Middleburg Heights Magazine 2023

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COMMUNITY MAGAZINE 2023 Discover what makes Middleburg Heights the perfect place to put down roots and set up shop. Inside: A look at the New Police Station | Why We Love Our Community Center | 10 Must-Try Spots | Work-From-Home Tips

Sips & Such is a locally owned and operated business located in beautiful Middleburg Heights, OH. The concept originated from owners Rhonda and Randy seeking a place that draws people from different walks of life together. Through their dining, take-out, catering, and food truck offerings, they have been able to do just that. For the last 5 years, Sips & Such has been bringing folks from the community together through their high quality service.

As founded to better integrate the residents of Middleburg Heights and its surrounding areas, Sips & Such prioritizes the importance of community. With coffee at our core, and perfection in our minds, we created the restaurant now known as Sips & Such Social House. With our specialties in craft local coffee, and hand crafted food, S&S is perfect for any occasion. This allows customers to converse, people watch, eat and drink, all while being together and simply enjoying their company with one another.

Beyond our restaurant location, we are looking to serve our patrons with the help of our Catering and Food Truck services! With the ability to cook breakfast, lunch, or dinner entrees, Sips & Such has some of the best catering around. Additionally, the Sips & Such Food Truck is able to cater your private event . To inquire contact catering@sipsandsuch.com for more information.

Tuesday - Saturday 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Monday Closed Sunday 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

2 Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce CLEVELAND CLINIC MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS FAMILY HEALTH CENTER: OPENING AUGUST 2023 Cleveland Clinic is expanding services in your community. Our Family Health Center offers both specialty and primary care, with services including: FOR ROUTINE APPOINTMENTS. FOR LIFE–CHANGING CARE. FOR EVERY CARE IN THE WORLD. LEARN MORE ClevelandClinic.org/MiddleburgHeights Middleburg Heights Family Health Center 17840 Bagley Road, Middleburg Hts., OH 44130 • CARDIOLOGY, INCLUDING ECHO AND STRESS TESTS • DRIVE-THRU PHARMACY • GASTROENTEROLOGY • IMAGING AND L AB SERVICES • NEUROLO GY AND ORTHOPEDIC PHYSICAL REHABILITATION • NEUROLO GY SERVICES, INCLUDING STROKE CARE AND EMG
AND MORE Access world class care, close to home. SipsandSuchSocialHouse sipsnsuch (440)532-7078 www.SipsandSuch.com 7535 Pearl Road Middleburg Hts., OH 44130 SPECIALIZING IN CRAFT LOCAL COFFEE AND HAND-CRAFTED FOOD, SIPS & SUCH SOCIAL HOUSE IS PERFECT FOR ANY OCCASION.

Sips & Such is a locally owned and operated business located in beautiful Middleburg Heights, OH. The concept originated from owners Rhonda and Randy seeking a place that draws people from different walks of life together. Through their dining, take-out, catering, and food truck offerings, they have been able to do just that. For the last 5 years, Sips & Such has been bringing folks from the community together through their high quality service.

As founded to better integrate the residents of Middleburg Heights and its surrounding areas, Sips & Such prioritizes the importance of community. With coffee at our core, and perfection in our minds, we created the restaurant now known as Sips & Such Social House. With our specialties in craft local coffee, and hand crafted food, S&S is perfect for any occasion. This allows customers to converse, people watch, eat and drink, all while being together and simply enjoying their company with one another.

Beyond our restaurant location, we are looking to serve our patrons with the help of our Catering and Food Truck services! With the ability to cook breakfast, lunch, or dinner entrees, Sips & Such has some of the best catering around. Additionally, the Sips & Such Food Truck is able to cater your private event . To inquire contact catering@sipsandsuch.com for more information.

Monday Closed Sunday 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Tuesday - Saturday 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

SipsandSuchSocialHouse sipsnsuch (440)532-7078 www.SipsandSuch.com 7535 Pearl Road Middleburg Hts., OH 44130 SPECIALIZING IN CRAFT LOCAL COFFEE AND HAND-CRAFTED FOOD, SIPS & SUCH SOCIAL HOUSE IS PERFECT FOR ANY OCCASION.

City Scene Features



Home Work

Local home-based business owners discuss the perks of working from home and share tips for success.

4 Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce Middleburg Heights Health & Rehabilitation 19530 Bagley Rd., Middleburg Heights (440) 816-7500 A Letter from the Mayor A Letter from the Chamber Committed to Safety Get a sneak peek at the new police station. Prepared for Success Find out what the school district’s new strategic plan means for students. Feeling Good and Having Fun There’s something for everyone at the Middleburg Heights Community Center. Development Underway See how business is booming in Middleburg Heights. Directory 6 7 8 10 12 14 28 16 18 24 14 18 COVER: KEN BLAZE For advertising information, call 216.377.3693
Middleburg Heights
Faces of
two of our community’s difference-makers. 10 Must-Try
some of the city’s many options for dining, recreation and relaxation.
Brought to You By
Table of Contents
middleburgheightschamber.com 5 THE M IDDLE OF EVERYTHING! Subscribe to the Middleburg Minute E-Newsletter here and stay connected to the latest city news. middleburgheights.com A Priority is Safety Healthy Trails and Trees Initiatives Annual Events and Concert Series THE MIDDLE OF EVERYTHING!
— Mayor Matthew Castelli and City Council

A Thriving Community

Iam happy to report our city is thriving not only financially, but also with new business development and quality of life initiatives.

Building on our desirable residential neighborhoods and well-positioned commercial properties, we continue to invest heavily in our infrastructure, our safety forces and our green spaces to foster economic development around the city, including extensive reinvestment in the Southland District.

All of this concerted, widespread public and private effort is buoyed by our strong and stable financial position and our fiscal responsibility, which allows us to make strategic investments to move the community forward and position it for the future.

