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Eastern Shore Chamber 
 Commerce Newsletter

February 2014
In This Issue
February's Spotlights
Upcoming Events
Recent Events
January Ribbon Cuttings
February's Spotlight

sandrasplaceSandra's Place
In 1996, when Sandra Whitley and her husband, Robert, retired to Fairhope from the Atlanta area, Sandra knew she wanted some type of business in town. "I'd had a gift shop for years and worked at the Atlanta Merchandise Mart, but I wanted to do something different here, so I thought I would open a coffee shop in Fairhope," she recalls. "I tried a few things the first couple of years that didn't work as well, like selling gourmet chocolates and candy-which Fairhope wasn't ready for at the time-but one day a regular morning coffee customer, Louis Mapp, asked if I ever thought about making sandwiches, and that's how I got started doing lunch

Sandra started with what she knew best. "I'd made egg salad and pimento cheese for my children, of course, so I started with that. In the beginning, the shop didn't have a kitchen-it had been a real estate office. I was cooking chicken on a hot plate to make my chicken salad, and a food service representative pointed out to me that I could buy already cooked chicken to make my salad. So, I learned from everyone as I went along." Sandra added a small kitchen to the shop in 1999.

Over the years, Sandra's Place gradually morphed into the popular lunch spot it is today. "I tried different things, and being open for lunch has worked out best. I'm only open in the evening now if there's something special going on downtown, like for Mardi Gras or New Year's Eve."

Being part of the community has meant a lot to her over the years, she said. "We didn't know anyone when we moved here, and I never would have met so many wonderful people if I hadn't had my own business and been part of the business community through the Eastern Shore Chamber. It's been a good experience."


Today, Sandra's daughter, Lisa Bates, handles the daily business of running the restaurant; Sandra keeps her eye on things from home, where she does the bookkeeping and other paperwork. Many of the employees (all part time and all retired from other jobs) have been with her for a long time. "Mary DeLaunay came to work for me the second week I was open in 1996. Other employees include Marianna Lancaster, Mary Ellen Goodrode, Angel Nolte, Kerry Williams, Marjorie Robinson, and Mary Chmielawski. We have so many Marys, that they all have nicknames! Also, my sister-in-law, Francine Brown, just retired, but she still helps out with special cakes for the holidays."


Sandra points out that she has an international staff as well. "Francine is from France, Kerry is from Ireland, and Mary Ellen is from Germany. Isn't that interesting for a small town in Alabama?"

Sandra's numerous grandchildren all worked in the shop over the years as well. "They worked here when they were in high school and later when they could. It helped put many of them through college. I never would have expected that when I opened as a little coffee shop in 1996. I'm proud that Sandra's Place is a part of downtown Fairhope-going on 20 years now!


By D. Fran Morley

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce would like to welcome Fran Morley. Fran will be sharing her talents with us each month with our spotlight articles. Fran is a fulltime freelance writer, editor, and photographer. In addition to writing on assignment for numerous regional publications and doing PR writing for the City of 
Fairhope, she is content editor for the international Association of Personal Historians, an organization devoted to helping people and organizations save their life stories. She also is coordinator for Alabama Coastal BirdFest. Fran works from her home in Fairhope, which she shares with her fiddle-playing husband, Tom, and their two cats, Finn and Zoey.
ambassadorprogramAmbassador Program
Congratulations to Cindy Zebryk for being selected as the new Interim Chairman   of the Ambassador Program. Cindy is a Realtor and Associate Broker at    Coldwell Banker Reehl Properties. Cindy was awarded the "#1 Realtor for 2014 for  Coldwell Banker Reehl Properties" and also awarded the "2014 International President's Circle from Coldwell Banker". A life long native of Fairhope, Cindy resides in Fairhope with her husband Tad. She is a graduate of Fairhope High School and attended Faulkner State College. She has two adult children, Taylor Ripley and Allison Ward. "I am honored to be the Interim Chairman of the Ambassadors! I hope to get more members involved and grow the program to better benefit the membership of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce," stated Cindy. In her spare time, Cindy loves singing, calligraphy, making beeswax candles and assisting her husband in raising bees for local honey.
Upcoming Events

februarybusinessafterhoursBusiness After Hours

Please join us for an evening of networking food, drinks, and fun on 

Thursday, February 5, 2015 from 5pm -7 pm at

Stone, Granade & Crosby, P.C.

