Unique Ohio Shopping

Your Guide to Unusual Stores and Interesting Shops in Ohio




The Cleveland Arcade

The 1890 Arcade in downtown Cleveland was the first indoor shopping center in the country. It featured a 300-foot, five-story, dome skylight of 1,600 glass panels framed in iron connecting two nine-story towers. Its architecture mimicked the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy. Financed by John D. Rockefeller, it was dubbed Cleveland’s Crystal Palace.

The Arcade is located at 401 Euclid Avenue, wherein its heyday an unprecedented amount of wealth resided there due to the universe around Rockefeller’s oil empire. “The Avenue” as it was known, exceeded the valuations of New York’s Fifth Avenue in the late 1800s, earning another nickname: The Showplace of America. And The Arcade was the cherry on top so-to-speak.

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A Swarm of Candles

Took Root to Medina, Ohio
By Rocco Satullo, your tour guide to fun!

American ingenuity is alive and well in Medina, Ohio where the worker bees at Root Candles exhibit the same honesty, integrity and craftsmanship that their founder instilled nearly 150 years ago.

This company is now in its fifth generation, with the founder’s great-great-grandson as the current president. However, it’s not just family values and work ethic that made Root Candles a household name; it’s also the fabric of the community that surrounds it.

A visit here is met with a blend of ground-breaking advancements, past and present. On the one hand, it’s like rubbing elbows with the 19th and 20th centuries, but on the other hand, it’s like a glimpse into the modern marketplace and state-of-the-art innovations that continue to keep Root Candles on the cutting edge. …READ MORE…

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The Family Trees

Branched into Four Destinations at One
PINE TREE BARN

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler

If you think outside of the box—or barn in this case—you’re likely to meet someone who will tell you that your idea is nuts!

Such a tale has become a rite of passage from one generation to another running the family business at Pine Tree Barn in Wooster, Ohio. It all started three generations ago with an idea seeded in Bob Dush’s mind. The sapling was nourished, a family raised, and a multigenerational business branched from that strong trunk. The offshoots formed what may at first glance seem to be an eclectic array of retail offerings, but upon closer look, it makes sense how each business grew together quite naturally.

Here’s how it happened …READ MORE

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The History Store

The History Store is where grownups become kids again!

  • Open: Monday – Wednesday from 10am – 6pm, Thursday 10am – 6pm, Friday 10am – 5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 101 N. Paint St. in Chillicothe, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-755-7400
  • Web:  click here

The History Store’s storefront window alone will tell its passersby that this is not your ordinary store. Inside is an extraordinary selection of miniature soldier scenes spanning human history. Look up and there are even paratroopers skydiving from the ceiling. But that’s not all. There’s a wide variety of scale model buildings and fighting machines from ships to armored vehicles to aircraft.

A walk around the store is like a walk inside a museum from one display to the next, each with a fascinating story playing out in the meticulously crafted dioramas. It features one of the largest collections and selections of miniatures around.

The store isn’t just about the vast array of miniatures from Woodland Indians to Civil War and more. It also serves the history buffs with historical-based busts and other sculptures, books and bookends, videos and gift items, Virginia Metalcrafters, and solid Brass made in America.

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b.a. Sweetie Candy Company

candy-aWelcome to the b.a. Sweetie Candy Company, the largest candy store in the country.

Cleveland’s b.a. Sweetie Candy is the largest candy store in the country. It features over 4,000 different kinds of candy totaling about 400,000 pounds of candy under one roof with nearly 2 million pounds in stock. They have everything from old-time favorites to the latest craze. There’s even an old-fashioned truck full of candy just inside to greet customers as their jaws drop upon entering this sweet store.

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The Backpackers Shop

Welcome to The Backpackers Shop in Sheffield Village.

  • Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday from 10am – 6pm; Thursday from Noon – 8pm, and  Sunday from Noon – 5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 5128 Colorado Avenue in Sheffield Village, Ohio
  • Phone: 440 934-5345
  • Web: click here

The Backpackers Shop in Sheffield Village is a legendary destination for expert service, top-quality outdoor gear, and apparel and has been family-owned since 1962. It has served the needs of those passionate about the outdoors for over half a century!

The Backpackers Shop sells outdoor goods for backpacking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, climbing, mountaineering, and other top-notch gear and apparel that outdoorsmen and women need to be safe and successful. The store has become popular for many who love the outdoors, and it offers superior brands and products that aren’t available anywhere else with a personal and experienced touch.

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Big Fun Toy Store

Welcome to the Big Fun Toy Store in Cleveland Heights.

  • Open: Monday-Thursday 11:00am-8:00pm; Friday & Saturday 11am – 10pm; and Sunday 11am-7:00pm
  • Location: (Map It) 1814 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, OH
  • Phone: 216-317-4386
  • Web: www.bigfuntoystore.com/

The Big Fun Toy Store in Cleveland Heights:  With this store’s large variety of toys, you’re guaranteed to be satisfied. If you stop by the Big Fun Toy Store, a few items you can expect to see are lunch boxes blow-up toys, candy, dolls, classic toys, and much, much more. Prices range from one dollar, all the way up to thousands of dollars! Even if you don’t buy something, you’re sure to have a great time looking through the store finding cool toys you’ve never seen before. The name of the store itself says big and fun, so be sure to stop by while you’re in the area.

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Blake’s Pharmacy

Welcome to the historic soda-jerk, Blake’s Pharmacy.

  • Open: 9am to 6pm Monday through Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday.
  • Location: (Map It) 206 N Market St, West Union, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-587-3100

Blake’s Pharmacy is one of the last three historic soda-jerk pharmacies in Ohio and offers a very rich experience. Blake’s Pharmacy hosts a 24/7 prescription policy allowing customers to meet a pharmacist in the store late into the night in case of a medical emergency. They even offer sandwiches and five-cent Coke if you are hungry.

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The Book Loft of German Village

Welcome to The Book Loft of German Village in Columbus.

