Florence recently hosted the seventh-annual Wine & Chowder Trail Weekend. The ballots have been counted and a crab chowder offered by Novelli’s Crab and Seafood, located on the docks in Old Town Florence, was the winner of the Chowder Trail voting by several hundred participants.

Other competitors included Beachcomber Pub, Bridgewater Restaurant, Firehouse Restaurant, International C-Food Market, Lovejoys Teahouse, Maple Street Grille, and Surfside Restaurant at Driftwood Shores which was hosted at Beach House Gifts.

Amber Novelli says her secret ingredients include a proprietary Italian seasoning blend and a select white wine. This was the first year she entered the contest. She and husband Kyle Novelli have been commercial fishers together for seven years, though Kyle is a lifelong fisherman. The Novellis currently serve Florence and Newport, though plan to move soon to live and work full time in Florence. They sell only what they catch, direct to customers at their store on the docks from April to November. They do not buy from suppliers nor sell anyone else’s products.

“We congratulate and thank all the chowder competitors. They all brought their A-game this year,” says Bettina Hannigan, executive director of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. “More than 400 people came out each day for each phase of the event— October 6, 7, and 8—for the three-day Great Glass Float Giveaway, the Saturday wine trail to sample 10 different Oregon wineries, and the Sunday chowder trail when participants sampled and voted for their favorite. Congratulations to the Novelli’s for their delicious, award-winning entry.”

For more information about visiting, moving to, or starting a business in Florence, call the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce at 541-997-3128 or visit FlorenceChamber.com/events.