April 21, 2017 // 10:50 AM

Annual Garden Spot Village Business Expo Creates Connections to Local Business Community

Written by Juanita Fox

On Thursday, April 20, the Village Square, Chapel and Main Street were bustling with local businesses, residents and future residents during the annual Garden Spot Village Business Expo.  Businesses participated by invitation-only and were hand-selected from the local community. The list for 2017 included local banks, chiropractors, dentists, retail stores, food providers and more.

Residents and future residents mingled with business representatives learning more about local services that apply to them. Garden Spot Village At Home, catering services, the marketing department and representatives for the cooperative living house also shared information.

Dorothy Cronin and Edna Leib, friends since first grade, enjoyed the festivities of the day. Cronin says, “It’s fun to be out and about and see everybody.” They enjoyed hot dogs, ice cream, popcorn and other food samples.

For them, the business expo was just one more way Garden Spot Village offers a unique and opportunity-filled living experience. Edna says, “We’ve been to many other places and they aren’t the same.”

Barbara Hoekstra echoes their comments, saying the expo was “a lot of fun.” She enjoys the “really nice vendors, very helpful [companies] and free food.”

Bill Seitzinger also enjoys the expo each year. Because he lives in New Holland, he knows most of the businesses, but was intrigued by Emma’s Gourmet Popcorn, on Hill Road in New Holland and hopes to take a road trip to see their retail store.

Emma’s Gourmet Popcorn was a popular stop for many residents. Suzanna Esh, founder Emma Fisher’s granddaughter, served at the table during the expo. She says they offer 50-60 flavors of popcorn. Chocolate peanut butter, sweet cheddar and caramel are the company’s most popular flavors. The most popular sample flavor for the expo? Salted caramel. Additional flavors can be found in Refresh.

Another popular stop was Lapp Valley Farms, with ice cream samples. Thelma Eberly says she enjoyed a delicious sample of raspberry ice cream.

Betty Ballasy appreciates that vendors do not pressure purchases during the event. She says, “It’s just about learning.” For her, the win of the day was the Rug Beaters table. She received a discount for signing up to have her carpets cleaned between now and October.

Future residents Larry and Gerry Douglas attended the Business Expo for the first time. Of the expo, Gerry says, “It’s well done and offers a wide variety of things.” She adds that it was good for people like her and Larry who live outside the area to see what services are available in the local community.

The energy surrounding the expo reflects the vibrancy of the community and the goal to provide abundant opportunities to live with purpose in community.