Pacific Northwest native Brandon Brown met his wife Tara when she moved west to attend the University of Oregon in Eugene. Although Tara says it took her 15 years to “pry him from the mountains,” the couple decided to settle in Little Rock’s Hillcrest neighborhood with their two children in 2009.

Drawing on his experience as a charcuterie chef, the couple opened Hillcrest Artisan Meats in 2011, serving locally sourced meats and gourmet ingredients as well as sandwiches and soups. Brandon admits he misses the bounty of the coast, but the couple is excited to be active in Little Rock’s burgeoning food scene, growth of local farmers and their close-knit neighborhood and schools.

“There’s a rich history, cultural diversity, and Arkansans have a sense of community and place that I haven’t found in other places I have lived,” Tara says.

Insider Knowledge

Where to eat:

  • The Pantry, Little Rock
  • kBird, Little Rock
  • The Root Café, Little Rock
  • Maddie’s Place, Little Rock
What to Do:

  • Arkansas Travelers baseball game, North Little Rock
  • Hillcrest HarvestFest, Little Rock
  • Museum of Discovery, Little Rock
  • Children’s Library & Learning Center (Central Arkansas Library System), Little Rock
Favorite Day Trips:
  • Lake Sylvia, Perryville (1 hour from Little Rock)
  • Woolly Hollow State Park & Lake Bennett, Greenbrier (1 hour from Little Rock)