2-c masthead
Eastern Shore Chamber 
 Commerce Newsletter

May 2015

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

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

April's Spotlight

villagedeli Village Deli

John and Mary Ann Nelson have come a long way since opening their first Mary Ann's Deli in Fairhope in 1984. "Both of our children were in school, and I wanted something to do during the day," said Mary Ann. "My friends encouraged and helped me, so I did some research and came up with original recipes and menu items that I thought would be good." John, who was Executive Director of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce at that time, supported her decision, and it quickly became apparent that they had a hit on their hands. "Our first location was where Mr. Gene's Beans is now on De La Mare in downtown Fairhope," he recalled. "We were the only deli in town, and the first day we were open, we did $380 in business. Our rent was only $350 a month, so we thought that was really something!"


In 1986, John opened a second deli, in Mobile near Springhill College, that was also a big hit, but they sold that business after a few years when he tired of driving back and forth across the Bay every day. Meanwhile in Fairhope, the lease on their original location expired in 1989, and they bought what had been an old gas station on the corner of De La Mare and Church Street and created a new home for Mary Ann's Deli, eventually adding the courtyard. The restaurant was a mainstay of downtown Fairhope for many years.


"The business really flourished, and I loved it. I really can't imagine having done anything else," said Mary Ann. "I love to cook and this was an extension of that. My dear friends Maiben Haas and Barbara Corte have been with me from the start, with the deli and with catering when we offered that. I've always had the help and support of good friends and family."

By 2005, the Nelsons thought they were ready for retirement, and they sold the business, along with all the mouth-watering recipes. Mary Ann's Deli is now at Fairhope's Windmill Market. 

A few years of retirement was fun, John and Mary Ann agreed, but when their daughter Regina asked for help with her restaurant, Regina's Kitchen in Mobile, they eagerly pitched in to help her for a few years . . . until another opportunity opened up-literally in their own backyard.


Pinzone's Italian Village is right next door to the home the Nelsons built and have lived in since 1997. They have been friends with owner Mike Pinzone for years, and when he needed someone to take over the Village Deli part of Pinzone's, he didn't need to look far.  "He knew our experience and Mary Ann's expertise, and we were right next door," John said. "So now we are there three or four days a week and of course, Barbara and Maiben also work with us, just as they always have. It's a wonderful arrangement and we're enjoying it. Mike is a fine person and he's really focused on making his part of Fairhope as unique as the rest of the city."

 As to what the future holds, the Nelsons are keeping their options open. Their beautiful home is currently for sale. They want a smaller place, but they want to stay close to downtown-and to work. "Right now, we don't have plans to retire again any time soon," John said.

 Besides daughter Regina, the Nelsons have a son, Jonathan, who is General Manager for the Birmingham Barons baseball team. They have four grandchildren: Mary Ann (17) and Cecelia (15) in Mobile, and Jonathan (13) and Sophia (11) in Birmingham.


D. Fran Morley
Freelance writer, editor & photographer

Nancy Gracenancygrace2

A native of Selma, Ala., Nancy graduated from Auburn University with a major in Marketing.  Nancy has been a Branch Manager at Regions in Daphne for nine years.  


Along with many other things at the Chamber, Nancy serves as chairman for the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting.  Nancy has been Chamber member for over nine years and an Ambassador for the Chamber for one and half years.


When not volunteering for the Chamber and working, Nancy enjoys spending time with her family, being outside and on the water as much as possible.


Thank you Nancy for all you do for the Chamber!!!

April Ambassador of the Month scottpolk

Congratulations to Scott Polk for being the April Ambassador for the Chamber. Scott participated in numerous Chamber events and activities throughout the month, earning him the most points.  Scott is from

Detroit, MI., but spent most of his early life in Des Moines, IA. Scott moved to Daphne in 2014.  Scott was a Military Intelligence Officer in the Army for 10 years, worked for FedEx, Culligan Water and is now a Financial Advisor for  Morgan Stanley Wealth ManagementScott has been a member of the Chamber since last August and has been an ambassador for three months.  Scott enjoys spending time with his wife and three year old Son, going to the beach and other family related activities.

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


Old 27 Grill


I have had the pleasure of knowing the owner of Old 27 Grill, William Stitt, for nearly twenty years and he is, first, a tremendous human being, and second, a great restaurateur. Old 27 is not just a restaurant, it's a brand. William's operation includes a catering service, a food truck component, take home items such as Bill-E's Small Batch Bacon, and, of course, the restaurant which is also an entertainment venue. William is a savvy marketer of his brand.


Some of William's influences in creating the Old 27 brand include his many travels as a youngster with his father. He would accompany is father on his sales trips across the country and help out on sales calls that would include delivering meals.


