February 06, 2012

Winter Wine Soiree

Saturday, January 28th was the big wine tasting event Schmidt's and First Alternative Co-op hosted at the garden center.  (Sorry this post is a little late, I was too tired recovering last weekend to post this). 

There were about a dozen wine vendors, half a dozen artisan cheeses and half a dozen delicious chocolates, including Posh and Cherry Country, both sold at Schmidt's.  There was a great turnout, almost 100 guests showed up plus lots of staff members from First Alternative and Schmidt's.  First Alternative provided the wine, cheese and chocolate and I did all the decorating and event set up at the store.  This was the first time I have done all of the decision making and planning.  Without Susan at the store to run ideas by that meant I had full control of planning.  It was very stressful but I think it turned out beautiful.  The greenhouse looked spectacular that night with white lights, primrose blooming and a handful of Valentine's Day decorations.

The only part of planning this event that I thought could have been better was the number of people that were able to buy tickets.  None of us were sure just how many tickets we could sell so we under planned, and had to turn a lot of people away when the event sold out a few days before.  Next year if we plan to do this again, we will definitely have to sell more tickets.

Below are some photos of my decorating and of the party itself.

Whitney and I toasting to the night.  Everyone that attended received 3 wine sampling tickets and an engraved wine glass from the event.

Marsh, from Cherry Country.  They make chocolate covered cherries right here in the Willamette Valley in Rickreall, Oregon. 

 Yummy, both our customers and our staff really likes these and are having a hard time resisting taking the free samples at the store.

Sartori cheeses.  He made four delicious types of cheeses.  My favorites was the one with salsa added into it.  A lot of people really liked the rosemary infused one.

I love cheese, I could have eaten it all night had I not been working!

Even Tim had a bird station at the event.  Tim has become the in-house bird expert.  He has lots of information and loves to share bird stories with customers.

It was a very busy night.  I had the event set up to have half of the vendors inside and half of the vendors in the greenhouse.  Thank the weather gods that it wasn't raining this night!  The greenhouse sometimes drips when it rains and if it did, I don't know how we would have fit everyone inside the store!

Some table decorations in the greenhouse.

The week of the event, Whitney was very busy planting up beautiful flower bowls to have ready to sell that weekend.  We also received a bunch from Peoria Gardens.  The flowers in the greenhouse were definitely the icing of the cake as far as decorations went.

We bought 3 to 4 dozen of these red tissue paper balls for decorating.  I love putting these together.  They are so simple and you can use them for all sorts of events.  I will have to write a blog sometime on how to make them.

A beautiful garden angel among blooming tea cups.

The greenhouse had beautiful music filling the atmosphere from the dulcimer bells.

The greenhouse was sparkling that night.

There were lots of great vendors at this event.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  Thank you to everyone that contributed to the event and thank you to everyone that came to taste wine and support all these local businesses.

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