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A Taste of the South True to its name, Mr. Southern Flava: A Taste of the South has brought a taste of the south to to itsofname, Mr.City. Southern Flava: A Taste of the South has theTrue heart Grove

That Southern Flava brought the true flavor of the south to the heart of Grove City.

CHAMBER NEWS Welcoming Our New Board President, Ed Fleming! SWPL in 2021: A Resource of Resources

The Winner's Circle

ARTS IN THE ALLEY HOME EDITION ANNOUNCES THE WINNERS. Letter from the Director Member Spotlight Member Anniversaries



CHAMBER NEWS New Member Spotlight



A Message from Our New Board President

Show Your Love with Local


A Taste of the South


Chamber News


Arts in the Alley and The Winners Are...


SWPL in 2021


The Year for R&R





Letter from the Director Encouraging note from Director, Shawn Conrad.

Population: 42,400 Median Age: 39.7 Population Over 18: 79% Population Over 65: 17% Number of Households: 16,197 Average Home Price: $189,268 Median Income Per Household: $74,451


Member Recognition Welcome new and celebrate current members.

Want to learn more about the demographics of Grove City? Visit: GroveCityOhio.Gov/about-us-and-tourism/community-information


WHY ADVERTISE? As a member of GCACC you are offered discounted advertising within the chamber produced publications; our Business Connection E-Magazine, Business Weekly Connection e-newsletter, AND our social media channels. We are already reaching your target audience in the Grove City and surround Central Ohio area. Partner with your chamber by purchasing an annual ad package and save $ PLUS receive bonus feature opportunities in our bi-monthly e-mag.






Additional advertising options: Make an impression with our multimedia packages including e-mag ads, newsletter ads, and more... Extended payment options available. www.gcchamber.org/marketing

YOUR CHAMBER Chamber Business Connections is published monthly by the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce with revenue from member dues, advertising, and sponsorship. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the content in this publication, by any method or purpose whatsoever, without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Only chamber members can advertise in Chamber Business Connection. To plan advertising contact the chamber.

Letter from the Director

Your Board President Ed Fleming

Kay Anderson Amy Ankerson Nick Connaughton

President Elect Trent Soles

Shelley Davis

VP at Large Lisa Zeigler

Marc Fleming

VP of Finance Allen Hocker

Dave Heinrich

Past President Wayne Coakley

Your Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce is excited about 2021 and about all the exciting things we have planned! Many of our events and programs will be held in a virtual format, some will be live and some will be a fusion of both. Keep your eyes on your email! I would like to welcome our 2021 Board President, Ed Fleming and our incoming Board members and our returning Board members.

Greg Dawkins Dan Havener Heather Miller Chris Moscato Zack Roybal Dylon Sparks

Staff Executive Director Shawn Conrad Events Manager Marilyn Reiner Administrative Assistant Heather Brokaw Marketing and Communications KatBro Consulting Ltd.

I would also like to thank those who completed their terms at the end of 2020, especially our 2020 Board President Wayne Coakley who led us through the year with grace and style. I especially want to extend a HUGE thank you to our Events Manager Marilyn Reiner and our Events Assistant/ Admin Heather Brokaw and our marketing firm KatBro for their amazing work in 2020; despite the challenges of the pandemic, they came through with flying colors! We created and launched our brand new program, the ‘HomeTown Dollars Gift Certificate Program’, a gift certificate matching program designed to bring customers to our local businesses. To say that it was a success would be a great understatement! Thank you to Heather, to all of the participating merchants, the City of Grove City for providing the matching funds and to our community who rallied and purchased $50,000 worth of HomeTown Dollars Gift Certificates in less than 2 weeks. I am blessed to be part of this wonderful organization and I look forward to continue to fulfill our mission: ‘to create a positive environment for the development and success of YOUR business! -Shawn Conrad CHAMBER BUSINESS CONNECTION FEBRUARY 2021 | 5




Cricket Wireless Bloom Medicinals WRECKER ONE INC dba SPEEDWAY WRECKER SALES Alcir David Darby Creek Fields and Flowers Select Franchise Consulting American Heritage Homes Corp Wyatt Petty, Realtor Coldwell Banker King Thompson Interior Elevation

The TEAM Management, LLC Mattress By Appointment Grove City Ohio Addiction Recovery Center PRMG Inc Shelter Insurance Matt Castle Lisa Zeigler Shoot Point Blank AT&T Pencil Point Marketing Office of the Governor of Ohio

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Glass Guru Jeffrey E. Buskirk & Associates


Pizzuti Companies Custom Crane Solutions

K12 School Consultants, LLC





SKATE AMERICA Skate America is open and ready for you to join them for some fun—maybe a family Valentine’s weekend outing? With decades of experience to their name (they go back to the 1950s!), Skate America is no stranger to hosting private parties and would love to host your group for a safe afternoon or evening of fun. Also available are a variety of daily or weekend specials, such as specials on school holidays. Their Facebook page (find them @ SkateAmericaRink) shares all of their current specials, deals, and any other important details.

  

4357 Broadway, Grove City (614) 875-7606 skateamericarink.com


Fast Response Heating & Cooling is more than China Bell is has multiple decades a heating and air conditioning company; they experience of serving traditional, and are members of the community. delicious, Chinese cuisine to Grove City residents and the City’s visitors. With over 20 years of experience in serving the community, they strive for excellence in With a menu full of variety, not only will their work and customer service making for an more selective diners be satisfied, but outstanding overall service. diners who think they’ve “tried it all” might just find their new favorite dish! Local also means they know the community and can find your location easily for a… fast China Bell’s spacious interiors provide response! They can serve all of your heating a safe dine-in experience and is ideal for and cooling needs; starting with preventative couples, families, or any other dining maintenance, energy audits, and repairs. party—there’s room for everyone. And if dining in isn’t quite for you or in your Check their member directory listing for a few family’s plans, China Bell offers carry-out special offers, too! service as well.

