Tags Posts tagged with "Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce"

Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce

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From left to right across the top, Rich Klefsky, the senior vp of retail and banking for SFCU, Micah Schlendore, the assistant vp for retail member experience at SFCU, John Urbinati, the owner of Fifth Season; bottom row, left to right, Mayor Margot Garant, Community Outreach Manager for St. Charles Hospital John Perkins, SFCU President Ralph Spencer, Port Jeff chamber president Mary Joy Pipe, BID President Roger Rutherford, Manager of the Steam Room Vincent Seiter. Photo by Kyle Barr

With close to $9,000 raised online, the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District and chamber’s program to donate food to hospitals just got another big boost in funds.

On April 14, Suffolk Federal Credit Union donated a $7,500 check to the BIDand Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce’s program that takes food made by local restaurants to the two hospitals in Port Jeff, St. Charles and Mather.

The funds come on top of another $5,000 check donated last week by Teachers Federal Credit Union. The program’s Gofundme, which can be found at gofundme.com/f/help-port-jeff-restaurants-feed-hospital-workers, has so far raised just over $8,500 as well.

The program is twofold —one helps restaurants stay active and keep staff on payroll, and other is aiding the hospital workers who are burdened under the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

“We were trying to coordinate this ourselves, but we were ecstatic when we found out the chamber was doing something, so it worked out very well.” said SCFU President Ralph Spencer.

Mary Joy Pipe, the president of the chamber, said she was “thankful for your participation and community involvement,” of SCFU, calling the credit, which has an office at St. Charles, a good partner to the business community.

Participating restaurants include Slurp Ramen, Nantuckets, Prohibition Kitchen, Wave Seafood & Steak, Pasta Pasta, The Steam Room, Fifth Season, C’est Cheese, SaGhar, The Pie, PJ Lobster House and Salsa Salsa.

Photo from PJCC

RIBBON CUTTING

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for Knitting Cove & Yarn’s new location in the Pen and Pencil Building at 1303 Main St., Suite D, in Port Jefferson on Nov. 21. The shop offers classes in knitting and crocheting for all skill levels and has needles, knitting supplies, notions and yarn for sale. 

New holiday hours through Dec. 23 are Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. 

Pictured from left, James Tavernese, Greater Port Jefferson Chamber President Mary Joy Pipe, owners Toni and Barry Burns, Terry Stephan and Greater Port Jefferson Chamber Director Nancy Bradley. 

For more information, call 631-473-2121 or visit www.theknittingcove.com.

Photo from PJCC

RIBBON CUTTING

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting and grand opening for Hair, Lash, & Brow Bar, located at 138 East Main St., Port Jefferson, on Nov. 9. The storefront was previously North Shore Interiors.

The salon joins the already existing Hair, Lash, & Brow Loft at 120 E. Main St. Both businesses specialize in natural looking permanent makeup, scalp micropigmentation along with lash extensions, lifts and tinting. The expansion offers a larger facility to provide services for wedding and special occasion events.

Hours for the Hair, Lash & Brow Bar are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The salon is closed on Sundays and Mondays. For further information, please call 631-509-5944.

Pictured by bow, from left, owners Thomas Marr and Nancy Piazza (holding scissor) and Port Jefferson Chamber President Joy Pipe surrounded by family, staff and friends.

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Members of Building Bridges in Brookhaven join Port Jefferson officials in dedicating the new peace pole in Rocketship Park. Photos by Kyle Barr

An 11-foot wood pole installed inside the fence of Rocketship Park in Port Jefferson is looking for residents to stop and think about how peace may prevail around the globe. 

Members of Building Bridges in Brookhaven join Port Jefferson officials in dedicating the new peace pole in Rocketship Park. Photos by Kyle Barr

The civic group Building Bridges in Brookhaven gathered together with Port Jeff village officials Nov. 19 to dedicate the new pole. On it reads “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in 10 different languages, including sign language and Braille. Art depicts small handprints and flowers, courtesy of Setauket resident and artist Maryanne Hart, also of the North Shore Peace Group. 

Community activist group Building Bridges in Brookhaven got themselves behind the project and after buying a 16-foot length of cedar from Riverhead Lumber they cut it down to 11 feet, where now 3 feet is in the ground.

Reverend Gregory Leonard of the Bethel AME Church spoke to those congregated to unveil the pole. The pole features a solar-powered light at the top, and the reverend led those there to dedicate the pole in singing “This Little Light of Mine.”

“The elements of peace are many, but I think it’s important to think of how we treat one another, how we are humble toward one another,” he said. “Of all the things, communication is so important — being able to talk to one another.”

Mayor Margot Garant said she had met with civic leaders Tom Lyon, Myrna Gordon and the director of operations for the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Barbara Ransome. Once she was told it was a peace pole, the mayor said she didn’t ask any other questions but “when and where.”

