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Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce

Members of the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce (PJCC) joined The Whiskey Barrel for a one year anniversary ribbon cutting celebration on May 26. 

Located at 138 Main Street in Port Jefferson Village, the restaurant/whiskey bar offers whiskey, wine, tap beer and other spirits, and also feature a full menu. Now also open for brunch,  the menu includes Bourbon Peach Cobbler French Toast, Croque Monsieur and Dirty Potatoes. Additionally they won 1st place in last year’s chowder contest during the 2021 Port Jefferson Village Harvest Festival. 

The Whiskey Barrel is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. with brunch on weekends starting at 9:30 a.m. Takeout and delivery is also available. For more information, call 631-743-9418 or visit www.thewhiskeybarrelpj.com.

Tabu Ribbon Cutting. Photo from PJCC

The Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce (PJCC) held an official ribbon cutting for the only shoe store in Port Jefferson Village, Tabú Shoes, on May 12. 

Attendees, including PJCC President Joy Pipe (in pink sweater), family, friends and staff, were treated to “shoe” cookies and strawberries dipped in colored white chocolate with sparkles.

Located at 20 Chandler Square, the store offers a fine selection of footwear for men and women including sandals, heels, slippers, prom shoes, flip flops, and boots. Brands include Steve Madden, Free People, Soludos, Chinese Laundry, Vintage Havana and more.

Owner Kristine Hoffman (pictured with scissor with her husband Arnold and children John and Ava) also owns Tabu Boutique at 158 East Main Street which has a unique and eclectic collection of fine jewelry, women’s clothing and more. 

“Our Chamber is very pleased once again in having a boutique shoe store here in the Village. We wish owner Kristine Hoffman much success!” said Barbara Ransome, Director of Operations at the chamber.    

The store is open daily from 11 a.m to 6 p.m. For more information, call 631-642-7186.

Photo by Julianne Mosher

On Saturday, Oct. 23, the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce teamed up with local health care providers for their 12th annual Health and Wellness Fest. 

According to Barbara Ransome, director of operations with the chamber, the fair is usually held at Port Jefferson High School — but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was moved to a new venue, The Meadow Club, located at 1147 Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station. 

“We’re very happy to have the event after not having it for one year,” she added. “The new venue is working out great and it could be a new tradition for us.”

The purpose of the Port Jeff Health and Wellness Fest is to promote good health to all in the local areas of Port Jefferson by providing important information for all of one’s health and wellness needs. 

Ransome said that over 50 vendors participated this year, including Stony Brook Medicine, Catholic Health, Northwell Health, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists and other chamber partners.  

Stony Brook University students with Music and Medicine performed songs for visitors throughout the event. 

“I’m very pleased,” she said. 

Little ones who came with family members were able to trick-or-treat out of cars and received other goodies from the vendors, some who were in costume. 

The Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for the grand opening of The Brookport on Tuesday, Sept. 28. 

Located at 52 Barnum Avenue in Port Jefferson Village, the complex features 44 apartments (100% leased) and two retail stores, one of which will be Southdown Coffee. Located at the former site of Cappy Carpets, the mixed-use project by The Gitto Group has won the Vision Long Island Smart Growth Award and features amenities including a fitness center, parking garage and furnished rooftop.

A second ribbon cutting for the community was held on Wednesday, Sept. 29 and was attended by Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant, Brookhaven Town Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, Rob and Tony Gitto, Peter Capobianco of Cappy’s Carpets, and members of the community.

Visit www.tbrnewsmedia.com for more photos.

A ribbon cutting was given for Give Kids Hope on Sept. 23. Photo from PJCC

The Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for Give Kids Hope, Inc. on Thursday, Sept. 23. The new thrift store, located at 1506 Main Street in Port Jefferson, is an endeavor by owner Melissa Paulson (center holding scissors) to bring more resources to people struggling within the community. 

The celebration was attended by Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant, Village Trustee Bruce Miller, Deputy Mayor Kathianne Snaden; members of the chamber including President Mary Jo Pipe, 1st President Stuart Vincent and Director Douglas Quattrock; friends and family.

Created as a nonprofit to help provides assistance to less fortunate children and families on LongIsland, the storefront features housewares, antiques, furniture, etcc. with a food pantry in the back of the store. 

“We are so thankful for the warm welcome we received from our village,” said Paulson. “[And a] huge thank you to my amazing volunteers who have donated countless days and hours to make our mission possible. The love and generosity we receive from our donors and supporters is incredible. We are truly blessed beyond words.”