  

3739 Broadway, Unit C, Grove City (239) 244-7881 www.fastresponseservice.com

  

1947 Stringtown Rd., Grove City (614) 871-2420 chinabellrestaurantcolumbus.com

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS Transcend Coffee LLC Safe Check Radon Services Grace & 62 Boutique LLC H&O Properties LLC Blackburn's Fabrication, Inc Steward’s Drafting + Design LLC Willis Spangler Starling Split Rock Golf Club, Inc.

Ardent Environmental Services, LLC Jennings Insurance LLC Nevaeh Insurance Solutions LLC. Wayne Coakley Creative Tool & Die LLC James Reed 72TravelCo



Welcoming our 2021 Board President It’s a new year, which means we also have a new Chamber Board President. Join us in welcoming Ed Fleming to the president position for 2021! Ed is the owner and founder of Shepherd Insurance Partners, which he started in 2015 and continues to grow. Ed has been a very active as a member of the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce. He was the president-elect for the 2021 calendar year and currently sits as the VP of Government affairs. Ed is also involved in the Grove City Rotary Club, as well as serving on the Risk Management Committee for Lifecare Alliance. Ed is a lifelong resident of Grove City, OH, and currently resides in town with his two daughters and dog Chloe. We also want to thank our 2020, or ‘retiring’ President Wayne Coakley for his service and leadership during a challenging year. While Wayne has passed the gavel on to Ed (which you can watch in the video), Wayne will still be active with the Chamber and his work with Grenade Marketing.


CHAMBER NEWS Chamber News Items •

We kicked off 2021 with our first Chamber 101 session in January! While initially designed for new members, Chamber 101 is the session for learning how to make the most of your Chamber membership no matter how long you’ve been with us. You’ll learn what benefits and opportunities await and how they can boost your business, in addition to (virtually) meeting and networking with other members. For 2021, all sessions will be held via Zoom call and during the ‘odd’ months— March, May, July, September, and November. With one registration link for all sessions, you can register in advance and add it to your calendar. Click here to register for a future Chamber 101 session!

It’s coming soon—your 2021 Sponsorship Packet! While we put the finishing touches on our 2021 opportunities, we encourage you to get excited about getting involved by way of becoming a sponsor of one (or more!) of our programs. The packet will have all the details of the sponsorship ‘perks’, but in general sponsors names and logos are seen prominently in association with the chosen program or opportunity.

Housekeep note: While it’s great to meet in person and so many of us are famished for that type of interaction, we do need to be mindful and careful of how we get together. With that said, if you’d like to stop by our Chamber office and meet with a member of our team in person, we do ask that you call (614-875-9762) to make an appointment. We want to keep our community safe and keep our building at a safe occupancy, so we cannot accept walk-ins until further notice. by decorating, donating, and purchasing the wreaths. Wreaths of all décor styles rolled in and by way of the online store, eventually made their way to homes around the community.

Chamber Foundation News First ‘Wreath It’ a Success The Chamber Foundation’s first-ever wreath fundraiser sale, known as Wreath It, proved to be a satisfying end to 2020. The Foundation raised $1,000 by selling 14 wreaths in just a few weeks leading up to the holidays. This made for “a very nice little fundraiser especially considering how quickly it came together” according to Foundation President Greg Dawkins. Greg also expressed his thanks to Wendi Gang of StoryPoint and Tami Washington from Newcomer. Wendi and Tami teamed up in October to see how StoryPoint could work together with the Foundation, and how Wendi’s idea of a wreath project could not only be included but come to life. The goal, in addition to being a fundraiser, was to bring as many members of the community together as possible, especially during a time when everyone is told to stay apart. And just as love is often the secret ingredient in a holiday treat, perhaps it was the secret ingredient here, too. “Wendi and I both love Christmas, so this was the perfect initial collaboration!” Tami said via email. The community responded and joined in the labor of love

Wendi, Tami, Greg, and the entire Foundation Board are already looking forward to and making plans for 2021’s Wreath It sale and festivities. Planning is already underway, but common themes to look forward to include ‘bigger’ and ‘earlier’. One key wish list item we join Wendi in hoping can come true: an in person event. Foundation Scholarship Applications Now Available Applications for the three types of scholarships from the Grove City Chamber Foundation are now posted online (gcchamberfoundation.org/ scholarships) and ready to be filled out and submitted. In order of deadline, the scholarships are: High School Scholarship: Applications due by March 19. This type of scholarship is for graduating high school seniors (senior HS class of 2021) who live within the South-Western City School District area. Chamber Affiliate Scholarship: First deadline is March 19. These scholarships are for employees or family members of a Chamber member business. This type of scholarship can be applied to essentially any type of education that will result in some form of certificate or degree. For a master’s degree, a recipient must be an employee of the Chamber member business. Additional deadlines for this scholarship are: July 1, September 17, and December 17. Renewing Scholarship: Applications due by July 1. This scholarship is for students currently enrolled in a post-secondary program, whose primary residence is within the South-Western City School District, and have received a prior scholarship from the Chamber Foundation.



