SAN ANGELO, Texas — The annual Taste of San Angelo was held in the Spur Arena, where more than 40 vendors from restaurants all across the city came to give residents a sample of their signature dishes, and the community was out in full force trying to take a bite of the action.

The showcased food samples ranged from coffee to cookies, burgers to barbeque, and everything in between.

There were some restaurant owners who had been in the business for years. Shana Smith, the owner of Shana’s Cafe and Bakery, said “In 1996 I opened up my first business on Knickerbocker road, and I’ve been in the takeout business ever since.”

Other vendors had tried other avenues in life and ultimately found their way back to their passions. Owner of The Chocolate Drip and Bakery Christi Marquez said, “I went to school for cosmetology nurse’s aide, animal caretaking, stuff like that. And it just wasn’t what I wanted to do.”

The organizers of this event — the San Angelo Branch of the Texas Restaurant Association — says the event is not only supposed to allow the community to engage in local restaurants and new foods, but also seed the path for young culinary minds. Board member for the Texas Restaurant Association Rusty Swanson related “We also raise money at this event for our ProStart programs through the Texas Restaurant Association. That impacts over 200 schools right now in the state of Texas, which helps young people get into the culinary arts.”

The event lasted two hours, but with the strong showing from the community, local restaurants are hoping their impressions last much longer.