“We really wanted to make a message about providing peace,” Gordon said. 

Lyon said the idea for the polls came to the group from The Peace Pole Project in Wassaic upstate, who are working to put up peace poles all over the globe.

“This should be visible — out where kids are going to see it, children are going to grow up talking about the peace pole and talking about the park,” Lyon said.

The pole is one of more than 250,000 in more than 200 countries. Each one is inscribed with the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in hundreds of languages. The project began in 1955 with Japanese peace activist Masakisa Goi, and Ransome said they’re looking to spread his message into today.

Building Bridges was formed almost four years ago and host the MLK Community Festival yearly at the Setauket Presbyterian Church.

Lyon said this could be just the start of what could end as a project covering the whole of Long Island. He said his group, working alongside local Rotary organizations and Pax Christi could set a goal by the end of 2020 to plant 100 peace poles across the Island, whether in churches or in playgrounds such as Port Jeff’s Rocketship Park. 

This year’s event will feature samplings from Danford’s WAVE Seafood & Steak. Photo from PJCC

It’s back! The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosts its 12th annual  The Taste @ Port Jefferson at the Village Center, 101-A E. Broadway, Port Jefferson overlooking Harborfront Park and the harbor on Thursday, Oct. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. 

In celebration, the chamber has reached out to the greater Port Jefferson restaurant community and will highlight over 30 restaurants and purveyors offering top-quality food tastings and desserts as well as samples of wines and beers. The event will feature musical entertainment by the Denice Given Band, a local favorite performing swing, standards, Latin, disco, top 40, pop, rock, R&B, Motown, reggae, country and everything in between.

This year’s event will feature samplings from Kilwins. Photo from PJCC

New this year is a 20- by 40-foot beer tent featuring Po’Boy Brewery, PJ Brewing Co., Montauk Brewing Co. and Blue Point Brewing Co. and a LI Cuban Cigar and Bourbon Experience mobile lounge — a 25-foot trailer with a master server catering to each guest, cutting each cigar, while artfully speaking to each flavor of bourbon. 

Adding to the ambiance for the evening Kunz Greenhouses will be suppling table arrangements for the special VIP dinning lounge and Organically Green Horticultural Services will be providing planters and horticulture to welcome attenders into the event.

Participating businesses also include Barito Taco & Cocktails; Fratelli’s Bagel Express; Costco; Dos MexiCuban Cantina; Due Baci; Fifth Season; Kilwins; Flying Pig Cafe; La Bonne Boulangerie Bakery; Local’s Cafe; Lucky Lou’s Gourmet Rice Pudding; Nantuckets; Roger’s Frigate; Pasta, Pasta; Port Jeff Lobster House; Port Jeff Bistro & Pub; Prohibition Kitchen; Slurp Ramen; Starbucks; The Steam Room; Tuscany Gourmet Market, Top Shelf Trading Corp; Uncle Giuseppe’s; The Waterview at Port Jefferson Country Club; Danford’s WAVE Seafood & Steak; and Zorba the Greek.

Sponsors this year include St. Charles Hospital, SERVPRO of Port Jefferson, TBR News Media, BNB Bank, Blue Point Brewing Co. and DiCarlo Food Service.

Transportation will also be provided for those who don’t want to be bothered in finding a parking spot. A shuttle will make continuous loops from the northeast corner of Belle Terre Road and Myrtle Avenue to the Port Jefferson Village Center. Cars may park in this large and well-lit parking lot and have a quick ride to the event. You can text our Port Passport shuttle at 516-939-8960 to obtain a ride. 

Save your appetite as there will be samplings in abundance and TASTE the local fine cuisine, wines and beers.  

Tickets are available on line through Eventbrite: $50 per person for general admission entrance at 7 p.m. and $75 for VIP guests at 6 p.m., which includes early access by one hour and exclusive third-floor water view VIP lounge. This is an adult evening so guests must be 21 and over. For more detailed information call the chamber office at 631-473-1414 or visit www.thetasteatportjefferson.com.

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for the village’s latest restaurant, Due Baci (Two Kisses), on Sept. 25.

From left, owners Patrick and Maria Aubry, Maria’s father Joseph Cuffaro, and Councilwoman Valerie Cartright; back row, from left, sons Yannick and Nicolas with a proclamation from the Town of Brookhaven

Owners Patrick and Maria Aubry were joined by family, friends, staff, Mayor Margot Garant, Councilwoman Valerie Cartright and members of the chamber to celebrate the momentous occasion.

“On behalf of the chamber we welcome both Maria and Patrick to our restaurant community, our business community. Best of luck and congratulations,” said chamber president Joy Pipe.

“I’m one of your biggest fans … and wish you lots of success,” said Mayor Garant. Councilwoman Cartright presented the Aubrys with a proclamation from the Town of Brookhaven and also wished them well before the ribbon was cut.

