Small Business Spotlight: Hillside Country Store

Being a small business owner is a tough job. That’s why we spotlight a different business each month to help you learn about unique businesses in your own back yard.

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Hillside Country Store offers an array of baked goods, bulk food items, wind chimes, wood furniture, candles, outdoor furniture and much more.

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Hillside Country Store carries seasonal bedding plants, vegetable plants and other supplies to help both the advanced and novice gardener. They currently have a selection of fall mums.

The owner of Hillside Country Store calls his business “an old fashioned store in the middle of God’s country.” Perched on a hill overlooking St. Rt. 180, Hillside is close to Adelphi and not far from Lancaster, Chillicothe or the Hocking Hills State Park. The store smells divine and is a feast for the eyes, nose and taste buds, making it worth the drive into the country.

It is a family run business where the employees are friendly and helpful and many of the customers are regulars. Owner Michael Martin says he opened the store in September 2014 “because the Lord gave me mostly girls and it made a lot of sense.” He grew up in Wisconsin where his father runs a bulk food store but he married a Zanesville girl and moved to Ohio where his own store is filling a real need in the rural community.

Hillside is packed with all sorts of goodies including bulk snacks, candy making supplies, baking and cooking ingredients. Jams, jellies, salsas, pickled foods and maple syrup are popular as well.  An extensive deli offers approximately 35 different kinds of cheeses and at least that many kinds of meats. A popular service of the deli is the made-to-order sandwiches which are delicious and generous in portion. Being close to the Tar Hollow and Hocking Hills State Parks, it’s a good place to pick up sandwiches, cold drinks and snacks for a picnic. Soft serve ice cream makes a delicious treat for a hot day too.

What gives the store its heavenly aroma is the bakery which produces fresh bread daily as well as homemade pies and cookies like the popular Monster Cookie which is packed full of peanut butter, molasses, oatmeal, chocolate chips and M&M candies.

They welcome large orders for weddings and other events and are able to produce large amounts of baked goods as well as meat and cheese trays.

Practical items also line the walls including sewing notions, canning supplies, dish towels, books, bird houses, feeders and bulk bird seed.  An extensive line of poly yard and deck furniture offers maintenance free swings, Adirondack chairs and dining tables and chairs.

In addition, they offer a popular line of gift items like scented candles, windchimes and oak furniture which Michael pointed out are good for any occasion but are especially popular Christmas and Mother’s Day gifts. Backyard gardeners will find hanging baskets, bedding plants, vegetable plants and other seasonal flowers. They currently have a nice assortment of fall mums and Michael said there will be even more in stock soon.

Michael said his family has enjoyed running this business and that he looks forward to the future. “We’re enjoying it. It’s nice to live near the place where you work and we are growing,” he said. In fact, he said they expect to soon add fried pies to the menu, an addition he believes customers will enjoy.

Hillside Market is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They accept cash and plastic and welcome new customers to stop in. Call them at 740.655.3600 or visit them at 10244 St. Rt. 180, Laurelville.

See below for more pictures.

Start With Student Checking

 

 

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Begin with the basics. That’s what we tell young people who are interested in opening a bank account. This is why we have introduced a checking account specifically for young people and for students who wish to learn how to manage their money and their accounts responsibly.

With our new Student Checking account, students as young as 14 can have a checking account with all the bells and whistles including a debit card, online banking, VCNB Mobile, account alerts, direct deposit and more.

With Student Checking, young customers can learn good money management skills that will last a lifetime and develop a relationship with a bank they can trust. A parent or guardian must be made a joint owner of the account if the student is under 18 years of age. Visit this link to read the full details of our new Student Checking account and to open online.

Student Checking accounts can be opened online or in any of our seventeen VCNB offices. Click here to find one in your neighborhood!

Peace, Love and Points Offer Ends Soon

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Peace, Love and Points has been our theme here at VCNB all summer long and we’ve had a fun time embracing our inner hippie. Sadly, all good things must come to an end and this campaign is no different. Have you taken advantage of this opportunity to earn up to 20,000 Bonus Points with a Rewards Checking and a Platinum Credit Card at VCNB?

