Beehive Cafe

Meet Ashlee Decker, founder and owner of The Beehive Cafe in the Laird Arcade. The Beehive is a farm-to-table restaurant serving food sourced directly from local farmers. Ashlee says, “The concept of my cafe is to support our local community, and the Tiffin community is very supportive of one another. If it was going to work anywhere, it’d work in Tiffin.”

Ashlee also teaches Environmental Science at Heidelberg University, and will be working with a group of students for marketing. “It’s really important to allow the students to tell us what they want, they are a really big part of our community,” she said.

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Phat Cakes

Meet Natalie Wertz, founder and owner of Phat Cakes & Cafe. Located in downtown Tiffin across from the Ritz Theatre, the restaurant offers a full menu including craft beer, wine, mixed drinks, homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, quiche, specials, and gourmet desserts.

Established as a home-based business in 2009, the hunt for a storefront started almost immediately as Wertz’ customer base grew. Looking to give new life to a building that was targeted for a tear down, the vision to open and coexist with Bunky’s Bicycle Service was put into motion. Demolition started in 2010 and it took a solid year of self renovation.

“At the beginning of construction it was almost impossible to envision that we were going to build this space into anything…demolition alone took months, but I’m glad that we were able to revitalize a vacant building downtown. I chose Tiffin for many reasons. The best one is because of my family and friends that are absolutely dedicated to the core. They have helped with the construction and growth of Phat Cakes from the beginning,” says Wertz.

Awarded the Entrepreneur Spirit award by the Seneca Industrial & Economic Development Corporation in 2014, Wertz and her staff continue to add a positive vibe to the downtown scene.

From Natalie and the amazingly dedicated staff at Phat Cakes & Bunky’s, “We hope to see you soon!

More at Phat Cakes:

  • Gluten Free & Vegetarian Options
  • Party Booking
  • Hosting Benefit Nights
  • Beer Flights 5 for $8
  • A venue for local artists to preform
  • Catering with individualized menu planning
  • Party Trays – Sandwich & Dessert trays
  • Customized Cutout cookies & cakes
  • Desserts including over 100 different cupcake varieties, gourmet cheesecakes, cookies & more
  • Wine & Beer tastings
  • Paint Parties
  • Thirsty Thursday with Live Music at 7pm, $3 Craft Beers & $2 Tacos.

Open after the Ritz Theatre shows

Stop by Monday – Wednesday 10:30-2:30 and Thursday – Saturday 10:30-10pm!

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BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio offers cost-effective energy solutions

Better BuildingsBetterBuildings is a program available through the Toledo-Lucas Port Authority. The goal of the program is to make cost-effective energy practices and technology more accessible to individuals, businesses and governmental entities across Northwest Ohio while also helping transform the way whole communities use energy. Owners of virtually every type of building are eligible for low-cost financing to pay for high-efficiency improvements to their facilities and building systems.

The program offers commercial financing at competitive interest rates with terms up to 15 years for projects that focus on conserving energy and generating savings through equipment retrofits to existing facilities. Financing is structured so that the energy savings will cover the cost of equipment, upgrades, installation and transaction cost, which make these projects “self-funding.” In addition, eligible utility company rebates and other incentives can be included in the financing.

In many buildings energy savings of 20% or more are achievable. To be eligible, projects must be an energy efficient retrofit to an existing building. Some examples of projects that can be financed are lighting, high efficiency HVAC, building envelope, energy management systems and controls, compressed air and refrigeration.

BetterBuildings offers financing for projects that focus on conserving energy and generating savings through equipment upgrades to existing facilities. The following lists some of the energy improvements eligible for upgrades:

  • Lighting and Building Controls
  • HVAC, Boilers and Chillers
  • Compressor, Motors and Drives
  • Refrigeration
  • Waste Energy Recovery
  • Electrical Distribution

Financing for BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio is available through a $15 million start-up grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The funding was issued in 2010 as part of the Retrofit Ramp-Up project, part of the $80 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio is just one of 25 programs across the nation chosen for participation.

For more information, please contact Teresa Smith, Business Development Manager, tsmith@toledoport.org, Andrea Jones, BBNWO Executive Assistant,  ajones@toledoport.org, or call the BetterBuildings office at 419-243-8251.

Two Facade Enhancement Grants awarded

33 CourtLast week, the Architectural Board of Review awarded Facade Enhancement Grants for the building at 33 Court Street, and improvements to the property at 20-22 South Washington Street. The projects were awarded a combined total of $20,000 for a total estimated investment of $82,000.

Improvements at 33 Court Street will include repairs to slate, masonry, windows, cornices, roof, and dormers, as well as painting. The total estimated cost of the improvements is $36,000.

The project at 20-22 S. Washington St. will be a brick veneer for the wall exposed when the two buildings were demolished in February. The estimated cost of the project is $46,000. Property owner Lenny Clouse says the new veneer will not only improve the look of the wall, but also reinforce it.

These projects represent the fifth and sixth Facade Enhancement Grants awarded in 2016, the third year for the program, and bring the total reinvestment into the appearance of downtown Tiffin for 2016 to more than $200,000.

