By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Who would have guessed that the best way to show off Brooklyn’s culinary status to Democrats and Republicans in the state Legislature was by presenting chocolate treats shaped like donkeys and elephants?
The eatable political party symbols, which came in both milk and dark chocolate, were part of Brooklyn Night, an event sponsored by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce in Albany that served as a highlight to the Chamber’s two-day visit to the state Capitol this week.
Brooklyn Night took place at 1 Empire State Plaza on the grounds of the state Capitol Monday night and attracted hundreds of people, including Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk County), Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) and nearly every member of the Brooklyn delegation to the state Legislature.
There was mouth watering food everywhere.
More than 50 vendors participated in Brooklyn Night, offering free samples of their products to hungry visitors.
“Tonight is an amazing night,” Chamber President and CEO Carlo Scissura told the crowd.
The donkey and elephant candies came courtesy of Li-Lac Chocolates. Brooklyn Bangers served sausages and mashed potatoes. There was also beer, courtesy of Coney Island Brewery.
Carmen Rodriguez, owner of Brooklyn Cupcake, served her delicious cupcakes and told visitors a touching story of how the Chamber helped her get back on her feet and start a business after she had lost her job.
“We’ve all got stories. Someone inspired us,” said Rodriguez, who started her company in 2011 and now sells her products in Barclays Center.
It was a night when the best of Brooklyn was celebrated.
“There’s only two kinds of people. Those from Brooklyn and those who want to be from Brooklyn!” said Assemblymember Joseph Lentol (D-North Brooklyn), who is the leader of the Assembly’s Brooklyn delegation.
It was also a night to celebrate the diversity, drive and achievements of the borough’s small business community. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities,” Heastie told the crowd.
The majority of the members of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce are small business owners.