Transplants Zachary Shine and Sharon Glassman came from New Jersey and connected over food. Now the duo are bringing a bit of Southern culture to Longmont.
Most people wouldn’t predict that two northeastern United States natives would bring a bit of Southern culture to a town along the Rockies. But how they got there is a fun story.
Shine is a chef who stumbled into the career while trying to find out what to do with his life in his early 20s. As he was exploring, he would help his Italian mother in the kitchen every day.
Eventually, he decided he wanted to learn how to make his favorite dishes just like his mom. This led to him finding a kitchen in New Jersey while attending culinary school in New York City.
Seven years ago, he decided it was time for a change after Hurricane Sandy hit and he moved to Colorado. He continued on in a few local kitchens, learning more styles of cooking while also pursuing other interests.
Just as the pandemic hit, Shine found himself completely ready to start his own local culinary business, Shine Provisions.
Utilizing the kitchen at the Times Collaborative, located at 338 Main St., Shine began hosting dinner nights. Originally, he stuck with his tried and true cuisine of Italian cooking with a New Jersey flare, he said.
During one of his dinner nights is when he met Glassman, who was overjoyed to see Italian food being done just like she remembered from her home state. She immediately signed up for the dinner.
Both Shine and Glassman are drawn to Longmont because of the feeling of community they get, they said.
“Zach is the king of delicious … His food is infused with love and flavor,” Glassman said, adding that it is for this reason she came up with the idea to create a Southern, family-friendly event.
Glassman approached Shine asking if he would put together a menu for the event. He thought the idea was great and immediately decided on Southern comfort foods including fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and green beans — deciding collard greens might not hold up the same in the warmer.
Glassman had the first piece of the event in place but knew she needed something more. She decided on music and created a band to play at the event.
From that was born 5-foot Betty — an all-woman Bluegrass trio. Glassman joked that the name came about because the tallest person in the band is 5’5” and the members were inspired by Betty Amos.
Amos was in a USO all-female band in the 1960s. While on tour in Canada, her plane started to go down and the band members were forced to throw their instruments from the plane to keep it going. All ended well and the band played their gig that night with borrowed instruments, Glassman said.
On Aug. 28 at 11 a.m. the duo will bring together comfort food and Bluegrass music for families in Longmont to enjoy. Tickets are on sale now, with approximately 50 seats available.
“This is something different. No one does this,” Shine said. “I love all the events in the streets this town does … Longmont offers a large sense of community and they are always trying to bring it together. We though we would try and do something like that.”
“It’s like sunshine for your soul,” Glassman added.