By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,558)
“This year is an experiment. We have bigger plans for the future” said (the Ungracious) Stefanie Manning this afternoon at the Marketplace event at Harbor on the Harvest . Manning would not elaborate on what those bigger plans might be with her business partner Gabrielle Garofalo.
Manning, with a background in the publishing business is currently the circulation/marketing manager for”The Portland Press Herald” one of the sponsors of the Harvest.
Back in 2008, Greater Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau created the Harvest on the Harbor to showcase the budding food and beverage industry in Portland. It was also an effort to extend the tourism season beyond Columbus Day weekend. Barbara Whiitten was the executive director of the Bureau at the time. It was very successful at accomplishing its goals under her direction,
The event had “run its course” according to Manning. (Her husband is Tom Manning, owner of Miss Portland Diner, Marginal Way.), Manning learned the “trademark”was for sale and she and her business partner purchased it in March of 2016. They’ve been busy ever since.
Fifty-two vendors of food and beverage (not just from Maine) participated in this 9th annual marketplace event at 58 Fore Street, a/k/a the Portland Company. Attendees could buy products on-site.
There were seven ticketed events during the 3 l/2 day Harvest. All events were sold out. Lacking from the event were high tops – places where attendees could sit, sample their samples and visit with others. Also, there was a discouraging lack of vine venues for those who prefer that over beer.
Despite the good turnout, the organizers need to inject some creativity to prevent this event from becoming the “ho-hum” event it purchased.