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Belles connect with area restaurants, businesses

Bridget Feeney | Thursday, November 8, 2012

Saint Mary’s students will get to taste and familiarize themselves with the services and products of food establishments throughout South Bend on Thursday night at the Taste of Saint Mary’s event from 8 to 10 p.m. in the Student Center Lounge.

Student body president and senior Maureen Parsons said the Taste of Saint Mary’s, which is free to all students and sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA), is designed to help attendees establish connections with local restaurants and businesses.

“The Taste of SMC is an event that allows local businesses to market their product or service to students,” she said. “[SGA] wanted to have the Taste of SMC to build a relationship between the students and the community of South Bend. It is an opportunity for students to learn about what is available in the community.”

Parsons said she believes the Taste of Saint Mary’s is a great way for students to enjoy some free food while also getting acquainted with local businesses and different ways to enjoy their services.

“The business can offer free samples, sell merchandise, provide their services or simply talk about their business,” she said. “[Some of the businesses] will be giving away free samples of their products.”

Several local businesses and restaurants are participating in the event, including Flourish Boutique, Papa John’s, Salon Nouveau, Urban Swirl, Salon Rouge and Biggby Coffee, Parsons said. While the event is free, as are most of the services, Flourish is selling some merchandise. Parsons said the SGA organized the event by reaching out to businesses to gather an interest of which ones would want to participate in  the even, then sent out informational packets to move the process along.

Parsons said she is hopeful this event will become an annual event and that more businesses will participate in the next one.

“We hope that students will learn more about what South Bend has to offer,” she said. “Many businesses in the community have great student discounts that our students are not aware of. We really want to start working with the community and building a relationship with businesses for the future.”