Last July we expressed our disgust at the results of The Upstate Be’s “Best of Be” results. This was in no way a knock on the publication itself but rather the poor taste expressed by the voting public. Winners included Subway for best sandwich and Pizza Hut for best pizza and my brain still hurts from trying to understand what type of person takes the time to vote for such mediocrity. 

This year we are going to be a bit more proactive. Instead of waiting to pull our hair out over the results we would like to encourage everybody with a sense of taste and loyalty for local businesses to make sure they cast a ballot that recognizes the hard work, dedication and overall importance of local business people. 

Even though we moved from Anderson to Greenville almost a year ago we still have regular conversations about places we used to frequent. Summa Joe’s is the most regularly named restaurant in our discussions but there are plenty of days when we wish The Grill Man or Barnwood Grill were just a little bit closer. 

Considering that we live within walking distance of well over a hundred restaurants, this is a testament to the quality of product that these business owners put their hearts and souls into every day. 

The “Best of Be” should be used to celebrate these businesses, not insult them by giving them runner-up status to chain restaurants that specialize in mediocrity. It amazes me that even ONE person on the planet thinks that Subway makes a good sandwich much less the best one in town. The fact that these people exist in numbers large enough to produce victories in a competition like this is absolutely appalling to me. Really, who are these people that actually take the time out of their day to fill out a ballot in which they vote en masse for garbage?

Therefore, we are asking for a favor… let us offset the influence of the distasteful masses and vote for businesses that deserve it. Let me rephrase that: Let us vote for people that deserve it. Summa Joe’s, The Grill Man, and My Taco Mexico (and so many others) may have signs out front that suggest they are businesses but we need to be honest… it is the people working their tails off all day and laying awake at night that bring you something special. The “Best of Be” is a perfect opportunity to say “thank you” to the people that put their hearts and souls into what they do and we all need to take advantage of that.
This is the part of this story where I was going to post a copy of my ballot for the “Best of Be” but we decided against it. As much as we would like to, we are not going to try to tell anyone who to vote for. We just beg that you keep it local.

For example… If you vote for “Best Breakfast” with selections like The Corner Bagel or Barnwood Grill, then we appreciate your contribution to the local breakfast industry. Likewise, we would never argue with you if your pick for “Best Bar” is Uptown Lounge or Tavern Under the Bridge.  On the other hand, if you know anyone that might be inclined to select Waffle House or Applebee’s for the aforementioned categories, then please introduce them to a new activity that might distract them from voting in this particular competition.
May I suggest “Pulling their heads out of their butts” as a potential new hobby? It should take enough time to prevent them from voting but might actually yield results that would benefit them as well as the world around them…

So let’s get together on this. Let’s all take the time to fill out the Upstate Be’s “Best of Be” ballot. Let’s show the Applebee’s-eating, Wal-Mart-shopping general public that their opinions do not matter. Local Anderson businesses are better than that and this is the year we celebrate that fact. Their hard work and dedication to their community deserves the recognition.

Click here and let’s do the right thing for the community. Just because we no longer have an address In Anderson does not mean we will ever stop supporting the people that made our time there worth remembering.