Month 1 Recap

We can't believe a month has already passed since the end of our Kickstarter campaign, and yet at the same time, it feels like two! We've packed a lot of work into these past weeks and have made quite a bit of progress on the map. We thought we'd share some of those highlights with you.

Right away, we finished all the components for the special sections of the map, on the history of barbecue in America and the two North Carolina styles. We are so excited about these features and feel like both the information, and the way its presented graphically, is going to knock your socks off! We created a hand-sketched, to-scale mock-up of the map to send to our designers at Good-South, and having that makeshift map in our hands really made this whole project feel so much more real. We've already received the first round of designs on the cover and symbols, and they blew us away! We could not be happier with the designers we chose for this map. Their aesthetic is spot-on, and we know they're going to bring our concepts to fruition in a really engaging way.

The majority of our time has been spent on gathering the rest of the data on the barbecue restaurants. We were finishing our restaurant list as Kickstarter was ending, and the final number was much higher than we anticipated. That has meant that the process following that has taken longer than we had hoped. First came the weeding: restaurants that are closed, any that order their barbecue from a supplier (not many of those, thank goodness), and any national chains that don't have their roots in NC. And we've had to make some tough calls on the difference between a barbecue restaurant and a restaurant that serves barbecue. Through this entire process, we've kept in mind how tied to NC culture and history barbecue (and thus this map) is, and that has driven our decisions. That means you'll see those traditional barbecue-only restaurants, but also some grills, buffets, and family style restaurants, all serving barbecue, since those types of restaurants have been closely tied to barbecue culture over the last century.

As we have been narrowing our list, we have been calling every single barbecue restaurant in the state to get the data needed to get them on the map. This involves about 10 minutes worth of questions to be sure we have the restaurants' basic information and to find out more about their barbecue. Of course, some of these question-and-answer sessions have turned into long conversations about barbecue, which we've loved! Restaurant owners are excited about the map. In fact, many have already heard about it, and were just waiting for our call! We are so grateful that we've been able to go into these calls with energy already building, and we know we owe that to Kickstarter and all the attention generated from the campaign.

We have been fortunate to get more publicity for the map. A few weeks ago, I did a radio interview for Cooking Outdoors with Mr. Barbecue that broadcasts to 15 different radio stations in Oregon and Washington. It is great to know that people all over the country are excited about this map! (Remember, I also had the interview with Grilliant Ideas Radio, based in the Northeast, and people from over a dozen different states pre-odered the map through Kickstarter.) We also had an interview and photo shoot for Charlotte Magazine, and that article will appear in their June issue. Just after our Kickstarter campaign was funded, the Charlotte Observer also ran a story on the map, and we received coverage on some TV news stations in Western North Carolina. The outpouring of interest and enthusiasm for this map never ceases to amaze us!

We feel like we've hit a lot of significant milestones in this first post-Kickstarter month, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. If you'd like to keep up with more day-to-day and behind-the-scenes updates, then follow along on Facebook and Twitter. You can also see what we're up to on each of our Instagram pages (Amanda + Paul). We do our best to pop our heads up from the work to tweet and comment, but know that we are working away day and night to get this map from our hands into yours!