A Black-owned seafood restaurant, The Taste 850, is cultivating its own history in Tallahassee.
The owners of The Taste 850, Cierra and Sterling Bennett, are amongst those achieving success in the food industry. The Bennetts opened The Taste 850 in 2021 after rebranding their previous food truck business, CC’s Kitchen, in August 2020.
While transforming CC’s Kitchen into The Taste 850, the couple is inspired to expand within the food and restaurant industry. They aspire to own at least three more flourishing restaurants and a food distribution warehouse in the next few years.
With these restaurant expansions, The Bennetts would like to branch into creating their own herbs, spices, and seasonings. They aspire to expand their flavors and implement their seemingly unique taste on the palettes of many with these products they are planning to produce.
“Honestly, The Taste 850 was never supposed to have happened. Last February, I was still known as CC’s kitchen. Once my trailer was stolen and recovered, I just felt as if my name was tainted,” said Cierra Bennett. “The Taste 850 was born from something that was trashed to something that was a treasure.”
The owners mention the menu inspiration stems from the lack of tasty accessible seafood restaurants within the city of Tallahassee. After several horrible restaurant experiences, the Bennetts began creating their own recipes.
Multiple friends, families, and locals begin to taste the couple’s seafood recipes. Their food seems to pique the interests of many. The creation of the menu seems to have had a successful impression on their customers.
Latasha Dixon said, “The customer service is very professional. You get what you ask for. The food is amazingly awesome.”
Cierra and Sterling Bennett are a married couple who share five children. Their inspiration behind the Taste 850 began with their children searching for advancement in their life while both having felonies.
Individuals who have felonies are commonly known to experience hardship when it comes to employment. According to The National Conference of State Legislators, “The National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction, a searchable database of the collateral consequences in all U.S. jurisdictions, catalogs over 6,000 mandatory occupational licensing consequences for people with criminal records. This means that boards have no discretion to grant a license or forgo imposing a license penalty if an individual has a disqualifying conviction.”
Even with facing challenges, the couple gained the motivation to move forward with their establishment after witnessing other restaurants thrive on social media. The couple began to recognize their passion for soul food and seafood cuisine while recognizing their adoration for customer service in the restaurant industry.