SWPL in 2021: A Resource About Resources “I am unsure where the library would be today without Mark’s financial acumen, keen ability to gather people in support of SPL, and all the sheer hard work and determination he put into promoting SPL’s value to the community,”


he Southwest Public Library (SWPL) system, which includes the Grove City Library, is a great asset to our community as an educational and business tool. This valued resource has had to shake things up and think outside the box to continue delivering as many of their services as possible. As the library moves into a new year, there’s a variety of news and updates to be shared. This ranges from a new director, to current operations and procedures. Please note that library operations may change quicker than we can report it, so it’s always suggested to check out what’s new according the red banner on www.swpl.org SWPL’s new director; previous director retires after 35 years (from the release provided by SWPL) In January, Southwest Public Libraries (SPL) will start a new chapter in its history as it bids farewell to current library director Mark M. Shaw and welcomes new director Meredith E. Wickham. Shaw is retiring at the end of January after 35 10 | CHAMBER BUSINESS CONNECTION FEBRUARY 2021

years at SPL, having served as Director since 2002. SPL’s Board of Trustees appointed Wickham as the next Director after conducting a nationwide search with the assistance of library executive search consultants Bradbury Miller Associates. Wickham will start January 25. Meredith currently serves as Director of First Regional Library, overseeing operations for one of the largest public library systems in Mississippi. Previously, she served in public libraries in South Carolina and Mississippi as a Circulation Assistant, Young Adult Librarian, Branch Manager, and System Director. The American Library Association (ALA) named Meredith an Emerging Leader, and the Mississippi Library Association (MLA) granted her one of its most prestigious honors, the Peggy May Award. Meredith received her Bachelor of Arts in French and German from Berry College in Rome, Georgia and her Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.

“Meredith is a seasoned professional who will lead us into the future. She is a fierce advocate for public libraries in the areas of youth literacy, staff development, and equity. She also has extensive experience lobbying for funding in her state, among other talents. We are excited to welcome her to Buckeye country,” says SPL’s Board of Trustees. Shaw started as Treasurer for the library system in 1986 before quickly adding the title of Operations Manager and eventually Director. Holding both an MBA and MLIS, Shaw’s financial acumen and careful stewardship has helped SPL not only weather several major economic downturns and cuts to funding during his tenure but also grow exponentially. During his years as Director, SPL passed its first ever successful levy, which voters renewed this past April, built a new Grove City Library in partnership with the City of Grove City, and expanded Westland Area Library. “I am unsure where the library would be today without Mark’s financial acumen, keen ability to gather people in support of SPL, and all the sheer hard work and determination he put into promoting SPL’s value to the community,” says Michele Lowe, Assistant Director of the Westland Area branch of SPL. “The work he has done here during his 35 years of service has had a major impact on the organization and will not be forgotten.” Current ‘on location’ Grove City Library services Because of current Covid protocols, the library facility is closed to patrons, but the library continues to offer a variety of key services, all contact-less, from their location. •

Books and other ‘borrowable’ materials are available by reserving or placing a hold, and can then be picked up by calling 15-20 minutes before arrival. Books can be picked up or dropped off during the current hours of: Mon/Tue/ Fri/Sat 10 am-5 pm, and Weds/Thurs 12 pm- 7 pm.

Limited print, copy, scan, and fax services are available. It is advised that those interested call the library for full details: (614) 875-6761, ext.503.

Wi-Fi is available from the parking lots (likely you’ll remain in your car which more than assures adequate distancing amongst patrons). Like many places with wi-fi, signal strength is not guaranteed.

Digital Library offerings and programming Physical materials, such as books, can be requested using one’s online library account. Patrons also have access to a variety of e-books (ideal for but not limited to Kindle) that can borrowed and downloaded to a device instantly. The library has also made an effort to turn many of their in-person programs into virtual events. Their online calendar is the best place to see what’s coming soon!

u What’s on the Chamber Bookshelf? Creating reading goals or a reading list has been a popular way to begin the New Year. With that in mind, we pulled together some favorite professional or business-oriented books from some of our immediate Chamber team members. All of these titles can be found in the Southwest Public Library catalog and are available to borrow either as a physical book, or as digital copy/e-book (such as Kindle). Wayne Coakley (2020 Board President): The One Thing by Gary Keller The E-Myth by Michael Gerber Greg Dawkins (Current Chamber Foundation President): Awakening the Entrepreneur Within: How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies by Michael Gerber Katie Browder-Person (Marketing Team, KatBro): Do It! Marketing by David Newman Sarah Hann (Marketing Team, KatBro): Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney by Lee Cockerell

Need a Library Card? Despite the library facility being closed to patrons, anyone seeking a library card can still get one to use to access digital content. Full directions can be found on swpl.org, but essentially a temporary bar code will be assigned, and then once the library opens again patrons can come to receive their ‘real’ card with full access. Library card holders must be Ohio residents. Keep Up/Further Information Hopefully as the year progresses the library can begin to return to more standard operations. We don’t know when that is, or how fast it could happen, so we advise following along with SWPL online. On Facebook they can found at: SPLFranklinCountyOH. On Instagram and Twitter their name is: SouthwestPL. Their website is www.swpl.org To learn more about current library operations and services, select the red banner at the top of the homepage. ✍



Valentine’s Day: Show your love with local! Valentine’s Day is coming up this month and while we certainly promote shopping and celebrating local all year-round, but how great would it be to show your love to both your sweetheart and your local businesses? It’s nearly impossible to name off every member business that could help you say ‘I love you’, but we’ll hit some of the traditional highlights (but remember, if ‘I love you’ is best said by fixing a car or a home repair, we have members who do that too!). Check out the full Member Directory by clicking here.

