The Times photo by Betsy Reason
Noblesville’s Jeff Zeckel of Zeck’s BBQ & More (left) and his volunteer Kathy Edgerly serve up free barbecue samples to David Burns (right) during the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce Taste of Business.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason Noblesville’s Jeff Zeckel of Zeck’s BBQ & More (left) and his volunteer Kathy Edgerly serve up free barbecue samples to David Burns (right) during the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce Taste of Business.

Noblesville Chamber of Commerce always has Noblesville’s best interest at heart.

Every time that I go to a Chamber event, I learn something.

The Chamber’s recent Taste of Business, for the second year at the new Embassy Suites by Hilton, was a great place to learn more about Noblesville and all that it offers.

So again, for the second year, I am writing about 20 things that I learned at the Taste of Business.

1. I learned that both the Noblesville and Hamilton Southeastern high school proms, and the Noblesville High School 50-year reunion will take place this year at the Embassy Suites. The hotel, for the second year, will also be the venue for the Noblesville Mayor’s Ball, which has been moved to November.

2. I learned that Bharat Patel, owner of Sun Development & Management Corp., developer of the Embassy Suites in Noblesville, will compete in the sixth annual Hamilton County Meals on Wheels’ “Dances with Our Stars,” which pairs professional dancers with local celebrities.

3. I learned that the annual Noblesville Relay for Life on May 11 at Forest Park will, for the first time, be a 10 a.m. to midnight event, with the community invited to celebrate the Star Wars theme. The 200-plus participants are invited to dress up in their favorite Star Wars characters for the Relay, which a day of activities and a popular luminaria event, said the Relay for Life’s community development manager Zach Tsuleff.

4. I learned that Serve Noblesville just became a 501(c)(3) organization this year. The nonprofit’s annual volunteer event is June 26-29, when about 650 volunteers “go out and make the community a better place,” said board member Shane Scarlett. “We have a big list,” he said, of small projects, from cleaning cemetery headstones to home repairs. 

5. I learned that Metro Plastics Technologies, which has been in Noblesville for more than 30 years, has nearly doubled its space with the opening of a new 72,000-square-foot building at Pleasant Street and Union Chapel Road. “So, that’s what that is.” The custom-injection molding plant makes all kinds of plastic products, for card readers, Helmer Scientific refrigerators, Tesla automobiles, and more. Metro makes 720 one-piece ergonomic color-coded food-handling shovels per day, said Kenneth Hahn, who picked up and showed one of the company’s blue plastic shovels. His father, Lindsey Hahn, started the company in 1975. Something cool at the new building? “Remote-control cranes that put the different molds in the machines. And we have an autonomous robot that comes around and picks up the parts and takes them to the quality department. If you stand in its way, it’ll find its way around you,” he said. 

6. I learned that Caravan Classes in downtown Noblesville will offer new camps in 2-D Art and 3-D art.

7. I learned that Riverview Health is readying to open a new urgent-care facility, which is under construction next to Topgolf in Fishers and will serve patients who need either urgent or emergency-room care, based on need. Riverview is also undergoing renovation in its infusion center, used for chemotherapy to treatment for other chronic conditions.

8. I learned that Nickel Plate Arts studio artist Michael Janosky, who was a 2018 Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore artist-in-residence, will return in May to do another part of his residency, and will donate one of his paintings to the new visitors center in the recently renamed Indiana Dunes National Park. Originally from northwest Indiana, the Noblesville Schools instructional assistant at Hinkle Creek Elementary enjoys Lake Michigan, its beaches and lighthouses and plans to take photographs and paint on site at Indiana Dunes again over the summer.

9. I learned that Noblesville resident Geoff Davis -- who opened a studio in the basement of Caravan Classes in downtown Noblesville, where he teaches ukulele building and a kids industrial arts class on Tuesday nights -- will offer Gypsy Jazz Jams on the First Friday of each month.

10. I learned that The Farmers Bank will have its spring community shred day from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Noblesville branch, and its bank manager Sydney Loomis still loves to dress in theme with his staff, this year as The Addams Family.

11. I learned that Noblesville, hence the event’s theme, “Made in Noblesville,” has many fascinating products that are manufactured by local companies.

12. I learned that the new Cloud Nine Cuisine, located in the retail center just south of the roundabout at Hague and Carrigan roads and owned by Mary Piggott and Amy Huffman -- who specialize in preparing and catering homestyle weeknight meals for busy families, along with corporate catering to area businesses, Easter brunch and special events -- will expand its hours this summer, to anticipate boaters schedules and folks attending Symphony on the Prairie concerts at Conner Prairie. Plus, they’re trying to fulfill a lot of requests for gluten-free and vegetarian meals.

13. I learned that Noblesville High School freshman Johnathan Baker -- the grandson of Steve and Moffett Craig and who was found volunteering with his friends at the family-owned Adriene’s Flowers & Gifts booth -- knows some fancy footwork. The NHS Milltonez show-choir member, who showed off his dance moves to music played by Noblesville deejay Sunny Moon.

14. I learned that the City of Noblesville Economic Development Department is working on alley activation of the north alley between Logan and Clinton streets. The alley will become a pocket park and will close to vehicular traffic.

15. I learned that the City is readying for the Olio Road expansion, which will begin soon and will open about 120 acres of development to continue the Saxony Corporate Campus to the east. 

16. I learned that the Holt Legal Group and the Ayer’s Real Estate buildings will be demolished in May to make room for the $24.3 million multi-use Levinson project that includes more than 80 apartments, 5,100 square feet of commercial space and Noblesville’s first parking garage.

17. I learned that Jeff Zeckel, owner of Zeck’s BBQ & More, not only offers pork but chicken and salmon dishes and catered a record 1,000 people at an SMC Corp. of America event. Zeck’s is also now on Instagram.

18. I learned that Noblesville Schools’ Teachers of the Year celebration is May 14.

19. I learned that Horizon Bank, which opened its first office last July on South Eighth Street, is a community bank, based in Michigan City.

20. And for the second year, I learned that free food and giveaways are the best ways to draw folks to business booths. The free recycling, including the blue and white one that I received from Gaylor Electric in Noblesville, can hold a whole lot of freebies from many, many participating local businesses, political candidates, schools and nonprofit organizations.

What other Chamber events are coming up? 

Noblesville City Council candidates will share their priorities and vision at Noblesville Chamber of Commerce’s April 24 luncheon at Purgatory Golf Club.

The Chamber’s fifth annual Women in Noblesville (WIN) Business Conference is May 16 at Ivy Tech Community College Hamilton County Campus in Noblesville. “The Courage To Start” is the theme, featuring Gwendolyn Rogers, owner of The Cake Bake Shop; and Alexandra Rufatto-Perry, owner of CEO of Practically Speaking. The seven-hour conference, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., will include lunch, a women’s marketplace, networking time, workshops and keynotes.

For more on Chamber events, visit www.noblesvillechamber.com

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com