The Book Loft of German Village in Columbus is all about the journey…through the multilevel store that continues on-and-on, and on-and-on, in and out of 32 rooms tucked into a lovely brick building, wrapped in brick sidewalks, and an old street lamp shining from its curb appeal to the side gardens and walkway, stretching back to a courtyard and book garden, whispering old-world charm all the way around. It is one of the biggest independent bookstores in the country and once housed a saloon, general store, and nickelodeon cinema. Nestled in the old German Village neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio, it has a culture all of its own. And although it may seem endless in tales, it has an intimate warmth that says, hey, stay a while. And you will. Check out the website above for author book signings and bargains galore.

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Candy Cane Christmas Shoppe

Welcome to the Candy Cane Christmas Shoppe.

  • Open: July – December from 9am – 8pm Mon – Sat and 1 – 5pm Sun
  • Location: (Map It) 22897 US Rt. 20-A in Archbold, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-445-5828
  • Web: www.candycanechristmas.com/

The Candy Cane Christmas Shoppe:  Discover one of Ohio’s finest  Christmas shops. What was once a school for many years, all rooms are now beautifully renovated into: The Grand Christmas, nativity, kids, collectable & coffee/tea rooms. The Grand Christmas room has an 8′ high hand painted mural that was painted by a local artist that surrounds the entire room. The room has approximately 30 trees decorated in different themes as well as many collectable lines. Over 10,000 sq. feet of Christmas everything is found here. Plus, visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea along with cheesecake, ice cream and fresh made fudge. If you are planning a day trip to Northwest Ohio or just driving through, stop in and check it out.

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Carmazzi’s Candy & General Store

Welcome to Carmazzi’s Candy & General Store.

  • Location: (Map It) 100 S. Main St. in Urbana, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-653-7443
  • Web: click here

Carmazzi’s Candy & General Store in Urbana, Ohio, is the ultimate corner store. It opened over 120 years ago and is still at the center of this quaint little town in West Central Ohio. This historic general store is full of charm, specializing in vintage candies and custom gift and fruit baskets. Venture inside for bulk “penny” candy, hard-to-find candy, movie theater candy, fresh peanuts, desserts, pastries, delicious deli sandwiches …and household and automotive needs.

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Chatham General Store 1854

For decades, I’ve been cruising State Route 83 in a hurry to visit my hometown. Every time, I slow down at the rural corner of Chatham Road and Avon Lake Road in Medina, Ohio (Chatham Township) to see the cool-looking old building with painted lettering across the weathered white wood façade: CHATHAM GENERAL STORE EST. 1854, followed by GOOSE & GANDER ICE CREAM PARLOR.

This time, I had time to spare so I pulled into the oversized gravel parking lot. ‘Oh, what story does this place have to tell,’ I wondered as I reached for my camera. As I took in the postcard view of Yesteryear, a couple of signs on the porch came into focus: “Bait” and “Maple Syrup.” Yep, it’s an authentic general store.

The building dates to 1834. And ever since 1854, it’s been a general store. Its neighbors used to be a blacksmith shop, tin shop, harness shop, millinery shop, tailor, and shoe repair store. But that was nearly 200 years ago just after the Chatham Oil Boom. My, how times have changed, but not this store.

I stepped inside and onto the worn wood floor I would soon learn is original and asked the lady at the counter, “Is this place yours?”

She smiled a welcome to my place kinda smile and said, “My husband Bill and I bought it a year ago at auction. My name is Beverly Scandlon.”

Bill used to frequent the store when he was a kid in the 1980s. He’d ride his bike up to get ice cream and play Pac-Man in the back of the place.

A vintage cash register caught my eye. It had a fancy design stamped into the brass that looked like it weighed over 100 pounds. Beverly said it was the first piece she and Bill purchased to begin the restoration of the original store. The cash register is one of the original National Cash Registers. They bought it from a great-great-granddaughter of a neighboring shoe keeper who used it back in 1869.

The Scandlons have since brought back an updated inventory, restoring the haberdashery with hats, wallets, coin purses, and handkerchiefs.  The local goods room features honey from a nearby farm, soaps, kettle popcorn, and wheat and buckwheat pancake mix from a local mill. It also displays local artist works such as forged items candles, crafts, vintage signs, and Beverly’s own watercolor creations.

As the old sign out front promotes, the Scandlons also reopened the ice cream parlor. It serves Hershey’s Ice Cream in hand-dipped cones, sundaes, shakes, malts, and root beer or orange floats. Between the front counter and the old-time candy bins are metal stools standing high at a metal and wood-topped table for two.

Opposite the grocery aisle is a popular stop in the store that seems to offer anything and everything. Just follow the smell of fresh coffee, baked goods, and deli sandwiches (soup and chili, too). Whether it’s a bakery muffin with coffee, chicken salad on crescent, sub sandwiches on a deli roll, a “Hillbilly Hotdog,” or cupcakes to cream pie for dessert, Chatham General Store won’t disappoint. Hey, it’s where the locals go!

And being a place that offers a soup-to-nuts selection so-to-speak, a loop around the store will pass old cotton club wood crates, John Wayne and Bugs Bunny pictures, and other old Americana decor. There’s also a propane exchange, ice chest, lottery tickets, and ATM machine.

Beverly said in remembrance of her dad, she and Bill are expanding a section of the store called Grandpa’s Cabin. It’s a throwback offering fishing, hunting, and camping supplies.

“My Dad would have loved this store,” said Beverly, “It would remind him of the stores in West Virginia where he grew up.”

After I said my goodbye, Beverly shared that after a year of being the shopkeep of The Chatham General Store, she still enjoys hearing the creak of the original wood floors and the slam of the screen door on a summer day.

As the Scandlon’s forge into the future of their general store, they invite everyone to “Step into the past…”

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler. Your Tour Guide to Fun

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Celebrate Local

Shop The Best of Ohio

Welcome to Celebrate Local – Shop The Best of Ohio.

  • Open daily from 10am – 9pm (12-6 Sunday)
  • Location 1: (Map It) 3952 Townsfair Way at Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone 1:  614-471-6446
  • Location 2: (Map It) 7127 Foundry Row at Liberty Center in Liberty Township, Ohio between Cincinnati and Dayton
  • Phone 2: 513-273-5610
  • Web: https://www.celebratelocalohio.com/ 

Celebrate Local – Shop The Best of Ohio is a retail store and business incubator which focuses on Ohio artists, authors, and small family-run businesses. Representing hundreds of small businesses it offers thousands of unique and locally (Ohio) produced products. The two stores often host product demonstrations, food tastings, and other outreach activities and events.

