2-c masthead
Eastern Shore Chamber 
 Commerce Newsletter

March 2015

Our mission is to make the Eastern Shore the best place to
 Live, Work, and Cultivate Business.

In This Issue
March's Spotlights
February Ribbon Cuttings
Upcoming Events
Recent Events

HB&K March Event

March's Spotlight

hbkHartmann, Blackmon & Kilgore


Hartmann, Blackmon & Kilgore 

By D. Fran Morley



The accounting and strategic advisory firm of Hartmann, Blackmon and Kilgore, P.C., (hb&k) has been part of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce since it was founded in 1990, serving clients along the Gulf Coast and throughout the United States. It was founded by five individuals, including Xavier "X" Hartmann, Earl Blackmon, Vance Kilgore and Sally Wagner, with offices in Fairhope and Brewton. Today, the company has 55 employees, and two additional offices in Foley and Spanish Fort. The company serves a diverse group of clients, ranging from small businesses and individuals to governments and multinational corporations.


Dennis Sherrin, managing shareholder, says the company's philosophy is to meet clients' needs, treat colleagues with respect, and serve the communities where they do business. "There are probably 50 different organizations that our employees are involved with and support in various ways, and hb&k is very generous in allowing our staff to give back to their community."


"Giving back to the community helps us all," Sherrin said. "When you support organizations that work with youth, education and the community, you're supporting the future. All of us in some way are affected by someone who helped us when we were young, so we give back to the community because we care and because we recognize the importance of doing that. In addition, it's just the right thing to do."


Diane Anderson, director of client services and business development, says all employees at hb&k are asked to complete a questionnaire about their community interests. "We want to see what our people are involved in, and what areas we touch. When we are looking at budgeting, we look at what is important to all of our employees, not just the partners."


 In addition to supporting the Chambers of Commerce in each community they serve, hb&k employees are involved with a myriad of organizations including Rotary in Point Clear, Fairhope, and Brewton; FEEF, SEEDS, the Boy Scouts, Young Life Eastern Shore, the Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation, and the Rotary Youth Club; American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the Thomas Hospital Foundation; the Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre and the Foley Performing Arts Association; the Kiwanis, Fairhope Volunteer Fire Department, Prodisee Pantry, the Baldwin County Humane Society, and the Eastern Shore Sertoma Club; as well as many different schools and churches.


For the past two years, Business Alabama has named Hartmann, Blackmon & Kilgore as one of the "Best Companies to Work For" in Alabama. Supporting their employees, building strong relationships with clients, staying innovative with new technology and services, and being a part of the communities they serve has made hb&k one of the leading accounting and advisory firms in our state and region.  

grayGray Englebert - Jubilee Specialties Incorporated


Meet Gray Englebert, a Birmingham native with a true passion for the South. After a 30 year career in the commercial real estate industry which included a great deal of domestic as well as international travel Gray decided to return to his home state of Alabama. Gray then met his fiancée, Stephanie Woolsey, at a high school reunion and made Spanish Fort his permanent residence in September 2013. Stephanie has been in the promotional products and logo apparel business for more than 25 years. She started Jubilee Specialties, Inc. as a true entrepreneur in 2002 and has received tremendous recognition as a provider of great products coupled with outstanding customer service. "As soon as I arrived on the Eastern Shore I knew my destiny was to work with Stephanie and grow our brand."  Gray got involved with the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce and now gives time to any ESCoC effort that he can help with including the monthly Morning Marketing Meeting which has grown tremendously with great potential for business networking in our local community, and also is chair for the 2015 ESCoC golf tournament. Gray serves as Vice President of the Daphne-Spanish Fort Kiwanis Club, an advisor for the DSF Kiwanis Action Club is on the Board as Past President of the Baldwin Business Council, a member of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce, Lake Forest Golf Club and volunteers at the Prodisee Pantry, Jubilee Head Start and other local charitable organizations. The South and more specifically the Eastern Shore is in his blood and he truly loves helping in the community. Gray's passions include golf, travel, boating, networking and helping others. For more information about Jubilee Specialties call (251) 621-9811, or visit 
February Ribbon Cuttings

elcexicanoEL Mexicano of Daphne

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed new member EL Mexicano of Daphne with a ribbon cutting, at the 1410 US Highway 98, Suite J Daphne, AL. location.


EL Mexicano of Daphne serves authentic Mexican cuisine. Dine in or carry out.


For more information call (251) 621-4553, or

 visit http://el-mexicanorestaurant.com/

ducksDuck's BBQ

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed new member Duck's BBQ with a ribbon cutting, at the 119 Lottie Lane, Fairhope location.