Get out of the House Between Covid, random spurts of cold weather, and just the general threat of both (it’s Ohio, it can snow any minute), lots of us have probably been home bodies lately. But, between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day making it a long weekend, maybe it’s time to get out for a night… literally the whole night. Our hotel members would love to host you for a night (or two!) while providing top-notch service and safety. There may even be special brand deals, and it’s always an easy way to rack up reward points with your favorites.


Check with these member hotels to see if they offer GCACC member discounts. • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Best Western Executive Inn: 4026 Jackpot Rd Candlewood Suites: 3996 Jackpot Rd. Comfort Inn South: 4197 Marlane Dr. Comfort Suites: 4200 Gantz Rd. Courtyard by Marriott: 1668 Buckeye Place Drury Inn & Suites: 4109 Parkway Centre Dr. Hampton Inn & Suites Scioto Downs: 5950 South High St. Home2 Suites and Tru by Hilton-Grove City Hilton Garden Inn: 3928 Jackpot Rd. Holiday Inn Express: 3951 Jackpot Rd. La Quinta Inn Grove City: 3962 Jackpot Rd. Woodspring Suites: 3205 Centerpoint Dr., Urbancrest, OH Quality Inn: 1800 Stringtown Rd. Travelodge: 4029 Marlane Dr.

And if you need a little entertainment too, our friends at Eldorado Scioto Downs, or Rollhouse would love to see you for a night of fun. Used to getting out of Franklin County, if not the state and country, for Valentine’s Day or winter break? Take a little time to daydream about your next great adventure, and then reach out to RCW Vacations to help you plan!

LOCAL A massage? A hair appointment? A sweet treat? Yep, we have members who cater to those specialties, too! A variety of services are ready to deliver excellent service in self-care for either you or your special someone. Call up Project Cakes for an advance treat order, or swing by Capital City Cakes’ storefront for last-minute sweet satisfaction. Check out our personal care directory here (find both Project Cakes and Capital City Cakes’ information in our food and restaurant list in this issue)

Gift It No matter what kind of gift you have in mind, chances are we have a member who sells it! Use this list of our retail members to guide your way. As for the traditional favorites, Dannette’s Floral Boutique would love to serve you, and Baskets n Boughs always aims to please (be sure to order in advance, especially if you’re looking for something more specialty!). We have not one, but two, members who specialize in all things sparkle and shine: Meyers Jewelers and Precision Jewelers. Something Special Dinner is Served Our list of food and restaurant members continues to grow, so we’ve included the most up-to-date list in this issue! Dining with them ‘in house’ or ordering to eat at ‘your house’, they’d love to serve you either way. Depending on the type of restaurant and if you intend to dine with them exactly on Valentine’s Day, you may way to look into advance reservations or getting your carry out order in a little sooner. Advance notice will help them get a feel for this year’s business (we’ve never done Valentine’s in a pandemic before!) and allow them to serve you even better. But, no matter how you celebrate Valentine’ Day or who you celebrate with, we hope you’ll include local businesses in your celebrations. They would love to help you share and show your love!

Looking for a place to dine-out for Valentine’s Day? Want to try something ♥ McDonald’s, Hoover Rd: www.mcdonalds.com new as carry-out? Here’s a list of all of our restaurant members; they’re ♥ Mexico City Mexican, Gahanna: www.mitradiciongahanna.com more than ready to serve you and your family a great meal! ♥ Mr. Southern Flava- A taste of the South, Broadway: www.mrsouthernflava.com ♥ BIBIBOP Asian Grill, Broadway: http://bibibop.com/ ♥ O’Charley’s Stringtown: www.ocharleys.com ♥ Bob Evans, Stringtown: www.bobevans.com ♥ OH-YO! Frozen Yogurt, Buckeye Pkwy: www.ohyofrozenyogurt.com ♥ Buffalo Wild Wings, Georgesville Square: www.buffalowildwings.com ♥ Piada, Buckeye Pkwy: www.mypiada.com ♥ Buffalo Wings and Rings, Stringtown: www.buffalowingsandrings.com ♥ Plank’s on Broadway: www.grovecityohiobarandrestaurant.com ♥ Capital City Cakes, Broadway: www.capitalcitycakesoh.com ♥ Plum Run Winery/Grove City Brewing Co., Broadway: ♥ Chick-fil-A, Stringtown: www.chick-fil-a.com www.plumrunwinery.com ♥ China Bell, Stringtown: www.chinabellrestaurantcolumbus.com ♥ Project Cakes, Grove City: (614) 871-3012 ♥ Cold Stone Creamery, Stringtown: www.coldstonecreamery.com ♥ Smokey Bones Barbeque and Grill, Stringtown: ♥ Cracker Barrel (#85), Marlane Dr near I-71: www.crackerbarrel.com www.smokeybones.com ♥ Dairy Queen Stringtown: www.dairyqueen.com ♥ Sunny Street Café, London-Groveport: www.sunnystreetcafe.com ♥ Dairy Queen Southwest Blvd: www.dairyqueen.com ♥ Tammy’s Pizza, Hoover and Broadway: www.tammyspizza.com ♥ Donatos Pizza Broadway: www.donatos.com ♥ Texas Road House, Parkway Centre: www.texasroadhouse.com ♥ Dragon Donuts, London-Groveport Rd: www.dragondonutshop.com ♥ The Garden Bar, Broadway: www.thegardenbar.cafe ♥ El Vaquero Mexican Restaurant, Stringtown: ♥ The Upper Deck Sports Bar, Hoover: Facebook @theupperdeckgc www.vaquerorestaurant.com ♥ Tommy’s Jerky Outlet, Broadway: www.tomm ♥ Flyer’s Pizza, Hoover & London-Groveport: www.flyerspizza.com ysjerkystorecolumbusoh.com ♥ Fusion Japanese Steakhouse, Buckeye Pkwy: ♥ Transcend Coffee, Broadway: Instagram @transcendcoffe_grovecity www.fusionsteakhouse.com ♥ Zamarelli’s Pizza Palace, Front St: www.zamarellispizzapalace.com ♥ Grove City Nutrition, Broadway: Facebook & Instagram ♥ ZANZIS, Broadway: www.zanzis.com @grovecitynutrition ♥ Zassy’s Tap Room, Broadway: www.zassystreasures.com ♥ Hop Yard 62, Broadway: www.hopyard62.com ♥ Jet’s Pizza, Broadway: www.jetspizza.com ♥ Jolly Pirate Donuts, Southwest Blvd: Facebook @gcjodonuts ♥ Lilly’s Kitchen Table, Broadway: www.lillyskitchentable.com ♥ Longhorn Steakhouse, Stringtown: www.longhornsteakhouse.com ♥ Marco’s Pizza, Turnberry near Broadway: www.marcos.com ♥ Massey’s Pizza Sports Bar and Grill, Parkmead Grove City: www.masseyspizzasportsbaransgrille.com CHAMBER BUSINESS CONNECTION FEBRUARY 2021 | 13