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Cleveland West Side Market

Take a tour of the historic Cleveland West Side Market.

  • Open Mondays and Wednesdays from 7am – 4pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 7am – 6pm, and Sundays from 10am – 4pm
  • Location: (Map It) 1979 West 25th Street in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-664-3387
  • Web: click here

Cleveland West Side Market:  Take a self-guided tour of this 1912 multi-cultural historical landmark. It produces an old-world shopping style and features more than 100 ethnic vendors selling first-rate vegetables, meats, fresh fish, pastries, and more. A viewing area high above the main-market floor provides tourists with a panoramic view of the hustle and bustle going on below.

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Cooper’s Mill

Welcome to Cooper’s Mill in Bucyrus.

  • Open: Monday – Saturday from 9am – 6pm (Closes at 5pm on Saturday).
  • Location: (Map It) 1414 N. Sandusky Ave. in Bucyrus, Ohio
  • Phone: 800-708-4215
  • Web: click here

Hop over to Cooper’s Mill and see apples and berries go from the vine to spread. Cooper’s apple butter and jellies are sold far and wide. But David Cooper isn’t lying when he says, “It’s just like grandma used to make,” because it is. David learned to make apple butter at his grandma’s farm. Later, he bought a stirring pot and began making his own. Demand grew, and a business was formed to handle the requests. For years the mixing was done by hand – David’s father-in-law’s hands – out in the yard. Today, the Cooper’s offer a complete behind-the-scenes tour of the entire production process, and visitors get to witness the freshness, quality, and care that go into every jar. Afterward, David’s wife Miriam has plenty of tasting stations for sampling throughout the country store next to the production plant. Inside, a new generation of Cooper’s is introducing another treat – fudge.

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Findlay Market – Cincinnati

 

Welcome to Findlay Market in Cincinnati, Ohio.

  • Open: Tuesday – Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday 8am – 6pm, Sunday 10am – 4pm and Monday limited merchants and hours
  • Location: (Map It) 1801 Race St. in Cincinnati, Ohio’s Over The Rhine neighborhood
  • Phone: 513-665-4838
  • Web:  http://www.findlaymarket.org/

Findlay Market in Cincinnati is the oldest continuously run public market in the state. People from all walks of life come to the historic market for fresh, locally sourced foods and more. This includes meat, fish, poultry, produce, flowers, cheese, deli, and ethnic foods. Findlay Market attracts over one million visitors annually. The dense historic neighborhood features 19th-century architecture. Inside, there are nearly 50 merchants. During April – November weekends, more vendors are found outside, along with street performers and special events.

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The Fun Company

Welcome to The Fun Company – Home of Education Station in Bellefontaine, Ohio.

  • Open: Monday – Thursday from 9:30am – 6:00pm, Friday from 9:30am – 7:00pm, and Saturday from 9:30am – 5:00pm
  • Location: (Map It) 136 S Main Street in Bellefontaine, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-599-2993
  • Web: Click Here

The Fun Company – Home of Education Station in Bellefontaine, Ohio has an amazing inventory of smart toys. The Education Station serves teachers and parents alike by providing a great selection of educational products, including toys, games, books, and more.

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Grandpa’s Cheesebarn

Welcome to the original Grandpa’s Cheesebarn and Sweeties Chocolates, featuring café and homemade ice cream.

  • Open: Monday – Thursday from 9am – 5pm; Friday – Saturday from 9am – 6pm; and Sunday from 11am – 5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 668 US-HWY 250 East, Ashland, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-281-3202
  • Web: click here

The original Grandpa’s Cheesebarn and Sweeties Chocolates in Ashland features smoked meats, specialty cheeses, Amish country jams, jellies and pickles, local honey and maple syrup, and our homemade chocolates and fudge! Grandma and Grandpa Baum, along with their daughter, Ronda, and her husband, opened the unique shop in 1978. It’s an easy stop right off I-71 to eat at the café, grab some ice cream, and leave with some of the most delicious cheese in Ohio, along with an assortment of many other treats.

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Grandpa’s Pottery

Welcome to Grandpa’s Pottery in Wilmington.

  • Open: Mon, Tue, Thr, Fri from 10am – 5pm (Closed Thrs & Sun). It’s still best to call ahead to make sure they are not at a show.
  • Location: (Map It) 3558 State Route 73 West in Wilmington, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-382-6442
  • Web: click here

Grandpa’s Pottery in Wilmington is home to unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade pottery creations made by Ray Storer and his family. The Storer family makes hand-thrown pottery at their family-owned workshop as you watch and wait. Grandpa’s Pottery is a family business with Ray and Betty Sorer, their son and daughter-in-law. The Sorer’s pottery pieces have been featured and sold at the Cincinnati Art Museum and showcased at the Wilmington Pottery and Art Festival. Grandpa’s Pottery’s beautiful pieces are high-fired stoneware, ovenproof, safe for food, and microwavable unique, and handcrafted gifts.

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Guggisberg Cheese Store & Factory

Guggisberg Cheese, home of the Original Baby Swiss is located in the heart of Amish Country.

  • Open: Retail Store Hours are Monday – Saturday from 9am – 5pm.
    Cheese-Making Hours are Monday – Saturday from 9am – 12pm
  • Location: (Map It) 5060 State Route 557 in Millersburg, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-893-2500
  • Web: click here

Guggisberg Cheese Store and Factory is the Original Baby Swiss Cheese home! And in 2022 it was awarded FIRST PLACE at the American Cheese Society Competition. A trip here is a trip to a gorgeous countryside of hills and valleys meandering throughout the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country. Visit the factory store and see firsthand how Guggisberg Cheese has become world-famous. Bring a cooler; there are over 60 varieties of cheese to choose from. In addition, the store features a wide variety of authentic Cuckoo Clocks, cutlery, local goods, and more.

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Hawkes Crystal

Unique hand-cut crystal shop in Tiffin, Ohio.

