Colchester Business Association holds annual Tag Sale on the Green

By Dawn Rzeznikiewicz - ReminderNews
Colchester - posted Mon., Jun. 10, 2013
Anita Lettieri, a wine consultant for The Traveling Vineyard, explains the unique at-home wine-tasting the company offers to an interested customer. Photos by Dawn Rzeznikiewicz.
Anita Lettieri, a wine consultant for The Traveling Vineyard, explains the unique at-home wine-tasting the company offers to an interested customer. Photos by Dawn Rzeznikiewicz.

The 32nd annual Colchester Tag Sale on the Green was hosted by The Colchester Business Association on Sunday, June 9, and attracted business owners from across the state to sell and promote their products and services - everything from locally-grown flowers to coffee straight from Colombia.

“It started because there’s not one main street in town,” said Greg Barden, current member of the CBA Board of Directors and past chairman and president of CBA. “There’s no chamber of commerce in Colchester, so we’re kind of a quasi-chamber of commerce. We’re trying to promote Colchester and this community.”

The CBA hopes the Colchester community will see the many businesses in town and will spend more time there, instead of going elsewhere for services. The CBA currently has about 180 members, many of whom have booths at the tag sale. “It’s a big exposure event. It’s not just about that day, it’s about down the road,” said Barden. The day included people selling clothes, second-hand items, locally-grown flowers, businesses offering discounts, food trucks and entertainment such as dancers from local dance schools, Colchester-East Hampton Jazzercise and CBA member Scott Chapman playing guitar.

Dan Currie, a seller for Awnings of Eastern Connecticut, has set up an awning display every year since joining the CBA six years ago. His business has benefited from the tag sale time and time again. “Last year, I got six or eight sales out of it. You don't really sell today, but I make appointments and get people interested. It’s going to be a beautiful, hot day,” he said early on. “I offer for people to come under the awning and get some shade.”

Some of the booths to see at the tag sale included: The Traveling Vineyard, a company that hosts private wine-tasting parties in people’s homes; Ark Embroidery, an embroidery shop run out of a private home; and Watkins Apothecary, a national remedy and cooking ingredients store.

The day is a great way for businesses to get their names out. About 3,000 to 5,000 people attend every year, arriving before the start at 9 a.m. The CBA committee of 10 to 15 people arrives even earlier to help set up, manage the booths and keep things running smoothly, according to Debi Rushford, co-chair of this year’s event.

CBA members who don’t want to use their allotted space at the tag sale can donate it to a local organization. Bacon Academy Project Graduation was able to participate thanks to CBA member Ginger Pensa of William Raveis Liberty Real Estate, who donated her booth space to the organization.

For members and non-members alike, the tag sale has turned into a social event. It allows people to get to know the Colchester entrepreneurs on a personal level, instead of just professional, according to co-chair Tony Todt, of Family Physical Therapy.

“We were on our way to Stop & Shop to get groceries and saw the fair, so we stopped. It’s so cute, the food, the clothes, the flowers, the variety is really cool,” said tag sale shopper Katharine Lange.

“It’s the perfect venue for a fair,” agreed Lange’s mother, Bonnie Lange. “We’re from the next town over. We shop in Colchester because we have no stores and no businesses, so we have to find other places than our town to shop.”

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