President Bill opened the meeting with 12 members present.   Joe offered his usual “grace”ful invoation (more on that later).

A quiet session this week, which allowed our members to partake of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and salad.   Thus the aforementioned blessing from Joe.  Karl stood to propose a fine of 1 ½ (that’s 25-cents Sonny) for his pre-meal blessing, which included a thanks to whoever may be listening for a “stick to your ribs meal”.  Joe, as he has been known to do, noted that he’s more than happy to turn over the blessing duties to anyone wishing to assume the post (no one offered) and the fine did not pass.

Bertil offered a happy dollar (which generated some confusion) for his upcoming trip to Honduras, for which he departs this weekend.   He noted that he’ll be flying out of New York on Saturday, and planned to stay in NYC Friday night, not realizing this is Super Bowl weekend, and (who would have guessed) the game is being played in New York!   There are no rooms available, reported Bertil (thus prompting the confusion over his “happy” dollar).   Ever the public servant , Bob P. pulled out his smart phone and began looking for rooms in the NYC area for Bertil, and amazingly found several available!   Hopefully, Bertil took advantage of travel agent Bob’s homework and will have a room Friday night.

Karl reported that he was still working on a tour of the soon-to-be-opened City Place and it would likely be held next Wednesday, with time to be determined.   Hopefully everyone has received the e-mail President Bill sent out indicating we will in fact be meeting Wednesday, Feb. 5th at 5:30pm inside City Place for a tour of the building.  There will be no noon-time meeting at The Quarry next week.   Guests are welcome to come to the tour, and it was suggested we hold a Rotary After Dark at The Quarry following the tour for anyone wishing to share dinner and good times there.

Our guest speaker was Loreena Abraham, owner of the Bag Ladies Café in depot Square, which share space with Chris Conti’s Simply Delicious.   Loreena said she got her start in the business as a Marine Corps wife who was looking for a business she could operate from any of the many locations she and her husband lived in during his active duty military career.   She started out baking bread which eventually evolved into making wraps and sandwiches, and a growing catering business.

She provides full bag lunches for area businesses, and handles deliveries herself.  She started out renting space at the former location of Simply Delicious (on No. Main Street) renting space from Mike and Agnes Aylward.   She moved to the Depot Square location along with Chris Conti, and despite some initial misgivings, she said it’s been a big success for both of them.   She said she and Chris cover for each other, even though they run two separate and distinct businesses from the depot location.

Loreena indicated that roughly 30% of her business comes from outside catering, though that tends to change somewhat based on the season.   Her menu is primarily wraps, sandwiches, soup and salads.  Even though we meet during her busy lunch hour, Loreena managed to break away for a few minutes to speak to the club about The Bag Ladies Café, for which we were most appreciative.

Secretary Sue gave the second notice of the proposed membership of Tony Campos from Videovision.  If no objections are received, Tony will be asked to join the club.

Loreena pulled the winning ticket for this week’s raffle, and Bob P. held the lucky ticket.   Since we still haven’t found our marbles, Bob had no chance to go for the big bucks.   Ted is looking for replacement marbles…unusually hard to find at this time of year!

Again, next week’s program will be a tour of City Place at 5:30pm.  Meet inside the main entrance.   No lunch meeting at The Quarry.   Our program for Feb. 12th will be a classification talk from new member Charlie Dindo.