We continue to take action to expand our cash carryover balances, which affords us the ability to better address legacy issues that have faced our community over the years. Multiple projects are underway to address flooding concerns along Big Creek Parkway and in other areas throughout the city. Our administration’s success at securing millions of dollars of grant funding has made this and other future infrastructure improvement projects possible.

We recently opened our first ever city-owned nature preserve, Baldwin Creek Nature Preserve, a 20-acre green space with a hiking trail and overlook. This is a key addition to the city’s dedicated green spaces — a major element of our Trails and Trees Initiative in action.

Ensuring the health and safety of our residents is our top priority, and we have made considerable investments over the past several years. We proudly unveiled the new, state-of-the-art Middleburg Heights Police Station, an anchor on the City Hall campus. The new station is an adaptive reuse of an existing building that netted millions in savings. It is highlighted by the beautiful Memorial Hall, which is designed to promote a new era in community policing, transparency and building positive connections and interactions between our police officers and residents.

To further promote safety in our community, we have added a K-9 unit, three school resource officers and community engagement officers to work with challenged youth. In addition, we upgraded our firefighting fleet with a new Quint apparatus, which expands our capabilities to better address emergency situations. A new all-terrain vehicle and drones have been added to ensure that our first responders are able to address emergencies anywhere in our community, too.

A major effort is underway in our Southland Shopping Center district. The city is working in collaboration with property owners, developers and businesses to create a new main street on Smith Road from Pearl to W. 130th that will revitalize the Southland District and create future investment opportunities.

Exciting projects are breathing new life into our city. Together, residents and businesses are sharing a common vision for making Middleburg Heights a better place to live, work and play.


6 Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce
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Building Connections with the Chamber

The Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce was established in 1975 and is presently ranked in the top third in terms of chamber membership by the Northeast Ohio Area Chambers of Commerce (NOACC). The Chamber serves as a connector for its members and guests to build professional relationships with one another. Chamber programming includes Morning Meet Ups and monthly luncheons showcasing a variety of speakers addressing local and professional topics.

The Chamber supports city events and programming such as Summer in the City, concerts and festivals and supports the community and its members in numerous ways, including hosting a school supply drive and offering scholarships. Last year, the Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce was thrilled to distribute proceeds from various fundraising events to eight local nonprofit organizations.

A few of the numerous Chamber membership benefits include accessibility to group health insurance, energy bill discounts, various corporate discounts and more. We will continue to seek out ways to add value to membership and provide more discounts to Chamber members.

Stay up to date with Chamber communication via the newsletter, social media and website. Website content includes a list of complimentary resources available to organizations and businesses, access to previous newsletters, a list of current Chamber members, an archive of articles featuring chamber members, a list of upcoming events and a list of the current Board of Directors. We encourage you to visit and bookmark middleburgheightschamber.com

Thank you to all Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce members for your support and engagement with the Chamber. A special thank you to all the Board members for your service, diligence and dedication to serving on the Board.

For a current list of Board members, upcoming events, Chamber member listing and more, scan the QR code.

middleburgheightschamber.com 7 7285 Old Oak Boulevard Middleburg Heights, Ohio 44130 440.891.7600 I www.polaris.edu • Adult Education • Job & Career Training • Grades 7-12 • Career-Technical Training • College Credits #PolarisMeansJobs • Industry Certifications • Hands-On Training • State-of-the-Art Labs & Classrooms
Geoffrey Dennis President, Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce & Senior Loan Officer, Dollar Bank Claudia Motiu Burton Executive Director, Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce

Committed to Safety

Middleburg Heights’ commitment to the safety of residents and visitors is now being enforced in new, stateof-the-art ways. In October, the city celebrated the grand opening of a $6 million police station, which Police Chief Ed Tomba describes as a

“fantastic space that will serve the city well into the future.”

The new station is also an admirable and forward-thinking example of adaptive reuse: Once the home of the Middleburg Heights Public Library, the building was destined for

demolition. Tomba credits Middleburg Heights Mayor Matthew Castelli, who took the helm in 2019, with seeing its potential.

“The original plan called for the construction of a brand new $12 million police station,” Tomba says. “But during Mayor Castelli’s first

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8 Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce I earned my
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A repurposed library turned out to be the perfect home for the new Middleburg Heights police station. By Linda Feagler

More Light and More Space

The new building’s safety glass windows provide a welcoming ambiance and, unlike the previous station, there’s room for the female staff to have a spacious locker room with shower facilities. Hook-ups for USB ports are abundant, and open workspaces have been designed to promote collaboration and communication between officers and the public.

Safety First

As a 24-7 operation, the station also has a safe room located off the lobby that provides a haven for anyone needing to flee an uncomfortable, uneasy or unsafe situation. The room offers a direct line to communicate with the city’s dispatch center.

A Gathering Place

Chief Tomba looks forward to upcoming events at Memorial Hall — located adjacent to police headquarters on the City Hall campus — that will be the setting for Safety Town and Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) graduations, swearing-in ceremonies and tributes to those who’ve given their lives in the line of duty.

term, we started having discussions about what the new headquarters should be. One of the things we agreed upon was that we definitely should not go to the public for funding. We walked through the former library building, had engineers check it out structurally and discovered it would be an ideal fit — which would save millions of dollars in building costs.”

The timing was perfect. Since the previous station was built in 1979, the police department had outgrown it both in personnel size and technology demands, and structural issues were appearing that would clearly grow worse over

time. The new space is a far cry from the former station, which resembled a cinderblock bunker that lacked both natural light and 21st-century technology capabilities.

“Our new station brings a new dimension to the area along the Parkway and Bagley Road,” Tomba says. “It truly adds a wow factor that lets people know we’re here. We want our community and those needing law enforcement services to know that when they come here, they’re going to be treated with respect and receive the level of service they deserve from a professional law enforcement agency.”

middleburgheightschamber.com 9 M2 Management Group Professional Condominium and Homeowners Association Management Services Since 2004 330-220-1100 www.m2managementgroup.com COURTESY CITY OF MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS
Around Town
Officer Porter with K-9 Officer Zeke

Prepared for Success

The road ahead looks sunny for Berea City School District’s 5,457 students, thanks in large part to Destination 2027, the system’s new five-year strategic plan. Recently unveiled by Superintendent Tracy Wheeler, it’s designed to ensure every student receives the quality education and real-world experiences needed to prepare them for whatever life holds.