8820 U.S. Highway 90
Daphne, AL 36526

$100 Cash Drawing

eggsnissuesEggs N' Issues


Guest Speaker- Robbie Owen,

Baldwin County School System Superintendent 

February 11, 2015 8:30 am

Daphne United Methodist Church Community Life Center

2401 N. Main St., Daphne, AL

$10 Members / $15 potential members

Please call for reservations 621-8222, all reservations must be pre-paid prior to Monday February 9.

februarymorningmarketingmeeting Morning Marketing Meeting
Thursday, February 19th, 8:00 am 

Great Marketing Opportunity for Chamber Members

Bring lots of handouts!


Dickey's Barbeque Pit


6882 Highway 90, Suite G-2
Daphne, AL 36526


 Sponsored by

Iron Tribe Fitness Eastern Shore


februaryyoungprofessionalsYoung Professionals-February

Thursday February 19, 5:30 - 7:30 pm


Fairhope Brewing Company

914 Nichols Ave, Fairhope, Alabama


Drawing by Pure Barre for a "Bar to Barre" gift certificate worth $180.00 Invite Friends and coworkers!YPs age 40 and under are welcome.Great networking opportunity.Potential members also welcome. Call (251) 928-6387 for more information. 

acofficialartwork63rd Annual Arts and Crafts
2015 Official Artwork
(pictured:  (left) Jaca McLaren, 63rd Arts & Crafts Festival Chairman and (right) Jean McKee, official artwork artist 

The planning committee for the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce's Art & Crafts Festival in Fairhope has made the selection of the official artwork for the 2015 show. The artist selected is Jean McKee, a resident of Spanish Fort, AL.. The show is scheduled for March 20, 21 and 22. Artist Jean McKee began her art career in 1982 by entering several pieces of her work in art shows around the southeast, from shows in Miami to New Orleans. Jean has participated in shows spanning to coastline for over 30 years. The first show she started with was the Fairhope Arts and Crafts. Jean's work was chosen for this year's posters and t-shirts. "This is the view that I have from my booth in front of the Chamber of Commerce," stated Jean. Jean uses acrylics in a bright bold style. Her distinctive artwork typifies the local scenes where she finds inspiration, like the serene image of a row of sailboats docked for the night or a nostalgic image of community gathering places, such as Flora Bama. In addition to original pieces, Jean does commission work. Her work can be found in many galleries along the Gulf Coast.  She has participated in more than 300 outdoor shows in the south and has been chosen to the paint the poster designs for 12 outdoor festivals.  Some of the most memorable awards include Best of Show. Eastern Shore Art Center, State of Alabama award and the Mary McGrath award.
acplanningcommittee2015 Arts and Crafts Planning Committee

Back row: Oliver Gilmore, Dara Racciatti, Missy Templeton, Kay Overstreet, Joanne Fornander, 

Mac McLaren, Susan Pearce, Stephen Roberts, Glenn Normand, and Danny Strickland

Middle Row: Paula Tilman, Lee Teumer, Cathy Myers, Joyce Moates, Amanda Floyd, Barbara Blaze 

 Diane Herzog, Vicki Cook

Seated Row: Mark Thompson, Elizabeth Stone, Hannah Stone, Liz Thomson, Jaca McLaren,
 Laura English, Ricky Lewis, Kathy Gilmore

The 63rd Annual Arts & Crafts Festival planning committee is working hard to prepare for the best show ever. The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce event, scheduled for  March 20, 21 & 22, 2015, is held in Fairhope the third weekend of March each year. More than 100 volunteers, representing service clubs, chamber businesses and individuals, participate in the event. More than 230 exhibitors from throughout the nation will bring their juried arts and crafts to this prestigious show. Live entertainment will be going on throughout the three-day event and unique cuisine will be served in the food court. It all takes place on the streets of beautiful downtown Fairhope, Ala. Last year the event attracted more than 250,000 visitors to the area. The festival was chosen as one of the top events in the state for March by the Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel. The show is also ranked in the top 20 by the Southeast Tourism Society. "The Arts & Crafts Festival in Fairhope draws people from all around the U.S. and world. It's flair for Southern hospitality is on full display by the City, local businesses, volunteers, and our festival committee," said Heiko Einfeld, executive director of the Chamber. "The economic impact of the festival reaches all of Baldwin County and even parts of Mobile County." Festival hours are Friday and Saturday 10 am - 6 pm, Sunday 10 am - 5 pm and there is no admission fee BRATS (Baldwin County Area Transportation System) will offer a shuttle service from the Plantation Pointe Shopping Center, Ecor Rouge Place Center, Eastern Shore Village Center and the east side of Volanta Sports Complex. All of the parking is free and the locations are less than a five-minute ride away. The shuttle ride costs only $2 one way. There will be free valet parking for bicycles behind the Fairhope Museum of History and handicapped parking will be available in the Municipal Parking lot on Bancroft. For more information call (251) 621-8222 or visit www.eschamber.com/artscrafts.

