RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- From the courtroom to the dining room, Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce President Paul Vagianos has excelled in getting the most out of what he does. An attorney by trade and currently a restaurateur in town, Vagianos is on a mission to make Ridgewood businesses the best they can be.
Growing up in the restaurant business, food was never far from Vagianos' mind. After a successful 14 year career as an environmental attorney, he decided to open up a restaurant, setting up shop on Ridgewood Avenue. Today, It's Greek To Me serves up traditional Greek cuisine with a welcoming, home-like vibe.
A resident of 20 years, Vagianos said coming back to town and opening up shop was a very good decision. "The community support has been overwhelming. Living and working in the same community is a fabulous way to make a living, all the local organizations are my friends and customers."
Vagianos first got involved in the Ridgewood Chamber eight years ago and was elected president two years ago. "I got involved with the Chamber of Commerce 7 or 8 years ago because I felt that at the time, the town council wasn’t helping the business community as much as it should." said Vagianos. Today, the chamber boasts over 350 members and sponsors events year-round to promote local businesses.
For example, twice a year stores within the chamber open their doors and take to the streets in three day sidewalk sales. For many retailers, these six days mark the most lucrative days of the year. Town and statewide events such as the tree lighting and classic car show also bring travelers and revenue to stores within the chamber. For professional members, monthly networking meetings are held and a referral network helps to connect likeminded businesses in the area.
At the end of the day, it's about the bottom line for most member said Vagianos. "No matter what kind of business you have, all it can take is one day of being a chamber member and you’ve more than made your dues. A busy day of sales at the sidewalk sales or a new client found at a networking meeting is all it takes to be worth it."
Whether it comes in the form of a handbag sale or a network connection, Vagianos, the Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce and its board members strive to make the business community in town the best it can be.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.