Small Business Spotlight: Holzapfel Family Health Care/Urgent Care

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month!

vicki holzapfel

Vicki Holzapfel is pictured in an exam room at Holzapfel Family Health Care/Urgent Care in Jackson.

Jackson County’s newest health care facility offers patients a place to go for quick but compassionate health care from a local professional. Holzapfel Family Health Care/Urgent Care opened on July 10 with a ribbon cutting by the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce and the longtime desire of one local woman to own her own business.

Owner Vicki Holzapfel is a Nurse Practitioner with over thirty years of experience in the health care field. She began her career as a Registered Nurse in 1983 after earning an Associates Degree at the University of Rio Grande. She went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from Capitol University to become an RN while a working mom. In 2001, she graduated from Wright State University with a Master’s Degree to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Holzapfel explained that her thirty plus years in the medical field have given her the knowledge, connections, love for her work and confidence needed to strike out on her own. She has worked as an intensive care nurse, an emergency room nurse and in nursing management. Since becoming a Nurse Practitioner, she also has worked in pediatrics for eleven years, the ER for two years and internal medicine for two years.

“I have done a lot of different things,” Holzapfel exclaimed.  She went on to discuss some of the benefits of her varied career. “Since 1983, I’ve met a lot of people in my field and I’ve maintained good relationships with them. Even if I don’t know the answer to a question, I am always able to refer patients to someone who will be able to address their unique situation.”

When longtime friend and colleague Sherry Russell invited Holzapfel to join her at Russell Family Health Care in Jackson, she thought it was the right move. Then when Russell offered to sell the business to Holzapfel earlier this year, she knew the time was right. “Everything just fell into place. My husband Rex has wanted me to have my own practice for a long time. It just felt like it was the right time to stretch my wings a bit,” she said.

In addition to employing her decades of medical experience, Holzapfel said she is thrilled to use her people skills and the business knowledge she learned from her late father Sam Hatley. Her father was the Vice President of Manufacturing for Austin Powder Company in Vinton County. She credits him for much of her personal development and caring for others. “Dad taught me to appreciate people, to take care of people. The employees and the people around you are the most important thing,” she said. “He instilled in me to be good to people, to be kind to people.”

At this time, Holzapfel employs three people and is able to provide care for all ages by appointment or by walking in. They can perform sports physicals, do lab draws, administer medication, do flu/strep and mono testing, drain abscesses, give flu shots, EKGs, referrals and more.

Construction for a planned expansion will start in August and will provide for growth in both space and services. The two room clinic will grow to six rooms and will allow them to perform Department of Transportation physicals and aesthetic services like Botox injections and Dermal Filler injections.

“I’m just so happy to be here, to be taking care of people the way they need to be taken care of. I want to treat them right,” she said.

Holzapfel and her husband Rex have two children and four grandkids. They enjoy breeding German Shepherds and are excited to soon have puppies.

Holzapfel Family Medical Clinic/Urgent Care is located at 345 East Main Street in Jackson. Hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon. Walk in or call 740-577-3043. Learn more at their website and follow them on Facebook.

Small Business Spotlight: Stoer Farm Market

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month!

Jim and Donna

Donna and Jim Stoer of Stoer Farm Market are pictured with a Barn Quilt painted by their daughter Candy Stoer.

A visit to Stoer Farm Market is a little like coming home. Here, friends and strangers alike are greeted by the smiling faces of people who are genuinely happy you stopped by to shop and visit. Located just off of St. Rt. 104 in Pickaway County, it’s an easy drive for quality products and for a truly special experience.

What makes this place most memorable is husband and wife team Jim and Donna Stoer who operate the farm and market. The pair were childhood friends and high school sweethearts. They have been married 56 years but still seem like a couple of youngsters when discussing life together.

Jim said they both were farm kids and that Donna actually grew up on this farm where her father ran a dairy and raised other animals. After Jim’s lengthy career in corporate America and more than forty years living in Grove City, they came back to Donna’s home place in 2014. “This all started when Donna started selling sweet corn under a tree in the front yard. She moved into the garage when she outgrew the tree,” Jim explained with a chuckle.

“It’s so nice having our friends stop by and meeting new people,” she elaborated. “I really do enjoy it!”

corn

Sweet corn is a summer staple that keeps customers coming back to the market throughout the season.

