La Mesa Chamber stages third annual Summer Bash Business Expo highlighting its members

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The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce demonstrated how to happily combine business work with sunny relaxation at the organization’s third annual Summer Bash Business Expo on Thursday, August 11. The evening event brought together representatives of 44 member enterprises at the La Mesa Community Center for conviviality and networking opportunities, showcasing them for a full house of attendees. Vendors hosting event tables included companies offering financial services, household services, and a variety of personal health and fitness services.

The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce demonstrated how to happily combine business work with sunny relaxation at the organization’s third annual Summer Bash Business Expo on Thursday, August 11. The evening event brought together representatives of 44 member enterprises at the La Mesa Community Center for conviviality and networking opportunities, showcasing them for a full house of attendees. Vendors hosting event tables included companies offering financial services, household services, and a variety of personal health and fitness services.

Mary England, president and CEO of the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, noted that her organization is “small but mighty,” started “from scratch” in 2008 and now thriving in business support endeavors. “We are very pleased with the turnout,” England observed as the evening’s mixer was wrapping up.

“I am humbled at the response,” she said. “Our East County businesses are our most valuable asset, we love what we do, and the La Mesa community support for our Chamber businesses is testament that we are accomplishing our mission.”

Businesses that have recently joined the group and longtime members both attest to that. Jim Butcher is co-owner of AAA Imaging in Lemon Grove, and his business has belonged to the La Mesa Chamber for four or five years.

“I’ve known Mary for quite awhile. She is a great lady who really gets things done,” Butcher said. “This organization and these events are effective, for the exposure you get,” he continued. He noted further that he is serving on the Chamber Board, saying, “It’s nice to help new businesses get off the ground, to get small businesses out in public.”

Jordi Capdet, owner of Happy Paws Grooming, signed up as a Chamber member a few months ago for his new, three-month-old pet services company, which specializes in grooming “difficult dogs.” Capdet and his wife, Yuki, are currently the sole employees in his business, but he is looking forward toward future expansion.

“We pride ourselves on providing quality, the best service we can offer, and we are planning to grow,” Capdet said. “We want to create a wonderful, loving atmosphere for dogs, to build this kind of company, where we make our customers, our employees and the pets very happy.”

Cucina Basilico was among the 14 restaurants serving up samples of their menu fare, as another new member of the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce. Danilo DeCorato and his sister, Sara Panzere described the family business, which opened its second location in La Mesa six months ago. Danilo and Sara’s husband, Stefano, prepare the “homemade pasta and traditional recipes from northern Italy, with everything made from scratch using genuine ingredients.” The other principal in the business is Danilo’s wife, Francesca.

“The Chamber is great at organizing around events like this,” DeCorato said. “La Mesa is a small community, we know each other, and we support each other.” He has lived in La Mesa for 10 years, and his sister and her husband moved into the community a year ago. “We enjoy this second location for the convenience, where we live close to our business, and we know the community is happy with us as a new restaurant in business. The Chamber of Commerce events like this one give us good exposure to people who don’t know about us yet.”

Gil Lopez was also present, introducing his recently minted multilevel marketing health firm WIN Worldwide, offering a super-food drink powder called Daily Lift. The powdered dietary supplement comes in “Cool Mint” and “Mixed Berry” flavors and can be mixed in water or other beverages. Lopez is founding brand partner in this nutritional business, which he started at the beginning of the year.

“This is an amazing company,” Lopez said. “We have the opportunity to help people, helping them achieve health and wealth. This nutritional drink makes you feel good. And the Chamber has been great in helping us grow this business, getting the product out to the community. We’ve gained clients and customers. I love the Chamber. It’s an amazing organization that develops great business camaraderie.”

Barnes & Noble Booksellers were there for the first time too, with Mary Meier, community business development manager, representing the La Mesa bookstore.

“We joined the Chamber two months ago,” Meier said. “Our goal is to become East County’s bookstore, a community center for the area.” She said that business mixers are important for the bookseller’s model, because the store offers corporate discounts and delivery services to other businesses.

More information about the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, membership opportunities in the group, as well as the organization’s upcoming events, can be found at www.lamesachamber.com.

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