A Taste of the South

True to its name, Mr. Southern Flava: A Taste of the South has brought the true flavor of the south to the heart of Grove City. While one half of this husband-wife duo is from Grove City, Renee, her husband Neal hails from Mississippi where he grew up cooking with his mother and grandmother. Her hometown and his culinary experiences have made for a satisfying pair. The Beginning For Neal, it did all begin in his family’s kitchen which led into being the head chef of sorts at family gatherings where he’d smoke the meat. Serving up a great meal had become his passion, and that interest even led to his nickname, and eventual business name: “The name MrSouthernflava was a nickname of Neal's as he was growing up,” Renee explained via email. Fast forward to December 2019 as Neal and Renee considered what would come next for them—she had been laid off and he was working 12 hour days. Renee had a business degree, 20 years in the finance field, and a dream of owning a business of some sort. Neal of course had his experience in serving up great food, and a dream of having someplace to serve it. He brought up the idea of a food truck.

And so the planning process began… Making it Happen “We turned our dining room into our ‘war room’ where we would spend our time developing menu ideas and having online meetings,” Renee said of their efforts to bring Mr. Southern Flava—the restaurant or food truck, to life. It’s said sometimes that hopeful business owners look for ‘signs’ to guide them in the right direction. Perhaps this is true in the sense of the ‘for rent’ sign Renee and Neal spotted for a place along Broadway that had a commercial kitchen. After plenty of sorting things through with the appropriate parties (the health department, the City, and more), it was decided Mr. Southern Flava: A Taste of the South would open as a curbside pickup and delivery restaurant. This played right into the restaurant trends of 2020/a pandemic world as more people opted for take-out or delivery, and sit-down restaurants facing new rules almost daily. But how do you keep chasing a dream in a world with more uncertainty than ever? Sheer determination. Renee, Neal, and the rest of their family never stopped pushing toward the goal, seeking outside guidance as needed to help navigate or forge the path ahead. “Once I have my mind set on something I go for it,” Renee said. “My mindset is always in go mode, never stop learning and growing.”


“Our dream is to move into a restaurant space that has outdoor seating and have multiple smokers around the seating area.”


Crafting a Menu Securing a location and all of the business-minded items to establishing a restaurant was one thing, but there was still a menu to create. Neal had a head start though given his experiences and collection of family recipes straight from the South, which include the Southern baked beans with hamburger in it, the meat rubs and the barbecue sauces. They also did some trial runs with a handful of people to receive feedback from those outside the family. The menu is packed with Southern and barbecue favorites—from the mac n cheese to the smoked meats. But one item didn’t originate from a Mississippi family kitchen, but rather a product of additional consultation: the pulled pork sweet potato, a twist on the recentlypopular pulled pork baked potato. “The sweet potato with pulled pork came from a consultation with a chef, one of the many people that helped us!” Renee said. “We were thinking about the original recipe with the regular potato and pulled pork but the chef brought up the contrast of the sweet and savory and it works!” Renee noted that the smoked baby back and the St. Louis ribs are the specialty, but they’re beginning to see two other items emerge as fanfavorites: “Our Big Mouth Burger, an angus burger with pulled pork, onion straws, cheese and lettuce/tomato has been a big seller as well as our Shrimp Poboy.”

“We can all be accepted and thrive in this city” Outside of serving up great food and running a successful business, Renee has additional hopes for Mr. Southern Flava. She wants to leave a legacy for her and Neal’s children (between the two of them they have six) so there is something to pass down to them. Renee also wants to show anyone can own a business and succeed in Grove City. As part of an interracial family Renee knows and recognizes the importance of bringing diversity to an otherwise predominantlyCaucasian community. “Grove City is a great place to live and raise your children,” Renee said. “We can all be accepted and thrive in this city.” Into the Future With determination, Renee is already thinking about the next moves for Mr. Southern Flava: A Taste of the South. The duration of Covid as a threat factors into those decisions, as it does for countless other businesses. But a second location or a food truck are on the radar for 2021. Whether this comes about in 2021 or further down the road, Renee shared another location goal: “Our dream is to move into a restaurant space that has outdoor seating and have multiple smokers around the seating area.” No matter the circumstances, Renee encourages others chasing their dreams—whether a business or even something else, to keep after it and push fear aside. “There is absolutely no way to know what you are getting into until you are going through it!” she said. “Make sure you have professionals on your side to turn to and don't be scared to follow your dreamsYou only live once!” Ready to enjoy a taste of the South with Mr. Southern Flava for yourself? Visit them online to view hours, menus, and to order: B www.mrsouthernflava.com f @mrsouthernflava and  @mr.southernflava



Wild Roses A spotlight on the Helena McComb Award winner for 2020.


he Helena McComb award is a special honor awarded to a selected piece of art that uses flowers as its core focal point. Named for one of the festival’s co-founders, the late mother of Heartland Bank’s President and CEO Scott McComb, this award honors Helena’s love of flowers. The winner is selected by the McComb family and is viewed as one of the most prestigious awards of the festival.

