‘I’m just so happy that I get to make a difference’: The Story of Elijah King

By Audrey Kashatus

December 11, 2023

Elijah King was born and raised in Durham with his mom and little sister. By the time King turned 18-years-old, he had moved 11 different times.  King grew up witnessing things most kids his age couldn’t have imagined. He saw eviction, moving places under 24 hours, crashing at his grandparent’s house and even different pastor’s […]

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Durham restaurant hosts Warren campaign event for locals

By A.J. O'Leary

February 27, 2020

Most people come to Zweli’s for the only Zimbabwean food in town, but some come to talk politics. On Friday, Feb. 21, Zweli’s, located in Durham, hosted an Elizabeth Warren presidential campaign event as part of its Dinner Table Talks speaker series. Leonardo Williams, who runs the restaurant with his wife, Zweli, said events like […]

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Durham community kitchen offers free meals and smiles

By Julia Masters

Beneath the faded New Visions of Africa sign, inside the unassuming barred building, Karen Santoro-Abdullah put a hand to her heart and choked back tears. “I love helping these people because it makes me feel good to give them respect,” Santoro-Abdullah said.  “Respect gives people hope; if people are treated with respect and a smile, it could encourage […]

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Doing good together: Durham Tech food pantry fosters community

By Korie Dean

Erin Riney always knew that some of her students at Durham Technical Community College struggled with food insecurity. But eight years ago, when the college’s Student Government Association hosted a giveaway with 50 free food bags and ran out in less than 10 minutes, she knew it was a more pressing issue than she had […]

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Family-owned Durham cafe is welcoming a set of wheels

By A.J. O'Leary

February 13, 2020

Son of the Tater Bread Cafe owner hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps by launching a food truck He started working in his father’s cafe when he was 15 years old. Now, he plans to open a restaurant of his own — on wheels. Harrison Sneed, 24, runs Tater Bread Cafe at 1108 Morning Glory […]

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Documenting Durham’s Voices: Everybody eats at Zweli’s

By Jazmine Bunch

This is a video series produced and reported for The Durham VOICE. “Documenting Durham’s Voices” will elevate the voices of and put a face to community members in Durham who are working in the community. The video series will also feature notable events that truly define what Durham is. Following the carbon monoxide crisis at […]

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‘We want to be a resource’: SEEDS aims to serve Durham community

By Gianna Tahan

January 30, 2020

As South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS) rings in the new year, Interim Executive Director Abby Goodman hopes to make their urban gardening programs more meaningful to all members of the Northeast Central Durham community. Founded in 1994, SEEDS is a two-acre urban garden and kitchen space located at 706 Gilbert St. The organization […]

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Sofia’s offers neighbors a new slice of Angier Avenue

By Carl Kenney

October 8, 2019

Angier Avenue in historic East Durham has seen its fair share of added concrete, construction, and changes to the neighborhood within recent years. This ever-changing landscape we call Durham is becoming a host to new faces, housing spaces, and local businesses at a dizzying pace. One of those newcomers, Sofia’s Pizza, opened its doors to […]

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Zweli’s restaurant: a saga of love lost and found again

By Arianna Swain

April 10, 2019

  The worlds of the elders do not lock all the doors; they leave the right door open. — Zambian proverb   Zambia borders Zimbabwe to the north. And although the proverb above is not from Zimbabwe, it fits remarkably well with Durham couple and restaurant owners Leonardo Williams and Zwelibanzi Moyo-Williams (Zweli). The two […]

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Don’t Waste Durham engages the community to seek sustainable alternatives to plastic and Styrofoam

By Celia McRae and Natasha Townsend

Between 2010-2011, Crystal Dreisbach wrote 200 letters to businesses throughout the Triangle. Her mission toward a more sustainable Durham was just beginning. The restaurants Dreisbach wrote to used Styrofoam, and she wanted to talk to distributors about sustainable alternatives, she said. She was working in public health research at the time, and Styrofoam takeout containers […]

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Friday blessings: Free food provided by Salvation Army

By Cheyenne Beasley

February 28, 2019

Everyone goes through ups and downs in life, and Suzanne Clark openly shared that things have been very rough since she became homeless in September. Fortunately, the Salvation Army is helping her. On the morning of Friday, Feb. 22, she stood in a line outside the Salvation Army along with about 50 other people with […]

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DIG program empowers youth through urban farming

By Hannah McClellan

On a cold and rainy February afternoon, 17-year-olds Samantha Vazquee and Demonte Bolden are not hiding inside – they’re hard at work repotting dozens of plants after a day at school. Vazquee and Bolden are two youth members of the DIG program, a youth-driven, urban farming and leadership development program started by South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable […]