The Market has grown significantly since that first table of sweet corn in the Stoer’s front yard. Now the market offers a range of in-season produce throughout the growing season. The June day VCNB visited, they offered tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, eggs and some late season strawberries. Soon, their ever popular sweet corn will fly out the door along with a host of other delicious summer favorites. Other times of the year, they sell asparagus, rhubarb, blackberries, raspberries, pumpkins, gourds and an array of other produce.

Their most sought after product is their line of honey, straight from hives on the farm. “Bees are having some trying times now and we wanted to help them out,” Jim said as he explained that their daughter Candy had encouraged them to try working with bees. “Many crops depend on bees for pollination. If they go away, our agriculture will be in a lot of trouble,” he said.

They have a complete line of honey products that includes various size bottles of their wildflower and clover honey, natural honey candy, honey straws, and an all natural creamed honey spread that Donna makes homemade.

Jim and Donna take their job very seriously, practicing natural beekeeping that they hope to pass on to others. “Every beekeeper has different wisdom and different ways of doing things.  You have to put all these ideas together and figure out what really works” Donna explained. “We want to help potential beekeepers get started. There’s knowledge that can be passed down.”

In addition to providing education and honey, they also are available to safely relocate honeybee swarms. A swarm is when a group of honeybees attaches itself to a structure or tree while it looks for a more permanent home. Jim said they often receive calls for assistance and Donna shared a picture of a swarm on their own property. Experts say this swarm on a tiny peach tree was one of the largest this area has seen.

Peach tree swarm

Experts say the swarm on this tiny peach tree on the Stoer farm is the largest this area has seen.

As part of their natural beekeeping, Jim and Donna began growing flowers. “We started growing lots of flowers to help bees get their food. That means we also have flowers to sell,” Donna said.

They use a mixture of six kinds of fertilizer to enrich the soil and to grow a large selection of healthy, beautiful flowers for cutting including Peonies, Larkspur, Snapdragons, Hydrangeas, Zinnias, Celosia, Dahlias and Lisianthus. We have two plots of wildflowers that are strictly for the bees,” Jim said.

“Of all the work on the farm, there is nothing more gratifying that filling a bucket with flowers and bringing them into the market,” Donna said.

They sell other things at the market including gourmet mustard and jams, lip balm and homemade soaps. They also take weekly orders for Der Dutchman bakery items such as donuts, pies and apple fritters. Their daughter Candy makes custom wood painted quilt blocks for outdoor display and Jim and Donna can put customers in touch with Candy for a consultation.

Donna said she will soon offer salsa, cheese and kettle corn for summer visitors and the pair are already thinking about their plans for another fall event. Last year, the farm hosted weekly events in October that featured fun activities for the family including hay rides, music, dancing and a plethora of fall décor including pumpkins, gourds and straw.

They invite visitors to enjoy the farm. “I just love our customers. They’re our lifeline,” Donna said with pure joy. “So many come here and say they love the farm and we say it’s here for them to enjoy.”

Jim emphasized that his wife is the heart and soul of the market. “Donna IS the market. We would have nothing if it weren’t for her,” he said.

Stoer Farm Market is located at 5823 Durrett Rd, Orient, Ohio. They are located just off Rt. 104, approximately 20 minutes north of Circleville. Market hours vary some with the seasons. During the summer, hours are Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. They accept cash, Discover, MasterCard, Visa and American Express. Have questions? Call 614-419-2952 and be sure to follow them on Facebook!  Flip through the slideshow to see more pictures!

 

 

VCNB Day To Feature Nineteenth Century Fun

Our bank was born less than two years after the Civil war ended. At the time, the country was still recovering from war and the town of McArthur was a booming place that needed a bank. As it turns out, two banks opened that same year. The Vinton County Bank opened in January 1867 and the bank of Will, Brown and Company opened shortly after. The following year, the two banks merged to form one, keeping the name of the first bank while adopting the leadership of the second.

It’s a story we have told a lot this year as Vinton County National Bank has celebrated its 150th anniversary throughout 2017.

In a few weeks, we’ll have our biggest celebration in our hometown over the 4th of July weekend. We have partnered with the Vinton County High School Athletic Boosters to help them with their annual 4th of July celebration. In doing so, we’re sponsoring a concert by Nashville recording artist Jason Michael Carroll, sponsoring a big hot rod and vintage car show and a host of other things. There will be an open house at the bank and we’ll be offering free wagon rides with John Hutchinson following the parade where we are the grand marshals! Thanks to the Boosters for allowing us this honor!

