Smithville restaurant JD's Pub may be well-known in the area for its wings, but that doesn't mean everybody's heard of the place.
On July 11, JD's owner, Brian Storr, got a chance to showcase his stuff alongside 20 other Galloway Township-area restaurants and businesses at the second annual Taste of Galloway at Historic Smithville.
Storr, who also participated in last year's event, said he loved the idea.
"It's just good exposure," Storr said. "It brings a lot of people out that are into eating out that might not know about you, give them a shot to try your stuff."
The event was organized by the Galloway Township Business Association as a way to show off the varied cuisine available in the township. Last year's event boasted a dozen restaurants and a couple local nonprofits; this year, the roster was expanded to include a few local businesses as well.
Last year's event was a big success, far surpassing the Business Association's expectations. It may have even been too popular, GTBA President Mary Crawford said, as about 500 people arrived in the event's first 45 minutes, causing long lines.
Smithville couple Rosemary and Charles Hollway and their son, Greg, tried to attend last year's event, but didn't want to force their way through the crowd. This year, they arrived early to beat the rush.
Just a few samples into this year's event, Rosemary said she'd already gotten her $15 worth.
"The mussels (from Maxwell's Shellfish) were wonderful, and the chicken and the shrimp at JD's was wonderful," Hollway said. "We're just enjoying it."
In addition to spreading awareness of the township's business community, the event also served as a fundraiser for the Galloway Township Volunteer Fire Department, the Business Association's scholarship fund, and Beacon Church's Hope Chest, which helps the Southern Branch of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
Kim Maxwell, owner of Maxwell Shellfish, said it was a combination of several factors that influenced her to take part in the event.
"It's a great community idea," said Maxwell, whose business is in Port Republic, but on the Galloway border. "It helps us with free advertising, it helps us support the charities they're raising money for, and we like to be a part of that, and I love meeting the public."
While the event served a variety of purposes, it was first and foremost billed as a way to help local business get more facetime with township residents in the hopes of helping them expand their customer base.
It's tough to quantify just what sort of impact an event like the Taste of Galloway has, but for at least one attending business, it's already brought in a new patron.
"I didn't know where Maxwell's was, I asked her, so I can go, because their seafood is delicious," Rosemary Hollway said. "Really good."
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