Wine, Chocolate, and Cheese Served at Wine, Chocolate, and Cheese Downtown
by James Coulter
What goes better with casual conversation than wine? And what goes better with wine than cheese and chocolate? Last Friday evening, residents and visitors were able to enjoy it all during the Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate event hosted in Downtown Winter Haven.
With glass in hand and a wristband around their wrist, attendees were able to stroll through downtown, visit various participating shops and eateries, and sample wine, cheese, and chocolate, all while spending quality time with other residents and business owners.
Lindsay Lane, owner of the Haven Shop, participated in her new storefront, which opened earlier this year. She had participated in events years before at Haven Roasters, but this was the first time she engaged with the event at her new location. She served aged cheddar and Hutt 3 Carbine.
“The turnout is wonderful,” she said of visitors perusing her shop of Winter Haven-themed merchandise. Being able to attend allowed her to open up her shop and showcase its merchandise to new potential customers. “The turnout is wonderful. I love seeing everybody out and about and people we don’t normally see.”
Mike Lee, local comedian and owner of Laugh Out Lounge, likewise participated to help showcase his comedy club. This year was his first participation at the event. With more than 1,000 tickets to the sold-out event, he was able to mingle with many newcomers who had never visited his venue.
“It has been a fantastic turnout,” he said. “We have been swamped all this evening. Everybody is having a great time. There are a lot of people here who did not know we were here. So, for events like this, it is the way to get people involved and let them know we are here downtown.”
Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate is one of the many annual events hosted by Downtown Winter Haven and Main Street Winter Haven to help draw locals to the downtown area and peruse its many shops and eateries. This year’s event was sold out once again, and the turnout proved phenomenal, said Anita Strang, Executive Director of Main Street Winter Haven.
“I am excited to have another sold-out event. Absolutely, it hit it out of the park,” she said. “Wine, chocolate, and cheese: these are wonderful pairings and I love seeing people going in and out of the businesses downtown. We have a great partnership with the city of Winter Haven as well as the downtown businesses. They are so welcoming to opening up and allowing people to come in and shop and do the tastings.”
For more information about upcoming events, visit their website at: https://www.mainstreetwh.com/