On Sunday we’re doing something extra special. The Boosters were kind enough to make this Vinton County National Bank Day at the Festival. While they’re having tournament games, vendors and food, we’ll be doing something a little different by embracing our post-Civil War roots. Here’s what we’ve got going on starting at 1 p.m.:

Ohio village muffins19th Century Ball Games – Have you ever thought about how baseball was originally played? The Ohio Village Muffins Men’s Baseball Team and the Ohio Village Diamonds Women’s Team will put on a good show as they play bankers and other community members in nineteenth century style games! The ladies play in skirts and the gentlemen play in long sleeve wool shirts! They didn’t have mitts or protective gear back then and they played by much different rules than we have today! An announcer explains the rules and etiquette and helps spectators understand what’s going on! The ladies play at 1 p.m. and the gentlemen at 3 p.m.

CusterReenactors and Music – Have you ever wanted to meet a President? Ohio’s Premier Abraham Lincoln impersonator will be joining us to talk with folks and pose for pictures. We also have Ohio native General George Armstrong Custer coming for the day and a reenactor who will set up camp, talk with folks about the life of a soldier, do some demonstrations and pose for pictures. Finally, Ohio musician Steve Ball will join us for the day. He and his wife play Civil War era music on period instruments. They do a beautiful job and will surely provide some good entertainment for us all.

Giveaways – The first 150 kids to arrive that day will receive a commemorative 150th piggy bank. One of those banks will contain $25 to help one lucky youngster jump start their savings! We’ll also have some giveaways for adults.

Travis West and OSU Extension will be there to offer old fashioned games for kids and the Vinton County High School Athletic Boosters will be selling ice cream sundaes in addition to all the other fun activities and food the Boosters are planning!

Bring some sunscreen, a lawn chair and a few bucks if you want to buy lunch or snacks. We’ll take care of the entertainment! Visitors will also have access to restrooms inside the high school as well as a shady spot under our big tent to relax and enjoy the day. Want to know about other things happening that weekend? Click here to learn more about what we’re doing and check out the full festival schedule below!

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Open House Set For 150th Bash

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VCNB has been celebrating 150 years of community banking this year and we’ve saved our biggest anniversary bash for McArthur this July 4th weekend. We have partnered with the Vinton County Athletic Boosters to help with their 4th of July celebration and, as part of the celebration, we are also hosting an open house at our McArthur office on Saturday, July 1 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This is very meaningful for us. You see, the bank began at this very location in 1867. Aside from a few months back in 1925 when we temporarily relocated during the construction of our existing building, our bank has always operated at this address.

This is our home.

And we are welcoming the community, visitors, customers, non-customers – anyone who wishes to attend – to join us for this important celebration. It doesn’t seem fair to call it an open house because we’re really hoping it’s more like a family reunion. So many people in our community have worked for us and countless others have banked with us. These folks are our friends and neighbors, they’re our families – they’re everything to us because they are our community and our customers.

We hope to see everyone come out to our open house and join in the fun. We will be opening our new Bank Museum and will have entertainment provided by the Adelphi Community Band. We will have ice cream and homemade pies that were baked by the United Methodist Church Women as well as some special giveaway items, speakers and more.

It is an honor to know that people trust us with their money and that they include us in special life events. We have customers who we have known since they were newborns. We’ve watched them grow up, bringing piggy banks filled with change to deposit in their Passbook Savings Accounts. We’ve helped those same kids finance their first car, we’ve helped them buy a home, watched them get married, have babies, save for retirement, upsize, downsize, put down roots and travel to places far away.

We love our community. We love our customers. We love our history and can’t wait to see what the future holds. Won’t you help us celebrate?

Want to learn more about the huge concert we’re sponsoring, the great car show and the truly unique way we’re celebrating on VCNB Day July 2? Read more here!

A Presidential Portrait: Remembering Robert B. Will

In honor of our 150th anniversary in 2017 we are taking a look back at bank history and the people who have helped to shape our bank into the successful, secure institution that it is today. Read on to learn about one of our former presidents!

Robert B. Will Sr.A lifelong McArthur resident, Robert Sr. was a prominent citizen of the community whose personal history was closely entwined with the bank’s history like many other members of the Will family both before and since.

He was born to Aaron Will Jr. and Blanche Buskirk Will on June 15, 1906. He married Helen Burson Will with whom he had two children, Robert B. Will Jr. and Sara Will Crow.

Robert Sr. graduated from McArthur High School and attended Ohio University. He was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in McArthur, various sportsmens’ organization, the Ohio Bankers Association, the Square and Compass Club of Ohio University and was an Advanced Conservationist.