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Nzinga’s Breakfast Cafe isn’t just for breakfast anymore

By Keeley Gay

February 27, 2019

Zuri Reynolds-Hester, from Durham, 29, hosted Nzinga’s Got Soul Tasting Party on Feb. 21 to celebrate the launch of Nzinga’s Breakfast Cafe’s new menu items and longer business hours. Reynolds-Hester opened Nzinga’s Breakfast Cafe, located at 828 Fayetteville St. Suite 110, in 2014 with a specialty in Southern breakfast and lunch food. Now, she is […]

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Durham’s black community shines at Black History Month parade and party

By Johnny Sobczak

February 13, 2019

  On an unseasonably warm Saturday morning, Fayetteville Street was even busier than normal as hundreds of Durham residents showed up for the 17th Annual North Carolina MLK Black History Month Parade & Block Party. The event, presented by Spectacular Magazine, is held on the first Saturday of every February. For entertainment columnist Tameka Nichole, […]

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A day at the Black Farmers’ Market

By Isaiah Ball

November 23, 2018

On the Sunday afternoon of Nov. 18, excited members of the Durham community assembled at 411 West Chapel Hill St., across from the bustling Greyhound bus station for an organic occasion. The upbeat sound from the DJ assisted farmers, entrepreneurs and small business owners in conversation as they gathered under the brightly patterned canopies which […]

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Romanztea: the hidden destiny and liquid sunshine

By Arielle Cummings

November 15, 2018

On the outskirts of the Durham Farmers’ Market – where Foster Street meets Hunt Street, one of the friendliest vendors greets people with samples of liquid sunshine – the best sweet tea. Roman Gabriel, the founder of Romanztea, has traveled thousands of miles physically and spiritually to find himself in Durham, sharing the tea he […]

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Meals on Wheels fights hunger and loneliness

By Deja Finch

November 14, 2018

With the holiday season approaching, many look forward to their once-a- year rituals, but this may not be accessible to everyone. For 40 years, Meals on Wheels  has been combating food scarcity among Durham’s  senior population. Community Outreach Director Arnette Read explained, “Usually clients are homebound, living alone, unable to cook, and unable to shop.” […]

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Baking in the community: The East Durham Bake Shop

By Corin Hemphill

April 16, 2018

A new pastry restaurant has opened up on Driver Street. Helmed by an award winning owner and a trained staff, this new shop aims to provide the neighborhood with a space where neighbors could meet, grab coffee, and hang out. Enter Ali Rudel and Ben Filippo. When expecting their first child, the couple moved to […]

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Piri brings African roots food to Durham

By Zayrha Rodriguez

April 11, 2018

After taking a break from the food industry, Courtney Smith knew that she wanted to start her own food business, but this time Smith said she wanted to have her family involved. After talking with her sister Erika Smith-Punches and their mother Camryn Lawrence Smith, they launched Piri – a food catering business that creates a […]

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Durham food truck Boricua Soul unites histories and good tastes

By Caroline Bowyer

Husband and wife team Toriano and Serena Fredericks travel around the Durham area serving a unique combination. Their food truck, Boricua Soul, offers Puerto Rican-influenced soul food. Toriano Fredericks’ inspiration to start a food truck came from being at sea. “I spent years on ships,” he said. “I worked as a merchant mariner going to […]

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Durham nutrition programs stand to lose with proposed tax plan

By Sarah Cline

November 23, 2017

Durham food security may take a blow due to policy changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Community members, policymakers, and experts met last Thursday in Durham to discuss the federal policy changes and outcomes. The meeting, entitled, “Can SNAP End Hunger? A forum on food justice,” was held at Westminster Presbyterian Church […]

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Chef Educator, cooking with nature

By Vanessa Luo

November 8, 2017

Raise your hand if you have eaten sweet potato leaves before. Sumi Dutta’s request was met with silent, but inquisitive stares. SEEDS, located at 706 Gilbert St., is a nonprofit garden that imparts the importance and knowledge of co-existing with nature through the growing, cooking and sharing of food. SEEDlings is SEEDS’ after-school enrichment program. […]

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Ungraded Produce: an oasis in the Durham food desert

By Vanessa Luo

October 18, 2017

Produce is a tough industry. Ungraded Produce was the winner of Duke’s 18th Annual Startup Challenge earlier this year. It was co-founded by 22-year-old Courtney Bell from Rockville, Md. and 22-year-old Saranya (Anya) Ranganathan from Skillman, N.J. Bell and Ranganathan are Duke graduates from the class of 2017. Ungraded Produce is an online service that […]

