In 2001, two local restaurateurs, Kelly Odom and Katherine Pugliese, started A Taste of St. Croix to celebrate and showcase the diverse cuisine on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. An instant success, the founders then chose the St. Croix Foundation to be the steward of the event’s proceeds and to invest it into critical community initiatives. As A Taste of St. Croix grew, so too did the number of events and supporters and it soon expanded into the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience. Today, the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience is a week-long event series that attracts more than 3000 guests, including travel writers, vintners, chefs, and foodies.
Named as one of the top 10 international food and wine events by ForbesTravel.com, the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience has raised over $1.5 million for community programs since its inception. As a part of the Foundation’s belief in leveraging resources, the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience brings millions of dollars of revenue into the Virgin Islands economy. In addition to the charitable work it supports, during the week of the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience shops are busy, hotels are full, restaurants bustle, and distributors and wholesalers see a boost in sales. It’s a benefit for the Territory that keeps on giving.
St. Croix Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that serves the entire US Virgin Islands in the areas of education, historic preservation, community and economic development, public safety, and fiscal sponsorship of smaller nonprofits. For over 20 years, the Foundation has been committed to identifying emerging needs in the community and forging innovative solutions while leveraging scarce resources. Nationally recognized by the US Small Business Administration, the Council on Foundations, the National School Boards Association, and the International Downtown Association for our comprehensive community development and education work, St. Croix Foundation directs all proceeds from the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience towards meaningful projects that benefit the people of our Virgin Islands.