WE ARE HOMETOWN NEWS.

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton Volkswagen and Country Hyundai is hosting the second annual “Sip and Shop” event on Feb. 15 from 4 to 7 p.m.

According to Carla Cosenzi, the president of Tommy Car Automotive Group and organizer of the event, Sip and Shop was created to empower women entrepreneurs in the Western Mass. region.

“I really wanted to create a fun and engaging way for our community to support women owned businesses and be able to introduce them to our dealership and our dealer group, and really help other women businesses create connections, empower young entrepreneurs, empower women owned businesses and make a positive impact in the community,” Cosenzi told Reminder Publishing.

The response to the first year of the event was so overwhelming that Cosenzi said she had to expand the event this year to two of Tommy Car’s dealerships instead of just one.

“It was just an overwhelming response and people loved being able to network support each other, and it was just a fun way to get people out and to introduce them to some of these businesses that they may not have ever come in contact with,” Cosenzi said of last year.

This year’s event features over 20 vendors from around Western Massachusetts who specialize in all different types of businesses. Among the vendors are a homemade candle company known as Pearl & Company, a Wilbraham bakery called “The Salty Baker” — which serves homemade sour dough baked goods — and Studio By A, which specializes in permanent jewelry.

Cosenzi also added that there will be door prizes and samplings from Mineral Hills Winery, Progression Brewing and Fed by Foley. There are many more entrepreneurs slated for the event, as well.

“There’s people there doing body scrubs and energy bites and jewelry and waffles and home and wellness stuff,” she said.

The decision to put the event right around the Valentine’s Day holiday was a very strategic one, according to Cosenzi.

“We just think it’s a fun way to support women on a fun holiday and kind of made it like a sip and shop and a fun way to support women owned businesses around that holiday,” she added. “We also find that there’s a lot of people looking for small little gifts to give out for Valentine’s Day, whether it’s be to friends or significant others. So, this was a great way to introduce people to these different popups and maybe help support their business for people who are looking for gifts.”

The event is free and open to the public, according to Cosenzi.

Readers can find Northampton Volkswagen at 361 King St. and Country Hyundai at 347 King St.

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