Over the last several decades Collette Phillips and the many off-shoots of her high-powered public relations company, including Get Konnected, have built a known brand and clear advocacy for clients from a large space deep in downtown Boston.
Now, in a trend that many expect to continue, they have moved out of downtown and placed their company headquarters in Charlestown at the Powerhouse Building on the Schrafft’s campus – and from there they are doing an all-out blitz to help local and ethnic restaurants with the return of the Get Konnected Taste of Ethnic Boston on July 27 in Big Night Live at Causeway Street.
The return of the signature event for its 7th year, which has always meant to support ethnic and minority-owned restaurants, has really taken a step up this year after being cancelled last year. This year they hope to get a good turnout to sample a variety of foods from a dozen or more diverse purveyors from around Boston – all to raise money for restaurant relief from the Get Konnected Fund.
“We want to thank all of our partners, especially the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Big Night Entertainment, NBC Boston 10 and Boston Beer Company, who have come together to support neighborhood restaurants and establishments – and to spotlight and amplify all of these companies that have been impacted by the pandemic,” said Phillips this week. “We’re inviting as many people as possible to come out and support the organization because the proceeds of which will benefit these restaurateurs.”
The difference between now and previous events is that such things would have been planned from the former downtown office of Collette Phillips Communications, which she founded in 1986 and has formed several off-shoots such as Get Konnected. Now, however, the plans are rolling out of the company’s new Charlestown office.
They moved from their State Street offices last September, and have just settled in as everyone has returned to the office, and folks work a variety of schedules.
“The former office was a beautiful spot, but it’s deep in downtown,” said Lilly Pillsbury, digital content creator at the agency. “With Collette’s base, we have people coming in and out all the time. So being in a place like Charlestown is very accessible and still in an urban area. It’s perfect for our events like Taste of Ethnic Boston because we want to target places like Charlestown and Jamaica Plain and other neighborhoods in the city.”
Executive Assistant Noa Vardy said they have also downsized the office, coming out of COVID-19 and realizing they didn’t need so much space to do the job they do – and also didn’t need everyone to come into the office every day.
“The office at State Street was huge and now we’re maybe half, if not a quarter, of that size here,” she said. “We’re a small team doing big things. I think everyone realized we didn’t need those huge spaces.”
Right now, the team is working to coordinate all of the restaurants and purveyors for the Taste of Ethnic Boston event, and expect to have about 250 people in attendance.
“It’s going to be a little of everything,” said Pillsbury. “We even have a hot sauce company and a wine tasting company. And it’s all in a great space like Big Night Live that was just renovated.”
Each year, A Taste of Ethnic Boston has partnered with a nonprofit organization to support its mission and donate a percentage of the event’s ticket sales. This year they teamed up with the Boston Black Hospitality Coalition, prioritizing the preservation of a 180-plus year legacy of food, culture, and business in Boston’s Black and ethnic communities. A Taste of Ethnic Boston will feature a variety of ethnic cuisines: African, Afghani, Caribbean, Chinese, Dominican, Ethiopian,
Italian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese and more.
“This year, A Taste of Ethnic Boston will serve as a reminder that people can use the power of their purse to help revitalize Boston’s restaurants. This is an opportunity to ensure an equitable recovery for all our neighborhood food and beverage establishments,” said Phillips. The event runs from 5:30-8 p.m. on July 27 at Big Night Live, and tickets are still available online