Allison Montroy

F. McClintock’s, Eureka!Burger or Mo|Tav? Petra or House of Bread? Spike’s or SLO Brewing Co.?

Tough decisions for any foodie — but on May 5, the indecisive can rejoice, eat and drink at the Flavor of SLO benefit for United Way.

The event, now in its fifth year, was created by a group of Cal Poly students as a senior project under the supervision of United Way, a local non-profit.

Held at the historical Jack House and Gardens on Marsh Street, Flavor of SLO will host at least 20 local vendors that will serve sample sizes and tastings of food, wine, beer and desserts.

“It’s a very, very festive event,” United Way development coordinator Horace Morana said. “Once you get in the doors, there’s wine tasting and food tasting … and vendors all around the perimeter. You can go to as many as possible, basically until the vendors run out of food. Jack House is also a great property to hold this kind of event.”

This year, five Cal Poly seniors are planning the event; each student putting his or her major to use to organize, find vendors and market the event in San Luis Obispo.

Communication studies senior Jessica Volmer is one of the students in charge of bringing vendors to Flavor of SLO.

While approximately 300 people attended last year’s event, Volmer said she hopes this year’s attendance and number of vendors “will go above and beyond that.”

“It’s a great opportunity to experience all that San Luis Obispo has to offer and give back to the community,” Volmer said. “People want to support SLO.”

Flavor of SLO won’t just be representing the city’s varied selection of tasty food and beverages — three local bands will be performing throughout the event.

Louder Space, Daniel Harrington and Próxima Parada will each play one-hour sets, Morana said.

“We were contacted by them, and they were looking for live music and liked our sound,” Próxima Parada singer and guitarist Nick Larson said. “We love helping out with charity events and fundraisers, so we jumped on it. It’s such a beautiful venue, and the weather will probably be fantastic. And being that it’s a fundraiser, it’ll probably be very lively. We will probably get people dancing if we can.”

Larson said he was also “looking forward to learning more about United Way and what they’re doing in our area.”

United Way will be holding a silent auction at the event to raise money for its work, which focuses on three main areas: education, income and health.

“We believe that the building blocks of a good quality of life are these three things,” Morana said. “We believe that when a child succeeds in school, families are financially stable and people are healthy, the quality of life in San Luis Obispo will increase.”

Last year, Flavor of SLO, as one of United Way’s “premier events,” netted about $5,000, Morana said.

The team this year planned the event on a volunteer basis, rather than for school credit, because of their passion for the project, Volmer said.

“It was a really good fit for every one of us to do it,” she said. “I’m excited to see it succeed — we worked really hard, but our group was put together for a reason. It’s great to see our team work together.”

Tickets for the event can be bought online at ($30 for students, $45 general) or at the door ($40 students, $55 general).

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