This year’s Helena McComb award winners is Florence Smith, 80. Winning this award for Mrs. Smith is not just an honor but a glimmer of light at the end of a very difficult journey during 2020. If they say that cats have nine lives, then I think that Florence Smith can claim at least five. During our visit with one another, over Zoom of course, I was able to learn so much about this local artist who started out her professional life as an entrepreneur in east Cleveland and landed as an artist in Grove City. Mrs. Smith attended Kent State as an art student in the late 50s/early 60’s, at a time when higher education was not considered “necessary” for a young lady. She initially majored in art but was pulled aside by art teachers who encouraged her to change her major, which she did. Upon graduation she earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a minor in art. After graduation, she married and started her family life with husband TJ Smith, a steel mill worker from Warren, Ohio. In 1967 they started an administrative employment placement agency, Brunswick Personnel. TJ was the finance and operations man, and Florence was the mastermind behind their sales and marketing. The couple operated this business until they were 50 years old, at which time they decided they were “going fishing” and they did. Florence and TJ jumped in their RV and started their fishing expedition in Canada, traveling around to different provinces fishing in some of the most interesting places in North America. Their travels also continued throughout the continental United States as they mined for precious rocks, crystals and gold, another hobby of the adventurous couple. At the age of 60 Florence, who’d always had a love of art, decided to take up watercolors. It was time for her to further explore the artist within. After taking some time to search for the right class she finally found a teacher who was willing to accept her into their class. She really devoted herself to watercolor and worked at it every day to perfect her art. She also became very interested in Gesso-- a substance with the consistency of toothpaste, used to prepare or prime a canvas before using it. This substance is traditionally used by oil painters however Florence found use for it with watercolors and applied the primer substance to paper. This substance allows for the illusion of movement through applied texture on paper.


“You see the world differently after you paint it,”

FEATURED Shortly after starting her new art class, Florence was asked to become the art teacher which she loved. She taught art to other senior citizens for 15 years. In January 2020, Florence found herself facing a decision. Continue teaching those few days a week or stay home to take care of her husband TJ, whose health was failing. The decision made itself. She discontinued her teaching to take care of her beloved. In July of 2020 TJ passed on, leaving Florence behind to continue her work and lead the family. In the middle of a global pandemic Florence was now without her students and her TJ, so she moved to Central Ohio where her daughter lives. Throughout the years of entrepreneurship, traveling, teaching and being a caretaker for TJ, Florence found her release through the soothing flow of the watercolors. She favors painting landscape and nature pictures that reminded her of her travels with TJ and her love of nature. Florence described to me in such details how she remembers the light of the sun hitting the trees, the rocks and all of the elements of the landscape below. “You see the world differently after you paint it,” Florence said. Many of her students have reported back to her that they now see the world differently after attending her classes. Florence almost didn’t enter her winning piece in the Arts in the Alley festival. She had just moved to Grove City at the time and admitted to being a little skeptical of how an online event would operate. She was pleasantly surprised with how successful the event turned out and her family enjoyed the online artwork, music and activities the festival had to offer. When named the Helena McComb winner she felt such a sense of pride and validation in the work that she loves so much. Her beautiful winning piece is named “Wild Roses”. Kailyn McComb, a member of the McComb family and branch manager of Heartland’s Clintonville branch was able to meet with Florence and her family in a socially distance setting to present the award and the check. This meant the world to Florence and her family. Since winning the Helena McComb award Florence has enjoyed local recognition and appreciation for sharing her talents.

Moving Forward Florence will soon be sharing her talents with the community at the Grove City Creative Clinic Center on Front Street. She will be teaching a watercolors class open to everyone. She also plans to do a series of virtual short sessions on techniques such as painting trees and lighting on her personal social media pages. Stay tuned for additional details for these classes. ♥



Welcome to the Winner’s Circle The 41st Arts in the Alley event looked a little different than what we’ve known in the past. This year the tents that line broadways and park street were replaced with a virtual display of art and music due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event organizers were able to include many of the normal features of the event including vendors, the craft show, fine arts show, photography show, quilt show, youth art show, judging, kids fun street and an entertainment virtual stage. This bulk of the main event ran from mid-November to the end of the 2020 year. During that time event participants could vote on their favorite artists and enjoy some of the interactive art experiences as well as listen to the musical performances. If you missed the active event period, no worries, the virtual event can still be experienced at www.artsinthealley.gcchamber.org. Winners of this year’s Arts in the Alley event were picked by the of 2020. Here are a list of winners and runners-up of the craft, fine arts, photography, quilt and youth art shows: CRAFT SHOW Best of Show Rocking Horse, Dan Wilson Wood 1st, crib, Chase Hicks 2nd, fly fishing boxes, Chase Hicks 3rd, keepsake box, Dan Wilson Decorating 1st, framed art flower bouquet handmade with vintage/costume jewelry, Kathleen Locker 2nd, Tied up in Knots, Patti Morlock 3rd, All the Little Children (reverse stained glasspainted), Jill Althoff


