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Support is growing for Gig Harbor Wine & Food Festival

GIG HARBOR, WA—Sponsors are lining up for the 2012 Gig Harbor Wine and Food Festival, with Albertsons recently signing on as the Title Sponsor for this year’s event. Store Director Mark Erkers bought tickets for the first festival three years ago and was impressed with the community event; the second year Albertsons became the Grocery Sponsor before becoming the Title Sponsor for 2012.


The Gig Harbor Albertsons is well known locally for its comprehensive selection of wines; according to Erkers, it does one of the highest volumes in wine sales and has one of the largest selections of wines of Albertsons stores nationwide. And Washington wines are the fastest growing segment of those wines. What drives the store’s success? Erkers says it’s all about listening to what customers want.


Along with the wines, specialty food selections across the store have increased—the store now offers 120 additional varieties of cheese and more than 1,000 specialty food items. And plans are underway to remodel the delicatessen to offer additional fresh, healthy selections. All changes, says Erkers, are driven by customer requests.


“My job’s easy,” he says. “I come in and listen to what customers want, and then I go out and find it for them.”


Also returning as a sponsor is Fournier Insurance Solutions, last year’s Title Sponsor and this year’s Hospitality Sponsor. Partner Kendra Fournier and her brother Ryan, president and owner of the family company, both live in Gig Harbor.


“We’ve fallen in love with Gig Harbor and the community,” says Kendra Fournier. “We feel like it’s a great place to raise our families.”


Fournier Insurance Solutions offers a full range of insurance options and primarily serves the South Sound community, according to Fournier. “Our focus is on the business owner. We try to be the one they can go to for all their needs,” she says. The company provides services for many area restaurants and wineries, so supporting the Gig Harbor Wine and Food Festival is a natural fit.





“It was a great success for us last year,” Fournier says. “We were thrilled to have the opportunity to participate again.”


In addition to Albertsons and Fournier Insurance Solutions, several other well-known local businesses have taken on sponsorship roles: The Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort and Hotel joins Fournier as a Hospitality Sponsor and is also providing the challenge chef for this year’s festival.


The following businesses and organizations have also pledged support:


Media Sponsor: South Sound Magazine

Shuttle Sponsor: ‘Ohana Harbor Coffee

Magnum Level Sponsor: Columbia Bank

Sommelier Level Sponsors: Morso and Tomi Kent Smith

Challenge Kitchen Sponsor: Viking

Friends of the festival:

Anthony’s Restaurant, The Culinary Institute of America, The Maritime Inn, CarrotStick Marketing, Bella Kitchen Essentials, Taylor Shellfish Farms, The Inn at Gig Harbor, Sip Northwest Magazine, and IvyCat Website Services.


The Third Annual Gig Harbor Wine & Food Festival is presented by the Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association and will take place on the grounds of the Harbor History Museum on July 14. The event will include multiple tasting tents with more than 25 wineries, breweries, and restaurant and food purveyors represented. Also featured will be a wide selection of educational offerings, including wine seminars and cooking demonstrations. Attendees will have the opportunity to bid on a variety of dining and winemaker dinner packages.


The Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association (GHHWA), a Main StreetTM Organization, brings together community and waterfront stakeholders in order to encourage economic vitality and to preserve the historic character and quality of the area. For more information on the GHHWA, visit their website at, or contact Executive Director Mary DesMarais at or (253) 514-0071.


Tickets for the Gig Harbor Wine & Food Festival are now on sale and may be purchased at an early bird price on the festival’s website at: