For this month’s meeting, Wednesday Women met over Zoom with Ashley, the general manager of Duffy’s Sports Grill. Shonte Jelneck (Maitland’s Office Administrator) and Mary (our president) were given the opportunity to visit the restaurant and taste their irresistible meals – making their virtual friends very jealous!
Before interviewing Ashley, the enthusiastic group introduced themselves. Pati Gutter from American Balloon Décor promoted her business for yard art and outdoor party events. We then met Eric, who is a current Social Media Intern at the Maitland Chamber. Currently finalizing his studies at UCF, Eric is looking forward to graduation.
Jennifer Menendez identified her work at Modern Business Associates, an HR and payroll outsourcing company. She explained how she has been keeping busy in quarantine due to the changing CDC guidelines. Monique then introduced herself as the Marketing Director of On-Target Digital Marketing, a local agency in Maitland. They specialize in SEO, podcast creation, website design and social media management.
Lori, from Certified Mortgage Planners, introduced herself and explained her mortgage and investment services. We also met Cindy, the Connections Director from Asbury Methodist Church. Her Church is hosting a socially distanced Back-to-School event on the 3rd of October, where attendees can buy homemade goods and listen to live music.
At that moment, we were familiarized with Jennifer, who is currently doing essential work as the Practice Manager at First Choice Urgent Care in Maitland. The Care Center has been conducting rapid COVID-19 testing. Open Monday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Maitland Chamber members will receive a discount for testing. All patients need is proof of ID and insurance!
Lastly, Shonte introduced the Wednesday Women to Cynthia, a prospective member of the Maitland Chamber. Upon retiring two years ago, Cynthia opened up her new travel agency, Breeze and Dreams. Working from home, she specializes in Cruise Travel, International Travel and Destination Weddings.
Prior to Wednesday Women’s meeting, Shonte has been a loyal customer to Duffy’s Sports Grill. One of her favorite memories in the restaurant was watching Japan versus USA the Women’s World Cup Final, almost ten years ago. In light of National Women Business Day happening earlier this week, Shonte wanted to highlight Ashley and commend her for her contributions to the Maitland Chamber.
From sponsoring Maitland’s Golf Tournament to providing prized coupons, Duffy’s has been a key member of the Maitland Chamber. Shonte’s first impression of Ashley was that of generosity. At Maitland Chamber’s Pop-In for Popcorn event, Ashley brought three trays of delicious food to share with grateful guests. Although 2020 brought serious challenges for everyone around the world, the restaurant industry has unfortunately been hit the worst. However, the Maitland community will be pleased to know that Duffy’s Sports Grill is open for business – offering a safe dining experience for everyone to enjoy.
Like most restaurants, Duffy had to temporarily close due to COVID-19. Duffy’s made the decision to reopen gradually and took necessary measures in order to guarantee cleanliness, safety and customer comfort. Currently operating at 50% capacity, the grill offers award-winning burgers and wings as well as numerous vegetarian options. Their food is entirely made from scratch. They fry and crumble their own chicken as well as make their own fresh guacamole.
If anything, Duffy’s has shed a positive light on COVID-19. They even incorporated social distancing into their brand – a lesson marketers can learn from! When arriving, customers are greeted with a humorous Referee poster who reminds them to stay ‘Two Yards Apart.’ People are still able to enjoy Trivia Night by answering tricky questions on their cell-phones and compete with other locations for a Duffy’s giftcard worth up to $50. Back in March, Shonte played a 80s-themed trivia with her daughter and thoroughly enjoyed!