Needle Art 1st, aguacero sweater, Amy Lawson 2nd, navy prayer shawl, Barbara Brotherton 3rd, Koala reading pillow, Bev Kenney PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW Best of Show Wildlife Sighting 3 Amatuer Open 1st, The Skeptic 2nd, Strawberry Hill Sunrise 3rd, Adventuring Mobile Phone 1st, Musical Soul 2nd, Bougainvillea 3rd, Wildlife Sighting 3 Professional 1st, A Gardener’s Best Friend 2nd, Rose 3rd, The Day is Done YOUTH ARTS Best of Show Sky’s Array, Central Crossing High School People’s Choice The Collectors Hand, Hilliard Bradley High School Primary Grades Mixed Media 1st, The Christmas Tree Shop, SouthWestern Virtual Learning


Academy Grade 2 2nd, I Love Scarecrows, SouthWestern City Schools Virtual Learning Academy 3rd, Me and Mommy, Home School Learner, Kindergarten

High School Color Photography 1st, Floating Faith, Central Crossing High School 2nd, The Light Within, Chestnut 3rd, Fireworks, Franklin Heights High School

Primary Grades Photography 1st, Morning Dew, Home School, Grade 2 2nd, Let’s Slide, West Franklin Elementary School, Grade 2 3rd, Say Cheese, West Franklin Elementary School, Grade 2

High School Black and White Photography 1st, The Puerto Rico Adventure, Grove City High School 2nd, Bubbles, Franklin Heights High School 3rd, Self Portrait, Grove City High School

Intermediate Grade Mixed Media 1st, Peaceful Pencil Flowers, Darbydale Elementary 2nd, Hall of My Beauty, Buckeye Woods Elementary 3rd, Sunset, Home School Grade 5 Intermediate Grade Photography 1st, Keeping an Eye on You, Bishop Flaget Catholic School Remote Learning 2nd, The Striped Grasshopper, Monterey Elementary School Virtual Learner 3rd, Dandelion, West Franklin Elementary School Middle School Mixed Media 1st, All the Time on My Hands, SouthWestern Learning Academy 2nd, Love for the Game, Hayes Intermediate 3rd, Color is Better, Young Middle School Mixed Media 1st, Breakfast, Home School, Grade 7 2nd, Barn Girls, Hayes Intermediate High School 2D 1st, Portrait of Tom Hiddleston, Central Crossing High School 2nd, Blend in, Grove City High School 3rd, The Collector’s Hand, Hilliard Bradley High School High School 3D 1st, Break Free, Grove City High School 2nd, Jumping Through Hoops, Hilliard Bradley High School 3rd, Flowered Skull, Hilliard Bradley High School (Continued on next page)


FINE ARTS People’s Choice Rescue, Michelle Mathuews 1st, Precious Things, Edith Dinger 2nd, Drive to Flagstaff, Katie Segal 3rd, Ohio’s response by Number, David Lane QUILT SHOW People’s Choice Celtic Wedding Knot, Gina Price Hand Quilted 1st, Hearts & Flower, Betty Fisher Large Machine Quilted Pieced 1st, Flowers Still Bloom in a Pandemic, Patti Morlock 2nd, Spiral Motion, Amy Swanson 3rd, Spanish Tiles, Patty Estadt Honorable mention, Camp Oda Mae in Blue, Lori Codling Small Machine Quilted and Pieced 1st, Flower Power, Patti Morlock 2nd, Sunrise Flower Charm Baby, Patty Estadt 3rd, Rainbow Unicorn, Amy Swanson Honorable mention, Scrappy Trip, Patty Estadt Large Applique / Mixed Tech 1st, Flowers in Blue, Marilyn Wright Small Applique / Mixed Tech 1st, Baby Butterfly, Patty Estadt 2nd, Stained Glass Nativity, Brenda Mocarski 3rd, Summer Bird House, Dawn Rondot Honorable mention, Peace for the Holiday, MaryLou Paoletti Helena McComb Award Winner- Florence Smith, Wild Roses


Thanks for a Great Arts in the Alley: Home Edition Arts in the Alley took to the ‘streets’ of the internet this year in a virtual home edition, and we’re so thankful for the many key people and groups who made this possible. Each played a valuable role and we can’t imagine success without them. We have great sponsors who stepped up to support a community tradition, but yet also jump on board with its change in format. They are as follows: • • • • •

Presenting Sponsor: Heartland Bank Platinum Sponsors: City of Grove City, Mount Carmel Grove City, OhioHealth Silver Sponsors: Cintas, Eldorado Scioto Downs, Shawn Marquis Agency, The Goddard School, The Macintosh Company-Monterey and West Park Copper Sponsors: Franklin County Banking Center, Hirth Norris Garrison, Jackson Township, McDonald’s, Walmart Bronze Sponsors: Better Business Bureau-Central Ohio, Converse Electric, Morley Parren Bright Insurance

Our hardworking show chairs make sure that our shows run smoothly, but this year that included the transition to a digital platform. They are as follows: • • • • •

Photography Show: Neal Lauron Youth Art Show: Rhonda Ranney Fine Art Show: Judi Young and Dennise Hunt Quilt Show: Patty Estadt Craft Show: Shelley Davis

In addition to our show chairs, we also had many volunteers give of their time to make sure our event not only existed this year, but thrived. We thank them for their commitment to our community and its traditions. Our show chairs and volunteers can coordinate as many shows as they want, but where would be without the artists who enter? Whether a returning artist or new to Arts in the Alley, we’re grateful you chose to share your work with the world by way of our show. We look forward to all of your future masterpieces. We were fortunate to have a variety of vendors hop on board and sell their creations by way of the Arts in the Alley website. We thank them for seeing the potential in this unique opportunity, and hope they were able to expand their customer reach from it. We look forward to working with them again in the future. We thank everyone who played even the smallest role in making the Home Edition of Arts in the Alley a success. We hope that it provided a little artistic joy to your lives, and look forward to 2021.




