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Mommas and the Shoppas: Business Meet-and-Greet Draws Huge Crowd at Blend

SuburbanMomma.com threw its second showcase event on Tuesday to bring local businesses and consumers closer together

Over 300 ladies drank, dined and dashed on the dance floor at Blend to meet merchants and raise money for juvenile diabetes research on Tuesday night.

"We held a showcase event in Englewood in March and it was fantastic," said Deborah Leff, whose business SuburbanMomma.com organized the gathering. "The weather was bad but we still had over 300 people turn out. We wanted to feel the same way in Ridgewood."

Founded in 2010 by Leff in Englewood, SuburbanMomma is a daily deal website that aims to connect consumers with businesses. There's one daily deal sent to subscribers and those consumers get at least 5o percent off the deal, she explained. Typically, there's one category per day so, for instance, two spas in the same area wouldn't be vying for the same base, thus alientating one or both.

"Where else can you get this many potential customers under one roof?" Leff asked under a sea of flourescent lights and bright smiles around her.

There were quite a few worthwhile reasons to meet and greet  – a number of gifts totalling $7,000 were raffled off, including a $1,500 necklace from , as well as open bar, valet parking, food and a live band. A portion of the proceeds will go to Juvenile Diabetes Research, organizers said.

A number of local businesses like , , , , , , Ethos, Sook, , and Basil & Thyme participated on Tuesday.

"It was definitely successful," said Tammi Politis, the owner of , one of the newer restaurants in the CBD. "It will be even more successful if they [the customers] all show up."

Politis took the opportunity to roll out her revised summer menu, which includes eggplant rollatini and an anti-pasta salad with fresh vegetables.

"These are going to overtake cupcakes," Billy Woods said, holding up a cake pop.

"It's essentially a mix of cake, frosting and hard chocolate. It's big with birthdays and communions." Woods, who owns Chestnut Street Deli with his wife Luana, couldn't get the pops in the hands of potential customers fast enough, a common trend on Tuesday night, merchants reported.

"We're reaching the perfect target audience for our product; the whole event was really successful," Woods said.

The event was certainly a hit with Ridgewood mom Anita Srivastawa. Srivastawa, who said she likes the overall daily deal concept, called the event idea "fantastic" and said she recruited a number of friends to join her and leave the kids at home.

"What I like about this is in terms of community building, it's very social. It's special because it all brings us [merchants and consumers] together locally," Srivastawa said.

"Everyone wins," added Leff. "Businesses are happy, our moms are happy. That's what we like to see."

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