By Chelsea Bray: Elle A. Design
Tuesday, September 29th is International Coffee Day. We want to use this day not only to celebrate coffee and how amazing it is, but to celebrate a local coffeehouse that makes top-notch coffee and has a story that everyone needs to hear. The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse is a unique location right here in Urbana, Ohio that employs people living with many different developmental disabilities. The owner, Bobbi, “envisions a continuous goal to build the lives of adults with disabilities.” The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse strives to help their employees build interpersonal skills, self-worth, self-esteem and give them a job they are proud to have.
As part of this process they not only want to teach their employees how to carry out their day-to-day tasks but to educate them on the origins of the coffee, products they carry, and how to prepare a great cup of joe. The result, as they put it, “adds a unique sweetness to every cup” and we couldn’t agree more. The drinks they serve are extra special thanks to the extra love, but also thanks to their amazing partners; Hemisphere Coffee Roasters and Downsize Farm.
Hemisphere Coffee Roasters is another inspirational local business, located in Mechanicsburg, Ohio. They have a huge passion for coffee, but also for helping people. They have built direct-trade relationships with the growers that produce their coffee beans to make sure they are being paid fairly and the income they receive will help their communities thrive. Their moto is “Good coffee doing good” and it really reflects in their business and even in the local relationships they build.
To fully paint a picture of all that The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse does for our community, we must also shine light on Downsize Farm, located in Woodstock, Ohio. At Downsize Farm they are fully devoted to the enrichment of the members’ lives. Their habilitation program for adults with developmental disabilities focuses on giving the participants tools and confidence to be part of their community. The family tie between The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse and Downsize farm is a story of love, family, happiness and heartbreak. With the guidance of her parents, Bob and Midge, and inspiration from her brothers, Eric and Levi, Bobbi has transformed a simple coffeehouse into a place that supports community members, gives people a sense of pride, and fosters daily opportunity.
Although currently you can’t stay inside to enjoy your beverage, you can still stop in and grab something to go at The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse. Feeling connected to the community is important to everyone and this year has made it a little harder to make that happen. If you have time, stop in for a drink and a quick chat. They also recently announced they are taking online orders - you can place an order here.
We hope you have an amazing International Coffee Day and take a minute to thank those special people in your life, your baristas, for everything they do! The phrase you will hear over and over again at The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse is “We are victors, not victims” and we could not agree more. Go out and seize the day!
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
It takes a big heart to teach little minds. Teachers are such an inspiration to us all and how can we ever thank them for all they do? These are challenging times, and our education systems have been quick to act creatively and out of passion. Also, within the past 9 months, the definition of a teacher has changed drastically as some parents have become teachers and homes have become classrooms. If you are wondering how you can thank your teachers, be sure to check out our top 5 gift suggestions to put a smile on your teachers face and make them feel appreciated.
Teabaggers Coffee, Tea & Wine Cafe – Urbana – Open Monday-Friday 9:05-3, Saturday 9:05-2
Is your teacher a coffee or wine lover? If so, you’re in luck! Teabaggers, right here in Urbana, offers a wide variety of gourmet teas and coffee, wines, mugs, t-shirts, and more! Gift cards are also available so your teacher can pick out their perfect gift. Stop into this beautiful family-owned business – and while you’re at it, treat yourself to an amazing lavender lemonade! Check out their Facebook page to see their drink and lunch specials!
Ethel's Flower's & Gift Shop – Urbana – Open Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-2
There’s no better time of year to show your teacher appreciation than fall! Ethel’s has a wide variety of fall florals, décor, and yummy goodies. Give them a call and place an order over the phone for delivery to your teacher, right at their desk. Add a box of Marie’s Candies for the perfect gift combo. Check out their website to see all of their beautiful arrangements.
Bello Salon – Urbana – Open by Appointment
Give the gift of pampering and relaxation. For the teacher who puts all of their students’ needs in front of their own, let’s give back. A Bello Salon gift certificate gives your teacher the choice of message therapy, hair styling, hair products, lashes, waxing, and more! Check out their facebook page and stop in to purchase a gift certificate for the person who has had such a positive impact on your life.