The Year of R & R By Nancy Stoll, SBDC

PSYCH! I know when you read this headline you thought R&R meant “Rest & Relaxation.” Well, it doesn’t! 2021 will be the year that truly exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit to find and implement solutions to your problems and therefore, empowers you to recover and withstand the difficult conditions 2020 brought upon you. For you, the business owner, the year 2021 will definitely be “The Year of “Resolve & Resilience.” No one knows what 2021 will hold. All I know is you must plan and fortify your business to handle the new challenges it may/will bring. Here are 5 tips to strengthen your efforts to experience a year of Resolve and Resilience. Hold onto that “Can-Do” Attitude Your “Can-Do” entrepreneurial spirit is your strength. Remember, the only constant thing in business is change! And, it has definitely changed! Don’t think you can modestly hang on right now and go back to doing what you did pre-COVID when it’s over. The experts say small businesses that think this will not survive. The business world and your customers’ needs/desires are changing. Given these changes, put on your fearless creative mindset and make a “Can-Do” list. Put it in writing and don’t let your “buts” get in the way. Create a Fluid and Adaptable Plan of Action The key to planning in 2021 is to assure it’s adaptable to the unexpected and ready to roll with whatever happens. Take a goal from your “Can-Do” list and, in writing, break it down into a “To-Do” step-by-step short-term action plan with daily, weekly, monthly reviews scheduled so, if necessary, adjustments can be made. It takes your large goal and “chunks” it into bite-size pieces. It creates a plan of action that will prove to be fluid enough to adapt to the ebb and flow of this present time of uncertainty.

Revisit and Revise Your Marketing Strategy This tip is huge so, here’s just a short list to put into action: • Know your audience and stay connected to them. • Keep in-tune with what is happening in your industry and keep connected to and with your network. • Stay consistent and true to your brand, its image, it message, its values, its mission, and its commitment to serve in all you do. • Strengthen your online presence. Having a website and the use of social media has become and will remain to be the vital tools in your business’s success. • Tell your story. It connects and engages…oh and it sells too…without saying “Here it is. Buy it!” • Always focus on customer care as you serve. People do business with people they know, like, and trust. Stay Abreast of All CARES Act Funding Programs Available The SBDC@CSCC is here for you and your resource to accomplish this tip. Click on the following link and find out what funding is available and if it may be applicable to you. If you have any questions, contact our main office at 614-287-5294 or me directly at 614-287-5530. https://sbdccolumbus. com/covid-19/ Ask for Help What you need to accomplish in “2021 The Year of R&R” is bigger than you! Ask for help! You are not out there all alone. Ask and take all the help you can. Get your trusted employees involved and delegate a task to them. They are, after all, the human asset of your business. Make your CPA/Accountant and your banker your best buddies. And last but not least contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and get connected to your own professional business advisor who will work with, advise, and guide you through this trying time and beyond. The SBDC’s programs and services are your tax dollars hard at work and focused on one thing and one thing only – Your Success as a Business Owner! Call 614-287-5294 or click the link below to request to become a client. We’re here for you! Who knows, 2021 may lead into following years of true rest and relaxation! https://clients.ohiosbdc.ohio.gov/reg. aspx?mode=counsel&center=17011&subloc=0


Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce + Franklin University Par tnership The Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Franklin University to provide the following educational benefits:

Tuition discounts on associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree and certificate programs.



Free textbooks

20% tuition discount on all programs up through the master’s level

Franklin University offers a variety of programs through the Ross College of Business, College of Arts, Sciences & Technology, College of Health & Public Administration and the International Institute for Innovative Instruction.

Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce employees and members can combine tuition discounts and free tuition deferment with their employee reimbursement.

Take Advantage of the Savings Today! Apply: franklin.edu/apply-grovecitychamber Verify Employment: franklin.edu/verification Learn More: franklin.edu/grovecitychamber Questions? Contact: Mary Beth Bertrand, Senior Partnership Account Manager CHAMBER BUSINESS CONNECTION FEBRUARY 2021 | 23 marybeth.bertrand@franklin.edu | 614.947.6716


No matter what kind of health care you need, receiving that care with empathy and compassion is essential to your recovery. That’s why we have nurses like James. He doesn’t provide deeply personal care because it’s his job. He does it because it’s who he is and what he was called to do. It’s his specialty.



A Member of Trinity Health


Grove City Methodist Hospital (Located behind Target) The OhioHealth Grove City Methodist Hospital campus now includes heart and vascular care and primary care from OhioHealth Physician Group. It’s just another way we’re bringing your best health within reach.

© OhioHealth Inc. 2019. All rights reserved. FY19-37248. 04/19.

Jackson Pike



Buckeye Pkwy

Stringtown Rd Parkway Centre Dr

To learn more about the ways OhioHealth cares for Grove City, visit OhioHealth.com/GroveCity.



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GC Chamber Business Connection Winter 2021  

Mr. Flava brings his Southern flare to Grove city with Taste of the South's menu, SWPL shares has a new director, we take a look at all the...

GC Chamber Business Connection Winter 2021  

Mr. Flava brings his Southern flare to Grove city with Taste of the South's menu, SWPL shares has a new director, we take a look at all the...

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