June 28, 2021
By Publisher Phil Heppding
What a difference a year makes! This time last year, we had just reopened our area after a brief spring lockdown which saw commerce and family gatherings grind to a halt. While activity picked up in a hurry here in paradise, the rest of the country was still dealing with schools canceled for the remainder of the year, shortages of basic necessities at local stores, and our summertime traditions cut short by government-imposed lockdowns and covid-related regulations.
Fast forward a year and we have added new terms to our vocabulary like flatten the curve, community spread, and social distancing, to name a few. While the past year has claimed millions of businesses across the country, South Walton has shown tremendous resilience. The struggle still exists for many of our neighbors and their businesses here in the area, but we are blessed that – for the most part – we are open for business.
This year also marks the fifth anniversary of the Food & Wine Guide for South Walton. We are humbled at the support we have received over the years from our readers and advertising partners alike. What started out as a blog focused on the food, wine and chefs of South Walton has turned into the only food and wine print magazine specifically devoted to our area.
Check out our post-event coverage of the Sandestin Wine Festival on page 46. Make plans to join us in the fall for one of the area’s most popular events, the Eggs on the Beach Eggfest Cooking Competition (story on page 30). And once again I’d also like to ask a favor. Please review the restaurant guide in the back of the magazine (pages 70 to 80). Use it when planning your date nights, girls’ nights out, and when you just want to try something new.
And finally, the owners and staff of our restaurants have done a remarkable job in adapting to ever-changing guidelines from state and local governments on a moment’s notice. They are also dealing with unexpected staffing challenges in one of the fastest growing counties in the country. They have shown tremendous patience and grace as they welcomed us back to some sense of normalcy. Let’s do our part to return the favor in 2021.
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