It is good through August 31, both in office and on our website.

Customers who qualify for a Visa© Platinum Credit Card may receive a bonus of 10,000 UChoose Rewards® Points. With our Platinum Credit Card, customers can receive bonus points for using it to make regular purchases. Those points can be redeemed for gift cards, travel, experiences and merchandise.

Customers who open a new Rewards Checking account or switch an existing VCNB account to Rewards Checking will be eligible to receive a bonus of 5,000 points. Those who opt for self-service and open a Rewards Checking account online will be eligible to receive a bonus of 10,000 points.

To receive a Rewards Checking bonus, the customer must activate a debit card and register it through UChooseRewards.com within sixty days of account opening to receive the bonus. New accounts must be funded with a minimum $100 deposit within 30 days of account opening. Click here to read the full terms and conditions for this promotion.

Click here to open your Rewards Checking account online  or stop by any of our seventeen offices to apply for a Platinum Card or to open a Rewards Checking with one of our friendly staff.

What are you waiting for?  The summer of Peace, Love and Points will end soon but your point earning opportunities with Rewards Checking and a Platinum Visa will continue every time you use them!

Have You Tried Rewards Checking?

We have been amazed at the customer response to our new VCNB Rewards Checking account. When we introduced this account to customers last year, we knew we had something special but we weren’t expecting such an incredible response. Months later, we continue to hear from customers about how much they love this account and we are simply delighted. After all, community banks are about providing personal service to customers and providing them with the banking tools they need and want.

If you haven’t tried Rewards Checking, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a checking account that rewards you for your regular banking habits. You receive points for spending money with your debit card, for using direct deposit and Online Bill Pay, among other things. We even give you points to get you started when you open the account.

Those points can be used to receive cash back and gift cards for major retailers and restaurants. You can also use those points for travel expenses, merchandise and experiences like concert tickets.

We are thrilled to offer this account and to reward our customers for their loyalty.

If you have signed up for Rewards Checking, we have a reminder for you: Be sure to register your debit card with the UChoose Rewards® website so that you can begin earning and spending all those points! Registering is very simple and can be done by clicking here.

Once you’re registered, take a look for special offers under the “Earn Points” tab. Here you will find point earning opportunities that are only good online as well as some special opportunities that must be activated to learn. You can also browse all the great things you can redeem your points for under the “Redeem Points” tab.

Learn more about Rewards Checking by visiting our website.

We sometimes offer bonus rewards points so pay attention for those offers as well!

Turn The Key On Your New Home

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Ready to turn the key on your new home?

Since 1867 we have been helping countless individuals and families reach their goal of home ownership. Whether you’re building your dream home or buying your starter home, our experienced lenders are knowledgeable and ready to help.

What are you waiting for? Click here to prequalify online!  

We also welcome you to visit one of our offices to meet with a lender or call your local office to get started. Member FDIC.  Equal Housing Lender.

Banking For College Students

If you’re headed off to college this fall, you’ve probably signed up for your classes, picked up supplies for your dorm room and are packing up to leave soon. But have you thought about how to manage your money or how to get money from home?

Electronic banking has done wonders for us all, making it easier to manage our money and even to receive money from others. Here are some VCNB products that will make your financial life better:

Checking Account
Everyone needs a checking account. Even if you don’t have a job or a lot of money to manage, a checking account is the best way to handle the funds you have. A Checking My Way or Rewards Checking account are great options for most young adults. Click here and select “Checking Accounts” to learn about these accounts and to open online!

VCNB Mobile/Online Banking
teenager laptop cell phone headphones.jpgYou may be far from home but we offer two convenient tools for accessing your money 24/7 from anywhere your smartphone or computer works. Login to your accounts at www.VCNBfamily.com or with VCNB Mobile, our easy to use mobile app. Here you can check balances, transfer funds, pay bills and a deposit a check with Mobile Deposit. You can also access Popmoney® personal payment service. Not sure what all this means? Keep reading. We’ll explain!