Duck's barbecue offers original and homemade southern barbecue for dine in, take out and catering.  Duck's BBQ was formerly "The Smoke Shed". For more information call 251-929-3825 

besthamburger"On the lighter side" Best Hamburger on the Eastern Shore


"Sunset Pointe"


I love good food, but I'm not a food writer nor a food critic, so why am I doing a series of articles on the Best Burgers on the Eastern Shore? It's because I believe that our local restaurants are true contributors to the essence of our community; they help to develop our tourism base and contribute to the quality of life along the Eastern Shore. These articles will focus on what stood out, what I found unique, and why you might want to visit a particular restaurant. So, with that said, lets learn about Sunset Pointe, the latest restaurant of celebrity Chef Pete Blohme.


It's easy to see why it's called Sunset Pointe. Pete has designed it so that from most anywhere you sit, inside at the bar or a table or outside at a table or by one of the two gas fire pits, you will have a beautiful view of the sunsets over Fly Creek Marina. Pete even lists a daily sunset time on his chalk board. His tables are nicely spaced; you are not sitting in someone else's lap, and can enjoy the view or have a normal conversation.


Pete, at all his restaurants, has continually strove to think, shop, and promote local. The chalk board lists the specials and the fresh fish of the day, as well as the local produce and the name of the farm that provided it. Most of the beer taps consist of local craft ales.


For what it's worth, I've visited many a tavern throughout the world, some that date back as far as the 15th century. In most, the bar top is always a focal point and Sunset Pointe is no exception. The 35-foot bar has its own unique history, which includes a link to a 100-year-old Baldwin County mule barn. Ask Pete or any of the bartenders, and they'll share the stories with you.


Three words come to mind about the menu at Sunset Pointe: fresh, seafood, and unique! There are a variety of well thought out creations that blend well. Besides the burger, many of our Chamber membership raved about the Crab-Meat-Balls and Seared Tuna Nachos appetizers.


Pete, Managing Partner Nick Dimario, and Assistant Manager Brooke Morris are striving for excellence in the staff. A restaurant may start with food but it goes nowhere without great service. Pete has two walls in his open-kitchen design where he displays the culinary greats of the industry to provide inspiration for his staff to be and to do the best they can in everything that is done at the restaurant.


Pete Speaks: The beautiful location here at Fly Creek Marina has always been a local favorite. The views of the Bay and the sailboats are spectacular, but most of all the sunsets are unbelievable! We toast the sunset daily at the appropriate time and enjoy the views constantly. There are also beautiful large-scale prints of sunsets from Mobile Bay and around the world posted around the place, so when you look out the windows at night you still see a sunset: the reflection of the sunset photos.

We use so much local produce and gulf seafood products the food is fresh and fabulous. We also are working hard to use sustainable practices with our seafood. Craft cocktails and Alabama craft beers round out a great program at our "Liquid Kitchen" bar.


Okay, let us get to the essence of this article, my take on the Sunset Pointe Burger. Pete and staff give the design and presentation of their meals a major emphasis. I have a tendency to just wolf down my food, but I learned something from Sunset Pointe about burger presentation. Nick said they place the lettuce on the bottom to cup the burger juices so that it doesn't soak the bottom bun-a toasted brioche bun, in this case. 


The Sunset Pointe Burger features two 4-ounce ground chuck patties, topped with Conecuh bacon intertwined with melted pimento cheese, with local bib lettuce, caramelized red onion, and tomato. Home grown sweet potato chips accompany the burger. This is not the type of burger that needs any catsup, mustard, or mayo; rather one should enjoy this burger based on the blending of items listed above. The complement of items, cooked to perfection (medium well for me), made it a major experience of enjoyment. I particularly took notice of the pimento cheese and Conecuh bacon, it provided a uniqueness that I have never experienced before in my burger travels.


I rate this a great burger eating experience. Our inaugural "Burger Tasting" bar has been set high!


Sunset Point is a new restaurant and I predict amazing success. I believe that their biggest problem moving forward will be handling the demand and managing the popularity. Greatest of wishes to Pete and everyone at Sunset Pointe.


I end by sending out a big thank you to our membership that joined us at Sunset Pointe for our inaugural "Best Burger" evening. It helps our support our local restaurants and is another opportunity to interact with fellow members and Chamber Staff.