Duffy’s also prides themselves in their holiday specials and events. Every Wednesday, kids can eat for free. When it’s Football Season, they boast delicious Nachos and a Buffalo Cauliflower option. They celebrate Octoberfest by offering German-inspired cuisine: popular draft, wiener schnitzel, Jaeger Bloody Mary’s and Giant Pretzels are included throughout the entire month. This year’s October is particularly unique as it marks Duffy’s 35th Anniversary and resulting 35 days of giveaways. Saving for the holidays? Over the Christmas season, customers enjoy Eggnog and two-for-one drink specials – their deals aligning with Ashley’s message for COVID-19: “Holidays bring people together. People need that right now,”
Ashley’s mom worked as a bartender in Kissimmee for over thirty years. She grew up in a restaurant atmosphere, which sprouted her love for the industry. She had worked in Food and Beverage before joining Duffy’s. With the aim of expanding the Central Florida area, the restaurant hired over eighty people, Ashley being included. Although it was intense, Ashley fell in love instantly and remained with the company. She recognized their internal promotion process and consequently worked her way to her current management position.
We were interrupted by the arrival of Shonte’s and Mary’s lunch as the camera lens focused on the appetizing options. Pictured were the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich (with a side Sweet Potatoes Fries and Nashville Hotsauce), the Bacon Mushroom Cheeseburger, Buffalo Cauliflower and well as the Tostado Nachos (topped with guacamole, salsa, sour cream, jalapenos and cheese). To quote Shonte: “They are to die for!” For their next visit, they plan to order the Sweet Potato fries tossed in parmesan truffle.
Ashley claims her favorite meal at Duffy's is the football feature Buffalo Cauliflower. These tasty cauliflowers are served with ranch, blue cheese and a wing sauce catered to the customers spice tolerance. She also recommends the unique Gummy Bear Martini and Mojito – a mix of Malibu, pineapple juice and other colorful flavors that extenuate the Gummy Bear taste.
Want to receive updates on upcoming specials? You can also like their Facebook Page to view social media posts. Customers that sign up with Duffy’s Rewards Program receive regular emails and experience an array of benefits. They get priority reservations and receive cash back when they reach a certain number of points. Shonte remembered when her family came to eat at Duffy's after her daughter’s Communion; they managed to get $60 off the entire meal!
After finishing their food, Shonte and Mary introduced the group to two more members of Wednesday Women. Deborah Poindexter, an attorney in Central Florida, being one of them. Deborah specializes in family law and is currently working from home with her two children. We lastly met Kate, who works at the US Health Insurance which offers safer premiums and non-deductibles for clients with no underlying health conditions. Even for those with pre-existing health conditions, US Health Insurance is here to help.
Upcoming Chamber Events
Wednesday Women happens on the last Wednesday of every month. However, the last meeting is in October as later on in the year the meetings fall too close to the holidays.
Coffee Connections – October 8th
The Jewish Pavillion is sponsoring the next virtual Coffee Connections on October 8th. In past years, Nancy and the organization have cooked an amazing breakfast to share with the community. They wanted to still do something special this year, which is why Maitland Chamber has decided to host a Drive-through Breakfast. The Jewish Pavilion will offer Tabbouleh salad, homemade granola, fruit salad, mini quickes, banana bread muffins, noodle pudding as well as hot coffee and grape juice condiments. Visit mailtandchamber.com in order to register as there is a limited number of people! The breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m. and is allowing people to come within ten-minute increments.
Maitland Masquerade – October 15th
Maitland’s Virtual Fun-Run is commencing on October 15th. Anyone can join – whether as a family, work colleagues or as an individual! Sponsorships are also open and have been received well. Each sponsor will be given the opportunity to choose the winner of their category prize.
2021 Board of Directors
The Maitland Chamber is also currently accepting applications for the 2021 Board of Directors. Are you looking for the opportunity to work with great people and immerse yourself in the community? Feel free to apply! Submit your application by emailing Shonte or finding the link on the Maitland Chamber Website. Applications close 1 October, 2020.
We are also currently posting a Business Spotlight every week on the Maitland blog. We put together a survey entailing questions about your business and yourself. Posts will be made on a fisrt-come, first-serve basis!
Thursdays Mind Your Business Maitland
There is also currently a Google Form where businesses can submit their advertisements to be promoted. The advertisements run for four weeks. After this period, businesses are encouraged to refresh their advertisements and artwork.
Check out Maitland Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page to find Restaurant Takeout Group and the Digital Business Networking Group. During COVID-19, it is a great way to make connections virtually!