Transfers
With online and mobile banking, you can transfer funds between your accounts. Say you saved all your graduation cash in your savings account but need some to buy a textbook or pay for a movie ticket. You can easily and quickly transfer the funds into the account where you need them. It’s easy and a free service.

Account Alerts
Since this is your first time managing money on your own, it’s a good idea to keep a sharp eye on what you’re doing. You can set up account alerts to tell you when your balance falls below a certain amount of money, when your debit card has been used to make a purchase and when a deposit is made to your account among other things. There are nineteen different types of account alerts,  each of which can be sent via text or email free of charge.

Popmoney
Popmoney® personal payment service allows you to securely send and receive money quickly, using just the recipient’s email or mobile phone number and your own VCNB checking or savings account. A lot of our customers use it to pay back friends and family or to send gifts. We also have many parents and grandparents who use it to send money to their college students who are always grateful for the extra cash! There is a fee of .50 per transaction and you can learn more about it here.

Reloadable Card
A Reloadable Mastercard© is a good option for those who do not qualify for a traditional checking or who don’t want one for fear of accidental overdraft. This card is accepted anywhere that takes Mastercard but is loaded for a specific amount of money. Once it’s spent, it’s gone and there is no risk of overdrawing an account. Funds can be directed deposited or be added as you wish. Reloadable cards are great for college students as parents are able to deposit money as needed. You must be 18 years of age to purchase and there is a $5.99 purchase fee and other fees related to reloading and maintaining this card. Click here for complete details including fees.

At VCNB we are excited to see young people venture out on their own and will be glad to help you get started by answering questions and setting you up with VCNB accounts and other products. Give us a call or stop by our office to talk to an experienced account representative today!

 

 

Community Spotlight: Fairfield Area Humane Society

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The Fairfield Area Humane Society is always in need of volunteers and donations including the items pictured outside their building. VCNB employees from our Friendly Bremen Banking Centers donated supplies during a recent facility tour. 

If you want to find a group of people whose work is a true labor of love, stop by the Fairfield Area Humane Society and take a look around. This tight-knit community of employees and volunteers is dedicated to protecting the rights of animals and helping them find permanent, loving homes. It grows every year, adding services that help pet owners and growing adoption services to help neglected and abused animals. Much of that work happens because the community supports the cause they champion every day.

“Everything we do is possible with help from the community!” exclaimed Corey Schoonover, Executive Director at the Fairfield Area Humane Society.  “We’ve got seven employees, and some great volunteers.”

Though some may only view the facility as simply a place to drop off or adopt an animal and others consider it similar to a retail pet store, it’s important to realize that there is much more happening than meets the eye. “You could look at that part as retail, but it’s retail with a heartbeat.  And this is so much more.  For those unfamiliar, we do an amazing amount of work.”

Here’s just a portion of services that Fairfield Area Humane Society offers:

  • A monthly spay/neuter clinic (partnering with The RASCAL Unit)
  • Quarterly vaccine clinic
  • Flea treatments
  • Stray cat Trap-Neuter-Return services (which has grown to service over 1,500 cats in the last two years alone)
  • Investigations on animal cruelty complaints (which was solely responsible for over 30,000 miles traveled in 2015).

All of these activities occur in addition to the well-known adoption services, which grew to over 800 animals last year. “Adoptees come from all around, not just Fairfield County.  All over Ohio, from Columbus to Toledo to Cincinnati.  We’ve even had adoptions from the Northeast US, like Conneticut!” Corey explained.

Along with growing adoptions and services, the facility continues to grow. For example, in late 2014, the Humane Society constructed a new dog park, dramatically increasing the traffic coming in the facility’s front door and providing a much needed service to pet owners. “It’s become a great marketing tool for us.” Corey said.  “We used to have five, six visitors a day coming in.  But just in the last ten minutes, we’ve had four.  And the park isn’t just here for the new pet owners that come in, but for current pet owners.  Sometimes we’ll hear someone say they have to give up their animal because they moved into smaller living arrangements or because they just don’t have enough room to play.  But we hate to see that as their solution.  So this is a solution for those in that situation too,” he added.

