Malibu Chamber’s holiday mixer offers cheer to boot

Malibu Surfside News

January 3, 2020

The Malibu Chamber of Commerce’s Sunset Mixers are “always a merry time,” according to attendee Sue-Carol Desfor.

Merriment, however, was at its peak Dec. 17 as a large group of attendees gathered at Whole Foods in Malibu for a mixer celebrating the holidays.

“The Chamber always puts on the best events because they are so social and one learns about what is happening in the community,” Desfor added.

Barbara Bruderlin, CEO of the Malibu Chamber of Commerce, bustled about ensuring that all enjoyed themselves, and that local entrepreneurs made meaningful connections.

Beyond marking the holidays, the evening’s mixer further celebrated a new copper tree fountain which was donated by Malibu Fountains in remembrance of the Woolsey Fire. The fountain resides in Whole Food’s sensory garden.

“Whole Foods Market Malibu has a twinkling display of all the delicacies one could hope to find under one roof,” Bruderlin said. “I want to thank them, and all the performers and children, and all those who worked so hard to treat us to some holiday cheer.” 

And, oh, what cheer there was. 

Laura Menz and Moira Gilbert, proprietors of Muddle & Wilde, greeted attendees and offered samples of their local line of botanical infused syrups for use in cocktails, or, on this evening, mocktails. The syrups also may be used to make botanical soda. The beverages were highlighted by the product’s flavors of citrus, mint, lavender and other aromatic essences. 

Guests also could partake of hemp wellness shots from Solti, a company that uses UV light filtration processes that preserve the liquid but do not pasteurize it, according to the company’s representative, Sayo Orange.  

Attendee Chris Wizner grinned and vocalized what many were thinking: “This is the most amazing mixer ever in a produce department!” 

Attendees enjoyed plenty of hors d’oeuvres, with guests mingling ’round a cheese board featuring delicious nuts, olives and cheeses overseen by a very knowledgeable Ross Bender, Whole Foods special associate team leader. Bender explained each item, including the very popular castelvetrano olives and a host of delicious cheeses. The beef brisket also was a huge hit. 

Whole Foods store team leader Amy LaBoube welcomed attendees, stating that her whole staff was delighted to host the store’s first Chamber of Commerce event.

As he stood surveying the group, Steve Soboroff, who developed the Whole Foods complex in Malibu, smiled and reflected.

“I’m excited on this holiday because we have 13 stores under construction and those businesses will open in March or April of next year,” he said. “I’m even more excited for next Christmas when all of those businesses are open, and I am overjoyed that the people of Malibu have loved our store beyond our wildest dreams and have embraced us.” 

The well-attended event attracted longtime Chamber of Commerce members as well as some new faces. 

Craig Lawrence Scher, of HVAC Consulting Solutions, just joined the Malibu Chamber of Commerce and said he was impressed by his first Chamber event. 

“I like to be involved in the Chamber because people can connect and help one another build their brands and, even more importantly, I am passionate about helping others and connecting with the community,” he said. 

Guests were entertained by two musical groups.

The Rogue Artists Ensemble, a collective of multi-disciplinary artists, sang Christmas carols, leaving attendees tapping their feet and singing along. The ensemble — which creates hyper-theater combining puppetry, dance, modern technology and music — focuses on design and storytelling.

The group is set to perform at the Getty Villa from Jan. 24-26.

Last but not least, young ladies from Violinesse Violin Studios played everything from rock to baroque, adding to the jovial event.