Let's Eat Cake – Urbana: Open Wednesday & Saturday 10-5, Thursday 10-6, Friday 9-6
Looking for a “sweet” way to show your teacher how much you appreciate them? Look no further than Let’s Eat Cake on Scioto Street. From cakes to cookies, brownies to cupcakes, they have all of the favorite flavors to satisfy a sweet tooth. Check out their facebook page and website and pick out the perfect treat for your teachers!
Schuler’s Bakery – Urbana – Open Sunday-Monday 6-8
Teachers are magical and so are Schuler’s Bakery donuts! Surprise your favorite teacher with donuts and coffee to start their day. Give them a call or stop in to pick out a few of their fan favorites, which are sure to be a hit with your teacher and class.
We want to say “Thank You” from the bottom of our hearts to all of our local teachers and parents, whether in-person, distance learning or homeschooling. You amaze and inspire us daily!
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
Fall is an amazing time of year. The leaves change from their bright green to vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange leaving everyone craving pumpkin pie and apple cider. Decorating your home with locally found fall décor will bring that feeling of comfort you can only find on a crisp fall morning. No matter what area of your home you want to decorate or what your budget is, you are sure to find the perfect item at one of these great local shops. Enjoy our virtual fall décor showcase as we walk you through just some of what Champaign County has to offer!
Seth’s Produce and Garden Center – Urbana – Open Every Day 9-7
This is the go-to spot for pumpkins and gourds! You can expect pumpkins to start arriving mid-September and they have a large selection of colors and sizes so you will be sure to find your perfect jack-o-lantern pumpkin. They already have mums of all colors in stock that are ready for that perfect spot on your front porch or in your flowerbed. Along with all of their amazing fall décor, they also have fresh produce so you can prepare a fall soup or stew to end your day with. Check out their Facebook page to see what is fresh this week!
Ethel’s Flowers and Gift Shop – Monday-Saturday 9-5
Fall is the best time of the year to get a fresh bouquet of sunflowers. If you want something longer lasting, they also carry potted sunflowers that can brighten up any room. They have been putting out their new fall décor the past couple of weeks which includes velvet pumpkins, wall signs, and candy corn inspired metal pennants. To top off their amazing selection of décor they also carry Marie’s Candies that you can add to any order for delivery or you can just pick up a box for yourself! They are constantly getting new inventory so follow them on Facebook to see the latest décor.
David’s Greenhouse – Monday-Saturday 9-5
At David’s Greenhouse in St. Paris you will find a variety of blooming fall flowers including mums and flowering kale. They also have other great porch decor like gorgeous fall wreaths to dress up your front door. Throughout the year they offer opportunities to hold fundraisers for your church, school or organization. Make sure you check out their Facebook page to keep up to date on what they have going on all year long!
Chateau Farms – Urbana – Open Every Day 10-6
Chateau farms has over 90 different varieties of fall mums, asters, and flowers kale. They offer different sizes and also have hanging baskets for your front porch. They sell at local festivals and markets as well as at their new retail location. If you still can’t make it to them, they will come to you! They offer delivery on bulk orders so you and your friends can get together and place an order to be shipped directly to you. If this is the first time you have planted mums there are some great tips on their website to help you as well.
Official voting for the Best of Champaign County will be October 1st-31st. Voters are asked to donate $1 per vote to the Chamber of Commerce, so that it can continue to carry out its mission to connect Champaign County by promoting members and inspiring collaboration by offering resources and opportunities to enhance our community. Nominations and ballots will be accepted online, by mail, email or in person at the Chamber of Commerce located at 127 W. Court St. in Urbana.
Chamber Director, Sara Neer, explains, “With so many events being cancelled and postponed this year due to Covid the Chamber and Board of Directors thought long and hard about a fundraiser that we could carry out virtually to replace our in person events that we rely on for revenue to keep the Chamber in business. The Best of Champaign County contest does a few things: promotes local businesses, educates and involves the community, and assists the Chamber in raising funds by implementing a ‘donate to vote’ feature.”
In a normal year the Chamber hosts monthly lunch & learns, business after hours networking events, first friday coffee hours, Safety Council meetings, Leadership Champaign County, along with other larger events. “We want to do all we can to continue providing valuable resources to our members and the community throughout this trying time and we hope that Champaign County will support our newest fundraiser”, says Chamber Board President, Tom Coles, “Small businesses add to the uniqueness of our county and we want to involve the community in recognizing and celebrating all that makes Champaign County a great place to live, work and play.”
