TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)– A Topeka woman is taking “Shop Local” into her own hands, specifically through a Facebook page.
Facebook has become a tool for people to know what is going on around Topeka all hours of the day. There are multiple police scanner pages, local market places, and even a page connecting you with local restaurants thanks in part to Alison Beebe and her role in the “Top City Flavorista” Facebook group.
“People want to see the food,” Beebe said. “I mean I do. If you say I make the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I want to see it.”
Beebe isn’t a native to Topeka. She’s from Niagara Falls, New York. She first moved to Topeka to work at the Menninger Clinic as a psychiatric nurse. Once the hospital moved to Houston, she spent a little time there but came right back to Top City. Now, she works at the VA Hospital in Topeka.
“A lot of my friends are still here,” Beebe said. “The housing is so affordable. I got a great job. There’s no traffic! I love that.”
Outside of work though she’s the face behind the Facebook page. A couple of years ago, Visit Topeka asked her to maintain the page, which was then called the Topeka Restaurant Page. It has gone through a few changes like the name and being operated completely on her own. But the most important thing, it focuses on small businesses and local owners.
“I want to know the people behind the food,” Beebe said. “So that got me in the restaurant. I got to meet the owners and the chefs and the people that were creating these wonderful dishes.”
The main goal behind the page is to help people connect with restaurants and owners who live and work in Topeka just like you.
“Three times as much money will stay in our economy if we’re buying local,” Beebe said. “For every one dollar that we spend, if we spend it locally, 70 cents of that dollar will stay in the community. If you spend that same dollar at a chain restaurant, only about 40 cents stays in the community.”
She said it’s kind of like a partnership when it comes to supporting local because, in turn, these businesses also support other local businesses.
Since Alison Beebe manages the Facebook page, we wanted to share her favorite suggestions of Topeka restaurants to help you find what you’re looking for locally.
Here are some of Beebe’s favorite Topeka:
- Coffee shop
- Dialogue Coffee because they have wonderful coffee, treats and lunch. Plus, they specifically hire people with ALL abilities. Always a joy to go there.
- Blackbird Espresso Bar and Bistro because they have great food, treats and drinks.
- Milk & Honey Coffee Co. is wonderful, they have a wide variety of choices, treats, breakfast and lunch.
- Best local coffee to order online for delivery and brew at home; Blue Jazz Coffee Roasters “1930 Blend”. Special mention to Saigon Restaurant for their Vietnamese coffee and A-Hann Thai for their Thai tea.
- Place to get burgers and fries
- Mexican restaurant
- Breakfast restaurant
- Pizza shop
- Best kept secret restaurant
- Place to pick up food quickly with great quality
- Choosing all local mom and pop shops on this one, for going above and beyond during the pandemic
- International cuisine
- Food truck
- Honorable mentions