Chamber Offers Taste Of Winter For Sixth Annual Year
by James Coulter
They say you should eat your meal before having dessert. However, last Thursday evening, many attendees to the annual Taste of Winter Haven event decided to have dessert first. In fact, so many decided to grab themselves a sweet treat that, within the first hour, the dessert table hosted by Gourmet Goodies was nearly bare.
Carissa Hughes, owner of Gourmet Goodies, had brought with her various cookies, chocolate pretzels, French macaroons, and chocolate mousse cups. However, everything she brought had disappeared at the start of the event.
“We are very grateful for our community that continues to support us and we are grateful where people come by and want to do dessert first, which we sincerely think is a great philosophy,” Hughes said.
She has been attending Taste of Winter Haven for the past four years. She loves being able to share her signature gourmet goodies at the event, as well as socializing with family, friends, and customers.
“We always enjoy being part of the community and giving back,” she said. “I think that is a big part of being involved in the community. It is a good time for people to try different products.”
Hosted by the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, Taste of Winter Haven has been offering—well—a taste of Winter Haven for the past six years. Nearly two dozen local eateries, from Richard’s Fine Coffee to Ovation Bar and Grill, offered guests a diverse selection of local flavor.
The annual fundraiser raises proceeds for the Chamber’s many programs and services. The event had previously been hosted outdoors near the Chamber building, but over the past two years, it has been hosted at the scenic Venue 650.
“It is the perfect venue for us,” said Katie Worthington, Chamber President. “It is an opportunity for people in the public to be introduced to the different eateries that they might not even know about. People in Winter Haven like to eat and drink.”
This year did exceptionally well, with the event selling out and more than 500 people attending. Each year, the event sells out, and they hope to continue remaining as successful, if not more so, Worthington said.
The Catering Company of Central Florida was another eatery that attended that evening. They served appetizers such as pork rib sliders, tomato bisque and grilled cheese, and a cheese and meat sampler.
Christa Morgan, owner, has been attending the event ever since it first started. She appreciates how it has grown over the years, and she loves being able to meet different people there.
“This is our best event,” she said. “We love the fact that WH brings together 500 business proffesionals at one time.”