“The district’s previous plan centered on upgrading to much-needed technology hardware that’s essential for connectivity in our schools,” says Wheeler, who’s served in her current leadership role since 2019. “Then COVID hit, and times changed. We know it’s crucial to not only incorporate [tech] instruction into the curriculum but also increase the focus on what we’re calling ‘deeper learning.’”

Highlights include:

The Total Titan

Named after the district mascot, it affirms the commitment to develop the unique needs of every student that are foundational to the intellectual and social development necessary for success; support clubs that represent diverse interests and create future leaders; and gather information about the physical and mental well-being and social and cultural needs of the school community.

Student Success

Provide equitable opportunities for growth while following the curriculum aligned with Ohio Learning Standards and Depth of Knowledge; and encourage active participation from scholars and their families to design pathways to achievement.

Finance and Facilities

Commit to a sustainable and transparent financial plan that aligns resources and facilities to district goals; and update and review existing maintenance and infrastructure plans annually.

Family and Community Engagement

Create a culture of collaboration and effective communication to engage students’ families and community stakeholders as partners in student success; restructure the existing Family Engagement Team/Committee/ Council in order to welcome and onboard new families and students to the district; create a career laboratory to develop skills in students that will enhance and contribute to their employability; and build and strengthen strategic partnerships with businesses, organizations and civic leaders to expose students to employment opportunities.

“Many of the jobs our kids will have after they graduate haven’t even been created yet,” Wheeler reflects. “Content is clearly important in any curriculum. But adaptability, communication, critical thinking, empathy, innovation and leadership are also competencies we want our students to lead with and build upon.

“At the end of the day,” she adds, “those are the skills that will make them successful.”

10 Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce COURTESY BEREA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Destination 2027 features four priorities of equal importance.
The school district’s new strategic plan will focus on four priorities to prepare students for the future.
By Linda Feagler

Services Offered:

Comprehensive Therapy


Skilled Nursing Care

Long Term Care

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Wound Care

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Our team of skilled physical, speech and occupational therapists caters to your individual needs with the underlying goal of returning you to your highest level of health and well-being. We have a wide range of equipment available to make rehab interesting, fun and effective. These programs are ideal for patients recovering from surgery, joint replacement, stroke, injuries and other partial or temporary disabling conditions.


Our world-class team of caregivers are dedicated to providing individualized care and services to residents who choose to make our home - their home. Personalized activities and healthy social interaction are among the many features provided to enhance quality of daily living.

middleburgheightschamber.com 11
49 Sheldon Rd Berea, OH • 440.234.0454 570 N Rocky River Dr Berea, OH • 440.243.2122
Specialized in Dementia and Alzheimers

Feeling Good and Having Fun

The Community Center offers something for everyone.

It’s easy to see why the Middleburg Heights Community Center is the city’s premier gathering spot. From aquatics to pickleball, there’s something there for all abilities, ages and stages of life. It’s no wonder the center’s membership totals 8,000 and counting.

“We pride ourselves on making the experience here a welcoming one for everyone,” says Mark Elliott, the center’s director of recreation. “Those who visit our beautifully kept center have a great chance to interact and have conversations with others who quickly become their friends.”

Family-owned and operated since 1984

12 Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce

For the elementary school set, the center offers myriad opportunities to try something new — including bocce, soccer, volleyball, baseball and basketball, to name a few. Additionally, six-week sports programs designed for children with special needs are tailormade for skills development, friendships and fun.

“Kids have so many other interests than they did when many of us were young,” Elliott reflects. “We provide so much alternative programming here that they’re sure to find one that’s enjoyable.”

Teens who are hesitant about joining a team sport in high school appreciate the warm, supportive and non-threatening environment the center nurtures.

“Many teens like a specific sport but are nervous about playing on their school team,” Elliott says. “We make sure they find their comfort zone here. In our high school basketball league, for example, there are no adult coaches. We organize the teams for after-school games, and participants coach themselves. It gives them a wonderful opportunity to socialize with their peers, have fun and get exercise at the same time.”

Adults and seniors gravitate toward the fitness room, which features more than 100 pieces of cardio, circuit training and free weight equipment, along with a four-lane, non-banked track. The center’s heated indoor pool includes an area for lap swimming, bubble couch and hot tub/whirlpool spa. Senior Life programs offer a full slate of events spanning activities that include SilverSneakers aerobics sessions and lunch-andlearn classes on topics ranging from selecting a personal insurance plan to staying healthy.

“There are a lot of smiles generated here,” Elliott says. “It sets the tone for feeling good and having fun.”

middleburgheightschamber.com 13 COURTESY CITY OF MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS

Development Underway

Propelled by a strategic vision and backed by a comprehensive master plan, Middleburg Heights is on the move with development across the community. The city is thriving with business investment and expansion — a testament to its commitment to adapting and staying flexible to accommodate economic opportunities.

grow, expand and thrive,” says Director of Economic Development Charles Bichara.

He points to the city’s central location, transportation access, progressive zoning policies and responsive administration as a few reasons why businesses are putting a stake in the community.

“We are also close to suppliers, the airport and business hubs throughout the region,” Bichara adds.

Middleburg Heights is home to more than 1,200 businesses in the office, industrial, retail and specialty sectors. That includes a medical corridor with 1.6 million square feet of offices and services. Northeast Ohio’s major health systems all have a home in the city. And more than 21,000 people work in Middleburg Heights each day. “We are truly a business-oriented community,” Bichara says.

