a prestigious James Beard Foundation award for publication of the year.

"I don't pretend to think we're starting a revolution," Clark writes in her first editor's note to readers. "Instead, we're highlighting an evolution ... about how people in our region, state and around the country think about, buy and prepare their food. Our goal is to be a connection point."

Edible Tampa Bay is the first widely published food magazine to come to the area since January 2012, when chef Ferrell Alvarez and restaurant manager Ty Rodriguez launched The Local Dirt magazine in Tampa.

Like Edible Tampa Bay, it focused on local growers, chefs and the sustainable agriculture movement. The Local Dirt produced one issue before folding.

"Our friends in the business believed in what we were doing, but it was hard for advertisers because they didn't see the dollars come back," Alvarez says

He predicts success for the new magazine, especially with "the stay-at-home, organic-buying mother from South Tampa" who will be drawn to the topics.

"The marketplace for Edible Tampa is going to be really big," he says.

jhouck@tampatrib.com

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