5th expo highlights home-grown products
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – A record number of vendors and visitors participated in Monmouth County’s fifth ‘Made in Monmouth’ (MIM) expo last Saturday. Approximately 240 county-based companies displayed their goods or services with more than 5,000 people sampling and purchasing. The event was held in the MAC at Monmouth University.
“I would like to thank all the vendors who displayed the quality products and services they provide and are based in Monmouth County,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “After five events, the ‘Made in Monmouth’ program is still growing and is a huge success. This year, the number of merchants increased more than 50 percent since last year. Everyone enjoyed the day whether they were buying or selling. Companies had a unique opportunity to market what they provide and I am glad they see the value in our ‘Made in Monmouth’ expo.”
Products showcased at the expo included jewelry, furniture, flowers, wine, natural foods, books, handmade glass, cosmetics, flags, chocolates, tea, woodwork and much more - all made in Monmouth County.
“This event is a chance to promote our local economy which gives businesses the incentive to keep expanding and creating jobs,” explained Arnone. “’Made in Monmouth’ is a perfect setting that builds awareness of the excellent products offered by companies in this County.
“If you are interested in shopping locally, be sure to download the MIM directory,” said Arnone. “All of the vendors are listed along with product descriptions, photos and contact information.”
The link to the directory is https://co.monmouth.nj.us/page.aspx?ID=3979.
The expo attracted vendors who have participated since its inception and those exhibiting for the first time.
John Hamm, owner of Hamm’s Art Studio in Neptune, was back for his third expo. “I love the concept. It creates a feeling of community,” commented Hamm. “There is nothing like this in the state. The County does a great job putting on this event.”
Chocolate Sage proprietor Donna Harrison displayed her products for the first time at Made in Monmouth after starting her business last fall. “This is an opportunity to get name recognition and exposure,” said Harrison, who operates a store in Asbury Park. “Making connections and networking are very beneficial. It is empowering to see so many businesses in Monmouth County taking part.”
Seannee Harris, owner of Deescakes in Freehold, was back for her third expo. She explained, “Deescakes is primarily a wholesale business which has grown steadily after five years. “We have tripled our business since our first year. I believe in my product which is named after my mom and her recipe. We enjoy giving back to the community and supporting the FoodBank. It is a great partnership.”
Made in Monmouth is organized by the Grow Monmouth team within the County’s Division of Economic Development. Grow Monmouth officials meet regularly with business, civic and government leaders to provide state-of-the-art information services. It has become a major public-private project to create and preserve jobs in Monmouth County.