  • Open: Monday through Friday from 10am – 5pm and Saturday from 10am – 1pm
  • Location: (Map It) 207 South Washington St. in Tiffin, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-448-4286
  • Web: https://www.hawkescrystal.com/

Hawkes Crystal is a shop with a unique rich history dating back to the 1800s. Here you can find anything from beautiful jewelry to immaculate crystal bowls, never wavering in quality. Hawkes Crystal will even create custom windows that capture your personal taste in a spectacular new light. The brilliantly crafted collection available from their shop truly has something for everyone.

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IKEA in Ohio

Welcome to IKEA in West Chester, Ohio.

  • Locations:
    (Map It) 9500 IKEA Way, West Chester Township, Ohio
    (Map It) 1900 IKEA Way, Columbus, Ohio
  • Web: click here

IKEA is the world-renown Swedish home retailer offering an eclectic mix of furniture and housewares. IKEA offers offer shoppers trendy and chic designs at affordable prices and is also a fun and unique way to brighten up any home.

IKEA stores on average span well over 300,000-square feet and feature 10,000 exclusively designed contemporary home furnishing items, 50 room settings, three complete model homes, a supervised children’s play area, and a 300-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a “Children’s IKEA” area in the showroom, baby care rooms, and preferred parking.

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Jungle Jim’s International Market

Welcome to Cincinnati’s Jungle Jim’s International Market locations in Fairfield and East Gate.

  • Open daily 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Location 1: (Map It) The original location is at 5440 Dixie Hwy in Fairfield, Ohio
  • Location 2: (Map It) A second location is at 4450 Eastgate S Drive in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-674-6000
  • Web: http://www.junglejims.com/

Jungle Jim’s International Market has over six acres of food under one roof! It’s not a supermarket, it’s a zoo-permarket!  An international mecca, Jungle Jim’s offers thousands of imported and national brand groceries: 12,000 wines, 1,200 beers, 1,600 cheeses, 1,000 kinds of hot sauce, one full acre of produce (including organic and international). If it’s edible, you’ll find it here!   Jungle Jim’s is truly a Food Lover’s Paradise!

Featuring:

  • The Jungle Scene complete with waterfall and wildlife
  • The General Mills Big G Cereal Bowl Band perched on the S.S. Minnow
  • Singing Creatures
  • The Brain (a pesky know-it-all employee)
  • European gourmet village
  • The Cake Canopy, International Elephant Gates and more.

Jungle Jim’s has five restaurants on the premises, including Chipotle, Rib City Grille, and our one-of-a-kind Jungle Subs and Salads. Each year they host three major festivals; Jungle Jim’s International BeerFest, Jungle Jim’s Weekend of Fire Hot Sauce Show, and Jungle Jim’s International Wine Festival. There is a full-service event center, The Oscar Event Center at Jungle Jim’s International Market capable of holding up to 1,000 people for any type of event. In addition, there are three boutique gift shops on-site, monthly cigar/wine/beer tastings, a Starbucks coffee, food demonstrations/samples throughout every weekend, and a 3,000 square foot department of just culinary and cookware items. This madcap grocer has even won the “Best Bathrooms in America” award.

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The J.M. Smucker Company Store

smucker store cafe orrville ohioWelcome to The J.M. Smucker Company Store in Orville, Ohio.

  • Store Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closed Sundays
  • Address: (Map It) 333 Wadsworth Road in Orrville, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-684-1500
  • Web:  Click here

The J.M. Smucker Company Store in Orville:  With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good. ® And nowhere is this more true than at The J.M. Smucker Company Store and Café. Located in Orrville, Ohio, The J.M. Smucker Company Store and Café originally opened in 1999 and was recently expanded and renovated. Now twice its original size, the store retains its classic timber frame barn structure and is the premier showcase for The J.M. Smucker Company’s entire family of brands, including Smucker’s®, Jif®, Crisco®, Pillsbury®, Hungry Jack® and more.

The fabulous new café serves up fresh, tasty treats made with the company’s own branded ingredients, delicious pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven and mouthwatering sundaes topped with heavenly Smucker’s toppings. The store is packed with exclusive branded merchandise and one-of-a-kind gifts, including the Gift Basket Design Center, where you can create your own custom gift basket – the perfect gift for any occasion.

You’ll also want to take a journey from 1897 to the present day at The J.M. Smucker Company museum, where you’ll experience how the company started and how it continues to evolve today.

Finally, be sure to visit smuckers.com for a schedule of special events at the store, including classes, concerts and celebrity guests.

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Lehman’s

Voted Best Destination in Ohio’s Amish Country five years in a row! 

Play Video
A Visit To Lehman’s – YouTube

Let Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, help you take the next step on your journey to a simpler life with practical, tried-and-true products for your home and garden.  Why live a simpler life? You’ll feel the satisfaction and fulfillment it brings as you slow down and savor life’s simple pleasures. Simpler products with honest ingredients are easier to understand. Quality tools bring pleasure to your creative work. Simpler values are sustainable, so you are prepared for challenges. And it’s all upheld by strong relationships with companions, community, and kin.

  • Open:  Monday to Saturday from 8am – 6pm (June – December) and 9-5 Mon – Thr & 9-6 Fri – Sat (Jan – May). Closed Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day
  • Location:  (Map It) 4779 Kidron Rd. in Kidron, Ohio
  • Phone: 800-438-5346
  • Email: Info@Lehmans.com
  • Web: www.Lehmans.com 

If you like yesteryear’s attractive, practical appliances and tools, you’ll love Lehman’s.  This family-owned and operated business specializes in antique-styled appliances, retro home furnishings, non-electric kitchenware, old-time toys, hand tools, oil lamps, collectible cookbooks, and much more.  If you think it isn’t made anymore, call Lehman’s before you give up!

Today, the retail store features a buggy barn demonstration room, the Cast Iron Cafe serving soups, salads, sandwiches, drinks, desserts, indoor and outdoor seating, and four reconstructed pre-Civil War era barns inside the retail space. Thousands of products, from tin toys to weathervanes to butter churns, are lining the shelves you probably thought they quit making years ago.