After completing the first comprehensive master plan for Middleburg Heights in 50 years, including zoning code and map updates along with the Southland redevelopment initiative, Middleburg Heights is strategically prepared for continued growth.

“There is renewed energy in the city as businesses continue to make significant investments in Middleburg Heights as a desired location to

Community support has been integral to the development momentum. The Southland Planning Study and development plan received “tremendous acceptance and feedback,” Bichara says. The study was rolled out to residents and the business community to present

14 Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce
Economic development momentum in Middleburg Heights is introducing new properties, businesses and updated infrastructure.
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a reimagined multi-use district that will transform the area into a welcoming corridor for retail, recreation, housing and a range of business opportunities.

“It encourages a community feel to draw people to Southland and assures its continued viability for the next 50 years and beyond,” Bichara says.

The Southland District Vision repositions the Smith Road corridor and will incorporate on-street parking and a multi-purpose pathway that connects to the Big Creek trail network, along with support for new development. Additionally, the plan includes sustainable infrastructure, such as improved methods for treating stormwater.

“The vision immediately spurred redevelopment projects throughout the Southland district that are currently in progress and being planned,” Bichara says.

The business activity will unleash more residential development, as well. “It introduces more of a pedestrian friendly feel where people can use multipurpose trails — and places for people to gather,” Bichara adds.

Essentially, the plans triggered a development domino effect.

“You can drive down Pearl Road and see the Pearl Plaza under construction with new buildings, and next to that, the Pearl Crossings project is underway,” he says.

Already, some new construction has been

completed, groundbreakings are underway, new businesses are opening locations in Middleburg Heights, and some existing businesses are expanding their footprints. This translates to even more robust amenities in Middleburg Heights — more jobs and more value for those who live, work and play in the city.

Bichara says, “Our theory for economic development has always been to facilitate and foster relationships with businesses and property owners to encourage the continued economic viability of the entire city. Never before in my tenure has there been more activity, and never before has there been a greater spirit of everyone moving forward together with the same unified vision.”

middleburgheightschamber.com 15 COURTESY CITY OF MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS
SAMP Health ribbon cutting El Torito Tacos ribbon cutting

Faces of Middleburg Heights

Get to know some of the community’s inspiring and influential people.

It’s the cleanest, most efficient form of moving goods throughout the Great Lakes states — and we’re not talking about electric vehicles. Cargo ships in the Interlake Steamship fleet can be more than 1,000 feet long. When the largest vessel docks at Whiskey Island in the Port of Cleveland, it can drop off 700 train cars of material in a matter of hours.

At the helm is Mark Barker, second generation president of the company, headquartered in Middleburg Heights. Here, he shares his passion for the water and what it means to captain an organization with a rich past and 450 crewmembers.

Water Born. “I grew up around the ships — and I grew up on the water,” Barker says of following his passion and attending SUNY Maritime College to earn a degree in marine engineering and an Unlimited Third Assistant Engineer license. He sailed aboard vessels on the Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico and trans-Atlantic trades before receiving a call to return to the “home port” from his father, James Barker. He joined the family business in 1996 and was named president in 2007.

Nautical Namesake. The new river-class vessel, M/V Mark W. Barker, is the first bulk carrier to be built on the Great Lakes in more than 35 years — and the first new build for Interlake since 1981. It is 639 feet long and designed to navigate the tight bends of the Cuyahoga River. It is also

the first ship on the Great Lakes with engines that meet EPA Tier 4 emissions standards. The self-unloading bulk carrier will transport all types of cargo, with capacity to hold 26,000 tons. “Having a ship named after me is both an honor and very humbling,” he says. “This ship is a reflection of our long-term commitment to water borne transportation on the Great Lakes.” A Dedicated Crew. “People are our most important asset, and with our team, we operate these gigantic ships and deliver the building blocks of America — raw materials that pave roads, build houses and create cars,” he says. “The complexity of our ships and the amazing women and men who operate them make it look so easy when, in truth, it’s very complicated. It’s a testament to working with incredible individuals who make it all happen.”

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Faces of Middleburg Heights 16 Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce

Q: When did you discover you wanted to become a firefighter and first responder?

A: When I was a junior in college, one of my buddies was taking the Cleveland fire test, and I thought that sounded awesome. Something clicked for me at that point. I was finishing up a degree in psychology — a helping

Meet Our President

Dan Sage

profession — and so it all came together and made sense to become a paramedic. I joined the Middleburg Heights Fire Department in 1995 and have served as chief for 13 years.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about the job?

A: Helping people — knowing that in their worst moments you can help them and fix whatever the problem is.

Q: What might surprise people about working for the fire department?

A: There is so much going on behind the scenes that many people do not realize. I’m not just a fireman or paramedic — I’ve worked in IT, as a scuba diver, hazardous materials technician, drone pilot. All of these additional services are a value-added way of serving the community. Also, most firefighters have other jobs they do. We’ve had vets, plumbers, painters, carpenters. They bring this background into the fire service, which makes them an even better firefighter or paramedic.

7251 Engle Road, Suite 404 | Middleburg Heights, OH 44130 440-243-4994 | www.smithmarshall.com In today’s complex legal world, the lawyers of Smith Marshall, LLP are committed to offering “big-firm” expertise and support in a small-firm setting where the representation provided is efficient, result-oriented and personal. Litigation Estate Planning Business Law Personal Injury Probate Real Estate JACK MARSHALL ERIC SMEARMAN CAITLIN THOMPSON 7251 Engle Road, Suite 404 | Middleburg Heights, OH 44130 440-243-4994 | www.smithmarshall.com For affordable and reliable insurance, Dan is here to help! Call 440-826-0404 Dan Sage is president of Machor Sage Insurance, the family-run insurance agency located in Middleburg Heights. As a long-time resident of Middleburg Heights, Dan is also a very active member in the community. Dan is dedicated to giving back to the community that continues to support him and his family. He is a proud member of: • Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce • City Club of Middleburg Heights • Rotary Club of Strongsville • Boy Scouts of America
Dan is dedicated to the community that is home to his family and business. KEN BLAZE
Faces of Middleburg Heights middleburgheightschamber.com 17
Chief Briant Galgas, Middleburg Heights Fire Department

Choose your own adventure and explore a range of dining, entertainment, spa and recreational possibilities in Middleburg Heights.