The thrift store is currently open Mondays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, please call 631-538-5287.

Photo by Julianne Mosher

For its seventh year, the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Port Jefferson Dragon Boat Race Festival this past weekend.

Full of color and culture, dragons danced around Mayor Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park on Saturday, Sept. 8 for a day full of fun festivities. 

Originally spearheaded by Barbara Ransome, director of operations at the chamber, she came up with the idea after she attended a dragon boat race festival in Cape May, New Jersey, a few years ago.

“We could not be more pleased that coming somewhat out of COVID we were able to successfully run a safe outdoor event with excellent participation and with wonderful weather,” Ransome said. 

Opening ceremonies began at the Jill Nees Russell Performance Stage at 8:30 a.m. and included a performance by the Asian Veterans Color Guard, singing of the national anthem by Alanna Wu, a Blessing of the Dragon and the traditional “Eye Dotting” ceremony to awaken the dragon.

“To have people come to Port Jefferson, to this beautiful park, and spend the day here is great,” said Stu Vincent, first vice president of the chamber.

This year’s event consisted of 17 racing teams with dragon boats provided by High Five Dragon Boat Co. The teams competed on a 250-meter, three-lane racing course in Port Jefferson Harbor, and were made up of 20 “paddlers,” one steersman and one drummer. 

Along with the races, the festival hosted several performances including the famous Lion Dance, Taiko and Korean Drum performances, martial arts demonstrations and Asian singing.

In the middle of the festival, teams also competed for best t-shirt, where The Moody Team won. 

Team NYCB took home the gold, while Vax NYC placed second and Extreme NY placed third.

Photo from Barbara Ransome

PSEG Long Island is continuing to help local downtowns — this time in Port Jefferson village. 

John Keating, manager of economic development with PSEGLI, said that the company began its Main Street Revitalization Program about two years ago with the goal to bring business back to local mom and pop shops. 

But because of the COVID-19 crisis last year, PSEGLI had seen an opportunity to help out during the changing times and now, nearly a year and a half later, they’re adding more ways to help small businesses.

“This year, it’s the same concept as far as the grants for the chambers of commerce,” Keating said. “The only real difference this year is that we added a new category for beautification, which has the effect of adding another $2,000 to each chamber.”

Last year, the outdoor commerce grants gave chamber and business improvement districts up to $5,000 to help purchase durable goods that support outdoor commerce.

“Mid-to-last year, it became very clear that outdoor dining and commerce was a real lifeline to small businesses who are struggling because of all the COVID restrictions,” Keating said. “So, we offered it as a way of helping individual businesses, but in a group setting.”

By offering it to the chambers, they could set up a centralized area for dining and shopping.

“It turns out to be very effective and was really appreciated by a lot of the participating chambers,” he said.

PSEGLI decided that for 2021 it would create an extra level to the grants. 

“We added the beautification piece of it,” Keating said. “So, anything else that they might have wanted to do, like landscaping or planters and things like that, they could do a separate application and be eligible for another $2,000 — a total of $7,000.”

Barbara Ransome, director of operations of the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, said that Melanie Gonzalez of Simple Good sent in the original request and idea to beautify Chandler Square. Shops like Sweet ’n’ Savory, The Spice & Tea Exchange, The Soap Box, Port Jefferson Ice Cream Café, Hannaford Studios and Simple Good are now surrounded by delicate canopies of hanging lights, while flowers to be planted throughout the square. 

Roughly 90 percent of the Long Island economy comes from small businesses, so the pandemic caused stress for the smaller shops. Keating said that between 2020-21, PSEGLI has provided about 36 chamber of commerce grants — some $80,000 in total. While the beautification grant is relatively new, there are six preapproved, including Port Jeff. 

“It’s just been amazing to us how positive it is when the community can get together in a place that they didn’t have before,” Keating said. “Now, that is a nice place with tables and chairs, patio heaters and some nice lighting. It really has helped bring the community together.”

Keating added that while these grants are just for chambers and BIDs, there are other grants that individual businesses can apply for. Details are available online.

Earring Tabu ribbon cutting. Photo from PJCC

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for the new owners of Earring Tabú, Kristen Hoffman and business partner Louis Antoniou, on June 10. 

Located at 158 E. Main Street in Port Jefferson, the boutique, which was founded in 1989, offers eclectic handcrafted jewelry, accessories, clothing and home goods from local and worldwide artisans. 