Founded by Jay Lehman to preserve the past for future generations, today, Lehman’s ships products worldwide through a website (Lehmans.com), print catalog ($), and the rambling retail store in Kidron, Ohio.

 Missionaries, survivalists, environmentalists, homesteaders, vacation homeowners, the chronically nostalgic, and movie producers wanting to create an authentic scene have made Lehman’s their low-tech superstore. The crowded Kidron store guest book is peppered with worldwide signatures, including South Africa, Slovakia, Siberia, Germany, and Kenya.

The store has been featured in the LA Times, The Washington PostThe New York Times, Time and Newsweek magazines, HG-TV, the London Telegraph, National Public Radio, and many other international news outlets. Why? Because no one else does what Lehman’s does on the scale that they do.

The Kidron retail store is open every day except Sunday and four miles south of Rte. 30 between Wooster and Canton in northeast Ohio. Visit www.Lehmans.com for information about the store and its unique product line.

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Little Fairy Garden

The Little Fairy Garden has a little magic and a little dust to add to your landscape.

  • Open: Daily from 12pm – 6pm March through December (Fri-Mon Jan & Feb)
  • Location: (Map It) 224 Xenia Avenue in Yellow Springs, Ohio
  • Phone: 714-785-5876
  • Web: click here

The Little Fairy Garden in Yellow Springs has just about anything you may imagine for an outdoor or indoor miniature garden. It has a great selection of doors to a tree, homes, furniture, bridges, and plenty of other cute little touches to create an enchanting scene.  Check the website for upcoming workshops and parties.

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Loudonville in Mohican Country

Welcome to Loudonville in Mohican Country, Ohio.

Loudonville in Mohican Country:  Journey back in time in Loudonville’s quaint Victorian downtown which greets visitors with a streetscape of colorful awnings and flower-filled baskets. Just take a leisurely stroll along Main Street.  Amish Oak Furniture offers a vast selection of high-quality furniture.  Down the street, choose from Native American gifts and jewelry at Creative Outlet.  Stop at Lingenfelter Jewelers or Rhoades Jeweler for a memorable keepsake.  Pamper yourself at Avon Beauty Center, one of the few retail Avon shops in Ohio. Stop by Four Seasons for flowers, quality antiques, Henn Pottery, unique gifts, xmas decorations (year round,) little of this,  little of that.  They’ve expanded to a huge new location – an entire city block deep!  It is also a florist with fresh flowers and gift baskets to go.  Browse for a keepsake, every day items, funky gift, or who knows what today at the Resellable Thrift Shop.  Even Danner’s Pharmacy gets into the act with a great selection of gifts including Ohio State University items.  Your Digital Partner is Loudonville’s computer store with free WiFi, small lounge and coffee shop.

Don’t miss the century and a half-year-old Raby’s Hardware, Buzzard’s Family Shoes, and more traditional stores.  Many of these stores have been in the same families for generations, so customer service and a friendly smile are always the norms.  Browse fine art galleries such as Cooper Top Gallery, featuring the work of more than 75 artists and crafters.  Near downtown visit Annette’s Clay Creations and Stonewall Studio, western art at its’ finest.

Don’t leave town hungry!  There are restaurants in Loudonville to please every palate.  From pizza, fast food, Chinese, to upscale casual at West Main Café and Mohican Tavern & Grille, family dining at Hanover House Diner, fine dining at Stepping Stone at Landoll’s Mohican Castle, Bromfield’s at Mohican State Park Resort and the Malabar Inn, an old stagecoach inn.

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Miami County is Where Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

miami-girlfriends-julyWelcome to Miami County, where girls just wanna have Fun in postcard towns like Troy, Piqua and Tipp City, Ohio.

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

You’ve heard all the buzz words before – girlfriend getaways, quaint historic towns, unusual dining, spa spoiling – but Miami County, Ohio is where it is experienced by girls who just want to have fun.

Whether it’s amidst the historic architecture of Piqua, the artistic town of Troy or the old canal town of Tipp City, the backdrop sets a scene to remember. All-day shopping at one-of-a-kind shops is only interrupted by scrumptious stops for coffee, lunch, dinner and drinks. And when the proverbial “…til you drop” commands the body to quit, there’s an extraordinary spa in a serene setting waiting to nurture your mind, body and spirit to fulfillment.

This lovely daytrip or overnight stay is well-suited for mom and daughter(s), friends reuniting or ladies that just can’t get enough of days like this.

Piqua is a good place to begin.

The recently restored and historic Fort Piqua Plaza is a visual treat but inside you’ll find mouthwatering chocolates and coffees at Winan’s. Since the late 1800’s, four generations have delighted patrons with their premium handmade treats, gourmet coffees and gifts. But in Piqua, Winan’s is just as well known for the friendly smiles poured with every cup.

When you walk into Barclay’s, you step back into time. This clothier is a family-owned business in its 3rd generation offering women labels like Brighton, Fossil, 600 West, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans and Vera Bradley. You don’t stay in business for more than 40 years if you don’t know the meaning of service! Barclay’s is also known for their distinctive men’s department featuring classic suits to casual wear.

Down the street is Apple Tree Gallery where you can get lost in original ornaments and collectibles. The name comes from the family ownership’s small orchard on their nearby farm. Here, every day is Christmas! But the building itself is an ornament of sorts, ranging from its decorative tin ceiling to the hardwood floors.

Troy is where you want to have lunch. The picturesque downtown often has art displayed in its square surrounding a large fountain within sight of outdoor restaurant patios shaded under awnings.

A lovely restaurant nestled on the square, taking full advantage of the atmosphere, is La Piazza. The name is Italian for “the square.” They may have lost track of how many “best of” awards they’ve received but people near and far have not lost track of where to find dishes that make you want to say aloud, “mamma mia!”

Now, explore The Treasured Gift. It’s a quaint shop with personality breathing from the gorgeous ceiling design above to the quality offerings throughout. If you want one-of-a-kind, this is one place to find it in the form of hand blown glass, pottery, paintings and jewelry.