Located at 154 West Broadway, the family-run restaurant offers southern Italian cuisine in a fine dining experience overlooking Port Jefferson Harbor. Open for lunch and dinner, hours are 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. The restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information, call 631-377-5111.

Photos by Heidi Sutton

Panelist discuss race and its relationship to the businesses in the Village of Port Jefferson. Photo from Barbara Ransome
the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted Stony Brook University at Due Baci Italian Restaurant for a panel and discussion about race and its relationship to the businesses in the Village of Port Jefferson. Photos from Barbara Ransome

Back in May, a Stony Brook University alumnus was restricted from entering the Port Jefferson bar and restaurant Harbor Grill for wearing what the bouncer had, at the time, thought was some kind of gang paraphernalia. The person in question, Gurvinder Grewal, was in fact wearing a turban, headwear of religious importance among those who practice Sikhism. Telling the bouncer this, he was restricted anyway.

Nearly four months later, on Sept. 24, the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted Stony Brook University at Due Baci Italian Restaurant for a panel and discussion about race and its relationship to the businesses in the Village of Port Jefferson.

The event was moderated by Jarvis Watson, the chief diversity officer at SBU. Panelists included Robbye Kinkade, clinical professor in the School of Health Technology and Management; Chris Tanaka, assistant director of LGBTQ Services; Shaheer Khan, president of the undergraduate student government; and Yamilex Taveras, a political science senior and president of the Latin American Student Organization.

University officials said the framework for the discussion was centered around running a business near a diverse public university.

“We have a diverse population on campus, and we wanted to give the Chamber members a sense of who might be walking through their doors,” said Judy Greiman, the chief deputy to the president at SBU, said in a release. “It’s important for these shops to understand that differences exist, that we have buying power and that we all want to feel welcome,”

The panel walked through changing demographics at the university. Slides presented to the businesses documented that while the number of fall enrollment has steadily increased since 2012, the campus has become increasingly diverse.

Those on the panel relayed their own experiences shopping in Port Jeff. Kinkade spoke of  how, several years ago, she walked into a shop and was profiled. While there were several other customers in the store shopping around, she said an employee came up to her asking if she needed help, then continued to follow her around the entire time she was there. She noticed none of the white customers were getting the same treatment. While that shop has since closed,  she, a person of color, said she largely stopped shopping in Port Jeff after that experience. 

With the positive reception of the panel, she said she may intend to shop more in the village.

“I have nothing but the utmost praise for those folks, the members who attended,” added Kinkade. “I think for the chamber of commerce to want to come together and talk about this issue, is kudos to them. It was a bold, brave step.”

Joan Dickinson, the SBU community relations director, and Barbara Ransome, the director of operations for the chamber, had communicated together after the May incident. Ransome said they were looking for a way to present to local businesses on how to be more inclusive. They decided on a panel presentation including several officers and students from the university. Around 40 people, mostly Port Jeff business owners, came for the presentation.

The chamber director said the meeting was one of the most well received she’s had in her years at the chamber.

“The direct feedback that I was getting from people there was amazing — they felt there was so much information, with such sincerity and such genuine sharing,” she said. “They felt comfortable enough they were speaking because they felt they were in a safe space.”

This comes as Stony Brook and Port Jefferson are becoming steadily more intertwined. A PJ/SBU shuttle was first piloted last spring semester with a total ridership several thousand students coming into Port Jeff in its two-and-a-half-month tenure. Ransome called Stony Brook an increasingly vital partner with the village with the number of students who come down to eat and shop. She added this has been a change from previous years.

The SBU officials said those Port Jefferson businesses trying to be more welcoming to all walks of life should look toward examining dress code policies, revise their mission statements and hiring practices toward being more inclusive, and even look to include gender neutral bathrooms. 

Yet, even the smallest gesture makes a big difference. Panelists suggested simply posting a notice in front of the shop that all people are welcome, that those who enter don’t have to fear being profiled, can go a long way.

“It’s important that we need to be inclusive to all potential customers,” Ransome said. “One of the most important things I thought is we need to help educate and we need to examine our best business practices, so we can continue at our optimal level of service to our community.”

This post was updated Oct. 4 to amend Dickinson’s title as well as add context to several quotes in the original article.

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Photo by PJCC

RIBBON CUTTING

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for Port Bistro and Pub on Aug. 27. Owners Christine and Bob Nyholm cut the ribbon surrounded by members of the chamber, Port Jefferson Village Mayor Margot Garant, family, staff and friends.

Located at 201A Main St. in Port Jefferson, the restaurant is located next to Starbucks in the space previously occupied by Brewology.

According to its website, the family-friendly restaurant offers classic dishes and specializes in old world authentic foods and recipes. Port Bistro and Pub also offers catering for parties and other special events.

