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Business Buzzz, Sept. 21, 2009

The Melting Pot, a new business at 232 E. Broughton St., opened on Sept.  23, offering  a four-course dining experience, relaxed atmosphere, private tables, fine wines, attentive service and fondue dinners. The restaurant chain offers “Club Fondue” for diners who subscribe; they receive free chocolate fondue for two on their birthdays and wedding anniversaries and are also offered ladies’ night out, wine tastings and other fun events, according to owners Jason Stravinski and Joshua Behringer. 
The restaurant novices, both former engineering managers with Intel in Albuquerque, have a friend who owns several of the franchises and got them into the concept. 
“We wanted to get close to home, and we wanted to raise our kids around their families,” explained Stravinski who is originally from Columbus, Ga. Behringer is from Ocala, Fla.  “They are open for dinner only and must be locally owned,” added Stravinski, “which is nice for family life.”
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The Savannah Area Chamber’s 16th Annual Business Expo & Car Show was a success, according to the chamber’s management team, with close to 100 exhibitors and more than 1,500 attendees over the two-day event. This year's theme was “Growing GREEN for your Business.”   The expo kicked off with a preview party hosted by Infinity and HostSouth. The next day, companies displayed their products and services while member car dealers had vehicles on display throughout the day. The winner of the “Best Booth Award” was Galbreath & Sons, and the “Honorable Mention Award” went to The Sullivan Group.
The Expo Business Connection was presented by The Luxury Auto Group at the New River Auto Mall.  Restaurants providing the food for both nights included Alligator Soul, Corleone's Trattoria, Hunter Club - Hunter Army Airfield, Piccadilly Restaurant, Sam Snead's Oak Grill, Sticky Fingers Rib House, Taste of India and The Lady & Sons Catering.
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The Savannah Chapter of the America Red Cross will hold “Hurricane Georgia,” an interactive business seminar designed to make businesses better-prepared for hurricanes and other large-scale disasters on Oct. 1. Seating is limited. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Admission is free, and lunch will be provided. 
The seminar will run all day from 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m at Armstrong Atlantic State University, Armstrong Center – Ballroom A. Call 912-651-5314 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register.
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The Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority and Brunswick Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce will release its findings of more than a year's research on the "Coastal Best" project on Sept. 25.
Coastal Best, which stands for Business and Enterprise Support Team, conducted interviews with nearly 80 percent of Glynn county industrial businesses that have 10 or more employees. The goal was to collect data on their opportunities and challenges, and perceptions of the Brunswick-Glynn County community as a place to do business, according to Coastal BEST Co-Chairman Nathan Sparks.
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The Millionaire Women's Club held its monthly breakfast meeting Sept. 17 at  its new location, the Doubletree Inn at 411 W. Bay St. The speaker was Cayce Girardeau, creator of Savannah Fun Tours.   After two bouts with cancer, Cayce decided to quit the fast-paced life in the corporate world and return home to Savannah to enjoy life and have some fun.  
Using methods she learned though Corporate Strategic Planning sessions, she created a "strategic plan" for her life and decided to start her own business.  The outcome of her "planning session" was to spend her time putting more fun into other people’s lives.
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Long-time tourism business in Savannah, Angela Beasley’s Puppet People, has a new show  entitled “Beyond the Moss Curtain,” a puppet’s twisted and hysterical view of Savannah’s characters, which can be previewed on Oct. 1 at Moon River Brewing Company.  The restaurant is located at 3119 Furber Ave. in Thunderbolt.  The preview party is from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Food and drink will be provided by Coach’s Corner, Mollie Cakes of Savannah, Moon River Brewing Company, Tortuga’s Island Grille and Your Mom’s Kitchen Bloody Mary Mix.   R.S.V.P. to 912-355-3366 or puppets@puppetpeople .com
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Verizon Wireless will hold its official ribbon cutting at its newest  Verizon Wireless location at 7805 Abercorn St. Stop by to congratulate them and check out some of the great phone specials they have going on. This event will take place Friday, Oct. 2, from 9 - 9:30 a.m.
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Garden City will hold the Grand Opening of the city’s new City Hall on Sept. 25,   including an official ribbon cutting for the city’s new 33,000-square-foot facility which is also the home to the Garden City Police Department headquarters, Municipal Court, City Council chambers and administrative offices for Garden City employees.
The City Hall anchors the new Garden City Town Center and is located on Dean Forest Road, across from the entrance to Southbridge.
Founded in 1939, Garden City has the distinction of being the second-largest municipality in the state of Georgia with no property taxes. 
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Baskin Robbins has announced plans to open 12 new stores in the regional after opening a store on Hilton Head Island, S.C., this month.  The company currently operates 6,000 stores in 35 countries.
Little Ceasars Pizza continues to grow in the region, as well.  They have now three stores, in Richmond Hill, Hinesville and Savannah. Little Caesars is the largest carry-out pizza chain in the world with restaurants.  The company announced that it was targeting Savannah in January 2008.
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The Coastal Bank is offering a real estate tax seminar on Sept. 29, to be presented by Matt Schwarzer of The Coastal Bank; Jenny Hearn of Coldwell Banker’s Platinum Partners; attorney T.J. Hollis of Lee, Black, Rouse and Hollis; and accountant Carlton Hodges. They will discuss how to qualify for the federal government’s new stimulus incentive for first-time home buyers. The tax credit of up to $8,000 is currently available for qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a principal residence between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 1, 2009.  The seminar will be held at Coastal Bank’s Godley Station Branch 140 Towne Center Blvd. in Pooler.
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