He also was prominent in Republican political circles in Vinton County and in the region, serving as Secretary of the Republican Executive Committee of Vinton County and serving as Vinton County Commissioner.

In addition, he was prominently identified with the Masonic bodies of two counties. He was a member of Delta Lodge No. 207, F. & A.M. of McArthur, McArthur Chapter, Royal Arch Masons of McArthur, Wellston Council No. 120, R. & S.M. of Wellston and Jackson Commandery 53, Knights Templar of Jackson and Scioto Consistory, Scottish Rite.

Robert Sr. served as bank President from 1951 until his death in November 1965. An avid sportsman, Robert Sr. suffered a fatal heart attack while hunting with close friend John Gill, owner of Gill’s Chevrolet in McArthur.

During his tenure, the bank building was remodeled and enlarged in 1952 and again in 1964. This second renovation brought about the back lobby known as a Quick-Service Lobby, a one-window drive-in and the present brick frontage. The drive-in window was cutting edge for its time and provided customers a convenient, fast way to conduct simple bank transactions without exiting the car.

He also acquired the former Gill’s Chevrolet lot which he turned into a customer parking lot, providing customers ample opportunity to park and bank in addition to the on-the-go service offered at the drive-in.

Another contribution that Robert Sr. made to the bank, which is still felt today, is the creation of the bank’s Management Trainee Program. A student at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Banking, Robert Sr. wrote his graduate paper on how to recruit talented college graduates at community banks. His idea was to recruit the best and brightest young people and to give them challenging work. This program has produced a number of the bank’s finest leaders over the decades and the program continues to leave its mark on the bank more than sixty years since its inception.

Learn more about our 150th year here and about Bank Presidents Daniel Will , Aaron Will and John L. Will.  Find details on our 150th Anniversary Bash in McArthur here.

Small Business Spotlight: Lilly’s Kitchen Table

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month!

Lilly’s Kitchen Table has been a staple of the Grove City Town Center district for years, and is now the reigning two-time Grove City Business of the Year as decided by popular vote and awarded by the Grove City Chamber of Commerce. The breakfast and lunch diner is beloved by the Grove City community and has quite a story to tell.

For the past seven years Lilly’s has been under the ownership and guidance of Tracey Cope, a one-time server for the diner who jumped at the opportunity to purchase the business when the opportunity arose. “So many people were so happy to see Tracey move up and rise to become owner” Manager Sarah Cope explained. “We have so many long-time customers. Some drifted away and have come back to be regulars since Tracey took ownership.”

And take ownership she did. Sarah tells a story of a one night “extreme makeover” seven years ago before the first day of business under Tracey’s leadership. “When it looked like (Tracey) was going to have the opportunity to buy the business, she had a vision for it and started collecting and purchasing items and décor for the restaurant” Sarah said.

“The basement of her home housed all of this stuff. All of it. And once she signed the papers, the night before the farmer’s market, which is our busiest time of year, she and Todd (husband) pulled it all out started bringing it over and they went to work!” In one night, Tracey and family cleaned, painted, and decorated the diner to match the home town diner look and feel of Tracey’s vision moving forward. By morning, they were ready to open the doors with a new look inside. People were amazed at what Tracey and her crew had pulled off and admired their drive and dedication. “She truly took ownership from day one and really hit the ground running” said Sarah.

The diner specializes in breakfast and lunch, soups, and daily specials. Breakfast standards fill the menu alongside specialties like Lilly’s Big Breakfast and the Broadway Buster while sandwiches, subs, wraps, salads, handmade specialty burgers and more round out the lunch menu.

Ask a regular what’s best on the menu and their answer usually is ‘everything!’ Special dishes change daily and Ohio-made products like J.C. Steel pickles and condiments are used in house and sold at the front counter. Tracey’s decorative dishes and displays line the interior, and the back wall features a detailed mural hand painted by local artist David Maple.

Grove City locals have proven to be big fans of Lilly’s, as evidenced by the dramatic growth of their business throughout the past seven years and the aforementioned vote of “Business of the Year” for the second time. Nothing says “community” better than friendly faces and simply being there for one another. And there is never a time to need community more than in the face of tragedy.

Unfortunately, tragedy found this beloved community business in February when Chef and Back of House Manager Chris Cope died in an accident on I-71. Chris was the backbone of the business, not just because of the job he did there, but because he was Tracey’s son and Sarah’s husband. Known for his homemade soups and creative take on old standards, Chris was loved by all who met him. He left behind six children, all of whom are regulars around the restaurant and are well known to customers. “This was his place. He loved it here. This was family, home,” Sarah said.