Nothing may emphasize the theme of this trip more than the story behind Pinky Scout. This children’s boutique began many years ago by three little girls –“besties!”  And today, their list of friends keeps growing with every person who walks through their door. When you visit, it’s fun, affordable quality and social.

If you’re looking for “a little something extra,” go to the place that says it – albeit in French – in the name, Lagniappe! This eclectic shop combines consignment furnishings, new decorative items and permanent floral arrangements designed by the owner. And for that little something extra, there are lamps, pictures, jewelry, china and much more.

Speaking of eclectic, head over to Tipp City – an old canal town – for what’s sophisticated and new.

If you have a love affair with Vera Bradley, you’ll want to get acquainted with Urban Ava. This popular boutique is small town charm mixed with big city style. The floor is always a buzz with ladies combing the place for the PERFECT chic style that’ll set them apart and the jewelry, bags and accessories that complete the look.

There’s just one last stop before getting ready to go out on the town for dinner and more fun – Living Simply Soap. They specialize in handmade olive oil soaps, body products, bath bombs, candles and gifts.  This family-owned business prepares all of their products on site in their soap kitchen.

Short one hand for the juggling act to manage the bags a bulging, it’s time to take a load off and dine.

Welcome to Harrison’s Restaurant. The menu is as diverse as the patrons lured by that aroma of the freshest ingredients wafting out the door and down the sidewalk. There’s a full bar, made-to-order appetizers, hand-cut steak and seafood as well as their specialty in-house smoked BBQ ribs and chicken and plenty of other crowd favorites.

When you’re ready to push away from that table, walk off enough room to stop in a tiny but sweet shop – Sweet! Where else can you still get candy for as little two cents? But they’re known for their cupcakes. More than 50 creative flavors change with the seasons. Betcha can’t just have one.

Being spent in more ways than one, the true spoiling is about to begin.

Just outside of Tipp City is a dream you’ll remember – Harmony Farm. Close your eyes and enjoy a massage. Sit in a hot tub peering from behind a waterfall on the edge of bliss overlooking a lake and nothing but a natural world as far as the eyes can see. Walk away with a deeper comfort, peace and discovery that expands your own inner wisdom.

When you return from your stay, you’ll be rattling off the usual buzz words– girlfriend getaways, quaint historic towns, unusual dining, spa spoiling, etc. But it is what people will hear in your tone and see in your face that starts them thinking, Miami County, Ohio. It’s where girls go to have fun.

If you want to create an itinerary, including the hours and locations of the aforementioned shops, and discover additional options to have fun with the girls in Miami County, Ohio, plan your trip by calling call 1-800-348-8993 or visiting http://homegrowngreat.com/.

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler 

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North Market – Columbus

columbus north marketWelcome to North Market in Columbus, Ohio.

  • Open: Tuesday – Saturday from 9am – 7pm and Sunday & Monday from 10am – 5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 59 Spruce Street Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-463-9664
  • Web: northmarket.com

North Market in Columbus has fabulous foodies, persnickety purveyors and artful artisans peddling the fresh, the tasty, the exotic, the beautiful and the special. These knowledgeable, friendly merchants are happy to assist you with anything you may need; whether it is providing the freshest ingredients, or crafting their own artisan goodies for you to enjoy onsite or take home. North Market showcases the best of the best and would love for you to stop by so you may find out for yourself!

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Olde Piano Factory Antique Mall

Welcome to the Olde Piano Factory Antique Mall.

  • Open: is open 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday and 12pm to 6pm on Sunday.
  • Location: (Map It) 307 North Second Street in Ripley, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-392-9243
  • Web: click here

The Olde Piano Factory Antique Mall is an unusual destination filled with varying types of unique shops. With sixteen independent vendors, there is always a treasure to be found. In the past, this building has been used to manufacture pianos and even make parachutes in WWII. The shops contain anything from glassware to furniture, always offering a different experience than the last.

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P Graham Dunn

Graham Dunn manufactures inspirational art, gifts, and home décor, and is located in the world’s largest Amish and Mennonite community.

Nestled in beautiful Sonnenberg Valley and the heart of Amish Country, P. Graham Dunn not only creates and produces a wide selection of high-quality wood décor and gifts, but also offers guests a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.

Upon entry of the campus you’ll find yourself driving down a winding driveway passing the beautifully serene pond, and a magnificent wooden cross, surrounded by over forty flourishing trees. Walking through the front doors of the building guests are greeted by a two-story grand lobby. Ascending the grand staircase to the retail store, guests will find a series of windows, providing a bird’s eye view to the manufacturing where the entire production process can be seen from start to finish.

Visually breathtaking, the gift shop spans 20,000 square feet and is filled with elaborate wall art, enchanting home décor, and thousands of unique gifts. The stunning displays are filled with encouraging prints and engraved scripture that are sure to leave customers feeling inspired and hopeful. Additionally, there is a personalized laser engraving center where you can personalize hundreds of gift items on-the-spot.

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The Red Stable

The Red Stable features Nutcrackers and Cuckoo Clocks.

  • Open: Usually daily from 11am – 7pm (times change throughout the year)
  • Location: (Map It) 223 E. Kossuth St in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-867-5300
  • Web: click here

The Red Stable features the best in Nutcrackers and Cuckoo Clocks and has over one hundred artists’ creations waiting to be a one-of-a-kind purchase. Before it was a gift shop, this little red shop was a horse livery and carriage repair shop. Explore it and other staples of Columbus’ German Village. 

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River Ridge Leather

River Ridge Leather is where leather products are handmade with the labor of love.

  • Open: Open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Closed on Mondays from Labor Day to Memorial Day (and closed on Tuesdays from January to March).
  • Location: (Map It) 355 N. Whitewoman Street in Coshocton, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-295-0284
  • Web:  click here

River Ridge Leather Company is where Dennis Knight handcrafts the finest leather goods in Coshocton. Stop in and see the master at work. He uses the finest quality leather products on the market. He will handcraft saddles, holsters, belts, shoulder bags, briefcases, old-fashioned Valise/Portmanteau, sleigh bells, dog collars, and leashes.

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Rocky Factory Outlet Store

rockt-outlet-buildingWelcome to the Rocky Factory Outlet Store in Nelsonville, Ohio.