Another important new addition to the grounds is the Barney Wears Memorial Building, a newly erected quarantine facility located behind the main building.  It officially opened on April 1 and provides space for new animals to be inspected and reside while being administered proper medications.  Animals that are too young to be adopted or those from animal cruelty cases may be housed here for a period of time as well.  In fact, 32 cats were just placed in the new building from one seizure in the last week.

“The costs for the services we offer continue to rise and have increased by nearly four times in the last six years.  And our facilities have been improved and expanded,” Corey said noting that the staff and payroll have not increased.  “So it’s really the great community support we have that has allowed us to expand our services and facilities.”

“One of our goals is that our adoption fees recoup the cost of the medical bills.  We’d love it to work out that way, but it doesn’t.  The costs are enormous.  But the ultimate goal is doing what’s best for the animal and keeping them in good homes, and unfortunately it isn’t free.  We’re so thankful for the support,” he added.

Volunteers are not only accepted, they are encouraged as they play a key role in the generous community support that Corey praises.   That’s why VCNB employees consistently donate their time to this non-profit, and even serve or have served on their board. In fact, Corey and his staff hosted nearly 20 of our employees on a sunny Wednesday morning to share a little bit about what they do. They also shared how the Friendly Bremen Banking Center and VCNB financial family have been instrumental in their growth.

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While touring the facility, our employees donated items on the Humane Society’s list of critical need, which includes things not generally considered top-of-mind when donating to an animal shelter or humane society.  These items included paper towels, bleach and HE laundry detergent, dish soap, hand sanitizer, Pine-Sol and kitty litter.

The work for this staff of seven goes far beyond working directly with the animals and is clearly a labor of love. In fact, you’ll often see the Humane Society crew out and about around Fairfield County, sharing information and drumming up membership and support.  In one week in July, they were on hand at the Lancaster Festival’s Art Walk and Festival Fair Day, hosting the aforementioned group of VCNB employees, doing interviews, and filming TV segments for a television station in Central Ohio.

This week, they will host their annual WOOFSTOCK event at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds.  This two day event features a family fun and adoption event on Saturday, August 6 from 11am-8pm. The public is encouraged to attend and the day will feature fun for all ages, including live music, inflatables, laser tag, raffles, food and craft vendors, and wiener dog races.  Most importantly, adoptable dogs needing homes will be on hand.  On Sunday, August 7 from 11am-4pm, they’re hosting day two of Woofstock, which is a low cost vaccination clinic featuring $10 vaccines, $15 micro-chips, $5 nail trims, and $10 dog baths.

To find out more about the Fairfield Area Humane Society, Woofstock, visit them online at www.fairhumane.org or visit them on Facebook. Here you’ll also find pictures of pets available for adoption.

Click here to learn how you can help including information on  or more information on membership or volunteering.

Small Business Spotlight: JT’s Auto and Truck Glass

Being a small business owner is a tough job. That’s why we spotlight a different business each month to help you learn about unique businesses in your own back yard.

Have you ever been driving down the road only to have a rock fly up and hit your windshield?  Did it leave a small chip that you think is too minor to fix?  Well, JT Thacker of JT’s Auto and Truck Glass thinks you should fix it before the problem gets bigger.

JT should know as he has been working on cars and trucks since the before the age of 18.  Much of that time was in auto body collision repair and specializing in working with big trucks.  In 2006 he began doing glass replacement and windshield repairs part-time and found that he enjoyed that aspect of the business very much.  He said he loves being able to satisfy the customers with a completed job in a shorter time and being there for customers when they needed him.

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JT and Angela Thacker are pictured standing alongside one of the mobile chip repair vehicles they use for their business JT’s Auto and Truck Glass in Chillicothe.

With the help of his wife Angela, he decided to take the business full time in 2008.  Based in Chillicothe, the business has grown over the past eight years to serve Greenfield, Circleville, Waverly, and all areas in between.  Now JT, along with a staff of two additional technicians, offers service for all vehicle makes and models as well as heavy equipment for private owners, commercial and fleet vehicles.