Visiting Old 27 Grill is like walking into a favorite Southern haunt, while at the same time, visiting something totally unique. William has blended aspects of several restaurants, dives, and, yes, hunting camps around the region to craft his very own signature dining and entertainment experience.  The outdoor seating areas are decorated with old pieces of tin and reclaimed wood, shutters, doors, and pallets. Most tabletops were designed and fabricated by friends and family of William.


Old 27 is a lively place to enjoy a few hours, grab a cold beverage (the draft root beer is a personal favorite), listen to great musicians, cut up with some locals, and just listen to the acorns pounding down on the tin roofs. You can find several local singers & songwriters sharing their artistry on a regular basis.


William takes great pride in being local, buying local, and supporting local. Whether it's bread, ice cream, coffee, produce, or beer, it's all purchased here on the Eastern Shore. He believes in giving back to the community and goes out of his way to support our schools, churches, and businesses.


Just looking over the menu at Old 27 Grill just makes your mouth begin to water.  It includes everyone's favorites and then some. And to top it off (no pun intended), 27 different toppings to accompany your burger, dog, sandwich, or entree. The house specialties you've been hearing people rave about are the Ecor Rouge Catch, the Mardi Gras Dog, and the Come Back Shrimp among many others.


For those of you that may remember, Old 27 embodies the feel of that old local watering hole, Judge Roy Beans. Its laid back casualness instantly envelops you in warm, welcoming sensation that assures you that you are among friends even if you don't know a soul in room. The Old 27 staff are experts at making you feel right at home and making you the center of your experience. William takes great pride in knowing that his servers just "get it."


Old 27 features a smorgasbord of burgers, and I was tempted, as I perused many of my Chamber friends' plates, to steal a bite of their burgers to sample. Then, William brought me my "Holy Cow! Burger." He calls it his "Soon to be Famous" signature burger and it's all that and more. It is served on a dinner plate because it deserves no less, encircled in rough cut fries tossed in kosher salt. It became obvious that my Chamber mates were now eyeing my plate for a bite.


This fresh, hand-pattied, 8oz certified angus beef, cooked to perfection is served with caramelized red onions and grilled tomato, and held together with a sliver of Swiss cheese on a fresh toasted roll. It is also smothered in a pepper-corn cream sauce that will make you say, "Holy Cow, someone just figured out how to put the cream back in the cow!"  It was an amazing burger eating experience.


Old 27 Grill is just a great place to "just be." I recommend anyone local or visiting to spend time here - It's a guaranteed good time. Thanks again to all of our Chamber members that participated. It was great to see everyone.


Join us next month at Pelican Point, the Church Street Chill Grill, in Fairhope, Wednesday night, May 20th, at 5:30 pm.



Heiko Einfeld

ESCoC Executive Director



Join us next month on 
Wednesday, May 20th, 


5:00 pm.

Pelican Patio , at 5:00 pm.
14 North Church Street
Fairhope, AL 36532
Fairhope, AL 36532
April Ribbon Cuttings


Market on Main


The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed new member Market on Main, with a ribbon cutting, at the 1800 Main Street, Daphne location. Market on Main is a shop featuring antiques, home furnishings, and gift and garden items. They specialize in primitive antiques from Louisiana.

For more information call (251) 348-7760 

Upcoming Events

mayorsprayerbreakfastMay Mayors' Prayer Breakfast
The Eastern Shore Chamber's 31st 
Annual Mayors' Prayer Breakfast 

 Thursday, May 7, 2015, 7:30 am at the Daphne Civic Center. 

The keynote speaker his year is the Reverend Richard Schmidt. 

Thank you to our Sponsors

maybusinessafterhours May Business After Hours

Business after Hours


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


NFL Building Center 

913 U.S. Highway 98 Daphne 

Thursday, May 7th from

 5 p.m. -7 p.m.


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

maybestburger"Best Burger on the Eastern Shore"


"Owners & CEO Roundtable"

"Best Burger on the Eastern Shore"


Pelican Patio 

14 N. Church Street, Fairhope 

May 20th

 5:00 pm


Come sit down with staff to discuss challenges confronting

your business and how the Chamber can assist you in

overcoming those issues. We invite any of our membership

 to join us for the evening!!


maymorningmarketingmtgMay Morning Marketing Meeting


Morning Marketing Meeting


New Location: Dickey's Barbecue Pit 

6882 Highway 90, Suite G-2, Daphne, AL 36526
May 21st 

8:00 a.m. 


