Queen Anne & Magnolia News ran a great story on Vino in the Village to be held on April 29th. The event is sold out, but the news story highlights an interview with Magnolia Chamber of Commerce executive director Jason Thibeaux. In the interview, Jason shares information about several upcoming events exclusive to Magnolia Chamber members. The value of Magnolia Chamber membership comes through loud and clear. Please read the story and join the Magnolia Chamber here to become an individual, family, or business member.
Tickets are still available for purchase to the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce’s popular event and spring fundraiser Vino in the Village. (Editor’s note – the event is sold out)
The spring event will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday starting at Modeles Home Furnishings, 3220 W. McGraw St., in Magnolia Village. This event will feature 16 local wineries that will pour wines and spirits at different businesses in the village. Go to https://discovermagnolia.org/ and click on the Vino in the Village tickets link. (Editor’s note – the event is now sold out)
Magnolia Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jason Thibeaux said the biannual event is an important fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce because of its popularity.
“It’s, by far, our most consistent fundraiser,” he said, adding the goal is to sell out of tickets at each event. “Events like this definitely make us whole at the end of the year.”
The event was especially important during COVID, when the chamber was deeply impacted, Thibeaux said. Since then, the chamber is doing well in terms of membership.
“I would say our membership grew slightly during the pandemic, but not to the tune of making up for events,” he said.
That is why events like Vino in the Village is so important to the chamber, which has a number of campaigns to support businesses in the community, Thibeaux said.
The chamber is slowly adding back events to its annual calendar and recently hosted its first casino night since the pandemic, as well as its first in-person annual awards dinner, and chamber board members are planning additional events.
None, however, surpass Vino in the Village for the chamber.
Thibeaux said the event not only benefits the chamber; it also is an important event for businesses in the Village. “It’s great exposure for the businesses,” he said, adding even the restaurants, which can’t participate because of liquor licensing rules.
Thibeaux said a restaurant owner said even without hosting a wine-serving station, just having so many people in the Village draws attention to the restaurants, with the extra foot traffic generating more business at the restaurants from people hungry for a bite to eat.
“So, it usually ends up being a good night for a lot of people,” Thibeaux said.
The chamber hosts two Vino in the Village events a year, with the last one in December, and the chamber typically sells between 550 to 600 tickets.
“We try to balance the number of tickets to the host sites we have,” Thibeaux said, adding the event usually features 16 wineries.
Some businesses host more than one winery depending on the venue’s size. The upcoming event will include 13 independent businesses and 16 wineries.
“The ideal scenario is to sell out or get super close to a sell out,” Thibeaux said. “If we can do that and give good exposure to all the businesses, then that’s a successful night for us.”
Thibeaux said, beyond Vino in the Village, the chamber is working on many other projects and events, some just for members, such as a gardening class at the Magnolia Garden Center, and some for the entire community. He said the Reimagine Magnolia Village beautification project has hit its goal for phases 4 and 5. Now that the committee in charge is close to finishing, attention will be turned to annual maintenance fundraising.
The chamber is also hosting conversations with candidates for the upcoming election, which includes City Council candidates from districts 6 and 7 and the County Council, and the organization will submit questionnaires to candidates with questions from a business perspective.
Thibeaux said the chamber is expanding its organization beyond the business sector. He said people who want to become involved in the community and advocate in a small way can join the Chamber of Commerce as individuals; they don’t have to own a business to be a member anymore.
“A lot of what we do is enhancing our community, like the beautification committee project,” Thibeaux said. “It’s a way to have a little bit of influence in our community.”
For more information about the Chamber of Commerce, visit https://discovermagnolia.org.
Thibeaux also invites residents interested in more information about the chamber and what it does to schedule a conversation with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.