Must-Try Spots


Make your way through Middleburg Heights — choose your own adventure. From sips and suds to massages and many ways to play, the possibilities can fulfill most any appetite. And, there’s such a range of ways to dine, relax, get pampered and gather that you can design each “what-to-do-today” differently.

These 10 Chamber member stops are just a very small sampling of the amazing places Middleburg Heights has to offer.

Rise and Shine

Wake up and smell the options for a satisfying cup of coffee, breakfast eats and delectably sweet treats. Middleburg Heights offers a range of dining opportunities, including a couple of homegrown businesses you’ll want to try as you explore the community.

truck out and about at parties and events. “We make a special menu to serve from our Sips and Such Mobile Kitchen,” Burch says.

Specialty drinks are a go-to — especially salted caramel chai, mimosas and bloody Marys.

“The community’s response has been overwhelming,” Burch says. “They have welcomed us with open arms.”

sipsandsuch.com | 7535 Pearl Road | 440-532-7078

Try It!

House-made Sippucino

This frozen, blended coffee comes in three sweetly satisfying flavors: chocolate malt, caramel and vanilla.

Twisted Sweets

She’s known as the chocolate lady — and once you step inside Twisted Sweets, you’ll see why. Christine Czech creates handmade, custom-designed chocolate treats such as an intricate sea turtle, edible unicorn basket and gecko chocolate bars.

Sips and Such Social House

Start the day — or circle back for lunch — at Sips and Such Social House, where owners Randy and Rhonda Burch have built a loyal following. A sizeable community table is convenient for meetings, and the low-top tables and booths provide plenty of cozy seating for sipping and dining. Sips and Such has a gastropub feel with coffee shop warmth. The Burches completely renovated the interior in 2019, expanding the kitchen’s capabilities and, as a result, growing an even larger, curated menu. Think local, and a fusion of breakfast meets bistro.

Chicken waffle sliders, banana bread French toast, breakfast flatbread and caprese avocado toast are a few favorites. “We do vegan bowls, eggs Benedict and wraps,” adds Randy Burch, relating that coffee is roasted weekly at Cleveland’s Rising Star, and milk is sourced from Hartzler Family Dairy in Wooster. “We team up with local purveyors as much as we can.”

The Burches with Sips and Such are big community supporters, sponsoring youth activities and teams. You might find their food

“Popular items are my toffees, buckeyes and fun chocolate-covered Oreos I decorate for the season,” says Czech, who left a 25year career in fashion design to pursue Twisted Sweets full time. For years, her chocolate fans had told her, “You should start a business!” Six years ago, she did. Last year, she opened her storefront, where you can select a treat or two, build a box of goodies or pick up larger orders.

Twisted Sweets also caters events and holds home parties for family gatherings, girls’ nights and birthdays. She stops into businesses with baskets of chocolates to sell to staff, too.

twistedsweets804.com | 7551 Pearl Road | 216-926-8044

Try It! Giant peanut butter cup

Enjoy it plain or covered with toppings like crushed M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces.

middleburgheightschamber.com 19 2 1 10 Must-Try Spots

Ready for R&R

Relax — we’ve got you covered if you need to hit a pause button to escape stress or if you simply crave some downtime to exhale with a therapeutic massage or unwind in an infrared sauna. Or, if you’re looking for some active recreation, why not go for a scenic hike? Have the pup or kids in tow? There’s something for them, too. Recreational options abound in Middleburg Heights.

LifeWorks of Southwest General

Feeling tense? Over time, our bodies can stop telling us the neck is stiff or our shoulders are achy. “After a while, your body compensates,” explains Karen Raisch-Siegel, executive director of LifeWorks of Southwest General. “When muscles tighten up, it can impede your functional movement and you don’t even realize it because you get used to it.”

Massage therapy improves quality of life, can help manage arthritis pain and joint concerns — and releases tension from everyday activities. “Work life can also lead to different back and shoulder issues, and we see this in people who sit at a desk,” points out Mallory Diebel, LifeWorks services coordinator.

Need more reasons to take a break for a massage? It improves circulation and flexibility, boosts your immune system, enhances sleep quality, improves concentration and reduces pain, stress and anxiety while lowering blood pressure. Massage can also reduce recovery time after an injury or surgery.

Members and non-members of LifeWorks can schedule appointments.

Raisch-Siegel says, “Therapeutic massage works out toxins and gets the knots out, and afterward, you realize how tight you were after you allow the body to relax and recover.”

lifeworksfitness.net | 7390 Old Oak Blvd. | 440-816-4202

Try It! HydroMassage

The HydroLounge is a reclining seat with traveling water jets that move up and down, massaging the body. You get to control the pressure and speed.

Sage Salon

Treat your tresses to a fresh style — or try out one of Sage Salon’s specialty services. Offering Brazilian blowouts, a full menu of color options, Restoration CBD Treatment, formal styling and more, there’s something for everyone.

hellosagesalon.com | 7511 Pearl Road | 440-842-1404

Try It! Full Balayage

Providing naturallooking results, these highlights are easier to maintain than traditional foil highlights.

Must-Try Spots

Dolce Organic Salon

Heal, relax — restore and reinvigorate. Rejuvenate from the inside out at Dolce Organic Salon, which offers complete hair and spa services, including an infrared sauna and salt room. The salon uses Organic Way (Oway) products from Bologna, Italy, that contain biodynamic, organic and fair trade ingredients.

“Your skin is your largest organ, so you’re taking a lot in with the shampoos and products you use,” points out Steve Kazar, coowner with his wife, Aundria Kazar.