Sponsored by Covenant Hospice


 Great Marketing Opportunity for Chamber

Members Bring lots of handouts!

mayypMay Young Professionals Social


Young Professionals Social


McSharry's Irish Pub  

101 N. Bancroft Street

 Thursday May 21st 

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

annualmeeting Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce of Commerce Annual Meeting

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce 91st Annual Meeting 
 Thursday, June 25, 5:30 pm at Oak Hollow Farm 

     The Chamber will be presenting the Annual Awards to the Community Leader of the Year, Small Business of the Year and the Environmental Award.  Nominations are still being accepted for these awards.  The Chamber will also select the recipients for the Bulldog Award and Service Award.

This is also the time when the gavel will be passed from the Chairman of the Board Contina Woods  to the new Chairman William McLaughlin.

Please call 621-8222 for reservations and tickets.


 Sponsors for the event are: Regions Bank, Baldwin EMC,  BBVA Compass Bank, Hargrove Engineering & Contructors, RE/MAX By the Bay, Tonsmeire Properties, Homestead Village, Baldwin County Sewer Service, American Autism & Rehabilitation Center, Prodisee Pantry, and Wilkins Miller

Recent Events

aprilbusinessafterhoursApril Business after Hours



Thank you to Premier Medical Eye Group, for hosting a great

 April Business After Hours on Thursday April 9th.

 A great time was had by all!

golftour The Eastern Shore Chamber Golf Tournament

The Eastern Shore Chamber Golf held its annual Golf Tournament on

 Friday April 10th, at Lakewood Golf Club.  Thank you to our sponsors and everyone who participated in the golf tournament.


Winners of the tournament were:


1st Place Net:  Keven Northrup, Joe Murray, Patrick Welk and Wayne Sander


2nd Place Net: Matt Jackson, Neal Townsend, Frank Shephard, and Walt Armentrout


3rd Place Net:  Michael Daniell, Johnny Hunt, Daniel Caitlin, and Jennie Campbell


1st Place Gross: Gray Englebert, Colin Farrell, Bily Harrell, and Thom lott


2nd place  Gross: Joe Hocklander, Kerry O'Connor, Kerry Ouzts and Brock Tate

3rd place  Gross: Eric Busby, Johnny Jones, John Lyle and Ashley Harris

Putting Contest - Gray Englebert

Ball Drop - Brett Doug Roberts


Sponsors of the tournament were:  Hole in one sponsor is provided by Sandy Sansing. Hole Sponsors are: Baldwin EMC, AltaPointe Health Systems Incorporated, Adams and Reese Law Firm,  C-Spire Wireless, and CP Homecare. Award Ceremony sponsor is Hancock Bank. Goody Bag sponsors are Hargrove Engineers & Constructors, Pen Air Federal Credit Union. Lunch sponsor is Trustmark. Tee sponsors are: Tyndall Federal Credit Union, Southern Light, National Bank of Commerce, Coastal Bank & Trust, Coldwell Banker Reehl Properties, Precision Auto Glass, Bayside Agency, Daphne Utilities, Harbor Communications, Sandy Sansing, Stewart Lodges and Truland Homes.

Proceeds will benefit the Eastern Shore Chambers' Youth Leadership Program.

 maymorningmarketingmtgApril Morning Marketing Meeting

The Morning Marketing Meeting was held at Dickey's Barbeque Pit in Daphne. Because our Morning Marketing has grown so much Dickey's graciously offered to let us use their space, and we are so thankful.   Also thank you to The Blake at Malbis or sponsoring the April Morning Meeting. Please see up-coming events for information for the next MMM.


eggsnissues April Eggs N Issues


We had a great attendance at The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Business Academy Eggs N' Issues on Tuesday April 14.The keynote speaker was William Sisson, President and CEO, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.  The Business Academy is sponsored by Harbor Communications, LLC, Hartmann, Blackmon and Kilgore, Daphne Utilities, BIS Technology Group, Strategic Wealth Specialists, and Baldwin EMC. The next Eggs N' Issues will be on Tuesday June 9th. Call 621-8222 for more information and tickets.

aprilypApril Young Professionals
The Young Professionals met at Moe's BBQ for their April social.  
If you are 40 and under please mark your calendar for the May Young Professionals social.
 See upcoming events for date, location and time of the next social. 
For more information about the Young Professionals please contact 621-8222.

steps STEP-Student Training Exploration Program
STEP celebrated its inaugural Graduation on Tuesday April 28th. Eighteen seniors from across the Eastern Shore were recognized as the first graduates of the four-year Student Training Exploration Program. STEP was founded to try to address workforce development needs that the Chamber and business leaders had seen in the community. Students engaged in seminars on choices and consequences, life goals, a money management course, and went to institutions like Faulkner State and ITT Tech to see first-hand the types of training programs and classes that could be available to them. For more information about the STEP program call 621-8222.
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