Fairhaven Village Business Owners See Collective Impact, Value Friendships that Blossom out of HFA Membership

The Historic Fairhaven Association (HFA) offers its 115 members many ways to connect and give back, including events, information sharing, beautification, tourist information and general assistance.

Village Books & Paper Dreams, a centerpiece and gathering place of the historic neighborhood, has seen firsthand how much the HFA does for Fairhaven.

“From putting on stellar events that make us a destination, to being a marketing force and advocate for all of the residents of the Fairhaven district,” said Paul Hanson, Owner and Steward of Village Books & Paper Dreams, 1200 11th Street.

The HFA’s annual membership meeting, which takes place this month, is more packed than ever: in just the last year, its membership has grown by 32%. Business, non-profit and residents are all encouraged to join.

Want to receive all these benefits and more? Join the HFA! Visit https://www.memberplanet.com/fairhaven or email hfa@fairhaven.com

The HFA can be a great way to grow a new business, as Jack Pflueger and Tony Luciano, co-owners of Stones Throw Brewery, 1009 Larrabee Avenue, learned firsthand after joining in 2015.

“One of our company ethos is to be community members, so it was an easy decision to join HFA – it’s a great way to collaborate and meet with business owners in the community,” Pflueger said. “It’s been really helpful as a starting business to lean on the HFA community. It’s helped bridge the gap as we grow, ‘with a little help from our friends.’”

There are other benefits, such as accessing the HFA’s equipment for their own events such as neighborhood block parties, as well as the variety of events that draw visitors to the Village.

“Without the HFA we wouldn’t have the events that go on, like Dirty Dan Days and Fairhaven Fest. There’s a whole calendar all year round that’s just wonderful,” Pflueger said.

Long-time members and Fairhaven businesses have seen other benefits as well.

“The HFA is helping our local small businesses compete with chains and online sales in a way that we couldn’t on our own,” said Cami Grichel, owner of the jewelry store and art gallery Whimsey, 1101 Harris Avenue, which has been in Fairhaven for 17 years.

Members also see the power of accomplishing more, together.

“I support the HFA because I believe in community,” Grichel said. “The merchants, service providers, restaurateurs and land owners in Fairhaven work hard to provide a memorable experience for our patrons but there is only so much that can be done individually. The HFA brings us all together in an organized way so that more can be accomplished.

Perhaps most important is the relationships Fairhaven’s business owners get to form with other HFA members, through events, monthly meetings and its 15 volunteer-run committees.

“It’s so important to be part of the HFA Membership for many reasons, mostly for the advice and friendship of our members. We have a great community and it’s grown into a top-notched one,” said Robin Ugurlu, owner of Sirena Gelato, 960 Harris Avenue, which has been located in the Village for 15 years.

Courtesy of Southside Living | Written by Lauren Phillips

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