The Mississippi Culinary Trail, a virtual trail, features an interactive map with background information, stories and details about the culinary heritage of eateries, restaurants and other food-related sites in every region of the state.
Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Judson Thigpen said he is proud of all of the local businesses and restaurants.
"It’s what makes us so unique. We have very few chain type stores or restaurants. Most of our retail business and restaurants are locally owned and operated by people who live here and who are involved in the community.
"That’s one of the things that makes us so great. We are home grown," said Thigpen.
Included as worthy stops on the virtual trail are White Front Café in Rosedale, Airport Grocery in Cleveland, The County Platter in Cleveland, Crawdad's in Merigold, Hey Joe's Records and Café in Cleveland, McCarty's Pottery and Gallery Restaurant in Merigold, Senator's Place in Cleveland, Stafford's on Main in Drew, and The Warehouse in Cleveland.
"I enjoy eating at a lot of them because we have such a wide variety. You can get steaks seafood, creole—anything you want to eat you can find right here and all of these restaurants are locally owned," said Thigpen.
Cleveland Mayor Billy Nowell has seen the Culinary Trail advertised and is excited for Bolivar County.
"I have seen some of this advertised in magazines and I think it's great for the county. The more places you have the more choices you give people and everyone benefits. Per capita we do have our share and they're all very good," he said.
Nowell also agreed with Thigpen that having more local restaurants rather than chains benefits the area.
"I think the money is not leaving town that way. When people come to the Delta they want an authentic experience and the locally own restaurants give that to them every time," he said.
The Culinary Trail highlights different restaurants throughout Mississippi and provides a search engine, allowing tourists to search specific places, cities, and regions allowing them to find a place to dine on authentic Mississippi cuisine.
To view the virtual trail visit www.visitmississippi.org/culinary-trail.aspx.