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Community gets taste of local eats

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Priscilla Applebee
Staff Writer

La Verne’s Chamber of Commerce celebrated 20 years of the Taste of La Verne at Brackett Airport Wednesday.

The hangar held over 30 participants and a DJ from Total Entertainment Experts. As guests arrived they were given a wine glass, food tray and the opportunity to purchase a helicopter ride provided by Hangar 21. 

Each vendor was a small business located in or close to La Verne, each showcasing special recipes, fan favorites or holiday themed treats.

“We do this to showcase the amazing restaurants in La Verne,” said Leah Skinner, executive director of La Verne Chamber of Commerce. “I love when someone comes across a new restaurant, that they have never had before, it’s their new favorite place.” 

This event provided places like Sol Flower, a new business to La Verne and to the Taste of La Verne, to showcase their various menu items.

“We have been in business for almost a year,” said co-owner of Sol Flower Cindy Lien. “So we can get customer feedback on the menu and change it up, it makes it fun.”

Heritage Baking had pies, candy corn cookies and much more spread across their table. 

Business owner Annie Fisher’s family started with a bakery in France and now their 100 year-old recipes are being baked for the community of La Verne.

“I love meeting new people, new customers,” said Anna Fisher, owner and baker of Heritage Baking. “Getting them to understand the difference between what’s freshly baked and has no preservatives than what’s in the grocery store.”

The Corner Butcher Shop, who has been participating for 10 years, had pulled pork sandwiches ready for attendees as they walked by their corner booth. 

“I think it’s important to be out in the community,” said John Fuelling, owner of The Corner Butcher Shop. “The community supports you, so you in turn should support the community.” 

Places like Mi Ranchito and Pappas Artisanal brought new or special food to event.

“We are always changing up the menu,” said Patricia Macias-Pena, manager of Mi Ranchito. “So we brought our chicken mole, the newest addition to our menu at Mi Ranchito in La Verne.”

Pappas Artisanal served food not usually on their menu like jambalaya. Their version of this New Orleans staple can only be found at special events.

The Bowl, which sells acai bowls, juices and smoothies, has been in for the La Verne for eight years.

“We been doing the Taste of La Verne for six years,” said Tammy Records, co-owner of The Bowl. “We love providing healthier snack options to the community we love.”

Taberna, a new downtown La Verne restaurant set to open in November, brought a preview of their sangria, seafood cocktail and smoked salmon dip.

“Taberna is tapas meet taverns,” said Melissa Fierro, a Taberna employee. “It will be small plates to share with everyone, especially since we will be having brunch.”

Some business owners expressed enjoyment of being able to talk on a personal level with the attendees.

“I get to come out to enjoy the food, enjoy the community, all while I work,” said Amanda Curtis, owner of Fourth Street Mill. 

Everyone, attendees and vendors, were entered in a raffle to win prizes like baked goods and wine baskets from the various vendors.

The Taste of La Verne gives many a chance to taste La Verne and meet many members of the community in one night.

“I’ve enjoyed the diversity,” said Shanice Eagles, senior rhetoric and communication major. “But everyone is welcome here, and it has been a great experience.”

Priscilla Applebee can be reached at priscilla.applebee@laverne.edu.

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