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The South Durham Famers’ Market has a barn-good time

By Elle Kehres

The South Durham Farmers’ Market is hosting their second annual barn dance fundraiser this Saturday. The fundraiser promises to bring an energetic mix of live bluegrass music, picnic-style barbecue, homemade desserts and a silent auction. The market is located in the Greenwood Commons Shopping Center. The barn dance will help raise money to repair and […]

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Bull City Ciderworks takes Durham by the horns

By Camari Jones

October 6, 2017

  Downtown Durham is expanding more and more every day. New apartments are in the process of being built, family-owned and small businesses are almost taking over the Durham area. There is also a new taproom that is taking the Bull City by the horns, Bull City Ciderworks. Bull City Ciderworks began with four childhood […]

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Obie preaches the importance of organic foods at Durham Farmers’ Market

By Alex Zietlow

October 4, 2017

C. Bernard Obie stands behind his turnips and mustard leaves. His hands are pressed into the pockets of his grey sweater, his legs spread two body widths apart from each other. He engages with a young man who has been lingering by his tent. At first, the conversation pertains to the food on his table […]

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Durham Parks and Rec hosts free farmers’ market

By Chrissy Murphy

  On a sunny Thursday morning, Clarice Page walked down the hallway of the second floor of the Holton Career and Resource Center, home to Durham Parks and Recreation. Page was one of many Durham residents walking down the hallway that morning headed for Parks and Recreation’s farmers’ market event for seniors over the age […]

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SEEDlings nurturing the next generation

By Vanessa Luo

September 20, 2017

How did the meal start? Where did it come from? For many, these are not questions that would cross people’s minds before a meal. But it’s the norm for the children at SEEDlings. In front of them are scrambled eggs and fried rice with eggplant, topped with mint, basil and marigold. The children helped cook […]

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Kasib Abdullah is all about the community

By Julian Keeler

September 19, 2017

  From owning New Visions of Africa to founding Believers United for Progress, Kasib Abdullah has done a great deal of work in the Durham community. Abdullah was born in New Jersey. He moved to Durham in 1995. Along with two other men, Abdullah opened a restaurant called New Visions of Africa in 2004 at […]

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New generation revitalizes Angier Avenue Neighborhood Farm

By Camari Jones

  There’s a new generation among Northeast Central Durham trying to make their community brighter and healthier through gardening. Angier Avenue Neighborhood Farm is a community farm located on the corner of Maple Street and Angier Avenue. It was started by Bountiful Backyards, a Durham-based edible landscaping business in 2012 when they raised money through […]

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Fish Fry Friday back at Antioch

By Brian Shurney

April 5, 2017

  Some churches are content holding a few services a week with some philanthropy thrown in here and there, but Antioch Baptist Church has bigger fish to fry. Fish Fry Friday is back at Antioch, open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 1415 Holloway St. The church’s fish fry has been serving locals and […]

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Commentary: My Ride with Meals on Wheels

By Molly Smith

The second I set foot inside Meals on Wheels of Durham, I was immediately greeted with an air filled by the smell of sizzling hamburgers, the sound of animated chit-chat and the sight of dozens of smiling faces. After hearing about President Trump’s proposed budget cuts that endanger thousands of local Meals on Wheels agencies […]

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Children learn, grow in SEEDS

By Rashaan Ayesh

March 1, 2017

  The school bus driver drops the kids off at the entrance of the garden. Kareemah Abdusamad rushes out of the building on 706 Gilbert St. to greet all of the children who are running down the dirt pathway. Abdusamad welcomes each child and asks about their day. She notices that 10-year-old Adrian Platt has a hole […]

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Q&A with Joe’s Commissary owner Joe Bushfan

By Nicole Caporaso

Joe Bushfan has lived in Durham for about 13 years, and he has nearly seen it all. The owner of Joe’s Commissary and Commercial Kitchen, the Boston native also owns the now-closed Joe’s Diner, located at 2100 Angier Ave. on the corner of Driver Street. In addition to running the commissary, Bushfan sells hot dogs […]

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Rubel looks to engage community with opening of first location

By Justin Laidlaw

February 22, 2017

  After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Ali Rubel is taking her passion for baking to the intersection of Angier Avenue and Driver Street with the opening of East Durham Pie Company’s flagship location. A linguistics major in college at William & Mary in Virginia, Rubel got her taste for baking after college as a part-time […]

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New Visions of Africa serves Hayti community