The work they do includes glass replacement for windshields, windows and sunroofs and on-site repair of window cracks, chips, bull’s eyes and stars.  They also provide Aquapel glass treatments to repel rain from your windshield and on-site diagnosis for window operation issues.

Working with insurance companies can sometimes be daunting for the consumer but JT will work with all insurance companies to take the hassle out of the equation and make auto glass claims a little easier for you.  All you do is make the initial call and they do the rest!

JT said he loves what he does.  “I have found the best way to serve the community and make a living,” he said.

To learn more about JT’s Auto Glass call JT at 740.703.3922, visit their website                       or check out their Facebook page.

 

VCNB Offers The Scoop On Scams

Ice cream cone with extra scoops.jpgIt seems like scams are everywhere these days. From people knocking at your front door to threatening phone calls and harassing emails, it feels like there is constantly someone looking to swindle innocent people out of their money. Sadly, millions of Americans fall prey to scams every year.

That’s why we will host “Get the Scoop on Scams,” an informational session for senior citizens later this month. Jane Nickels, the Branch Manager of our McArthur office said her staff sees great need for this kind of education in the community. “Scams are everywhere and scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Sometimes it’s hard to know who to trust and, as we get older, we are more likely to be targeted. We want to prepare seniors in our community with as much knowledge as we can,” Nickels explained.

This informational session will be held at the Vinton County Senior Citizens Center at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 21. Registration is required and senior citizens may enjoy a tasty lunch for a donation to the Senior Center. Following the talk, the bank will have a free ice cream sundae bar for everyone to enjoy.

To take part, contact Rhoda at 740.596.4706 to guarantee your spot.

 

 

Pack An Extra Form Of Payment

If you’re planning a vacation this summer, you’re probably eager to pack your bags and hit the road. But before you go, there’s one more thing to pack – one or two extra forms of payment.

We know that you love your plastic and we swipe our debit and credit cards more today than ever before.  After all, it’s quick and easy, it’s safer than carrying a lot of cash and, if you’re a VCNB customer using Rewards Checking or our Platinum Visa© Card, you earn UChoose® Rewards Points on purchases.

PrintUnfortunately, plastic is not always foolproof. While most businesses accept credit and debit cards, some mom and pop establishments, festivals and farmer’s markets are not equipped to do so. Also, technology is imperfect and occasionally even major retailers experience a hiccup that prevents them from accepting cards.

Also, with the increased use in debit and credit card usage has come an increase in the amount of fraudulent activity related to cards. That’s why we have a great Fraud Department here at VCNB to monitor your activity round the clock. If we see something that is clearly fraudulent or that looks suspicious, we will place restrictions on your card and then give you a call to confirm that you are actually making those purchases. This is meant to protect you and your money but can sometimes cause an inconvenience for the customer.

We occasionally have customers who are on vacation, spending outside their regular pattern of activity, who will be flagged by the Fraud Department. If you can confirm that it’s really you spending your money, the restrictions will be released and you can go about your vacation. If it’s not you, we will shut down your card to prevent future fraudulent activity and take actions to get you a new card. If that’s the case, you will need another way to pay.

There are many options for a second or third form of payment. If you plan to pay primarily with debit, take along a credit card and some cash too. If your primary payment is going to be credit, a second credit or debit card and some cash might come in handy.

Here at VCNB, we offer credit cards as well as a Reloadable Travel Card. You can use it to make purchases anywhere worldwide that Mastercard© is accepted. It costs $5.99 to purchase but we are waving this fee through the end of July. The Travel Card and other reloadable/gift cards are available in any VCNB branch. Click here to learn more. 

And, of course, cash is still accepted almost everywhere.

By the way, if you’re planning to travel, take a minute and give us a call. If we know you’re out of state or out of the country, you’ll be less likely to experience a disruption in service. Also be sure to give us your mobile phone number. If our Fraud Department does need to reach you, you don’t want them calling your home when your card is being rejected in a restaurant far from home.