Weekend event exceeds expectations

'Phenomenal' weather bolsters blooming business

By Jenna Lookner | May 22, 2012
Photo by: Jenna Lookner Downtown Camden on May 22.

Camden — Sunny weather set the backdrop for a successful weekend as Camden businesses banded together for the inaugural Business is Blooming in Camden event.

The weekend kicked off with a potluck-style welcome supper for new and newly relocated businesses hosted by New England Real Estate on Thursday May 18. New businesses were responsible for bringing a variety of food dishes to share. The gathering gave business owners and residents an opportunity to socialize and meet one another in the heart of downtown Camden while welcoming new businesses to town.

The event continued throughout the weekend with shops offering extended hours and sidewalk sales.

Flint Decker of New England Real Estate was one of the masterminds behind the event. He said the event and the cooperation involved in planning the weekend was "beyond expectation."  Decker said pedestrians appeared to linger in town patronizing businesses, walking and dining as the sunny weekend days wore on.

"We were amazed at how busy the restaurants were," he said.

Decker said the event represented a collaboration between Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, Camden Downtown Business Group and the town of Camden. He said he took a long walk downtown Sunday to observe and hear feedback about the weekend.

"People were very happy with the [foot] traffic," Decker said. He noted some businesses have told him they are looking forward to a second Business is Blooming in Camden event next year.

Joyce Lawrence of the recently relocated Ducktrap Bay Trading Co. said the weekend was "great fun." Lawrence said she felt as though downtown Camden had a vibrant, happy ambiance throughout the weekend.

"We had a lot of people in, sales were good," she said.

Lawrence said Business is Blooming in Camden is a "great tradition" and said she hopes it will continue.

Amy Ganley at Sherman's Books on Elm Street said the weekend "went well." She said customers seemed inclined to browse in the store after spotting inexpensive items on sidewalk tables.

Jenn Mansfield, manager of Graffam Bros. Harborside Restaurant said the restaurant — which opened earlier in May — had a "very good weekend." She said the event and great weather seemed to bring people into town and while she said she doesn't have a precedent for business this time of year the restaurant showed "really good numbers."

"It was a wonderful weekend," Decker said.

According to information provided by Decker, an estimated 25 businesses have opened or moved to new locations recently.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | May 22, 2012 18:14

Good job Camden. Congratulations.

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