Hours are Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. For more information, call 631-828-2550 or visit www.portbistroandpub.com.

Photo by Heidi Sutton

RIBBON CUTTING

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for The East End Shirt Company, 3 Mill Creek Road, Port Jefferson in celebration of its 40th anniversary on Aug. 16. Family, friends, staff, customers and chamber members were present for the momentous occasion.

GPJCC First VP Stuart Vincent presented owner Mary Joy Pipe with a plaque in honor of “East End Shirt Company’s outstanding contributions and commitment to the Incorporated Village of Port Jefferson and the business community.”

On behalf of the Village of Port Jefferson and Mayor Margot Garant, Trustee Kathianne Snaden presented Pipe with a proclamation that described her as a loyal, dedicated, hardworking merchant partner who has been a member of the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce for many years as well as an active participant of the Port Jefferson Retailers Association and is always serving the greater good of the community.

“We are very proud to have you as part of our village and here’s to 40 more,” said Snaden. The celebration continued on Aug. 17 with a block party along Mill Creek Road featuring games, music, face painting and a car show by the Long Island Volkswagen Club.

For more information, call 631-473-2093 or visit www.eastendco.com.

Melissa and Doug Bernstein, right, take a stroll across Port Jefferson for a company retreat aided by the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Kyle Barr

More than 400 employees from the Connecticut-based toy company Melissa & Doug descended from the Port Jefferson ferry July 25.

Director of Operations for the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Barbara Ransome said the toy company contacted them about coming to Port Jeff for a company retreat. The chamber rolled out the red carpet, putting up signs welcoming them to the village while some local businesses welcomed them with signs to encourage them to patronize their shops.

Melissa and Doug Bernstein, the founders of the company, were glowing as they walked down the streets of the village. 

“We look at it all the time across the sound,” said Doug Bernstein. “We know how charming this town is.” 

They had previously visited Port Jefferson several times before, but were surprised that many of their employees had never been across the Long Island Sound to visit the small village across the way.

“Coming over I asked everyone who I was meeting: Have you been here recently,” Melissa Bernstein said. “Almost everyone on the boat said we hadn’t done this before,”

The Port Jefferson chamber, along with business groups in Bridgeport across the Sound, are looking to find ways to bridge that disconnect. 

The Bridgeport to Port Jefferson ferry company is looking to work with chambers on both sides of the Sound. Photo by Kyle Barr

“Certainly, we have enough to do for a day’s visit,” Ransome said. 

Jeff Bishop, the business development manager for the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, said he has long felt a connection to Port Jefferson and Long Island as a whole, even though he was born and raised in the Connecticut city across the pond.

“It makes complete sense to connect the two economically, as much as we can,” he said. “It seems like a no-brainer to me.” 

The Bridgeport area has a few new projects underway, including a seasonal amphitheater, along with new restaurants and breweries that complement a growing downtown. This has business leaders excited. 

Ransome said the point is to encourage people to shop in local businesses without coming with their cars and using up the village’s valuable parking spaces.

Fred Hall, the vice president and general manager of the ferry company that sails between the two locations, said that in the earlier parts of the 20th century, Bridgeport was the more “happening” town, but that started to change in the late ʼ60s and early ʼ70s, as Bridgeport’s thriving industries collapsed. 

Currently, well over 200,000 people make the trip from Bridgeport to Port Jeff, Hall said, but much fewer take the trek in the opposite direction. Hall said he blames himself in part for not emphasizing day travel from Port Jeff to Connecticut’s coastal city.

“Quite frankly, I don’t think I have done a good enough job in encouraging people to go to Bridgeport,” he said. “I think there are wonderful things about it.”

Ransome and Hall invited Bishop and other economic and local leaders from Bridgeport to tour Port Jeff July 19 and help get a layout of what Port Jeff offers to day-trippers coming from Connecticut. Ransome and Bishop said plans are for Port Jeff chamber members to visit Bridgeport sometime in September to lay out what possible opportunities they may have. 

After that, Hall said, the next step is to lay out a number of travel and discount packages for people taking day trips to either area when taking the ferry. 

Hall said he already has a tour department within the ferry company that can handle most of those arrangements.

Unlike much of Port Jefferson village, which is suitable to walking, Bridgeport’s attractions  often require transportation. The Beardsley Zoo, for example, is located approximately two miles from the ferry pier. One option is to use shuttle buses, of which Hall said his company already operates two on the Connecticut side. Business leaders might also promote overnight stays between each area.

Overall, Bishop said he finds there is a greater connection between the two towns than many people realize.

“I have gotten to know a lot of people who grew up on Long Island … I have had very similar upbringings and outlooks and way of viewing things as people who grew up on Long Island,” he said. “I think the communities are so closely linked together. It’s almost mindblowing to me.”