Tracey, Sarah, and crew have faced these unfortunate circumstances with admirable grace and have received tremendous support from the community. A memorial fund was established at our Franklin County Banking Center and the Grove City Chamber of Commerce’s “Business of the Year” award is being renamed in Chris’s honor. “We’re still figuring out how to do this. But this community is the best. How do we even say how much this has all meant to us?” Sarah recalled, graciously.

The Cope family is beyond thankful for the support the community has shown throughout this time of incomprehensible loss, and says they are still putting the pieces together on moving forward. Thanks to the outpouring of support, they also have an excellent staff they can rely upon to keep the business moving. “We have amazing servers and a great team!” Sarah said of the crew of fourteen. “This is our family business and Tracey considers this her legacy. My kids are already asking to help out and they love to come in here. Visitors know them and love to see them – two of them are actually in that painting on the wall. So maybe someday they’ll be here alongside us.”

It’s easy to see why you can expect Lilly’s to be a staple of the Grove City community for years to come.

“One time visitors turn into lifetime customers. It’s not just a place to eat when you come here. People know our names, and not because of our shirts (which include names). They know our stories and we know them. We know their families, their kids, their orders. These are our friends and family, not just customers.”

Lilly’s Kitchen Table, open daily at 7a.m.-2p.m., is located at 4008 Broadway, Grove City and can be found online or on Facebook. Contact them at (614) 801-0771 or stop by for a good meal and friendly conversation!

Those looking to donate to the Christopher Cope Memorial Fund can contact the Franklin County Banking Center via phone at 614.875.8700, in person at 2250 Stringtown Road, Grove City, and contributions are being accepted via mail at Franklin County Banking Center, P.O. Box 201, Grove City, Ohio 43123.

Small Business Spotlight: Sweet William Blossom Boutique

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month! 

Nestled in historic downtown Chillicothe, Ohio is a boutique shop unlike any other. While some may call it a flower shop, using only that title underestimates the range of specialty products they are known to carry.

Opened in August 2011 by co-owners Anni McDonald and her Aunt Lori Botchie, Sweet William Blossom Boutique is truly a family affair. Anni attended Ohio University in Athens and while there worked for a florist learning many of the techniques used in the shop today. After graduating with a degree in Communications and Marketing she held a couple of jobs while searching for her passion. Feeling unfulfilled from those jobs, she approached Lori with the idea to open a flower shop. Lori was inspired by the idea but visualized a store that sold more than just flowers. She proposed adding fruit arrangements and sweet confectioneries to the line of products. Lori’s degrees in Business Management and Communications, also from Ohio University, make them the perfect pair for this venture.

Sweet William Blossom Boutique offers fresh seasonal flower arrangements custom designed to suit their client’s needs. Focusing on the flowers and not fillers to create eye-catching collages, their works of art are identifiable as SWBB creations due to their distinctive design. They specialize in floral arrangements for weddings, sympathy, and proms/homecomings. Located inside the boutique is a self-serve floral area called the Blossom Bar. Accessible as a grab ‘n’ go option, the Blossom Bar offers a selection of different styles of flowers and vases in different price points so customers can design their own bouquets for less.

One aspect of the business that sets them apart from other flower shops is their fruit arrangements. Using apples, strawberries, pineapple, grapes, blueberries and other assorted fruits, they cut and shape the produce to create one-of-a kind edible art.

Another edible aspect to the business is their gourmet caramel apples and specialty strawberries. The apples come in nine signature flavors such as salty caramel, buckeye, and their best seller apple crisp. All apples are Granny Smith in variety and are the perfect size for sharing, although they are so delicious you many not want to. Strawberries come in three different forms: chocolate-covered, crème-filled, and chocolate cheesecake. Orders can be all of one type or any combination of the three. McDonald says that their strawberries were a top seller this past Valentine’s Day.

McDonald and Botchie are committed to providing local products whenever possible and even sell candles in store made by another local company. These candles, produced by Small Batch Candle Company, are showcased in repurposed glass bottles. Pair one of these candles with flowers or confections and you have the perfect gift for any occasion.

Sweet William Blossom Boutique is located in the heart of downtown Chillicothe at 90 West Second Street. Visit them from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You can also call them at 740.779.9600. Follow them on Facebook or on Instagram.