patronsawardPatron's Award Program / Be a Part of the Arts

Contribute to the success of the 63rd Annual Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival with your commitment to support the artists at the annual festival. Each year we are able to attract the highest quality artists and crafters with your support. The "Patron's Award Program" insures the commitment of our local community prior to the Festival. This is one of the features that helps keep our festival ranked as one of the top arts and crafts festivals in the country.


How can you help? 


First sign up and let us know that you plan to purchase $100 of art work from an artist at the 63rd Annual Arts and Crafts Festival.  Return form to the chamber office.

  • Next stop by the Chamber office in Fairhope starting Thursday through Saturday of the festival and pick up your Patron's award ribbon, placard and a signed poster for you.  Now go shopping!  Once you have selected your merchandise from an exhibitor, buy it and present your award placard! The exhibitor will display your patron's award ribbon and placard on their booth for the remainder of the Festival.  (You can leave your purchased artwork on display at the artist booth for remainder of the festival to help the artist advertise the award.) 
  • BONUS...your name and/or business name will be listed in the official festival program as a patron sponsor (we will need to receive this form back by February 20th).  Approximately 200,000+ spectators will have the opportunity to see your name and/or business name at the exhibitor's booth and on our festival program.   


For more details please call Laura English at 391-2470 or Liz Roberts at 621-8222.   

bestburgerontheeasternshoreBest Burger on The Eastern Shore Contest

On the Lighter Side


Searching for the


"Best Burger on the Eastern Shore"


As have many, I have pledged to lose weight as my New Year's resolution. To this point, my efforts to change my lifestyle have seen some progress, but it is a marathon, not a sprint. While my dietary efforts are proceeding fairly well, my exercise program has encountered some setbacks do to some things unforeseen. We hope to start that aspect fairly soon.


The Eastern Shore is gifted to have a plethora of amazing restaurants and chefs in every style of cuisine imaginable. An Arts & Crafts Festival visitor once told me that the reason he comes to the festival each year is to get the chance to eat in our amazing area restaurants. There is no doubt that our restaurants are great assets to Eastern Shore culture and tourism.


So for me to progress through this marathon, I have built into my dietary efforts a splurge night once a month. Everyone has a different vision of a splurge night. Obviously therefore, there are no incorrect answers. To complicate matters further, there is nothing you can't find along the Eastern Shore. For this writer though, when I think of satisfying a food craving, the first item that comes to mind is a Great Hamburger!! It is Americana at its best. Over my twenty-plus years on the Eastern Shore, Manci's in Old Town Daphne was THE place when I had that burger craving. Since their closing, I am at a loss for a place to find THAT amazing hamburger.


So I am now in search for a new location for a perfect hamburger and will spend the next several months in search of the "Best Burger on the Eastern Shore"!! We have solicited several Chamber restaurants to join our fun-spirited competition, and I will be visiting one competitor each month. We will profile the restaurant, have the owner/chef give his or her idea of a perfect burger, and hopefully entice some our members to visit the wonderful establishment.


Every third Wednesday, I will be dining at our one competing establishments, and I invite the membership to join in the event. For our members, I hope to develop an Owners/CEO roundtable over a delicious burger that will also serve as a casual opportunity to discuss what's going on with our member businesses and how the Chamber can best support business efforts.


Our first stop will be a new restaurant operated by a celebrity chef that has been gracing our area for a while now - Pete Blohme. Sunset Pointe at Fly Creek Marina will kick off our "Best Burger on the Eastern Shore" competition on Wednesday, February 18th at 5pm. I invite all of our membership to come out and join us for the evening!!


