May 22, 2023

Area chambers of commerce hold mixer at The Lot at Tomatoes

From left, Margate Business Association Executive Director Anna Maria Blescia, Brigantine Chamber of Commerce President Maria Sacco Handle, MBA President Ed Berger, Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce President Michael Chait, Ventnor Business Association President Brenda Dowd and Somers Point Business Association President Chuck Wescott.


MARGATE – Members of area chambers of commerce and business associations gathered at The Lot at Tomatoes Restaurant Tuesday evening to mingle, meet and collaborate.

It was the second mixer held by the Affiliated Business Association of Atlantic County. The first one was held in March at Josie Kelly's Pub in Somers Point. Each association member will host mixers in the coming months.

The affiliation was started by Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce President Michael Chait, who said there are important issues coming up that need to be discussed among the business community.

Margate Business Association President Ed Berger hosted the gathering with the goal of collaborating with other business associations on initiatives important to the region. One of those initiatives is creating a unified calendar that will eliminate competing events on the same day.

The associations present included the MBA, Ventnor Business Association, Somers Point Business Association, Somers Point Business Association, Brigantine Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce. Berger said the group has reached out to the business community in Northfield to join the collaboration.

Bruce Peskoe of Margate, a member of the Atlantic City chamber who won a door prize – a gift certificate to Margate Dairy Bar and Burger – said attending mixers is beneficial to his insurance business.

"I always make at least one contact, either a sale or a purchase, at these mixers," he said.

He said he is considering switching a much-needed service from a national chain to the local vendor he met at the mixer.

"I always prefer to use businesses owned by local people," he said.

Ruth and Chip Berdinis of Egg Harbor Township, who joined the Atlantic City chamber, were attending their first mixer for the new business they started on April 1 – DonutNV, a donut food truck that goes out to celebrations, food truck festivals and corporate events.

"We’re hitting everywhere pretty hard trying to get our product out there," Chip Berdinis said. "We are doing public and private events. We already had a good contact list because we were previously event planners."

Ruth Berdinis said the night was beneficial because of the contacts made with other businesses, including a pest control company.

"We will work with them to make sure our products are clean and our food safe," she said.

MBA Executive Director Anna Maria Blescia-Coutier, who was instrumental in getting the affiliated association off the ground over the last two years, organized and planned the mixer, which included delicious food items passed around by the waitstaff, and a cash bar.

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