Fall is a time of transition for us at Community enCompass, as we move towards the end of the year, anticipating the winter months. For some of our staff, the colder months represent additional challenges, as the needs of neighbors seeking housing become more urgent. For staff of McLaughlin Grows, the colder season is time to slow down and rest the body (and the land!), and plan for the next season. Our annual “Taste & See” Event marks the transition between these two seasons, and as such, we want to take one last look back, to savor what was tasted and seen at this year's event.

I just wanted to say that this was one of THE BEST fund-raiser and educational events that we have EVER attended! I didn’t even know that it existed!
— Taste & See 2019 Guest



Our aim with Taste & See is to introduce neighbors to the wonderful things happening in core-city Muskegon. Over the past several years, the flourishing of local restaurants and bars is one of those wonderful things. New this year were goodies from Morat's Bakery and 490 cookies, Dr. Rolfs, Aldea, Capones and Rake Brewery. Other businesses that made a mark last year also returned: Kuntry Cookin’, which now has a permanent home at Racquets Bar, as well as Abeshi Ghanaian Cuisine who have a food truck that sets up in different locations around downtown, and Nipote's Italian Kitchen, who now have a permanent home in a shipping container downtown! 

And of course, there are the old favorites: The Cheese Lady Muskegon, Ryke's Bakery, Drip Drop Drink Cafe, Smash Wine Bar & Bistro, Rootdown Yoga·Juice·Greens, Paul Wilsons fruit wine, The Lobbyside Cafe, Hamburger Mikey, Unruly Brewing, Mary Sytsema’s Punch, Hennessy's, Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, and CIM Courses all brought their A-game and showed why Muskegon has become a culinary destination!  One of our consistent complaints at Taste & See (one that we take pride in, a bit!) is that there is always TOO MUCH FOOD! Every year, people comment: "I didn't get a chance to try everything!" If you didn't get a chance, or you didn't get to make it to Taste & See 2019, why not go check out some of these restaurants and bars. We're sure they will appreciate your business!

I enjoyed hearing the stories from people who live in the community and their interaction with Community enCompass. You can tell that Community enCompass is always evolving and very fluid to the wants and needs of the community and you bring those partners along in the decision process!
— Taste & See 2019 Guest 



Again, our aim with Taste and See is to introduce neighbors to the great things happening in core-city Muskegon. Many of the wonderful things happening are because neighbors got together, identified something they wanted to change, and worked together to achieve it. Neighbors saw a need for better access to healthy food, so with their help, we started McLaughlin Grows Urban Farm and the Muskegon Prescribes Food for Health Program. Guests at Taste & See got to meet with some of the farm volunteers and MPFH participants and hear of the plans to make the farm even more successful. 

Neighbors longed for better opportunities for the youth in the City, so with their help, we started the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP). Taste & See guests got to see the excitement, energy, and passion of some of the YEPs and heard about the success YEP is having in generating leaders in the community. 

Neighbors are concerned with the availability of decent and affordable housing in the core city, especially as we see new development and rising prices. So, with the help of neighbors, we started to develop new affordable and energy-efficient housing options in partnership with the City. Taste & See guests got to tour the first-ever “Urban Smart Home” in Muskegon, built to be a blueprint for a new way we can fill the vacant lots in our neighborhoods and ensure paths towards housing for working wage families in core-city Muskegon.

Our first time at Taste and See - What a great job you all do! I loved the tour, opened my eyes to what’s happening in the city. Thank you all for what you do.
— Taste & See 2019 Guest



Taste & See 2019 was a huge success: Neighbors were introduced to other neighbors and programs. Guests had a great time hearing stories and eating scrumptious food in abundance. Throughout the night, thousands of dollars were raised, and many neighbors showed interest in getting more involved by donating their time to volunteer. We depend on the generosity of our donors and supporters to maintain and grow these programs, so we are incredibly thankful to those who choose to support Community enCompass in this way. But what makes us smile is when someone is so impacted by the stories they hear, and the neighbors they meet, that they decide to roll up their sleeves and get engaged! Our programs are dependent on volunteers:  Volunteers are the lifeblood of the work we do to make our City more vibrant, more abundant, more full of life.  THANK YOU!

Thank you for a fabulous evening in our community. I was so inspired by all the positive & impactful work happening!
— Taste & See 2019 Guest

Thank you for being our guest!  And if you couldn't join us, we hope you will be our guest next year. If you didn't get a chance to donate at Taste & See 2019, if you want to take a step further and give of your time, or if you would simply like to know more about a certain program, you can do all those things below.