Showcase highlights area businesses |

Showcase highlights area businesses

by Amy Alonzo
The entire 'You're A Good Man Charlie Brown' cast was onhand at the Business Showcase Thursday. Look for their production this July.
Brad Coman |

It’s not often that Valley residents can sample local cuisine, visit with a dentist, taste chocolate and get banking and financial information all within a matter of minutes and for free, but Thursday’s Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase gave area residents that opportunity.

Around 90 local businesses and organizations showed off their goods at the 17th annual event, which attracted nearly 1,500 people to the Douglas County Community and Senior Center.

“It’s just a great bunch of businesses we didn’t even know were here,” said Darlene Zippwald of Minden as she tasted a sample of raspberry pomegranate frozen yogurt from Yogurt Beach. “We’ve eaten ourselves silly. It’s exceeded our expectations.”

Zippwald, along with her friend Cathryn Kottler of Minden, sampled food from other area eateries, including Flight Restaurant and Bar.

“We’re definitely going to go there,” Kottler said.

Sanchez Ranch Meat Co., one of Minden’s newer eateries, dished up free samples of shredded beef, pulled pork, Teriyaki beef jerky and jalapeno coleslaw and offered coupons and takeout menus.

“We wanted to showcase our products to the community. We’re a new business,” said manager Brooke Sullivan.

“And we love serving good food,” added chef Brian Sunkamaitis.

Chocolate Shoppe owner Lynn Falcone offered samples of chocolate-covered toffee to event attendees.

“We’re the Carson Valley Chamber business of the year, so of course we had to come,” she joked with a laugh. “It’s just great to come out and be among the other businesses and talk to people who’ve never been in our shop and make them smile with a piece of chocolate.”

On their way out of the showcase, Phil and Shirley Cortez of Minden juggled handfuls of chips and salsa, popcorn and lemonade.

In addition to sampling free food they’d run into their dentist and eye doctor and discovered a new type of heated flooring that interested them.

Next year “we’ll be back,” he said.

The event was streamed on the Carson Valley Chamber’s Facebook page, said Chamber Executive Director Bill Chernock. In addition, numerous prizes were raffled off, including a gas grill.

“Terrific turnout,” Chernock said. “The vendors have really stepped up — they have great stuff. Lots of connecting going on, which is the idea.”