Mercer County trio creates "Food Unchained"
Three friends from Mercer County are traveling through Pennsylvania, sampling local restaurants along the way.
Three friends from Mercer County are traveling through Pennsylvania, sampling local restaurants along the way. It's the whole idea behind their new documentary series "Food Unchained."
"We started filming together, the three of us, probably back in 7th grade," said Greg Happ, Jr.
"We were into the short action films; bad guy gets beat by good guy, or a bunch of guys are fighting. We were into the action style," said Daniel Kitchen. "We just randomly said, 'Let's just talk about food.' Our first video we did got 10,000 views in a week and a half and we said, 'We're onto something here'."
So this fall, the plan started coming together. At first, it was a pretty big plan.
"We're dreamers when it comes to things," said Happ. "So we're like, let's do this food documentary and see if we can maybe go around the country. We were like, well that's a lot. Let's start small."
So instead, they focused mostly just on Mercer County and up into Erie, exploring some of the places you might not know about unless you live in that particular town.
What they didn't realize when they started out on this journey is how many local restaurants there really are. Even in Mercer County alone, you go to a place like Breakfast at Tiffany's in Sharpsville. That leads to another spot, and another, and another.
"It's basically paying it forward," said Tiffany Daley, who owns Breakfast at Tiffany's. "When I bought the restaurant, Muscarella's actually gave me their phone number, home line, cell phone and just said if you ever have any questions or run out of anything, just call. We all help each other around here, all of the restaurants."
"When we went to the 215 for our first ever shoot one night to get a little bit of b-roll, the owner Travis said, 'Why don't you go to the Bent Fork in Greenville.' We had already scheduled that, but we went to the Bent Fork and Monica at the end of her interview said, 'Have you ever been to the 215 in Jamestown?'," said Kitchen.
It led to an entire shift in philosophy, going from one big documentary project to seasons with full episodes.
"We're going to treat it like a Netflix series almost and do seasons and kind of in between the seasons we would go out to these new places and kind of slowly expand our radius," said Happ.
They are starting local, but there are plenty of restaurants on their to-do list in the future. That also means, there is plenty of food still to come and three hungry guys ready to sample it all, while telling a story in the process.
"The food, of course, is the big selling point. But to me on a personal level, it is meeting all the owners. There have been some really awesome stories," said Michael Oakes.
Three friends enjoying the ride to bring those stories to you one bite at a time.
Season one is already into post-production with the released scheduled for early 2017. You can find out more on the Food Unchained page on Facebook.