  • Open: Monday-Saturday 9am to 8pm ; Sunday 10am to 6pm ; Working Holidays 10pm to 5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 45 East Canal Street in Nelsonville, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-753-3130
  • Web: Click here

The Rocky Factory Outlet Store in Nelsonville:  Appalachian Ohio is filled with rugged hills, scenic views and plenty of outdoor experiences, and the biggest enthusiasts have long known where to find the best gear suited for their ventures into the wild.

Nestled into the heart of Hocking Valley, Rocky, a leading manufacturer of premium shoes, boots and outdoor gear, was established in Nelsonville in 1932 by William Brooks as the William Brooks Shoe Company. While products have undergone dramatic changes over the past seven decades, the company’s dedication to innovation, quality and durability has remained steadfast.

“It’s a real joy to come to the Rocky Outdoor Gear Store and meet people from all over Ohio and the Midwest who take interest and pride in wearing our shoes and boots,” said Mike Brooks, Rocky’s current chairman, president and CEO. “It’s a testament to the legacy of my great uncle William, my grandfather F.M. ‘Mike’ Brooks and my father John, who were committed to producing only the finest quality products for this community.”

A giant mural of a big horn sheep, an image now synonymous with the brand, greets visitors to the Rocky Outdoor Gear Store, which is found inside one of the company’s now-remodeled original factories. The service at the outlet store is as charming and friendly as historic downtown Nelsonville.

Falling on hard times, brothers William and F.M. “Mike” Brooks took a leap of faith during the Great Depression and moved their families from Columbus to Nelsonville to start what would become Rocky in a shoe factory in southeastern Ohio.

Even though business grew throughout the ’40s and ’50s and the company supplied more than one million pairs of shoes and boots for servicemen in World War II and the Korean War, the company was sold in 1959.

John Brooks, son and nephew to the founders, bought back the company in 1975 and reopened operations in Nelsonville. He planned to run a small family business, but the vision of his son, Mike, would take the company to unseen heights.

By the late 1970s, Mike Brooks decided it was time for the company to have its own brand name. Looking for name that matched their products, he chose Rocky – the name the company would eventually take in 1993.

The brand continued to enjoy growth throughout the ’80s and ’90s, and the company was soon selling shoes and boots at retailers across the nation, which prompted them to expand production to include Western and work footwear.

In 2005, Rocky acquired EJ Footwear, bringing brands Georgia Boot, Durango, Lehigh and a license for Dickies into the family. The next year, Rocky changed its name to Rocky Brands to reflect its diversified portfolio, which now includes comfort line zümfoot and Michelin Footwear.

Even though Rocky has become an international company, their values remain homegrown where it all began in Nelsonville, Ohio.

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Roscoe Village Shops

Welcome to the Roscoe Village shops.

The quaint shops of Historic Roscoe Village carry area crafts, elegant home furnishings, books and gifts, gourmet coffees and foods, and much more. Watch the traditional leatherworker as he hand-stitches leather goods the old-fashioned way, or observes the potter forming clay at the potter’s wheel, where a paint-your-own-pottery option is also available. Children will enjoy choosing from unique selections of old-fashioned candy or wooden toys at the general store. Exquisite jewelry, musical instruments, clothing and other accessories, and wood carvings are some of the other original items available at the Shops of Roscoe Village. Take a break from shopping and dine at one of the delightful restaurants.

To further experience life during the Canal Era, enjoy a peaceful float down a restored section of the Ohio and Erie Canal on the horse-drawn Monticello III canal boat or browse through the unique collections of the accredited Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum. Roscoe Village is open year-round, seven days per week. For more information, call 800-877-1830 or visit us online at www.roscoevillage.com.

Roscoe Village Toy CellarVintage Toy Cellar
Excerpt from past edition of OhioTraveler

Historic Roscoe Village is reaching out to toy lovers of all ages with a vintage Toy Cellar Exhibit in the lower level of the Toll House!

More than four hundred toys made by American manufacturers are on display at the Toll House on Whitewoman Street in the heart of Roscoe Village. The Toy Cellar contains vintage transportation vehicles made of cast iron, tin, wood, pressed steel, rubber, and other materials. Tin wind-ups from the early 1900s to the 1950s and other mechanical items are demonstrated for guests visiting the village.

A number of Ohio toy companies are represented from Akron, Barberton, Kenton, Ravenna, Canton, and Dayton. Toys from major firms such as Marx, Keystone, Wyandotte, Buddy L, Ives, Kingsbury, Steelcraft, Wolverine, Tootsie Toy, and Crandall are on display.

A wide variety of toys from yesteryear include kaleidoscopes, marbles, alphabet boards, comic characters, games, construction sets, wind-ups, electric trains, and much more!

This remarkable collection is a 40-year collection on loan to the Roscoe Village Foundation by a private collector, who will be conducting demonstrations and sharing his knowledge of vintage toys.

Hours for the Toy Cellar are 1:00pm to 3:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and is free to the public. Look for the “Toy Cellar is open” sign in front of the Toll House located in Historic Roscoe Village.

During your visit to Roscoe Village, you can take a Canal Town Journey Tour, enjoy making a hands-on keepsake, experience a horse-drawn canal boat ride, treat yourself to fine dining, visit our charming shops and stroll through the beautiful Roscoe Village gardens!

Roscoe Village is a 19th-century living history community depicting life in Ohio’s Canal Era. The Village is located on State Routes 16 and 83 near the junction of US Route 36 in east-central Ohio.  For detailed information about Roscoe Village, including special events, visit www.roscoevillage.com or call 740-622-9310; or toll-free 800-877-1830.

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Settlers’ Village of Shops

Welcome to Settlers’ Village of Shops in Middlefield, Ohio’s Amish country.

