March is Tastes and Talents Month in Putnam County

Tastes and Talents Month is in full swing in Putnam County. It's an effort to showcase the artisans of the county and to encourage people to try a new restaurant in the county, showcasing an untapped market.

Matt Snyder, the owner of Bear Wood Company, is one of a couple dozen artisans in Putnam County. He has set up shop in Hurricane to work with wood, and is part of Tastes and Talents Month in the county.

"I think there are so many unique things to highlight in Putnam County and unique artists to highlight in Putnam County," Snyder said. "I think they realize that and they are investing in it. For people like me, that's great."

Kelli Dailey, executive director of the Putnam County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said it is a month long focus on food and arts in Putnam County. The event also is showcasing restaurants.

"We really wanted to say look at all these amazing restaurants, locally owned restaurants right here in your backyard," Dailey said.

The Italian Grille in Teays Valley credits being part of Tastes and Talents Month for a profitable weekend.

"We were completely packed all weekend. There was probably a $2,000 to $3,000 difference each night," said Italian Grille Manager Jenny Downey.

Another goal of Tastes and Talents Month is to make it an annual event in Putnam County, but instead of happening in March of next year, Tastes and Talents Month will take place in February.

"I think times are changing. I think Putnam County is becoming even more of a center for business and arts," Snyder said.

Organizers hope restaurants and artisans continue to reap the benefits of Tastes and Talents Month, even after it ends March 31.

As part of Tastes and Talents Month, Saturday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. there will be an Artisan's Pop-Up Shop at Area 34, by the Holiday Inn Express in Teays Valley where artisans will have their work on display.

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