By Brian Shurney

February 15, 2017

Reuniting the Hayti community is Kasib Abdullah’s vision. Kasib opened his restaurant, New Visions of Africa, in 2004 with his former partners Raheem Muhammad and Rasheed Muhammad. The restaurant is located on 1306 Fayetteville St. in Durham. Today, Kasib runs the store on his own. New Visions serves free food to people in the community […]

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CAARE: 20 years of healing and going strong

By Ti-Vianna Webster

    Many nonprofits come and go, but for more than 20 years, CAARE is still caring for the Durham community. Their sign, bright red, in the middle of Broadway Street in Durham, invites people in. Upon entering they will find someone with a big grin and friendly voice to greet them. The painted walls, […]

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Commentary: Soul food feeds the body and connects the souls

By Heng Su

October 25, 2016

  I was born and raised in an ancient southwestern town in China where spicy food is practically a requirement. Then I moved to attend college in Hong Kong where the local cuisine lacks “serious chili” and features lighter and sugar-based dishes. Then, this fall semester, when I ended up in Durham, I was introduced […]

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Durham Food Bank helps to eliminate hunger

By Dominick Askew

March 1, 2016

The Durham branch of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is a nonprofit organization that feeds their community by partnering with 173 agencies in the Durham service area providing meals, shelter, clothing, and creating programs to educate youth. “Durham Rescue Mission is one of the food bank biggest partners,” said Jennifer Caslin, […]

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Three partnering programs do their part in beating hunger

By Rowland Givens

September 18, 2015

Many families around Durham don’t have a lot of money to spend on food. In fact, the latest reports show that 1-in-4 children and 1-in-5 residents worry about where their next meal may be coming from. The Farmer Food Share program, Porch, and the Food Shuttle work in tandem to help families get fresh, nutritious […]

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Los Primos Supermarket still stands tall

By Christina Herring

      Since taking over Los Primos 13 years ago, owner Miguel Collado has battled through adverse conditions and managed to maintain one of the only supermarkets in Northeast Central Durham.   “When we first came here, this was a very downgraded store with very little services to people,” Collado said. “When we took […]

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SEEDS Harvest Dinner to bring a night of food, fundraising, and community

By Palak Patel

September 17, 2015

In an effort to raise money and bring the community together, SEEDS will be hosting its 12th Annual Harvest Dinner at the Pavilion at Durham Central Park on Thursday, Sept. 24. SEEDS (South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces) is central Durham’s nonprofit community educational garden. Since 1994, the garden has been working to promote sustainable […]

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Phoenix Fest celebrates art, music, food, community

By Quiani Nzazi

October 24, 2014

The annual Phoenix Fest took place Saturday, Oct. 4, on Fayetteville Street just outside of the Phoenix Square Shopping Center. The festival is a yearly event that allows people to network and socialize. “This goes on every year,” said Michelle Jackson, a vendor at the festival. “I own a business in the complex; I try […]

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The Durham Farmers’ Market: a unique way to help those in need

By Andrew Forrest

October 20, 2014

  At first glance, the Durham Farmers’ Market looks just like any other farmers’ market. But beyond the rosy red tomatoes, creamy goat cheese and green peppers lies something more. The Durham Farmers’ Market, located at 501 Foster St., accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP), more commonly known as EBT or food stamps. Less […]

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The VOICE of the kitchen

By Christian Frazier

When I first moved to Durham I was young and lived on Liberty Street. It was interesting. Growing up I noticed drug dealers, streetwalkers and gang bangers and I realized that was not the life for me. As the years go by I began to notice how food brings people together and it changes lives. […]

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Midweek volunteers help keep SEEDS running smoothly

By Andrew Forrest

October 1, 2014

Marya McNeish sits inside SEEDS’ main lobby, decorating signs for the upcoming Garden Hat Party, just one of the many events hosted by the organization. It’s a rainy Wednesday morning, which has forced McNeish indoors, away from her normal outdoor volunteering duties. McNeish is one of the many volunteers who help out during the work […]

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Local youth-directed urban gardening program DIG teaches sustainable living

By Mary Alta Feddeman

Durham teens learn life skills through agricultural education, four days per week.  It’s a sunny, breezy Friday in late September, and high school students Andresha McPaul and Lawrence Fields are harvesting peppers. They maneuver their way around the lush, green garden with ease. Sixteen-year-old McPaul has been working with the DIG program—which stands for Durham Inner-city […]

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Family diner transforms Durham’s roughest corner

By Jordan Bailey

When Joe Bushfan decided to leave his glamorous job as a celebrity bodyguard in order to sell hot dogs in one of Durham’s roughest areas, his family thought he was crazy. “My wife thought I was crazy, my kids thought I was crazy … my dad thought I was crazy too,” Bushfan said. “I went […]

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