The Burger Boy


Recent Events

januarybusinessafterhoursJanuary Business After Hours
Thank you to Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott for hosting the January business after hours. We had a great turn out and Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott gave members a chance to play a Trivia Challenge game for a chance to win a free Two Night Stay Fairfield's sister hotel, the Courtyard Marriott Biloxi/D'Iberville which is located just minutes away from casino row, the new MGM Baseball Stadium, and the Gulf Coast Coliseum and Convention Center! Another thank you to Dickey's Barbeque Restaurant for providing the delicious food.




januarymorningmarkeingmeetingJanuary Morning Marketing Meeting

If you haven't attended an ESCoC morning marketing meeting, you need to plan on attending one soon!! This event has been growing by leaps and bounds the past 6 months. Its a great time to meet other members, and tell them about your business and learn about theirs too. 

darrlynbenderDarrelyn Bender wins Jamie Wallace Award

Former Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, Darrelyn Bender, was presented with the prestigious Jamie Wallace Award during the annual meeting of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama (CCAA) held in Birmingham on December 5, 2014. The award is presented to Chamber professionals who have displayed outstanding attributes in their daily vocation.  

It is awarded by an outside panel of judges only in years in which an individual meets strict, stated criteria, and who is chosen from nominees submitted by CCAA members. It is the highest award presented by CCAA. 

januaryyoungprofessionalsYoung Professionals-January

The Eastern Shore Chamber Young Professionals had their January social on January 15th, at PLOW in Fairhope. 


The Young Professionals in the bay area meet together every third Thursday to share initiatives, develop their careers, & network. 


We want to encourage the young members of the Eastern Shore's workforce to participate in local events, learn about the critical issues facing our cities, and develop a sense of commitment to our community.


The YP mission is to attract and develop motivated, energetic, civic-minded young professionals working together to create a better place to live, work, and play.
stepsESCoC STEPs program

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Baldwin County Board of Education is celebrating Alabama Career and Technical Education month. This month long celebration will emphasize the role of career and technical education while becoming college and career ready. 


Through the Eastern Shore Chamber Foundation, we address the need of quality career and leadership programming for Eastern Shore High School students through our Youth Leadership and Student Training and Exploration Program. Our goal is to bridge education with businesses along the Eastern Shore through leadership and career pathway exploration.


The 2014-15 Student Training and Exploration Program (STEP) kicked off this January with each grade level focusing on a different aspect of the program; team building and life skill assessment, soft skills workshop, cash course and a visit to ITT Technical Institute.


The STEP program is a four year program beginning with students in 9th grade and continuing through the 12th grade. Students in the program explore the high demand career opportunities in Southwest Alabama while connecting class skills with skills needed in the workplace.


For more information about supporting the program by volunteering or through sponsorships please contact Christina Hellmich at 251-928-6387. 


January Ribbon Cuttings

southerneyegroupSouthern Eye Group (SEG)
The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed new Southern Eye Group (SEG), with a ribbon cutting at the formerly Bay Eyes Cataract and Laser Center at the 411 North Section Street, Fairhope, AL 36532 location. Attending the event were: Lisa Williams, director of marketing; Alan Franklin, M.D., Ph.D; Maggie Shuler, M.D., Ph.D.; John Myers, M.D., Fairhope Mayor Tim Kant; Dan Wilder, O.D.; Heiko Einfeld, ESCoC executive director; and Cindy Zebryk, ESCoC ambassador; Southern Eye Group (SEG) is a prominent surgical center in the Mid-South, with experienced and caring surgeons offering treatments using the latest technologies. Southern Eye Group depends on a cooperative relationship between optometry and ophthalmology. The center operates as a secondary and tertiary eye care facility, which provides medical and surgical care as needed by local optometrists and their patients. The compassionate and caring staff at SEG places quality of care and patient satisfaction as our highest priority. Learn more at http://southerneyegroup.convergelocal.com, or call (251) 990-3937.

new2youNew 2 You

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed new member New 2 You with a ribbon cutting, at the 28600 US Highway 98Daphne, AL. location. Attending the event were: Heiko Einfeld, Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce executive director; Debbie Chrisenberry, New2You; Jeff Ramsland, Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce ambassador; Tommy Foxworth, New2You;  Jackie Foxworth, New2You; Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood; Ned Manning, Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce; and  Deborah Morrow, Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce ambassador. New 2 You is a furniture and accessories consignment shop. They have custom made jewelry, designed pens, local paintings, and specialists to paint your furniture for you.

For more information call (251) 375-0566


Off Lease Auto Outlet

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed new member Off Lease Auto Outlet, with a ribbon cutting at 24675 Hwy 98, Daphne, AL., location. Off Lease Auto Outlet is Off Lease Auto Outlet is your new car alternative! They offer all makes and all models of quality import and domestic high-line vehicles. With financing available on most models. Call today for more information 251-621-2318, visit http://www.offleaseautooutlet.com/
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