 

Small Business Spotlight: Hocking Hills Moonshine

 

 

vintage-car

This 1930 Plymouth is a rare classic car that was made  during the Prohibition era. Today the company sometimes uses this car to delivery product to stores. Don’t worry though – the bullet holes on the door are just stickers!

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month! 

The Hocking Hills region has long been known for its moonshine. Once illegally produced in the hills by bootleggers, now the infamous drink is being made legally in the heart of Logan.

Hocking Hills Moonshine is a relatively young company that uses old time techniques to make a timeless drink. “If you think Moonshine is supposed to taste bad and burn all the way down, you’ve never had good moonshine,” exclaimed Brian St. Clair, who co-owns the business with his brother Eric and cousin Ray.

stirring

Brian St. Clair explained the recipe and the manufacturing process while he stirred.

Brian gave VCNB a tour of the distillery and retail store in Logan, providing a combination history lesson and chemistry class. He demonstrated how their award winning moonshine is made, starting with a recipe of cracked corn, sugar, yeast, syrup and fresh water from the family farm.

It’s the water and the small batch production that give their product the sweet, smooth flavor that has made it increasingly popular. Brian indicated that it’s the local water that helped the nearby town New Straitsville claim the title Moonshine Capital of the World back during the Prohibition years.

Brian actually got to meet and learn from some of the old timers who perfected the craft when he started out as a volunteer at the New Straitsville Moonshine Festival in the eighties. “The Moonshine Festival Committee needed volunteers. The festival had a permit to make moonshine whiskey for display purposes only and they needed help,” Brian explained. “I learned from Prohibition era old timers who did it for years,” he said, explaining that until 2010, it was illegal to produce Moonshine in Ohio.

In 2015, Brian, Eric and Ray opened their business and have worked constantly to improve their product and grow the business. Today, their bestseller is 120 proof Buckeye Lightening. They also offer 45 Proof Granny Apple, 45 Proof Blackberry, 45 Proof Peach and 90 Proof. Efforts are underway to offer additional flavors.

Ohio law limits sales to state liquor stores in Ohio and their products are currently available in over 200 stores across the state. Their product can also be purchased in their store. When you visit, allow a little extra time to take a free tour of the facility and to look around. Both the tour and store are family friendly. Speaking of family, the business is a family run affair with help from Ray’s mom Cheryl as well as Brian and Eric’s sister Tammy.

merchandise-display

In addition to moonshine, the store sells locally made items and has a number of antiques on display.

The store features some locally made items as well as Hocking Hills Moonshine shirts and other merchandise. They also have a load of interesting antiques to look at and photograph. One wall is actually constructed of wood siding and a door from a nineteenth century grain bin from the family farm. Brian said that he, Eric and Ray used it as a club house when they were kids and that it seemed appropriate to incorporate into the décor.

They even have a backdrop, complete with antiques, that is perfect for group pictures. An old pot, antique farm implements, milk cans and even a coal miner’s bucket are among the unique items on display. Visitors can also see the awards they brought home from the Denver Spirits International Competition. Over three hundred competitors were judged and their Buckeye Lightening took the Bronze Medal while their 90 Proof brought home the Silver. Earlier this month, the business was recognized as the Hocking Hills Chamber of Commerce’s New Business of the Year.

If you can’t make it in to their Logan location, look for them at some events in 2017 including a bike rally in Ironton and the Sam Jam bluegrass festival in Pike County. Follow them on Facebook to learn about new products and to keep up with new locations where their moonshine is sold.

Hocking Hills Moonshine is located at 519 E Front Street in Logan. Call them at 740. 603.4483 or check out their website.

Community Spotlight: Painted Acres Animal Rescue

 

Most animal lovers cringe at the thought of an animal being neglected, abandoned or abused. Luckily, there’s an organization in Vinton County that works hard to care for those animals in need. Painted Acres Animal Rescue is located in Zaleski and is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving a second chance to countless animals that otherwise would have no one to love or care for them.

Director Barb Booth has been rescuing animals for about 35 years, operating her animal rescue as a part time effort until her retirement a few years ago. With her husband Cy, the organization takes in about 400 animals a year and adopts out approximately 250 to 300 every year.

At any time, they can have fifty or more dogs and countless cats, birds, rabbits, chickens, ducks, horses and donkeys. Rescues come from Vinton County as well as from across Ohio and beyond. Rescued animals are often severely underweight, have fleas or heartworms, need to be spayed or neutered, have trust issues or require some other form of specialized care before they are ready to adopt.

