Grimes Chamber & Economic Development will be hosting Experience Grimes: A Tasteful Business Expo on March 4 from 4:30 – 7 p.m. Now in its fourth year, the event is a way to introduce citizens and businesspeople to the different businesses and services located in Grimes.
A little of everything
The expo, which is part business expo, part mini fun night, and part Taste of Grimes — all in one place — offers an opportunity for people to come out and see an array of businesses serving the Grimes area. There will be more than 50 vendor booths for businesses that represent restaurants, professional services and retail businesses. Every vendor will provide, free of charge, food and/or drink samples. The event has grown each year and continues to exceed organizers’ expectations for success. Last year more than 1,200 people came through the doors.
“For the people who attend, it’s a great benefit, as they get info on what’s available to them,” says Brian Buethe, director of Grimes Chamber and Economic Development. “We still get calls from people who might be surprised that we have a dry cleaner in town, and they’ve been there for years. They can learn what’s available to them.”
Buethe says it was important for the event to be held in Grimes, though it also presented a challenge as Grimes doesn’t have a large conference area or many places to display a large number of booths. Previous expos have been held at the Grimes Community Center and the Dallas Center-Grimes High School. This year’s event will again be held at Performance Display Inc. located at 1400 S.E. 11th St. in Grimes, just west of VisionBank.
“The event was absolutely not possible if not for Performance Display because they shut down their production for three days so we can go in and use the floor space of their company,” Buethe says. “It’s really amazing that they do that for the community. It’s the largest single donation from a company all year long. Without them, I don’t think we could have the event.”
Representatives from Grimes businesses have been extremely pleased to be a part of the event. The number of vendors participating has grown from 20 to more than 50 this year. For the business owners, it’s a chance to network with other businesspeople and to showcase their own services and products.
“For our business, even though we’ve done the expo since the first year, and we have been in town for nine years, there are still new faces that I see, and that’s great,” says Andy Grove of Grove and Platt Dental Associates PLC. “It’s so neat for us to be able to tell new people about our business. Grimes is growing every day, and it’s truly amazing all the new people who come out and learn about the business community.”
Teresa Bahr of Kennybrook Village says they participated in the event in its first year, shortly before the facility opened. They were able to tell people about Kennybrook and make their presence known in the community.
“I think that it’s an absolute blast,” she says. “We have a great time. The community and everyone just relax and enjoy themselves — not just those attending, but the vendors, too. It’s great to get acquainted with other members of the business community. We look forward to it every year.”
Bahr also says it’s a great way for people to learn more about businesses in Grimes in a no-pressure atmosphere. Attendees ask questions and get information without feeling awkward about signing up for anything. To Bahr, it’s a more comfortable approach to business for those in attendance.
Event-goers can also look forward to some special perks throughout the evening, like free chair massages from the massage therapist at Back to Life Chiropractic.
Chiropractor Dr. Holly Davis, who opened Back to Life Chiropractic in Grimes after practicing for five years in the Kansas City area, says she’s happy to be a part of Experience Grimes.
“I just really enjoy this sort of event,” she says. “I always do a St. Patrick’s Day promotion, so I will be there doing that. I’m also on the committee for the event, and we want to really encourage people from the business community to come out and network with other business people.”
The event is family-friendly and will include food and entertainment, featuring a bounce house, face painting and balloon animals for the kids. Door prizes will be given away every half-hour, as well as a grand prize giveaway of an iPad Mini. This event is free to the public, though there will be an opportunity to donate to a freewill offering that will support a scholarship program for graduating Dallas Center-Grimes High School seniors.
“It’s a nice community event,” Buethe says. “You get to learn, get some food, and everything is free. We want to make it easy for parents with their kids to come out and see what’s available in Grimes. The kids can have a good time, and it’s not a burden to go; it’s a fun event in the middle of the winter.”