Taste of Pike: a community affair

Published 10:31 pm Thursday, March 4, 2010

When there’s a room full of BBQ pork sandwiches, meatballs, peanut-clustered candies, muffins and chocolate chip cookies, some might call it the ‘taste of Pike County.’

More likely, they’d just call it a room full of good food.

“Good food and good business” — that’s more like the way people might describe Pike County’s taste.

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“It really does show the strength of our community,” said Jenniffer Barner, president of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, of the chamber-hosted “Taste of Pike County” event Thursday night.

With 63 vendors from county businesses and organizations, community members flocked to the Pike County Cattleman’s building Thursday for the annual event.

From bankers to health care facilities to members of the retail community, business owners showcased their trades, and some used a tasty treat to lure folks in.

There were things like lemonade and popcorn at the city of Troy’s “first place Best of Show” booth or peanut clusters at the Troy Bank & Trust table.

But it didn’t necessarily take these table snacks to draw in the crowds.

“It’s fellowship and the community,” said Liz McGrath, chamber’s community development director. “It’s getting to see our members we don’t see on a regular basis. It’s a good way to raise money and to have networking opportunities for each other.”

Ernie Capozzoli said the fellowship is just what brings he and his wife out to the event.

“We support a lot of the community’s events,” Capozzoli said. “It’s good to get out and see everyone out here.”

“And, we’ve done just that,” his wife Beverly said, as the two prepared to leave for the night, with full stomachs and hands full of take-home goodies.

For some businesses, the event was a first-time affair.

“It’s just great to get out and meet the people,” said Beverly Clark, manager of Anytime Fitness. “It’s been wonderful. It’s a great experience to get to know the people.”

Donna Railey, with the Courtyard Marriott hotel, said the event was a good opportunity to showcase the business’ restaurant.

“We’re still trying to get the word out about the restaurant part of the hotel. It’s open to the public,” Railey said.

Other businesses are no stranger to the Taste of Pike County.

“We enjoy having the opportunity to interact with the residents of Pike County and share useful, health-related information,” said Karen Herring, marketing director for Troy Regional Medical Center, which has been on display at the event for at least the last seven years. “Every year we come it gets better and better.”