This 24/7 job is more like a way of life as the pair spend most of their days tending to the needs of their rescues, cleaning cages, feeding, walking, tending to medical needs and seeing to it that each one receives personalized attention each day.

Yet when Barb tells the story of these animals she dwells on the positives of her work rather than the negatives. In fact, her face literally lights up when she discusses the animals and it is clear that her work is a true labor of love. “We’ve dedicated ourselves to helping those who need us and who can’t help themselves. It’s a good feeling to watch them come from being severely underweight, frightened – to being a healthy weight, able to jump and run. They’re grateful. You can see it in their eyes, in the wag of a dog’s tale, that they are grateful for the help. It’s just good to know that we’re giving them a second chance at life,” she said.

When asked how she decided to do this work, Barb laughed and said it began when she was young. “Even when I was little, I was always dragging home animals that I found.” She then shared stories about how animals tend to find her. “I’m kind of a magnet for animals. I can’t go anywhere without finding someone who needs a little help or just wants to be close to me.”

Barb recounted some stranger than fiction stories about animal encounters including one where a lost hamster approached her in a parking lot and another where a bull literally showed up at her door with a small dog at his heels. Another time, an Emu that refused to be caught by anyone else approached her and rested its head on her shoulder. “They just find me. I don’t know how but they do,” she explained. “Even when I’m not looking they tend to find me.”

“I tell everything when they come in, you’re here temporarily until we get you a home and we all have to live together,” she said. “I truly believe they understand more of what we say than we give them credit for. A lot of it is tone of voice and how we behave. You have to stay calm. But I still believe they understand more of what we’re saying than we know,” she said.

A 501c3 nonprofit, Painted Acres operates on donations, adoption fees and at the personal expense of Barb and Cy. Operating expenses average $4,000 a month. That includes food, flea and heart worm medicine, vet bills, cleaning supplies and other expenses.

She said it can be hard for people to understand that they rely on adoption fees to help offset some of the costs of caring for the animal. Before any animal can be adopted, it must be spayed/neutered, have its shots, be heart worm tested and be of full weight. “Depending on the animal, that can be really expensive and our adoption fee only covers a fraction of the cost. We aren’t here to make money but we do rely on the adoption fee to keep us going,” she explained.

She has adopted animals to people all over the country and in Canada. To adopt, there is an application process that requires references. The new owner must pick up the animal at the rescue in Zaleski. “I want to meet them and they have to meet the animal before I’ll let them go,” she said.

Some of the animals available for adoption can be found on http://www.petfinder.com/ and www.adoptapet.com.

Barb also devotes time to educating others on topics that she believes will prevent many animals from being unwanted and abandoned. She talks to 4-H clubs, Girl Scouts, Bible schools and other groups to educate about how to treat an animal and even about things to consider before getting a pet.

She believes that kids and animals are good for each other but wants all kids to know some basic things:

  • Always be gentle and respectful toward animals. Never pull their hair, kick or be mean to an animal.
  • Animals have to be fed, watered and groomed just like humans.
  • When they’re sick they need to see a doctor and have medicine.
  • Animals need love and care.

She also has tips for people who are thinking about buying or adopting a pet:

  • Research the breed to learn about its personality, potential health issues, etc. Is the breed good with kids? Does it need a lot of room to run? Is it prone to allergies or other health issues?
  • Can you afford the cost of health care for this pet? Spay/neutering, flea and heartworm medicine and an annual wellness check-up are vital for a healthy animal.
  • If the animal has health issues, can you afford specialized food and care?
  • Consider lifespan of a breed. For example, a parrot can live for 75 to 80 years. What will happen to the parrot when you die or if you can’t care for it? A puppy can live for fourteen or more years. Are you prepared to commit to this dog for the rest of its life?
  • Do you have room in your home for this pet? Outside pets tend to be isolated and are at greater risk for disease and predators.
  • Never give a pet to someone who isn’t expecting it and hasn’t met the animal.

“I encourage people to stop and think about it. If your home is quiet and low key, a lap dog would be a good fit. But if you have kids and like to go hiking and get outside, a Lab would be a good choice. If you’re not sure you really want to commit to an animal for their lifetime, it’s best to not commit for right now. We would have fewer animals in rescue if more people thought ahead,” she said.