The infrared sauna is a customer favorite, and one session produces the same cardiovascular results and calories burned as an hour of vigorous exercise, according to Dolce Organic Salon. Infrared saunas also help detoxify the body, deliver pain relief and aid in muscle recovery. Some find improved sleep and relaxation from the therapeutic sauna.

Infrared saunas use infrared light and waves to create high heat rather than emitting steam like traditional saunas.

dolceorganicsalon.com | 18820 E. Bagley Road | 440-238-5514

Cleveland Metroparks

Big Creek Reservation

Need some exercise or a breath of fresh air? Make your way to the Cleveland Metroparks. The Big Creek Reservation offers peaceful trails (and, in winter, fantastic sledding hills) that allow you to enjoy the great outdoors no matter the season. clevelandmetroparks.com | 440-887-1968

Try It!

Hike the Lake to Lake Trail

This 2.4-mile, accessible, all-purpose trail connects Lake Abram to Lake Isaac. During your journey, you’ll cross Abram Creek and Bagley Road, enjoying the sweet sights, sounds and smells of nature as you pass through the headwater wetlands.

Try It!


Also called salt therapy, the treatment involves relaxing in a room where the walls and floors are covered in salt. Negative ions in salt are said to improve mental health conditions like depression, stress and anxiety. They also combat positive ions emitted by computers and other screens. Those with asthma and sinus issues can also find relief, Kazar says.

Get Air Trampoline Park

A Kiddie Court for tots, trampoline dodgeball, ninja course and giant foam pit are a few ways to burn off energy at Get Air Trampoline Park. Kids of all ages can jump in on the fun, with a dedicated space for the youngest set (less than 46 inches), and an open court with thousands of square feet of side-by-side trampolines for the whole family. getairsports.com/middleburg-heights | 7204 Pearl Road | 440-591-6520

Tri-City Bark Park

Unleash and unwind at Tri-City Bark Park, a nearly 30,000 squarefoot, 0.75-acre space for pooches to play. The dog park is a partnership with Middleburg Heights, Brook Park and Berea.

Tri-City Bark Park is fenced in and includes water fountains, benches and plenty of space for dogs to meet, greet, romp and roll.


Dinner & Drinks

Dine around Middleburg Heights, which offers a diverse menu of restaurants to try. Here are a couple of spots to add to your list as you explore the city’s dinner and drinks scene.

Fat Head’s Brewery and Beer Hall

At Fat Head’s Brewery and Beer Hall, you’ll find 20 Fat Head craft beers on tap and an 800-pound capacity smoker for making bona fide barbecue — you’ll find this, along with a vibrant production brewery you can tour; a full-fledged, dog-friendly patio Hop Garden; and a menu that matches the ratings of this establishment’s award-winning reputation.

Aside from the location’s production brewery, there is a small, 15-barrel pilot brewery that makes the bulk of the beers found on tap at the Middleburg Heights beer hall. “With that, we get smallbatch brews that are draft-only and only available through Fat Head’s,” says Bill Wetmore, sales and marketing director.

Some beers are experimental, and some are old favorites. Others are both. “Our true flagships are Bumble Berry and Head Hunter, which just won gold at the Wold Beer Cup in Nashville,” Wetmore says. “What’s interesting is we have done some popular twists on Bumble Berry, like Crumble Berry that focuses on vanilla and cinnamon, and you can only get it here.”

Another twisted favorite is Jungle Juice Head Hunter — an India Pale Ale — with navel orange undertones. “We take our Head Hunter and juice it,” he explains. Another favorite is Hop Juju with a tropical flair.

Try It! Up in Smoke Headwich

Pair a flight of smaller pours with Fat Head’s Up in Smoke Headwich, featuring smoked brisket, smoked cheddar, smoky barbecue sauce, red cabbage slaw and savory onion straws.

Lagers and pilsners from the pilot brewery are also popular picks. Wetmore explains that Fat Head’s German-style brewers have a passion for the tradition. “Our brewery is also unique because we have open fermenters, a European brew style, and those are exceptionally good for wheat beers, so we always have Goggle Fogger on tap, awarded medals in 2020 and 2022 as the best HefeWeizen in the U.S. and world.”

Self-guided tours are available, too. Learn how Fat Head’s produces its craft beers and watch the operation in action. A glassedin production packaging line allows you to walk the corridor and check out what’s happening. “Our brew deck is above the bar, so as you are sitting there, we are actively brewing Monday through Friday,” Wetmore says, adding that the self-guided experience includes a storyline on the walls. “We explain our brew process and the evolution of Fat Head’s.”

fatheads.com/brewery | 17450 Engle Lake Drive | 216-898-0242

22 Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce 9 COURTESY FAT HEAD’S BREWERY 10
Must-Try Spots

Santo’s Italian Restaurant

Steeped in tradition, dining at Santo’s Italian Restaurant is truly a family affair passed on to generations. A refined menu of homemade pasta and house specialties includes seafood and veal dishes, poultry and pizza.

Santo’s opened in 1972, founded by John and Florence Santosuosso — and is now run by their daughter and son-in-law Louise and Tony Raffin, along with one of the Raffin’s four children, Annette.

“Anything that comes out of the kitchen, it’s not a frozen product — it’s all homemade,” Annette says. She points to the restaurant’s spaghetti sauce as an example, which is still made using her grandparents’ recipe. “They start with meat on bones, because it’s more flavorful, and you cook that with some garlic and olive oil,” she shares. “Then you add tomato products and some spices.”

This spaghetti sauce is made fresh in-house three or four times a week, she adds.

Annette is proud that the restaurant has called Middleburg Heights home for so many years and enjoys hearing stories of families who have been dining at Santo’s for generations. She regularly hears from customers who say their parents brought them to the restaurant as children and, when they grew up, they got engaged there and now bring their own children to Santo’s.

