What’s that you say? Never heard of that word? Well let me explain:
BROOKLYNIZATION = a city/entity (Brooklyn) wanting to go in exact opposite of, for example, New York City (think capitalism, corporate imperialism, unchecked corporate greed and you get the full picture here, right?). Turning instead to local artisans, hand-made/home-made anything, small batch [fill-in-the-blank], nurturing a successful environment for entrepreneurs, etc. IN PLAIN ENGLISH: empowering the creative class in your own area to help grow local identity.
Ah yes, now it makes sense! But what’s the connection with the Hospitality Hive? Glad you ask!
For some time now, we’ve all noticed an increase in the words or terms such as locally grown – locavores – farm to table – craft made and many more just like those. These are all ways of referring to areas embracing it’s own local community by purchasing, using, and helping to spread awareness about products from your next door neighbors. In the world of Orlando hospitality, the best example would be the plethora of hotels owned by Harris Rosen, which can only be found locally, as opposed to those hotels also found here but that are affiliated with a national chain such as Hyatt, Marriott and so forth. It’s not rocket science to understand this concept, but circling back to our hospitality community at large, there are just so many wonderful examples of establishments that do go out of their way to connect with the local community and I find it pretty cool that it all started with the ‘Brooklynization’ concept that began as a murmur a few years back but has since spread like free range chickens.
For instance, right here in Orlando we have the Ritz Carlton/JW Marriott at Grande Lakes Resort and they have their own Whisper Creek Farm, a 7,000 square foot fruit and vegetable garden with even larger outdoor event space adjoining making it an ideal location for weddings, receptions, parties and all sorts of special events. Having this garden truly makes it a farm to fork experience, and produce grown here is also used in most of the other restaurant kitchens that support both these hotels. In fact many local hotels now have their own gardens, cattle ranches, fish ponds, and more.
And beyond our area hotels there are hundreds of examples in the artistic, locally owned and operated restaurants that are popping up on every corner in every suburb that shares air space with Orlando and the Central Florida community. But does that mean we’ve been ‘Brooklynized?’ Only in the sense that this is a national trend that shows no sign of slowing down, and that’s a very good thing.
In future posts I’ll try to explore and report on other ways our local hospitality community is embracing the ‘ keep it in our own community’ concept, so make sure to let me know of any of those gems that you think should be featured!