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The City Journals

Plan to Get a Mouthful at Chamber Event

Aug 03, 2016 10:36AM ● By Bryan Scott

Poster for the Taste of South Jordan- South Jordan Chamber of Commerce

By Mylinda LeGrande | [email protected]

South Jordan, Utah - South Jordan Chamber of Commerce has a fun event planned in September. It is the 2nd annual Taste of South Jordan. It is set for Sept. 12 from 4-7 p.m.  This is an event for both residents of South Jordan City and also residents of surrounding cities.

 The chairman for the event is Hugh Washburn. He is owner of Elements Massage Company. In addition to planning the event, he will provide chair massages through his company to be available at the event.  

 Washburn said that the event has three purposes. He said, “First, we want to promote the restaurants in the South Jordan area. The city asked us to put something on like this.  The second is to bring a fun event to South Jordan and the surrounding area. The third purpose is to provide a portion of the proceeds to the Principle’s Pantry. We partner with Jordan Foundation. The Principle’s Pantry provides an emergency backpack of food to needy students to get the family through the weekend, when needed.”

 He said that last year, it rained quite a bit, but they learned a few lessons from trying it for the first time.  They expect this year’s Taste of South Jordan Event to be bigger and better. One change for 2016 is to narrow down the entertainment. Last year they had multiple entertainers going on at the same time. Now they want to focus in on having just one group at a time. The Chamber also wants to push the participating restaurants to obtain their outside food permit with the County Health Department early.

 Chris Bueller, general manager at Market Street Grill was a participant last year and is planning on this year as well.  He is on the Taste committee as well as a member of the Chamber. He said, “It was a great family event which highlighted restaurants from the city and was fun to work and volunteer for.  If we can grow the event, it is excellent. Restaurants need to sign up now to be able to get their health department permit taken care of and avoid extra fees.  It is advantageous to pick out your spot early as well- it helps to be on the committee.”

Where it took most of the year last year to plan, it has gone more smoothly this year.  They are planning on to have more than 300 that attended last year.  Washburn said it rained for most of the event last year, but luckily they had a large eating tent set up, so the many who came were protected and they will have the same set up this year.

 As last year it will take place at Heritage Park. There is a ring like sidewalk in the park where they plan to set up tables and tents for vendors.  In the middle, a stage will be set up for entertainment. The Chamber plans to invite dance and singing groups or local bands to provide music and entertainment. There will also be games for children to play.

 Washburn said, “This is also a good vent for families to attend and allow the parents to talk about hunger to their children and explain what a privilege and advantage it is to have food to eat, since proceeds will be going to the Principle’s Pantry.”

 Tickets cost $1 each.  Food item will be available, ranging from 1-3 tickets. Children can get a full meal for 1-3 tickets, but for adults, it may take between 5-10 tickets to get a meal’s equivalent.  Washburn says that many people will get full before they get to try everything they’d like to.  Examples of food items for sale will be a couple of ribs, a small bowl of chowder or a small cup of yogurt. The agreement is that the restaurants need to have each item contain at least three bites of food or more. It will be larger that one appetizer serving.  

 Chris Bueller, general manager at Market Street Grill in South Jordan, participated in the event last year and also plans to be a vender again. They won the “Best Overall Taste” at the event in 2015.

 There were 10 vendors last year with food for purchase and this year they are hoping for 20 or more restaurants. Washburn says that now is the time to sign up for the event. Vendors need to get an application from the city and pay their fee by mid August. Chamber members have a $150 fee and non-chamber member’s fee will be $200, but it will include 3 months free Chamber membership.  

 Three more vendors who have also signed up so far for 2016’s event are Sagewood Retirement Center, the Wild Rose Restaurant and Copper Edge Catering. Some of the restaurants that participated last year were the Indian Palace, Texas Roadhouse, Culver’s and Menchies.

 The sponsors will be Sysco Foods, Coke, The City of South Jordan, City Journals and The South Jordan Chamber of Commerce. Sysco Foods will provide the restaurants with a $200 food credit to offset costs after the restaurant participates in the event. The Chamber will provide tables, port-o-potties and tents for the event. City Journals will provide advertising and Coke will provide a money and have drinks available for purchase.

 There will be awards given out for The Best Overall Food, Best Bite and Best Dessert. Last year’s winners were Market Street Grill, Sagewood Retirement Restaurant and Culvers. The winners will get a plaque to hang in their restaurant.

Washburn said, “This event pulls people out of their rut to try new restaurants. It is an easy way to do it. They can walk along the sidewalk and see, smell, design and try new dishes.  You need to get there early because you don’t know what the favorite food item will be and it may run short.”

 He also said that the Chamber likes to serve the community and Principle’s Pantry, but they really want to do this to support restaurants in the city.