Join FocalPoint Business Coach Scott Brown for a workshop focused on teaching you 5 key things to help you: 1.) Understand why we don't get better information 2.) Identify what can we do as leaders to get better information 3.) Develop your personal plan to transition from firefighting to fire prevention.
This event is FREE. October 6, 2020 from 12PM - 1PM. Click here to register today!
By Chelsea Bray: Elle A. Design
Driving down US Highway 68 you will find many amazing stops but travel slightly off the beaten path and you will find an absolute treasure. Dragonfly Vineyard and Wine Cellar is located between West Liberty and Urbana on Herr Road. This beautiful location is owned and operated by Kent and Connie Eichenauer. They planted their first four acres of grapes in 2011 with no intention of operating their own winery. Eventually Kent got curious enough to start making wine in their basement and their very first Riesling was produced.
Early on Kent became involved in the viticulture program through Ohio State and the Wine Producers Association. This helped him form great relationships with other local winemakers. Their support from fellow Ohio winemakers helped guide them on this incredible journey.
They invested in their own equipment to harvest, crush, ferment and store their own vineyard grapes and started serving their homemade wine to friends and family. The response was more than they could have imagined and the support and encouragement to open their own winery pushed them to begin their new adventure.
They opened Dragonfly Vineyard and Wine Cellar in June 2019. They currently grow four acres of grapes including Vidal, Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Marquette and LaCreseant. They have neighbors who grow Frontenac that they harvest also. Their knowledge and love for wine really shines through in each bottle.
If you are interested in visiting Dragonfly Vineyard and Wine Cellar, they are currently open Thursday from 5:00-9:00PM and Friday and Saturday 12:00-9:00PM. There are some new guidelines they are implementing during COVID-19 and you can see them all on their website. They sometimes have live music and other events happening at the vineyard and you can find more info about those on their facebook page.
DSA will reimburse two-thirds of the wages paid (up to $10,000) to an intern acquired through our program. Companies can either be a tech-focused company or any company with the need for a tech-focused intern. During this time of social distancing, the internship allows for and encourages, remote or telework opportunities. Companies can hire as many as three (3) interns for different positions. The minimum wage for interns is $15 per hour but can exceed that amount. The internship period begins on November 1, 2020 and ends on April 30, 2021.
The company application is now open and interested companies can apply at https://development.ohio.gov/bs_thirdfrontier/diip.htm
Below is a 1 pager outlining the Internship Program. Please feel free to forward along to any businesses you think may be interested in this opportunity.
A canceled fair or festival does not just represent a loss for summer entertainment. It also represents lost income for charitable organizations, rental companies, food distributors, and cancelled rooms for hotels, B&Bs and Inns.
With this in mind, it is more important now than ever for the residents of Champaign County to make a conscious effort to shop and support local businesses first. Before driving out of town to go shopping or ordering an item online, ask yourself, “Is there a local merchant who sells that item?” Many times the answer is yes, and if you are not sure, the Chamber of Commerce is here to assist by referring members and local businesses.
The people of Champaign County are proud, loyal and hardworking. Living in a close-knit community has many benefits. Everyone is your neighbor here. Let's rally to support our small businesses and their employees. Let’s help our neighbors.
The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce stands ready to assist its members and the community. The Chamber office is open Monday-Friday 8 AM - 4 PM and is reachable by phone, 937-653-5764. Furthermore, a membership and community guide is available at champaignohio.com.
By Chealsea Bray- Elle A. Design
Planning a trip can sometimes be more stressful than relaxing. Let us do the work for you as we plan out some of the must-see spots in Champaign County! Schedule this weekend getaway for you and your family and come see how much our small town has to offer.
Get a coffee at Hemisphere Coffee Roasters – 275 E. Sandusky St, Mechanicsburg, Ohio 43044
Start your day out with a great cup of coffee! Hemisphere Coffee Roasters is an amazing local coffee roaster. They provide many local businesses with their blends and have fans all over the country! We suggest you try their blueberry cobbler coffee; it is a local favorite! You can buy whole beans or grounds to take home too.