“Hearing those kinds of stories makes it all worth it,” she says. santospizzaandpasta.com | 7565 Pearl Road | 440-234-6480

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middleburgheightschamber.com 23

Home Work

Finding the Sweet Spot

When the office is at home, local business owners connect in the community and thrive. Learn how three successful residents strike a worklife balance while operating growing enterprises that add to the city’s diverse business community.

desserts and bite-sized delights for events, parties and gifts. Those include pies, tarts, cookies, cheesecakes, brownies and more.

Aside from catering, Hritz partners with other catering companies and event centers. She has a stable of regular customers who have treated themselves to her goodies since before the COVID days. And during that time, she shifted from events to creating treat boxes for delivery. The support she received from community members and others in her entrepreneurial networking group sustained a thriving business during a tough time, and last year was her best yet.

Based at home, her kitchen is headquarters. Rather than equipping a dedicated space with a desk and storage for files, her home office includes three refrigerators and two full-size freezers. “I could always use more,” she laughs.

Michelle Hritz’s 3 Tips for Success

1. Get involved.

A lifelong dessert fan, Michelle Hritz signed up for a cake decorating class at nearby Polaris Career Center for fun — and it led to a sweet venture she never imagined. “My instructor worked part time at a restaurant and asked, ‘Do you want to come with me to see what I do?’ I did, and after spending a day with her, I was like, ‘This is what I want to do!’”

Following a career in interior design, Hritz shifted into the bakery and cafe business, learning from commercial bakers. She eventually became a head pastry chef and discovered a love for catering events. “It’s creative and you get to work with people one-on-one,” she says.

In 2016, Hritz combined her artistic background, baking skills and passion for sweet things into a virtual bakery and catering business: Sweet Revolution! The licensed home bakery specializes in mini

Hritz and her husband have lived in Middleburg Heights for 26 years on a cul-de-sac near the Metroparks she calls “a hidden gem.” Proximity to major highways makes it easy for delivery and traveling to events, she says.

As for the home base, she appreciates the time she can find in off-moments and hours of the day when her husband is home and she’s not busy baking. Because her career involves working evenings and weekends while events happen, she can also conveniently slide in more kitchen time without being away when she’s on deadline.

Hritz joined the Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce and participated in an entrepreneurial networking group to share ideas, gather feedback and build connections.

2. Get out.

Even though Hritz is a licensed home baker and spends hours in her own kitchen, she enjoys a refreshing balance of working from home with time away at events and delivering catering orders.

3. Get engaged.

During COVID when the event business was down, Hritz leveraged social media to engage the community. “People were finding me and ordering treat boxes to share, and there was so much support,” she says.

24 Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce COURTESY MICHELLE HRITZ
Learn how three Middleburg Heights entrepreneurs make working from home work for them.

Creating ‘Cubicles’ in the Community

Dan Sage works in the basement, outfitted with screens, files, video calls and all that’s required to run Machor Sage Insurance Agency. His wife, Michelle, works upstairs in a den transformed into a fully equipped office. Dan and Michelle decided to move the family agency home after maintaining an office in Middleburg Heights for many years. Founded in 1975 by Michelle’s father, Dennis Machor, the agency offers personal and commercial insurance coverage to clients all over Ohio.

“One of the good things that came out of the pandemic was opening folks’ eyes and broadening their beliefs of remote work and virtual assistants,” Dan says.

He adds that the commute is great. “I just need a good 30 seconds to walk to my office,” he quips.

Aside from agency life, Dan is involved in a range of community outreach organizations, from being an active member of the Rotary Club of Strongsville to having served on the board of directors for the Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce.

He is also a member of the City Club of Middleburg Heights. Namely, he is a Middleburg Heights city councilman. All of this giveback to the community gets him out of the house quite a bit, so working from home comes with a nice balance.

In fact, Dan says moving their agency office home and adopting a remote work environment inspires more time out in the community. Rather than scheduling meetings in a conference room, he meets out at local businesses like Revive Café, Sips and Such Social House and Global Grounds Café inside Grace Church.

“It forces me to get out even more than when I had a physical office,” he says.

Dan Sage’s 3 Tips for Success

1. Set a schedule

The Sages decided they would maintain a routine just like always. “We get up, shower, get dressed and ‘go to work’ as opposed to rolling out of bed and taking calls.”

2. Set outside meetings. Explore places in the community to meet clients as an alternative to the conference room.

3. Set boundaries. There’s no hard stop at the home office. “At 5 p.m., a switch doesn’t go off,” he says. I associate the office with work, and when I’m with family, the door to my office is closed.”

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Sold on Working from Home

Fewer distractions, scheduling flexibility and better productivity are a few benefits of working from home, if you ask Vickie Kasidonis, a real estate agent with Dipierro Real Estate Services. “There’s less pressure, and I feel very content,” she says. “And for me, when I feel content, I produce more.”

Kasidonis grew up in Middleburg Heights — her family has lived in the community for about 50 years. “Middleburg

Heights is close-knit, businesses are growing and it’s comfortable,” she says. “People are friendly, and it’s easy to access nearby communities.”

This is important for a real estate agent who has been working throughout Northeast Ohio for the last eight years. Kasidonis describes the energy in town centered on redevelopment. It’s easy to sell Middleburg Heights to clients who are interested in a community that is close to amenities like shopping, dining, recreation, parks and health care.

“There is a lot going on here,” she says. There is a lot going on in her home office, too. Kasidonis finds balance by taking breaks to walk her dog, or carving time out for a relaxing coffee hour if she’s been up late negotiating a deal. If she needs to run an errand, she can squeeze that into the day, knowing she also can be responsive off hours when clients need her.

She is definitely “sold” on working out of her Middleburg Heights home. And, she adds, “I don’t have to fight any traffic.”

Vickie Kasidonis’s 3 Tips for Success

1. Enlist resources. There’s no IT department in the home office. But Kasidonis partners with a local technology expert who can handle computer issues.

2. Create space. A dedicated office is a must for Kasidonis. “I have my desk, and I put shelves in the closet for files — I refreshed it, and at the end of the day, I make sure the desk is clear and ready for the next day,” she says.

