What’s in a Name Change?

If you are at all familiar with the story of how Eat It and Like It came to be, then the first 3 minutes of this story you’ve heard before. Feel free to refill your cup of coffee and jump back in a few lines down when the new parts pop in. Reality is, I am asked all of time. All of the time and then some about how a Television News Anchor came to be Savannah/Hilton Head Island’s food guy.

In the summer of 2010, after seeing a demo I had made where I was cooking in a kitchen on Tybee Island, my now business partner Senea Crystal suggested the idea that I start a blog. A blog about food not only in Savannah, but a blog about food in the South. Too many times people think that Southern cuisine is limited to fried chicken, collards or brunswick stew. Those of us that have chosen to call this area home know better. There is a lot of diversity in the foods we eat in the South. We didn’t call it “Sumptous Savannah” or anything cheesy like that because the plan was always to be about more than food in Savannah. Thus was born “Eat It and Like It”

When it was decided to make this a business (read: solicit advertising dollars from sponsors), we needed to come up with a name for the corporation, an LLC. It was discussed at length, but ultimately I wanted something that shared something about me, my motivations, my passions, my visions, my dreams. The copyright screen you saw at the end of our show for years reflected that. Two00One Odyssey Productions was a tip of my hat to the film “Saturday Night Fever.” The John Travolta character in that film (Tony Manero) made a name for himself on that now iconic dance floor. I thought it clever, if not a little silly, to give myself a similar dance floor to explore my new side gig. It’s very important to understand that when all of this started, I was a successful TV News Anchor on FOX 28 News at 10:00pm. Eat It and Like It was nothing but a hobby. The fact that no one could spell it, pronounce it, or knew what Two00One Oddysey meant was immaterial to me, frankly. It was all an inside joke. Throw some hard work and lucky breaks into a blender and you arrive at 2017.

Somewhere along the way, the vision began to change. I gave up my career in TV news for good in order to make Eat It and Like It what we know it can and will be going forward in this region. In December 2014 I came up with the idea to launch Savannah’s first full-scale magazine dedicated exclusively to its food scene. Eat It! Magazine is in development stages. The hope is to print our first issue in the Fall.

The transformation from hobby to legitimate business doesn’t happen over a weekend. At least not how we wanted to do it. We want to build lasting brands that would be identifiable long term. Frankly, naming the magazine “Eat It!” was a perfect transition following in the footsteps of our very popular television show.

Similarly, if we were going to get serious about all of it, “Two00One Odyssey” had to go as well. If you want something to last, it needs to be identifiable and representative of my work. The decision was made to officially change the name of our parent company to “Jesse Blanco Productions.”  Everything we do going forward will fall under that umbrella. If you noticed our new copyright closing of the show, I’m keeping the disco floor for now as a continued homage. Two00One Odyssey is gone.

After some delays because of the storm last Fall, we got back on track with branding our new and improved vision, with the assistance of our Creative Brand Manager Melody Johnson.  We’ve played with some mock covers of the magazine, we’ve made a few logos. We’ve had some fun trying to put all of the pieces together. So here we are.

I officially made the announcement of the plans for the magazine last November. We haven’t really broadcast it much, but that doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been a TON of work going on behind the scenes. Once plans for Eat It! Savannah Magazine are locked down, it is our plan to begin production of “Drink It and Like It” a TV show about anything you can drink in the South. Alcoholic, non-alcoholic and anything else in between.

That’s my line and I am sticking to it. That’s the whole story in a nutshell. Eat It and Like It has become something more than we ever imagined back in the sweltering Summer of 2010. Frankly, we all have a chuckle and wonder where it would be today if it had been a full-time job since day one and not a side gig between newscasts.  The future is bright around here and we plan to continue to solidify our hold as the voice of food in our region.

Meanwhile, we are here because of you. So thank you for your continued support on this journey.

If you have any questions about any of it, questions about advertising or perhaps joining our team as an investor, please feel free to drop us a line at info@eatitandlikeit.com.

See you on TV,

Jesse

Eat It and Like It launched in Savannah, Georgia with television personality Jesse Blanco as the host. His passion for food and travel has made Eat It and Like It a two-time EMMY nominated program about contemporary and traditional Southern food.

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