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Welcome to Matthew Schniper's food & drink newsletter
Endings are hard, but they lead to beginnings.
As many of you know, I was recently laid off from my journalism career after 17 years. This is a reflection of larger trends in the media landscape. We are all sad to see the demise of the Colorado Springs Independent after three decades of it producing vital local news.
Over the years, I’ve gotten to professionally know hundreds of people in our local culinary industry, from chefs and restaurateurs to bartenders, baristas, roasters, bakers, brewers, distillers, kombucha crafters, winemakers, wine reps, sommeliers, GMs and culinary educators. Good people. My people. I spent 10 years in the industry myself, starting auspiciously as a bus boy in a fine Italian restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama at age 15.
I know how hard people work inside restaurants and bars. I see how much heart and soul goes into running these businesses. They are part of the cultural fabric and lifeblood of our community. They are the places where we congregate and celebrate (or just inebriate).
Culinary industry professionals’ stories deserve to be told, and I can’t imagine not being the one to tell them. Plus, there seems to be an appetite for me to continue telling them. Among comments I received upon announcing my layoff on Facebook:
“Your work connected people, food and art, and made community of it all.”
“You have been a pillar of fairness and accountability for my industry.”
“You are part conscience and part treasure. You make this city vibrant.”
“Thank you for using your voice to advocate for the industry here in town while pushing us to constantly be better.”
“You are an incredible part of this community and I’ve enjoyed your words and guidance for the past several years.”
“You’re a huge part of the cultural DNA of Colorado Springs and I am so grateful for the work you’ve done over the years.”
So here I am launching a fledgling newsletter to continue doing what I’ve always done: telling people’s stories, covering food and drink news (openings, closings, new menus, chef changes, trends, etc.) and writing critical reviews.
My aim as I get this off the ground is to always keep access to the news free for my readers. To fund the work, I’ll be seeking sponsors and underwriters who don’t present a conflict of interest, so that I maintain journalistic integrity. If you want to be one or know of someone who would, reach out.
Another way to support my work is as a paid subscriber. I’m planning to provide exclusive content, to include my critical reviews and likely some periodic critic’s picks.
This is a work in progress, so please bear with me during these early days as I experiment and explore this new phase of my career.
Welcome to this new chapter, Side Dish with Schniper. Thanks for joining me.
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