Our Neighborhood Market

The Lower Cape Fear Hospice and LifeCareCenter attended the 2011 Coastal Consumer Showcase. Courtesy photo

The Lower Cape Fear Hospice and LifeCareCenter attended the 2011 Coastal Consumer Showcase. Courtesy photo

What: Coastal Consumer Showcase
When: Thursday, March 7th
4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: St. James Community Center
4140-A Southport-Supply Rd., St. James
Cost: Free
Info: www.southport-oakisland.com
(910) 457-6964

If you haven’t heard about some of the brand-new businesses in town—or even if you’re unaware of the great companies which have supported our community for years—the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce has an event for the cure. Taking place this Thursday, March 7th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. is the third annual Coastal Consumer Showcase, highlighting local products and services.

“The Southport-Oak Island area attracts many new residents and, as such, there is a constant learning curve for those new residents as they look for the products and services they need to live their lives,” Karen Sphar, the executive vice president of the chamber, tells.

“Likewise, there are so many new businesses in the area that even residents who have lived here, either all their lives or for many years, will find the variety of businesses in our area as a surprise,” she says. “The Coastal Consumer Showcase is a way to introduce the best products and services offered to all residents by our business community.”

The chamber sold out of booths in the event’s first year, and the overflow of businesses spilled over to the side rooms of the St. James Community Center, where the showcase is held annually. Sphar expects the same this year, and the assortment involved will be vast.

There will be electronics businesses, such as Coastal Computers and EZ Wireless, and pet-related booths from Greenwood Pet Camp and River Road Animal Hospital. Jewelry will be offered by Renee’s Jewelry and Origami Owl, while Color Me Carolina and Cattail Cottage will have home décor covered.

A slew of energy and household companies will be on hand, including Piedmont Natural Gas, CertaPro Painters, Al Fulford HVAC, Tyent USA, D.L. Bianchi’s Brickyard Supply, Coastal Shutters and Blinds, All About Energy Solutions, Carolina Creations landscaping, and A&I Fire and Water Restoration.

Other leading categories for the event are healthcare and senior living, which boast booths from Coastal Companion Care, Ocean Trail Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Carillon Assisted Living, Health Plans – NC, Scarless Vein Care, Brunswick Family Medicine, Family Chiropractic Plus, Dosher Memorial Hospital, Arbor Landing at Ocean Isle, Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry, Peacock-Newnam and White Funeral and Cremation Services, and Lower Cape Fear Hospice and LifeCareCenter.

Restaurants will be tantalizing taste buds, including nibbles from Mr. P’s Bistro, Crazy Cake Chicks, Southport Taffy and Fudge, and Silver Coast Winery. And just in time for tax season, certified public accountants Berry, Padgett and Chandler will be available at the showcase, too.

Insurance agents from Wells Insurance, Farm Bureau, and Coastline Insurance will be available, as well as representatives from First Federal Bank. Booths to get folks involved outdoors even will be set up  by Adventure Kayak Company, Freedom Boat Club, and Carolina National Golf.

From Childcare Network to Brunswick Community College to the St. James Small Business Association, the list goes on and will continue to grow after press. To get involved or for more information, contact the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce at (910) 457-6964.

What’s more, guests can peruse the Coastal Consumer Showcase at no charge—yes, that’s right—free admission. There will be a Chinese-style auction, wherein consumers will receive one raffle ticket upon registering at the door, and additional tickets will be available for purchase. “We have had televisions, rocking chairs, gift certificates to local restaurants, an air-conditioning unit, and a vacation,” Sphar says of prizes past.

The hope is that many residents of Boiling Spring Lakes, Southport and Oak Island will join the already high number of St. James residents who visit the showcase each year. “We want to make sure that every one in the Southport-Oak Island area community knows this event is for you,” Sphar announces. “Shop small, have a great time doing it, meet new people, and reacquaint with old friends.”

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Southport Area's Culture & Events Magazine