3. Maintain a drive.

“You have to really want to work from home,” Kasidonis says. “You have to be motivated and dedicated to be successful.”

Southland Loan Center

Geoffrey Dennis 440-842-1347


Southland Office

Jennifer Gosnell 440-842-1300


We offer a variety of Italian inspired dishes along with wood-fired pizzas cooked in our two authentic brick ovens. Our brick ovens provide a unique smokey flavor, faster cooking time, and crispier toppings compared to conventional gas ovens. We are open for dinner, provide catering, and would love to host your family or business events!

13373 Smith Road
Hts, OH 44130 thebrickoven.org Reservations & Carry Out 440-545-1274
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Home Work 26 Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce
PHOTO CREDIT middleburgheightschamber.com 27 Family Owned & Operated since 1914 Serving the Greater Cleveland Community for over 109 years! 7327 Pearl Rd. Middleburg Hts., OH 44130 & 4772 Pearl Rd., Cleveland, OH 44109 440-243-6111 • 216-741-6661 Congratulations to Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce Celebrating for 50 Years serving the Middleburg Heights Community.

Local Government Contacts

City Government

Middleburg Heights City Hall

15700 Bagley Road

Middleburg Heights, Ohio 44130 440-234-8811


Mayor’s Office

Mayor Matthew Castelli


City Council Office Mary Ann Meola, Clerk of Council 440-234-8811

President: David Bortolotto 216-571-3641

At-Large: Tim Ali 440-537-3737

At-Large: Dan Sage 440-669-0740

Ward 1: Bill Meany 216-789-3709

Ward 2: Matthew McGregor 216-407-6366

Ward 3: Michael Ference 216-433-1059

Ward 4: John Grech 440-243-6486

Middleburg Heights City Council

Front Row (l to r): Mary Ann Meola (Clerk of Council), David Bortolotto (Council President), Mayor Matt Castelli

Back Row (l to r): Dan Sage, Tim Ali, John Grech, Matthew G. McGregor, Michael Ference, Bill Meany

Directory 28 Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce TIM ALI COUNCILMEN AT LARGE PROVEN LEADERSHIP! RE-ELECT BOTH ARE ENDORSED BY: MAYOR MATTHEW CASTELLI, COUNCILMEN DAVE BORTOLOTTO, BILL MEANY, MATT MCGREGOR, MIKE FERENCE AND JOHN GRECH DAN SAGE COUNCILMEN AT LARGE FOR HONESTY & INTEGRITY RE-ELECT Paid for by Citizens for Sage Committee, Michelle Sage Treasurer, 6596 Scenic Park Oval Paid for by Friends for Tim Ali, Patty Ross Treasurer, 14781 Timber Lane

City Departments

15700 Bagley Road


Service Department: 440-234-2216

Building Department: 440-234-2218

Finance Department: 440-234-8811

Economic Development: 440-234-8811

Law Department: 440-234-8811

Mayor’s Court: 440-234-6907

Planning Commission/Board of Zoning and Building Appeals: 440-239-6252

Civil Service: 440-234-8811

Service Center

7375 Engle Road 440-234-2216

Fire Department

15800 Bagley Road

Emergency: 911 or 440-243-1212

Non-Emergency: 440-243-1313

Police Department

15600 Bagley Road

Emergency: 911

Non-Emergency: 440-243-1234

Recreation Department/ Community Center

16000 Bagley Road

Main: 440-234-2255

Information Line: 440-239-6312

Cuyahoga County Government


Administrative Headquarters 2079 E. Ninth St. Cleveland, Ohio 44115 216-443-7178

County Executive: Chris Ronayne 216-443-7181

District 4, County Council Member: Scott Tuma


Board of Elections

2925 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, Ohio 44115 216-443-3200

Regional Income Tax Agency 10107 Brecksville Road

Brecksville, Ohio 44141 800-860-7482

middleburgheightschamber.com 29 IMPROVE YOUR HOME WITH CONFIDENCE Additions Bathrooms Basements Kitchens Design & Build Interior & Exterior Remodels Custom Carpentry Painting Handyman Services Computerized Plans Itemized Specifications Electrical & Plumbing (State License #28631) Roofing, Siding & Gutters Driveways Patios Basic Home Maintenance Replacement Windows & Doors FREE ESTIMATES CALL 440-777-4406 4486 West 220th Street Fairview Park, OH 44126 www.KlotzbachCustomBuilders.com CARRY OUT AVAILABLE Hours Monday-Thursday 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday 3 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday 1 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Sunday 12 p.m.-9 p.m. HAPPY HOUR Every Day 4 - 6 p.m. 18332 Bagley Road Middleburg Heights, Ohio 44130 440-826-9900 Hours Mon.-Thurs. 4 pm-9 pm Fri. 4 pm-9:30 pm Sat. 3 pm-9:30 pm Sun. Noon-8 pm Sun.-Thurs. 4 pm-7 pm HAPPY HOUR SUNDAY-THURSDAY 4 - 7 pm
Join us for the finest steaks, ribs, chicken, pork chops, seafood items, and much more, all woodfired to perfection. We offer Happy Hour drink and appetizer specials daily.

State Government


Governor Mike DeWine

77 S. High St., 30th Floor

Columbus, Ohio 43215 614-644-4357


Ohio Senate District 24

Senator Matt Dolan

1 Capitol Square, First Floor, 127 Columbus, Ohio 43215 614-466-8056


Ohio House of Representative District 17

Representative Tom Patton

77 S. High St., Floor 11

Columbus, OH 43215 614-466-4895


United States Government


United States House of Representatives, Ohio 7th District

Congressman Max Miller 143 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515 202-225-3876


United States Senate

Senator Sherrod Brown 503 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510 202-224-2315


Senator JD Vance B40-C Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510 202-224-3353


For more city contact information as well as events and announcements, visit middleburgheights.com.

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