If you want to help, donations of money and items are welcome. Items such as old towels and blankets, cleaning supplies, treats and toys for dogs and cats, scrub brushes, grooming supplies and Dawn dish soap are always in demand. Checks can be sent to Painted Acres Animal Rescue at P.O. Box 245, Zaleski, Ohio 45698. Electronic donations can be made via Paypal to vcpoundrescue2000@yahoo.com or Gofundme.com. Volunteers of all ages are also welcome as there is always work to be done around Painted Acres. Contact Barb via email or call 740.596.4070.

Small Business Spotlight: The Well

 

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month! 

A business in downtown Lancaster with a passionate following is getting ready to celebrate their third anniversary. It is a spot that was created for families to come and eat clean, wholesome foods, gather for coffee and conversation, and have a little fun. To call it a restaurant would be misleading; to simply call it a coffee shop wouldn’t be enough. Introducing: The Well.

What would you call The Well? “That’s a good question,” says Adam Leu, who owns the business along with his brother Aaron. “We’re a place to gather; a restaurant, a retail shop, a coffee shop, a place to bring your family in to play. We’re here to teach and educate, to service, and to build relationships and be a light in our community.” The words on the glass along the entryway say it best: “A Modern Gathering Place.”

The Leus’ intent was always to create a business with a family atmosphere that their own relatives and friends would want to enjoy; a modern place to eat, drink, play and live. “You see it too much that a small business consumes you. We didn’t want that,” Adam says. He continued, “Our priorities were always very clear – we have families and we wanted them to be involved, to come around and to enjoy this place. We wanted to do that for others.”

The idea for “the Modern Gathering Place” came about after Adam and Aaron held discussions about their next move in business. Inspired by several family play cafés the brothers had seen, Adam and Aaron came out of their discussions realizing they felt it was an exciting idea and something they thought the public would enjoy as well.

The search for a location began in 2013, and when scouting locations in Lancaster, they came across the old Hammond’s Clothier building at 203 S. Broad Street. It was pretty clear from first sight that it would be perfect. Hammond’s had been open since the early 1900’s and the building and its décor reflected so much of that history.

Plus, with the added bonus of empty gallery space below and above the storefront, Aaron felt it’d be a perfect spot to renovate and create a home for him and his family. After several meetings with the Lancaster-Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Destination Downtown Lancaster, the decision to purchase of the building was made, and in May 2013 the plans of opening in time for The Lancaster Festival’s Art Walk in July were laid out. And once work began, those hopes were quickly dashed. “We were pretty ambitious. We worked on the living space first, and Aaron wasn’t able to move in until December of that year- and the shop wasn’t opened until March of 2014,”

Adam laughed as he recalled. “But we did most of the work ourselves. We added the kitchen area and the bathroom, but the building was in good shape. It was mostly cosmetics.”

Now filled with self-constructed décor, hand-made crafts and goods, organic snacks and sweets, art, and a play area the family built taking up a large portion of the rear, The Well has blossomed into a popular place for locals and out-of-towners alike. And the word of these loyal visitors has been key to their success.

“We really haven’t had to pay for advertising.” Adam revealed. “The Eagle-Gazette ran an article the week we opened, which we didn’t plan on, and the Dispatch called right after that for another piece. And it’s just grown from there.”

The space, and the menu especially, were originally intended to serve a very niche market. They just didn’t realize how large that niche market was. “After the Eagle-Gazette article, we were slammed. We had lines out the door and we were thinking ‘what are we doing?’ We weren’t ready for this.” Adam looks back. They seemed to have figured it out, though, and the crowds continue to grow.

The rotating menu features organic, gluten free vegetarian foods and smoothies, juices, coffees, and treats utilizing local growers and coffee beans from around the world (and never roasted more than fourteen days prior!). The Buckeye Bar, the sweet specialty of Tim, their father, has proven to be a hit! In fact, VCNB employees may or may not consistently keep a few of them at their desk.

The Leus have taken calls from interested investors looking to add locations and businessmen looking to franchise. “But we’re just not interested in that, that was never the priority.” Adam explained, again citing the desire to have a place for his family. “I’m here, Aaron, our mother (Pat), our father (Tim), Bob’s a friend, and Mary’s helping us too. Our wives help us, our kids come in here and hang out with us. You just can’t do that if we go somewhere else. Our desire wasn’t to come here and be a restaurant, and be hidden back in a kitchen all day. We want to see you and we want you to take some of this with you. We’ll give you any recipe or information you want. We’re a part of this community and we want to be here building relationships with you.”

Visitors can stop by The Well from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on weekdays. The retail and play space can also be rented after hours at $150 for three hours. You can get connected on Facebook or call 740.573.7011.