Egg rolls to the left, pasta to the right, the smell of chicken wafting throughout while the music played.
That is what people experienced at the La Verne Chamber of Commerce’s annual Taste of La Verne on Tuesday.
The Sierra La Verne Country Club played host, and exhibited a Halloween/Fall theme.
The event cost $30 to get in and featured about 25 restaurants and live entertainment.
Items raffled and auctioned included gift baskets and a bracelet worth $1,000.
Participating restaurants gave out all-you-can-eat samples.
Restaurants on hand included Angels Place, Coco Palm, Garden Square, Hillcrest, Mi Ranchito, Norm’s Hangar, The Corner Butcher Shop, Saffron, Von’s, The Local Deli and Rubios.
“It’s our first time here at the country club, we used to have them over at the community center, but we outgrew it,” La Verne Chamber of Commerce President Brian McNerney said. “It’s great. We have music playing and more than 20 restaurants are sampling out their best foods while networking.”
Sinfully Sweet Apple Company, a first time participant in the event, recently opened in the shopping center at the corner of White Avenue and Foothill Boulevard.
“This is a great opportunity,” owner Martha Henderson said. “We just opened so now we get to show the community who we are and what we’ve got to offer.”
The annual outing is the biggest event the La Verne Chamber of Commerce holds each year.
“This event is great, the La Verne Chamber of Commerce is so supportive of businesses,” said sophomore political science major Ryan Taketom, who helped the Chamber with the event. “They see this as a way to help them out.”
“With this bad economy it’s especially important because people are trying to get the word out by showing their quality of foods and drinks,” he added.
“This is my first time here at this wonderful event and my business has been running for about nine months now, I feel it’s an excellent way to get the name out there,” Local Deli general manager Orlando Vengco said.
“I feel by doing this you gain so much market-wise because you don’t lose anything. It’s a way to gain customers, so it helps in the long run,” he added.
The Country Club provided the utensils, napkins and the businesses were able to participate at no cost.
“Anytime a business can get its name out there with no money involved, its an offer they like and must take,” Vengoco said.
Businesses were not only able to show some of their specialty foods, but they also got to go around and taste food from the different restaurants.
“I get to see the competition, taste their food and see where we can improve or in what way we are better,” Corner Butcher Shop executive chef Ricky Brewer said.
With the variety of restaurants, roughly 200 people were expected – double last years’ turnout.
“With the economy being how it is, many people are cutting out events, we decided to do the very opposite and make this an even bigger event” McNerney said.
Xenia Martinez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.