Long Branch inspirational business group begins: Entrepreneurs of Long Branch; 850 Degrees

The following article is by David Godley of Long Branch (Toronto not New Jersey). I mention it’s not New Jersey because in the past I used to get lots of phone and email inquires about the history of Long Branch, New Jersey. There are in fact historical connections, as I’ve discussed in past blog posts.

I find David Godley’s article (below) of much interest. I’m a great fan of networking, in whatever form it occurs. Every meeting or event that a person comes across is a great networking opportunity, in my experience. When I first began my small business, I spent several years as part of a business networking group. The design of this website, and the headshot that I use at the site, are among the great results of my participation in the latter group.

The following text is by David Godley.

Long Branch Inspirational Business Group Begins

Article by David Godley

As a retired urban planner I work to help the community of South Long Branch and Lakeshore with planning matters most [in relation to] splitting lots in half to create two houses. I come across interesting and delightful people.

One such person was Siobhan Chambers who lives on my street, Lake Promenade. We challenged an Ontario Municipal Board Decision which made errors on a decision it made on a property next door to one she owned.

I am still doing my pro bono work but Siobhan has gone on to create a new exciting enterprise on Lake Shore Blvd.

Lake Shore Blvd. in Long Branch

Lake Shore Blvd in Long Branch is having something of a renaissance. She saw the potential for a gourmet pizza restaurant. five years ago this would have been unthinkable on such a rundown strip. Long Branch is not only being discovered, the community is springing to life as I found out when I attended the first meeting of Entrepreneurs of Long Branch.

This is the invitation I received:

Invitation from Siobhan Chambers

Just wanted to get the word out about a new networking group starting up at 850 Degrees. No membership fees; just an opportunity to meet new business people, exchange leads and have a fun lunch. Each week will provide a different guest speaker. Meetings will take place at noon on Tuesdays. So come out and expect to educate and be educated; inspire and be inspired 🙂 Best


Siobhan Chambers



[End of text from Siobhan Chambers]

850 Degrees

850 degrees puzzled me as a name to begin with. However it is the temperature for cooking pizza in the shiny modernistic oven. Fifteen people attended from local businesses as well as some from Mississauga and Central Etobicoke. Each attendee introduced themselves and passed around business cards.

Consultants representing the following businesses were wine, design, accounting, social media, printing, public relations and marketing. Each meeting has a speaker to address those gathered. Simple courtesies are observed such as switching off the phone, no chatting while being addressed by a speaker or talking across group member. Taking notes is welcomed.

Although the meeting officially ends at 1pm you are encouraged to stay to meet other members who might not have been at talking distance at the table. 850 degrees is open all afternoon.

Meets on Tuesdays

Food, drink and fun cost $15 every Tuesday.

Tracy Parnell was the speaker. She had started a similar group in Sarasota, Florida as a snowbird from Port Credit. Recently she started a group in Port Credit and is helping to get the weekly meeting going in Long Branch. The reason for such groups is, apart from enhancing business prospects, it was felt that entrepreneurs often need social support when they are perhaps home all day or being boss in a busy environment. You can get isolated. Judging by the good turnout with additional tables having to be fetched, this group is cooking.

David Godley June 2014


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