Archive for the 'Communal Interview Questions' Category

General Interview Questions: Sasinowski

1. Do you feel that the food in Williamsburg reflects a Southern identity?

2. Which restaurants would you say serve authentic Southern food as you see it? (What makes those restaurants Southern?)

3. Are there restaurants that you feel are using the term “Southern” as a tourist attraction?

4. Would you consider Williamsburg a Southern town? Why?

5. Has Williamsburg changed its culture due to tourists?

6.  Are there certain foodways associated with being Southern?

Questions for Bloom Store Manager

Here are a list of questions I came up with the other day. If anyone can think of anything else I might want to add please comment. I think I will be adding some questions from the reading I am doing and also include some questions about the ideas of grocery stores as gathering places and the relationship between public and private space.

1. When and where were you born?

2. How did you make your way to Williamsburg?]
3. How long have you been working for Bloom?
4. How did you get your job at Bloom?

5. Did you have any educational experiences that specifically prepared you for your work
in the grocery business?

6. How long has Bloom/ Food Lion been in Williamsburg?

7. How does the company conceive the difference between Food
Lion and Bloom?  Or, In your experience, what are the differences…
8. How have you seen grocery stores change in your experience as someone
in the industry?
9. A lot of people who study American communities have noticed a change
in key businesses like restraurants and grocerty stores from small
ommunity gathering places to larger, more impersonal places; in your
life experience do feel like you’ve noticed anything like that?
10. Is it something that Bloom takes into consideration? Does Bloom try to
do anything to resist the label of large, conventional supermarket?
11. Does Bloom do anything to encourage a sense of community among
shoppers and employees?
12. Does Bloom attempt to reach a specific type of customer?
13. How would you describe Bloom in comparison with other grocery stores? What makes Bloom different?
14. What makes Bloom different from say Trader Joe’s or Ukrops?
15. Are they catering to different customers? carrying different products?
16. Overall does Bloom have cheaper prices than other groceries? Do you consider Bloom a discount food store?
17. How does the distributional system for Bloom work? Where does the food come from?
18. Does Bloom carry local produce?
19. Does Bloom have any connection to local Williamsburg farms?
20. How do you keep such a large store organized and running? How is the hierarchy broken down?
21. How many employees work at Bloom? Full and part time?
22. What qualities does Bloom look for in an employee?
23. How long does the average employee work at Bloom?
24. Do most employees live in Williamsburg near the store?
25. What kind of benefits does Bloom offer to its employees?

Question bank: Farms and farming

My project is clearly geared towards interviewees with farm experience, and I realize that many of the people we will interview for the WDP have little or no farm experience. The first and most obvious question that you might want to ask on my behalf is whether or not the interviewee has experience with farms and farming. I tried my best to make some of these questions applicable to people with little or no direct farm experience.

1.) Did you/do you participate in any home food-preservation activities like freezing, canning or drying?
2.) Did you ever have local farm products (dairy items, eggs, vegetables, etc.) delivered to your home?
3.) How has the agricultural character of James City County changed over your lifetime? Did you grow up near farms?
4.) Are you in favor of agricultural land preservation programs in James City County?
5.) How are farm responsibilities shared among family members?
6.) Do Williamsburg farmers make use of migrant labor?
7.) What do you plan to do when you retire from farming?

Pan-Asian Cuisine General Questions

1. What are your favorite ethnic restaurants in Williamsburg? Why?
2. How do you think ethnic food, specifically pan-Asian cuisine, fits into the food-scape of Williamsburg?
3. How has the food-scape of Williamsburg changed in your time here?
4. What type of cuisine do you think that Williamsburg is lacking?  Why do you think Williamsburg lacks that type of food?
5. What type of cuisine do you think most attracts William and Mary students and why?

Question Bank

For Residents:

1)      Have you heard of/what has your experience been with the food cooperative in Williamsburg, Real Food?

2)      What is your perception of the availability of local food in the area?

3)      Do you consider the availability of local food when choosing a restaurant or deciding where to shop for groceries?

4)      Do you attend the Williamsburg Farmers’ Market in Merchant Square? If you have lived other places, how does this market compare to others you have attended?

For Farmers:

1)      Is your primary means of income selling food directly to consumers?

2)      Have you heard of the co-op Real Food? What has your experience with the organization been?

3)      In your experience, what has been the most effective/efficient way of getting your goods to the public? Farmers’ markets? CSAs? Cooperatives?

4)      What is your perception of the demand for local food options among the Williamsburg community?

Questions for Interviews

1. Where do you buy your food when you cook for yourself or your family?

2. What influences your choice of where to go to buy food? (Price, food selection, customer service, location, brand loyalty, coupons/ discounts, store architecture, etc.)

3. How have you noticed Williamsburg area grocery stores change during the time you have lived in the area?

4. Do you associate certain stores with a certain customer demographic in terms of race, class, or age? If so, what do you think influences that phenomenon and what makes you form those associations?

5. How do you feel about the evolution of grocery stores from small, local community gathering places to large, impersonal “super”-markets or is that a mistaken categorization of your impression of the changes that have taken place?

6. Do you support the idea of local grocery stores carrying local produce?

5 Questions for Interviews

1. How much time have you spent in Colonial Williamsburg?
2. Have you ever dined in a colonial Tavern? (Overlaps with Kaitlyn, probably.)
3. How has that experience matched up (in your opinion) with historical accuracy?
4. Do you think that re-enacting the colonial style of eating is a worthwhile endeavor?
5. What is your concept of a “coffeehouse”? (Overlaps with Laura McCann, I’m sure.)

6 Questions for Interviews

1) Throughout your Williamsburg experience, have you known or particularly enjoyed any venue where you can see a music performance and eat/drink simultaneously?

2) How would you describe the “music scene” in Williamsburg today?

3) Of the performance venues that do exist in Williamsburg, to what age/demographic do you think they are most appealing?

4) (For restaurant/bar/performance venue owners or managers) Do Virginia alcohol laws negatively affect your business in any way? If certain laws were not in place, do you feel you could be more successful?

5) How would you describe any changes in the Williamsburg live music “scene” over time, and to what do you attribute these changes?

6) What is your ideal scenario for dining and seeing live music? Is this available in Williamsburg? If not, why? What needs to change in Williamsburg in order to make such a venue successful?


1. When did you first notice Latino immigration in the area?2. When did you first notice a Mexican restaurant in Williamsburg, which one was it?3. Do you eat at Mexican restaurants?4. If you go, when you look around, who do you see eating there?  Spanish-speaking immigrants or other ( non-latino longer-term) Williamsburg residents?5. Is the waitstaff Spanish-speaking?

Additions to the Question Pool (taverns)

1) What has your experience of dining in Colonial Williamsburg generally been like?
2) Do you find that the food available in Colonial Williamsburg meets your expectations of what 18th century food would have been like?
3) When you go to the taverns, what kind of experience are you looking for?
4) Does the atmosphere of the taverns and the entertainment offered there enhance your experience or detract from it? Why?
5) How do you feel about the anecdotal histories found on the menus in the taverns? Would it matter to you if you found out that they were historically inaccurate?
6) What can you find on the menus at the taverns that appeals to you? What kinds of things do you usually order?

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The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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