  • Hours vary but shops are usually open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 14279 Old State Rd. in Middlefield, Ohio
  • Phone 440-632-1124
  • Web: Click here

Settlers’ Village is a shopping village in the heart of Middlefield’s Amish Country, just north of Mary Yoder’s Amish Kitchen and Middlefield Cheese. Settlers’ Village is an arts and crafts shopping complex where tourists can shop, enjoy the friendly scenic environment of yesteryear.  Located in the Shopping Village is The Craft Cupboard (in business for 31 years), Tiny Stitches Quilts, Settlers’ Trains Cargo and Toys, The Amish Co-Op and Petting Barn, and Vancura Gallery of Fine Art and Custom Framing (a friendly, upscale art gallery). Settlers’ Village is known for their landmark, a 15 foot Holstein cow made from re-cycled car hoods. Most shops are open Mon-Sat. 10 am.-5pm.  Best to call ahead.

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Shisler Cheese House

Shisler’s Cheese House is located in the world’s largest Amish and Mennonite community.

Shisler’s Cheese House was established in 1958 by John Shisler. His goal was to provide local cheeses and gourmet foods to locals and any travelers on the Lincoln Highway (SR 30) who wanted to try some local fare. Now in its third generation of Shisler’s, they ship to over 30 countries. And the tiny shop offers so much more than cheese. Being in the heart of Amish Country, Shisler’s offers a variety of goodies to bring home so if you aren’t a local, bring a cooler. With over 60 years of sharing smiles and cheese, this little place has earned its mention as one of the best cheese houses in Ohio.

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Spangler Candy Company

Welcome to the Spangler Candy Company in Bryan, Ohio.

  • Open: Year-round but check the link below for current store and museum hours.
  • Location: (Map It) 400 N. Portland St. in Bryan, Ohio
  • Phone: 888-636-4221
  • Web: click here

Spangler Candy Company in Bryan, Ohio makes millions of sweets daily. Visit the store and museum. This is the place where Dum Dum Lollipops come from as well as candy canes. Did you know that the stripe on a candy cane has to be done by hand? They also make marshmallow candies and a variety of bulk candy. Learn how a paperboy turned $450 into the purchase of a factory and launched his own candy empire.

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Toys Time Forgot Toy Store

Welcome to the Toys Time Forgot Toy Store in Canal Fulton.

  • Open Tuesday thru Saturday from 11 am to 8 pm and Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm
  • Location: (Map It) 137 Cherry Street East in Canal Fulton, Ohio
  • Phone: 330- 854-1700
  • Web: Click here

The Toys Time Forgot toy store located in Northeast Ohio just nearby the cities of Akron, Canton, and Cleveland is home to several varieties of antique and vintage toys. Some of these collectibles include action figures such as G.I. Joe, Transformers, and McFarlane figurines. The shop is also known for having one of the leading Star Wars collections in Ohio. Non-sport cards and gaming cards are available as well. This petite shop provides a unique experience to visitors that allow them to travel back to the past and permit young and old the chance to purchase from a vast selection of “forgotten” toys.

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West Chester Toys

West Chester Toys is the ultimate fun stop.

  • Open: Monday – Saturday from 10:30am – 7:30pm and Sunday from 11:30am – 6:30pm
  • Location: (Map It) 8234 Princeton Glendale Road in West Chester, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-836-1430
  • Web: click here 

West Chester Toys is a treasure trove of fun for all ages, featuring the newest selections to vintage collectibles of Yesteryear. Housed in an old bank, check out the vault with a wall of private deposit boxes mixed with Hot Wheels and board games. This ma & pop shop fulfills your entertainment needs across the board with games galore, whether it be family board, adventure, building, dexterity, fantasy seasonal, outdoor, yard, and just about any kind of game you can think about for kids and adults. For the latter, there are party and couples’ games as well. But that’s not the half of it. There are action figures, dolls, music, remote control, craft/DIY, model kits 3D puzzles, electronics, and so many more options to pique the interest of any age.

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What A Great Hat!

Welcome to What A Great Hat store in Fairlawn near Akron.

  • Open: Hours are by appointment only
  • Location: (Map It) 2855 West Market Street, Suite 202 in Fairlawn, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-592-2295
  • Web: www.whatagreathat.com

paula-hatsWhat A Great Hat:  Dedicated hat wearers never tire of the smiles and comments they receive when wearing a great hat. Singleton had always admired hats on others but didn’t wear them herself until she purchased her first handmade hat at the 2004 Ann Arbor Art Fair. She knew she had stumbled onto something special when complete strangers said they loved the hat.

That first handmade hat changed Singleton’s life. She rushed home and made some hats on her own but soon realized that she wanted to learn more. She took millinery courses at Virginia Marti College in Lakewood, Ohio, and has completed workshops with Chicago’s Eia Radosavljevic. She has been producing one-of-a-kind hats out of straw, sinamay, wool felt, handmade felt, fabric and all sorts of vintage and handmade trimmings ever since.

Singleton markets her hats through Northeast Ohio art festivals, shows and boutiques and sees clients by appointment in her millinery studio and showroom in Akron, Ohio. Customers appreciate their artistry as much as their functionality.

Singleton hand blocks and sews wool and felt hats from scratch, creates sewn fabric soft hats and hand knitted and felted wool hats. Her hats are designed to be worn any time – a special occasion is not the only time to wear them.

Singleton won the judges’ choice award in 2010 for the Kentucky Derby hat contest and her hat was on display in the Kentucky Derby Museum for a year. Another hat submitted in 2011 is also on display in the museum.

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Yoder’s Bakery & Furniture

Welcome to Yoder’s Bakery & Furniture, an Amish store in Seaman, Ohio.

  • Location: (Map It) 2621 Burnt Cabin Road in Seaman, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-971-8369
  • Web: click here

Yoder’s Bakery & Furniture (Formerly Keim Family Market:)  Ohio Amish Country now includes Southwestern Ohio. In 1975, Amish families moved from the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country in Holmes County and settled in rural Adams County. This Amish family business grew from its humble beginnings to an Amish superstore selling baked goods, bulk foods, full line delis with meat and cheese selections and almost anything you can imagine being made from wood. The bulk food selection includes spices and baking ingredients plus an enormous variety of canned goods, sugar-free foods and candies. Their indoor and outdoor furniture lines include hutches, bedroom sets, chairs and gliders. In addition, they hand-build gazebos, children play sets, footbridges and even buildings.  They provide credit card processing, UPS delivery, catalogs for their products and superb customer service.

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More Things to do This Month in Ohio

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