JOHN MCELHENNY’S INTRODUCTION FOR JOEY, CAPE ANN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SMALL BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR FOR GLOUCESTER
Above photo courtesy Mayor Romeo-Thekan. See more photos from the Mayor’s Facebook page here.
For those who were unable to attend either celebration this past week, the party at the Studio honoring Joey, or the CACC Business Person of the Year awards ceremony and luncheon held today at Castle Manor Inn, we thought you’d like to read John’s straight-from-the-heart introduction.
June 5, 2015
I’m honored to be here to introduce this year’s Cape Ann Chamber Small Business person of the year for Gloucester, Joey Ciaramitaro. It’s such a great event, to be here among all these small business people who’ve done so much for all their communities here on Cape Ann. Thank you for all you do.
Though Good Morning Gloucester focuses on Gloucester I know Joey’s worked hard to include all of our towns on the blog, from Rockport resident Nichole Schrafft’s regular posts to coverage about the Manchester Athletic Club and the Manchester Essex schools to posts about the Essex River Race and tons of other Essex events. That’s one of the great things about Good Morning Gloucester — how inclusive it is in so many ways.
I’m not sure everyone here knows how Good Morning Gloucester was created. It began as a daily post on the Cape Ann Online message board. Joey would take pictures down the dock before dawn every morning and post them to the message board. Those posts began to draw so much interest that Joey moved them over to a standalone blog in December 2007.
And so Good Morning Gloucester was born. And Gloucester has never been the same since!
Of course, Joey’s love for Gloucester goes back long before that. He started working down the dock for Capt. Joe & Sons, the family business, when he was 9 years old. (I know how old Joey is and that was a long, loooong time ago.) The day Joey graduated from college, his dad left Joey’s work boots by the front door. “See you down the dock tomorrow morning,” his dad said. And Joey’s been down the dock ever since.
Everyone has their own thing that they love most about Good Morning Gloucester.
Maybe it’s Kim Smith’s butterflies or Donna Ardizzoni’s Rafe’s Chasm photos or Craig Kimberley’s grilliin’ shots or the “GMG Represents!” photos from Moscow or Beijing. (Though I have to say, that time the photographer came to take photos of Joey for a German pin-up calendar, I threw up in my mouth a little bit.)
Me, I love Good Morning Gloucester for three reasons:
First, GMG creates a community and brings us together around the blog. We share comments on the blog or we meet up in person at Mug Ups or we pass each other on the street, all of us bound together by knowing Joey or something we saw on the blog. It’s a big GMG Gloucester community that’s been created and we’re all a part of it.
Second, I think GMG strengthens our sense of place. Gloucester is an authentic place where people are plumbers and artists and fishermen and bankers and lobster brokers and teachers. People here are diverse and we’re imperfect and we’re real and the blog captures us perfectly. Good Morning Gloucester has the little stories and the little pictures that seem so routine but then added together make up our lives here. From the kids’ birthday parties on Niles Beach to the coyotes in West Gloucester to the lobster boat heading out of Gloucester Harbor to the new shop opening on Main Street to that tall awkward guy who lives downtown and wears the skinny jeans. GMG tells the stories of the everyday things that make Gloucester at once a real, ordinary, mundane town and the greatest place to live on earth.
Which brings me to the third reason I love Good Morning Gloucester and the guy behind it. There is no bigger champion for Cape Ann, no one who’s done more to change Gloucester’s image in a positive way within our city and beyond, than Joey Ciaramitaro. Joey likes say it’s all because of the Good Morning Gloucester team and that’s true. But it all started with one guy taking photos on his way to work down the Gloucester dock in the quiet dark before dawn.
Today, GoodMorningGloucester puts up 20 news posts per day and draws an average of 50,000 page views every single day. On a good day? The blog gets 80,000 page views. All of the posts take their lead from Joey’s love for Gloucester and the mundane, everyday awesome of the city we call our home.
So please join me in congratulating this year’s Cape Ann Chamber Small Businessperson of the Year from Gloucester, the co-owner of Capt. Joe & Sons Lobster Company, a founder of our downtown block parties, one of the biggest champions of our city there is, the man behind Good Morning Gloucester, Joey Ciaramitaro.