Grab some breakfast and a snack at Simple Comforts – 1 S Main Street, Mechanicsburg, Ohio 43044
If you need more than just a cup of great coffee to get your day started, you can swing by Simple Comforts and get a baked good and have breakfast on the go. They also have smoothies and hot chocolate for non-caffeinated breakfast alternatives. Grab a snack to take in the car and head on to the next stop.
Get going on a walk with the Scioto Street Self-Guided Tour – Begins at 205 Scioto Street, Urbana, Ohio 43078
Once you are fueled and ready for an adventure you can head to Urbana and enjoy the self-guide tour of Scioto Street. The tour is a half mile long and showcases homes built as early as 1805. This street is full of the history of Urbana and Champaign County, and highlights some of the most notorious families from the area. If you are a fan of history or architecture this tour is for you!
Ready for Lunch? Head to Mumford’s Potato Chips and Deli – 325 N Main Street, Urbana, Ohio 43078
When you are ready to refuel and stop for lunch make sure Mumford’s Potato Chips and Deli is on your list! This hometown staple has been serving the community since 1932. Upon entering Mumford’s, you will feel as if you are stepping into the home of a friend. This deli-style shop is a great place to enjoy a sandwich right in downtown Urbana.
Explore the hidden gem of Grimes Field Municipal Airport – 1636 N Main Street, Urbana, Ohio 43078
You will find more than you expect at this small airport in Urbana. Grimes Field Municipal Airport is a general aviation airport located one mile north of Urbana. It is the only airport in the United States with three museums on site, one of which is the Champaign Aviation Museum. Here you will find fully restored vintage aircrafts including a B-25 that you can even take a flight in! They are currently working to restore other planes including a B-17 Flying Fortress that is a very special ongoing project. You can support their long-term goals of renovation by making a donation on their site. Also onsite is the Airport Café. Their pie is the talk of the town and you won’t want to leave without enjoying a piece while you watch airplanes land and take-off.
Take in a movie at Gloria Theatre – 213 S Main Street, Urbana, Ohio 43078
After a long day out and about you can relax for the evening by taking in a movie at the Gloria Theatre in Downtown Urbana. This theatre originally opened more than 113 years ago and still shows movies today! The theatre only has one screen and is an experience unlike any other. The theatre is being restored by the GrandWorks Foundation to be a venue for movies and live theater in the near future.
Stay the Night at the Brand-New Cobblestone Hotel – 170 OH-55, Urbana, Ohio 43078
The Cobblestone Hotel is one of the newest businesses in Urbana having just opened earlier this year! With all the amenities of a large hotel but the feel of a small town, you will feel right at home and have a very comfortable stay here. They have an indoor pool that can be enjoyed year-round. The facility is even dog friendly, so your beloved pet doesn’t have to stay behind as you explore all Champaign County has to offer. Get a great night’s sleep to prepare for another great day in Champaign County!
Start the day with great coffee and amazing breakfast at The Depot Coffee House – 644 Miami St, Urbana, Ohio 43078.
As you start your second day exploring Champaign County you can grab breakfast at the hotel before hitting the road. If you need a coffee fix on your way, be sure to stop at The Depot Coffee House! This gem is located inside an old Railroad Depot and the history you feel when you enter is unlike anything else. They serve amazing coffee, lattes, and other specialty drinks. You can also get a baked good to take with you before you head to your next adventure.
Get ready for a full day of fun at Kiser Lake – 4889 OH0235, Conover, Ohio 45317
The area offers six hiking trails that offer amazing views of the water and of the marshland that surrounds the lake. If you would rather relax you can visit the swimming beach that is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. You can also rent a boat from one of the two boat rental locations within the park to go fishing or to just see more of this amazing lake. There are tables and grills at the park as well as shelters to enjoy your lunch at. If you just can’t get enough of the lake, there are 115 camping spots available to stay overnight. You can also take advantage of the “Rent-a-Camp” units by reservation so you don’t have to pack your own tent! There is so much to do a Kiser lake you will want to plan a whole day there to make sure you have seen it all.
As you pack up and head for home, we hope your conversation on the way is about how much fun you had in Champaign County! We hope you will tell you friends to visit and that you will want to come back too. There is so much more to see and do but this weekend plan will get you acquainted with our small towns and all they offer. We can’t wait to see you again!
Explore all of Champaign County by visiting the Champaign County Visitor's Bureau.