 Pictured from left, Earring Tabú employee Juyu Jensen; Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn; chamber secretary Nancy Bradley; Arnold Hoffman; owner Kristen Hoffman; chamber president Joy Pipe; Port Jefferson Trustee Rebecca Kassay; chamber member Marianne Hennigar;  and chamber 1st VP Stu Vincent. Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich was unable to attend, but sent a proclamation.

Spring hours of operation are Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 631-928-7113 or visit www.earringtabu.com.

Photo from PJCC

It’s time to spice things up! The Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for The Spice & Tea Exchange on April 15. New owners Rose and Robert Rodriguez received proclamations from Legislator Kara Hahn and Brookhaven Town Councilman Jonathan Kornreich who wished them well in their new venture.

Located at 22 Chandler Square, 106 West Broadway, in the village, the franchise offers 140 spices, 85 exclusive hand-mixed blends, over 40 exotic teas, naturally-flavored sugars, salts, gourmet gifts and accessories and a tea bar serving dozens of hot and iced teas.

Pictured in the front row, from left, chamber directors Rose and Robert Rodriguez and Suzanne Velazquez; owners Vinny and Loretta Criscuoli; and chamber president Joy Pipe; back row, Kelly Mayhew from The Spice & Tea Exchange’s corporate offices.

The shop is open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Curbside pickup is available. For more information, call 631-828-4445 or visit www.spiceandtea.com/port-jefferson.

The team behind Icon Cares Inc. at their Hope Hops Around LI fundraiser in Stony Brook on March 25. Photo by Julianne Mosher

A local business wanted to give back, and through fundraising was able to make children at Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York, based in Wading River, smile for Easter. 

Raquel Fernandez, owner of Icon Properties in Port Jefferson and member of the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, said that she always wanted to create a charity after opening her agency in 2004. 

But like everything in early 2020, COVID-19 halted their plans. 

In what was supposed to be their first fundraising event to create and donate Easter baskets to three nonprofits across Long Island, they had to postpone it. 

That didn’t stop Fernandez, she said. Right before the shutdown in March, she with her own children, brought over 300 baskets to Little Flower’s Wading River campus for kids ages 2 to 14.

“It was such a great feeling,” she said. “This was the last thing we were approved to do before nothing was allowed in. It gave a sense of normalcy.”

Fernandez said she wasn’t going to let the continuing pandemic stop her from helping again this year. 

Icon Cares Inc. — the charitable part of Icon Properties, and a 501c3 nonprofit — was able to fundraise a bit with its second annual Hope Hops Around LI Campaign, that included hosting an event at Stony Brook’s The Bench on March 25. 

The four-hour event sold out, Fernandez said, which had a guest list of 70 people. All the funds gathered were donated to Little Flower.

“We’re just trying to do something good,” she said. “It feels good to help out.”

Icon Cares joined by the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Julianne Mosher

During the event, there was a 50/50 draw, a silent basket auction and The Bench donated a portion of the proceeds when supporters bought The Blue Bunny — a specialty drink created for the event made of Stoli blueberry vodka, soda, lemonade and blue Curaçao liqueur.

“We’re really excited and hope this event becomes a staple,” Fernandez said.Her fundraising efforts raised more than $1,600.

Right before the event, 100 baskets were created and dropped off at Little Flower, which Taressa Harry, Little Flower’s director of communications, said would be gifted to the kids on Easter morning.

“Last year they reached out to us and we were really happy,” she said. “We love getting support especially when it’s from our local community.”

Little Flower is a 90-year-old nonprofit organization founded originally in Brooklyn, with its main campus in Wading River. 

According to its website, the group has been committed to improving the lives and well-being of children by providing foster boarding home care, residential treatment care and, where appropriate, adoption. Their work focuses on strengthening the family so that they can provide a safe nurturing environment for raising children and to overcome a myriad of obstacles that threaten a child’s safety.

Harry said that donations like Icon Cares baskets goes a long way. 

Kids at Little Flower in Wading River receiving their Easter baskets last year. Photo from Little Flower

“The kids love any special treat they can get,” she said. “It shows them that there really are people who are pushing for them and cheering them on. It makes their day a little brighter, especially during the holidays where they can’t be home.”

Fernandez said the fundraising this year was a success and she looks forward to her next donation. 

“We’re grateful to God that we can do something that helps out others,” she said.