The community that does business together, prospers together - so believes Mary Crawford, president of the Galloway Township Business Association.

On June 28, the association will hold its second Taste of Galloway at Historic Smithville, which offers attendees a chance to sample local fare, be entertained and do a little bit of good.

"One of the major pushes for us is to help businesses in our town - one, to get to know each other, and two, to get the township residents and area residents knowing us, and so this was a way to bring out some great restaurants, some great businesses that are right in our town for locals to go and taste," said Crawford, who lives in Galloway.

Bracelets at the event, which runs from 5 to 8 p.m., cost $10 per individual or $30 per family. The Oyster Creek Inn, Celina's Cafe, Galloway Nutrition and the Smithville Inn are just a few of more than a dozen local eateries that will offer samples at the event, which also will feature a farmer's market and a "Get Involved Galloway" section where local nonprofits, clubs and churches will exhibit.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Hope Chest Food Pantry, a free food bank run by Beacon Evangelical Free Church in Galloway.

Current Absegami High School students and alumni who make up the "Gami Got Talent" cabaret and a troupe from the Absecon Dance Studio will alternate as the evening's entertainment.

Donna Direnzo, who runs the Hope Chest, said the business association's support is a blessing for the program, which relies on community donations.

"It was a surprise when they told us because we didn't ask for it or anything, we don't go out and solicit donations whatsoever, but just through awareness of the store different groups approach us," said Direnzo, who lives in the Smithville section of Galloway.

Patti Bradley, who owns the Bagel Gourmet franchise in Absecon, will be at the event offering samples of bagels, homemade cream cheeses, bagel chips and cinnamon sticks.

The event, she said, is capturing a community trend toward more local patronage.

"I believe that the public in general and the people, the residents of Galloway and the surrounding towns, are starting to feel more grass-roots," said Bradley, who lives in Smithville. "They want to do things that are local, and I think it's going to bring the community together and also promote the businesses so they know what they have in their community."

Not only has Bradley noticed this trend in others, but she's part of it, saying she's excited to get get a taste of Galloway herself.

"I'm looking forward to tasting Salad Works and Celina's Mulberry Market," Bradley said. "I'm just looking to see what other creative ideas the other participants are going to be presenting.

Contact Braden Campbell:


If you go


Taste of Galloway


5-8 p.m. June 28 (rain date July 12)


Historic Smithville, Galloway Township

How much:

$10 per individual, $30 per family

More info: