The 35th annual Home and Business Expo was held this past week.
The annual event held at Bristol Eastern High School by the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce and Jenks Productions kicked off on Saturday.
“We’ve been so busy,” said chamber marketing irector Katie D’Agostino on Saturday. “We’re very pleased with the attendance. We always have a line out the door with attendees. Everybody comes right in at 11 a.m.”.
“It’s a good old fashioned local home show,” said D’Agostino. “Anything you could have for your home, your business. We have lots to offer everybody.”
Carmen Bezares was attending the expo for the first time. She said the event was good, and that she liked the food sold by the Exchange Club.
Bezares’s friend Beverly Murphy extended the invitation to attend the event. “I come every year. I get free bags, free stuff,” said Murphy.
Southington resident Paul Kay came to the expo with his wife Jeri. Former Bristol residents, the couple said they have been regular attendees the expo.
Richard Suprynowicz said he likes to look around, and that the event makes the community feel welcome.
Over 100 businesses were in attendance.
The Siding Guys, 189 Whiting St. were among those on-hand. Evan Bocompani, office manager, said the company tackles roofing, siding, windows, and gutters, as well as specialty projects such as decks and a bit of landscaping.“Anything that your exterior of your home will need,” said Bocompani, “we will get it done for you.”
Oma’s Pride of Avon, which has a distribution center in Bristol, was attending the expo for the first time.
“We service holistic veterinarians, and people who feed all-natural treats and food to their dogs,” said event manager Jan Adams. “It’s a family-owned business – fourth generation. They had a dog that had a lot of allergies, and so they started taking it off kibble, and putting it on an all-natural meat-based diet, which is the way dogs are supposed to eat, and all the allergies went away.”
“The people have been wonderful. We’re glad to be here in Bristol, and part of the community. This is something that we wanted to come and do to support the Bristol community,” said Adams.
The Bristol Exchange Club was on site to offer a menu for those looking to eat while browsing.
One booth, however, touted adult beverages.
Michelle Stanish, one of the co-owners of Connecticut Beer Tours, said that she and John Savage, her cousin and fellow co-owner, have been in business for the past four years.
“Our motto is if they’re pouring, we touring,” said Stanish, who explained the tours take passengers to distilleries, vineyards, and cideries, where they are able to not only sample the products, but they also get to learn about the brewing process and the brewers themselves.
Family owned Ridge Runner Soaps of Harwinton showed their soaps and other products, free of chemicals, at the home show.
“I became allergic to the commercial soap, and I started making it out of necessity,” said owner Reese Piper. “A lot of trial and error on myself, and my friends get tested a lot too. I found a couple things that work for me, and I expanded it from there. It’s all-natural stuff. I don’t sell anything I can’t use myself. Your skin is your largest organ, so you don’t want to put a lot of garbage on it.”
Jesse Jablon of the West End Association was representing Direct Advantage as well as selling the $5 tickets for the upcoming Taste of Bristol. The event, which is held by the association, begins next month.
“I always think it’s a great show (the expo),” said Jablon. “It’s a good turnout. It’s a great way to see a lot of different things. The chamber does a great job. I’m glad to be here.”
Taylor Murchison-Gallagher contributed to the story.
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Photos by JANELLE MORELLI