Join us next month at Boudreaux's Cajun Grill , Wednesday, March 18, at 5:30 pm.
29249 U.S. Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526
Upcoming Events

marchbusinessafterhoursMarch Business After Hours

Business after Hours

Please join us for an evening of networking food,

drinks, and fun on Thursday, March 5, 2015 from 5 p.m. -7 p.m.

 at Re/Max By The Bay

300 Magnolia Ave,
Fairhope, AL 36532 


Bring your business cards to hand out and mix and mingle with other local professionals. 

marbestburger"Best Burger on the Eastern Shore"


 Wednesday, March 18th 
5:30 pm 

The first "Owners & CEO Roundtable" / "Best Burger on the Eastern Shore" campaign was a huge success. We had approximately 30 members for dinner. A great time was had by all.


Come sit down with staff to discuss challenges confronting your business and how the Chamber can assist you in overcoming those issues. While there, chamber staff will be conducting a tasting of Boudreaux's hamburger entry for the "Best Burger on the Eastern Shore". We invite any of our membership to join us for the evening!!

marchmmmMarch Morning Marketing Meeting

Morning Marketing Meeting


Thursday, March 19, 8:00 a.m. 

Great Marketing Opportunity for Chamber Members

Bring lots of handouts!

New Location: Dickey's Barbeque Pit

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

 Sponsored by: Facilities Resource Group, Inc.


MarchYPMarch Young Professionals

Young Professionals Social


Thursday March 19, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

 McSharry's  101 N Bancroft St., Fairhope, AL

YPs age 40 and under are welcome.Great networking opportunity.Potential members also welcome. Call (251) 928-6387 for more information. 
hbkeventHB&K Event

Recent Events

febeggsnissuesFebruary Eggs N Issues
The February Eggs N Issues was a huge success.  Thank you Baldwin County School Superintendent Robbie Owen for sharing the Eastern Shore components of the Build Baldwin Now 


 Mr. Owen stated that over the last ten years there has been a 28% growth in the student population in Baldwin County.  According to the capital plan, a total of $350 million will be spent on construction projects throughout Baldwin County. The Board of Education has approved this historic measure and is currently sharing the details in a number of public presentations throughout the county. Click the link below for more information and how you can help by voting YES!

The Eastern Shore Chamber fully supports the "Build Baldwin Now"  

initiative. Educational quality is proven to have powerful effects on individual earrings and economic prosperity.  Investing in your school system and the children it serves is the most effective means of ensuring long term opportunity and quality of life for residents of Baldwin County.  We actively encourage all Eastern Shore voters to vote YES on March 31, 2015



The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recently graduated the 13th year Youth Leadership Class.  
Forty students from Daphne, Fairhope, Spanish Fort high schools, Bayside Academy and local home schools along the Eastern Shore participated this year.


Throughout the seven-month program, students explored a variety of topics including the History and Geography of Baldwin County, Environmental, Business Smarts, Law and Government and Health and Human Services. Each session, students explored many community places for on-site learning while engaging with community leaders. The students created presentations of the community group projects. Through small groups the graduates identified community needs and collaborated as a team to solve the identified need. The topics for the group projects this year included;  community outreach, health and social behaviors, recreation, unite community, education and environment.


This year's Spirit of Youth Leadership Award, created and presented by Terry Thompson Chevrolet, was given to Deirryah Sappington, a junior at Daphne High School. This award is presented to a student who has exhibited a high participation level showing enthusiasm and interest in the various topics and issue discussed in the program. The recipient also displays a positive leadership through leadership characteristics such as inclusiveness, dedication, cooperation, humility, initiative, sincerity and serves the program with a servant leadership attitude. The students' peers and the youth leadership committee vote on the award. 


Applications are now available for for next year's program, the deadline for applying is Friday, April 17, 2015. Applications can be found at www.eschamber.com  or by calling the chamber office.


februarybah Business After Hours
 Thank you Stone, Granade & Crosby, PC for hosting the February Business After Hours.  We had a packed house, and it was so nice to see our members.

Congradulations to Melissa Anderson for winning the $100.00 drawing! Please join us in March for the next business after hours, check out upcoming events for details.      


febmmm Morning Marketing Meeting
We are proud to say that we had another successful Morning Marketing Meeting. We are also excited to announce that we have outgrown the chamber office and have now moved the MMM to Dickey's BBQ. Its a great time to meet other members,tell them about your business and learn about theirs too. Thank you also to  Iron Tribe Fitness Eastern Shore  for sponsoring the February MMM.  Check out the upcoming events and join us in March.
febypYoung Professionals

The Eastern Shore Chamber Young Professionals had their February social on January 19th, at Fairhope Brewery.  Congratulations to Lisa Stogner with Advanced Dental Comfort, for winning the Drawing for a Pure Barre  "Bar to Barre" gift certificate worth $180.00.


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. 

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