Fifth Annual Boyne Business Expo

The Fifth Annual Boyne Business Expo & Taste of Boyne is bigger than ever with at least 95 booths featuring the Petoskey Brewing Co. and Mackinaw Trail Winery in addition to assorted businesses from throughout the region.

Last year’s event saw well over 1,000 attendees and, with numerous gourmet tasting booths, interactive displays, games, prizes and drawings, organizers expect to well-exceed those numbers yet again.

“This is probably one of the best things we do for our member businesses,” said Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jim Baumann. “If you’re in a business locally you don’t have a thousand people walking by your door every day … but this is a way for businesses to show what they can do before a big crowd.”

Baumann said large booth spaces offer merchants and service providers to demonstrate their offerings as opposed to simply handing out brochures.

“Some people will show what they do with laptops and video or photos of their products,” said Baumann. “Some will give live demonstrations of their products and services. And, they will have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with people and answer questions.”

Baumann said, while the event is great for local businesses, it is also a lot of fun for visitors.

“People can mingle and talk with friends and there is a lot of good food and good information,” Baumann said. “People say they never knew we had this many businesses and this many different things in the community.”

Some of this year’s featured Taste of Boyne booths will be manned by the Boyne City High School Hospitality students, the new Barrel Back restaurant opening soon in Walloon Lake, Boyne Mountain restaurants, the newly named Porter Creek Fish House at Sommerset Pointe, Bella Vita, Spicy Bob’s Italian Express, Green Plate Catering, Glen’s Market, BC Pizza, Mackinaw Trail Winery and the Jordan Inn.

“The restaurants and caterers are some of the major attractions,” Baumann said. “Admission is $5, and you get to visit all the food booths.”

He added, “Solace Spa gives chair massages and the Humane Society brings animals that might be up for adoption; and many businesses offer drawings for prizes.”

Baumann said the entire community is invited to this growing event.

“If they’re attending for the first time, people are typically surprised because they’re going into the old Carter’s store, which has been abandoned for a few years. But we decorate the interior of the building to look like a convention center—it looks very professional,” Baumann said.

There is a free shuttle service to and from the parking lots at the Charlevoix County Road Commission and St. Matthew Church. The $5 admission is at the door and there will also be a cash bar.

Expo is from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday April 25 at the former Carter’s store 1315 Boyne Ave. M-75 South. More info at (231) 582-6222

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