By Vince Baglivo February 29, 2012
Springfield Avenue Partnership welcomes new board members Louis Mercado, manager of the new Walgreens, and Joseph O’Bannon, owner of Edo’s Quality Cakes.
Maplewood’s Springfield Avenue Partnershiprecently welcomed Louis Mercado, manager of the new Walgreens, and Joseph "Edo" O’Bannon, owner of Edo’s Quality Cakes, as the newest members of the Partnership’s Board of Trustees for 2012.
Since 2001, the Springfield Avenue Improvement District, a public/private partnership between the local business community and the Township of Maplewood, has worked to improve the local economy and overall commercial climate in the Springfield Avenue business district.
Mercado, a Colonia resident, attended Rutgers University and has been part of the Walgreens’ team for 20 years. He was familiar with Springfield Avenue through visits with friends and family as a teen and was excited about the opportunity to serve the community. “Customers love the convenience of the store’s location and all of the products and services we have to offer in our Pharmacy and other departments,” Mercado noted. “We look forward to being involved as a supporter of great Partnership-presented events like MayFest and other efforts to make Springfield Avenue a welcoming place.”
Edo O’Bannon has earned a growing list of customers and fans for his creative and original wedding cake designs as well as specialty cakes, pastries and fine desserts. A veteran of the restaurant and food industries, he opened on the Avenue in October of 2011, presenting a colorful and ever-changing assortment of tasty treats to enjoy with a cup of coffee at the store, or to take home. “I look forward to getting active and involved in the district,” O’Bannon concluded.
Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca, a Partnership board member, pointed to the diversity of the board as one of the organization’s strengths.
“Our board includes business and restaurant owners, commercial property owners, district residents, retail and professional service providers and Township representatives,” added DeLuca. “All contribute their time and talents as volunteers, and share a commitment to the special improvement district and the Township, contributing to revitalization efforts along the Avenue that benefit not only the people who work, invest and live in the district, but the entire Maplewood community as well as visitors from beyond Maplewood’s borders.”
Partnership board member Pauline Lacey of Le Petit Academy noted that participation in the organization’s efforts allows business and commercial property owners in the District to have input regarding Partnership decisions on a wide range of projects and initiatives. “We are always looking for individuals from the Avenue's business community to contribute new ideas that will help keep the District’s businesses and restaurants in the minds of local residents and visitors,” Lacey concluded.