Story by Liesel Schmidt
Growing up as the child of restaurateurs, the hospitality industry is pretty much in Chelsea Anderson’s blood. From an early age she worked every aspect; helping her father with catering jobs, later working as a hostess, and also as a busser. As she got older, she was given more responsibility and over the course of her working life, Chelsea has gained experience working in everything from fast-casual and beach bars to fine dining.
Such varied experience has given her a special understanding of the restaurant industry—one that, when paired with her natural talent for graphic design and passion for marketing, put her in the perfect position to become the Director of Marketing and Communications for her family’s restaurant group. “When I was the bar manager at Pork Barrel BBQ, I also worked as a freelance graphic designer,” she says. “I was hired to do various jobs for each of the restaurants, and I started to manage all of the social media accounts. Later on, I was hired to create logos and branding for Tequila & Taco as well as Whiskey & Oyster. By this point, I was spending most of the day designing, marketing and creating content for the HomeGrown restaurants while working nights at Pork Barrel BBQ. After over a year of this schedule as a freelancer, I pitched my current position and really had to sell the idea.”
She sold it well, and stepped into the newly created position in March 2019. Since then, Chelsea has been going non-stop. “Every day is different for me,” she says. “You can mostly find me behind my laptop screen, designing a new menu or responding to customer DMs on social media, updating a website or curating promotional ads. It's a lot of screen time. If I’m not at home working, I am pinballing between the six restaurants to drop off print materials, snap pics for Instagram or check in with all the managers on what they have coming up so that I make sure it gets promoted.”
Busy as she is, she knows the importance of connecting with the local business community and maintains an active membership in the Chamber ALX, continuing HomeGrown Restaurant Group’s tradition of being a member. “Even though I feel like I've been in the restaurant industry for an eternity, I am very new to the community outreach aspect of being in a business. The Chamber is full of individuals who know a great deal and are incredibly supportive, and I never hesitate to reach out to them.”