As we started planning this year’s One Bite Taste Event for the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce, the same theme kept popping up in our brainstorming session. It was the absolute success of the networking that occurred at last year’s event. Introductions were made, mutual interests were realized, partnerships were created. Like I’ve never seen in my 7.5 years at the Chamber.
What is it about our members that made this so naturally occur? I’ve said this for a while now, and it’s pretty simple. They’re here to see what they can give, not what they can get. They don’t come with a mindset of what’s in it for them, they’re genuinely interested in who they will meet and what they can learn. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. And it makes me so proud to be a part of this business community.
I’d like to share a story from that evening of a partnership that has grown and prospered over the past year with two of our member businesses. Lisa & Alan Frank, owners of Ermanno’s Pizza in North Canton, connected with Rudy Moyer, Master Gardener at GentleBrook Farms during the event. Lisa tells their story below:
“This was an opportunity that worked out the way all great things do—unexpected and at just the right time. We met Rudy Moyer at One Bite, an event through the Lake Chamber. As he talked excitedly about his parsley pesto (It’s seriously some good stuff!) and explained to us what he did and his connection with GentleBrook, we knew the stars had aligned, and we had met someone who was not only a master in his field, but had a true passion for making a difference through his work. We learned about GentleBrook and the delicious things they were planting and harvesting. This connection literally helped pave the direction we were heading. We wanted to source locally, support locally and work with others who were just as passionate in our business. This sums up Rudy and his GentleBrook horticulture team perfectly.
You almost just want to capture Rudy’s love for his horticulture team and his work in a photo. We can taste this local love and hardworking passion in the lettuce, basil, spinach and arugula that Rudy and his GentleBrook team grows and harvests for us. We are continuously collaborating with Rudy and his team on different, unique items for our pizzas and salads. Do you know how many different kinds of basil there are? Do you know that arugula just isn’t “arugula”? There are different kinds based on where you live? Have you ever tasted a Mexican Sour Gherkin or seen a tie-dyed tomato or nibbled on Swiss chard straight from the garden, bit into a ghost pepper (Now that will wake you up!)
After a morning with Rudy and his team, we felt like we had just traveled the world and took our palates on a wild ride. We use arugula, basil (Arat, Genovese, Thai and Purple Ruffles), cilantro, lettuce, spinach and a variety of dried herbs all year and seasonal items when available. But we are actively working with Rudy and discussing our needs for year-round produce. We are so excited about how much this beautiful partnership has blossomed in just one year and can’t wait to see how it evolves in years to come.
All this in just ONE BITE of Rudy’s parsley pesto? OK—we may have eaten way too much of that parsley pesto! But it was so worth it! In more ways than one. That’s why we will return to the One Bite event this year!”
For more information on Ermanno’s Pizza, go to www.ermannospizza.com (they are changing their name soon to SOL Pie Pizza) and GentleBrook, go to www.gentlebrook.org. Interested in attending or participating in the One Bite Taste Event? Call Christa Kozy at 330.877.5500 or visit Lake Chamber’s website.