Tiffin awarded site certification

site certAEP announces Eagle Rock Business Park is awarded certification for Eagle Rock site

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 15, 2016 American Electric Power (AEP) announced last night at the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) annual meeting that the Eagle Rock Industrial Park is the fourth site in northwest Ohio to receive the Shovel Ready Certified Site designation by Austin Consulting for food processing and general manufacturing.

The Austin Consulting site cert 2“Shovel Ready” Site Designation Award for the Food and Beverage Industry is designated after Austin Consulting evaluates over 200 critical variables that can significantly decrease the amount of time, expense, and risk during the site selection process. The designation is valid for three years, as long as no alterations are made to the property.

The certified site is 38 acres in size and in the Eagle Rock Industrial Park just north of Tiffin Insulators at the corner of Maule and Tyber Roads.  It is zoned heavy industrial, has an electric substation close by, and has access to large water and sewer capacities, important for food processing as well as general manufacturing.

AEP Ohio’s Manager of Economic and Business Development Tim Wells was pleased to make the announcement. “AEP is pleased to help local economic development organizations develop capacity, and this program will help make Tiffin more competitive. They are now one of only four such sites in northwest Ohio.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz applauded the achievement: “This brings us one step closer to filling the Eagle Rock Industrial park to capacity. Not many cities have a site with this level of certification; it gives us an advantage in attracting a new facility.”

Seneca County Commission President Holly Stacy agreed, “We’re one of only five counties in northwest Ohio to have an industrial site with this designation, and we are excited to position ourselves for continued industrial growth.”

About AEP

AEP is one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S., serving nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. It owns the largest electricity transmission network in the nation (40,000+ miles) and has more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. In Ohio, AEP serves nearly 1.5 million customers and provides power to more than 920 communities. AEP’s Economic Development arm facilitates projects and supports community efforts through a variety of initiatives.

About The Austin Company

Founded and headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1878, the Austin Company provides design-build and location consulting services for commercial and industrial operations. They offer a comprehensive portfolio of in-house services, including architectural design, engineering, design-build, construction management, operations improvement and consulting. Austin also offers value-added strategic planning services, such as site location, transportation and distribution consulting, and facility and process audits. Additional offices are located in Irvine, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Portage, Michigan; and St. Louis, Missouri; in addition to a joint venture company in Mexico. Learn more at www.theaustinconsulting.com.

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

Chipotle plans to open Tiffin store

chipotle foodDiverse Development signs lease with national restaurant chain

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 14, 2016 Diverse Development announced today that Chipotle Mexican Grill intends to open a store in Tiffin later this year in the center Diverse Development is planning to construct at the corner of West Market Street and Ashwood Road. The lease is contingent upon approval of a local tax exemption later this month.

Diverse Development President Ken Hicks complimented the city of Tiffin in making the announcement. “Tiffin’s growth over the past few years and business-friendly atmosphere has made it easy for me and national retailers like Chipotle to move forward with projects. We really appreciate the support we have received so far.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was excited with the news. “We’ve been aggressive in courting Chipotle and other businesses to come to town, and I am glad to see our efforts get rewarded. We welcome them with open arms and will do whatever we can to make it easy to come here.”

The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the economic development non-profit for Tiffin and Seneca County, also confirmed today that the State of Ohio has officially approved the 70-acre Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) passed by Tiffin City Council in February, so they are now able to take applications. Diverse Development has submitted their application and is in the process of being scheduled to go to Council later this month. If approved, the project would move forward quickly, Hicks indicated.

Heidelberg President and SIEDC Chair Rob Huntington was also pleased with the announcement. “Our college students at Tiffin University and Heidelberg University, as well as our high school students and their families in town, have been wanting Chipotle to come here for years.  They will be very excited to hear this news!  It will improve student quality of life and provide another recognizable, well-liked brand for prospective students.”

About Chipotle

Established in 1993, Chipotle is a fast-casual dining chain focused on “Food with Integrity.” With more than 2,000 locations and 45,000 employees, Chipotle is a $4.5 billion restaurant enterprise specializing in Mission-style burritos made using high-quality, GMO-free, naturally grown and raised ingredients, and classic cooking techniques. The restaurants are also known for their distinctive interior design.

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

Ribbon Cutting for Slate Real Estate this Friday

Slate Real EstatePlease come help the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services Ambassadors welcome the newest addition to Tiffin, Slate Real Estate. A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new office will be held this Friday, April 8 at 4:45 PM,  at 1660 W. Market St. Ste. C. 

Slate is a three person team of real estate professionals. They are:

Britny Focht

Britny is an Owner & Manager of Slate Real Estate LLC . Britny is a Tiffin native and a Tiffin University graduate with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Addictions Counseling. Britny is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the Ohio Association of Realtors, and the Firelands Board of Realtors MLS. Britny prides herself on providing her clients with excellent assistance every time through every step of their real estate transactions. In her spare time, Britny enjoys actively volunteering her time to her community and spending time with her son Jaxon and husband, Todd.

Marcia Focht

Marcia is also an Owner & Manager of Slate Real Estate. An Ohio State grad, after 30 years of teaching and coaching in the Tiffin City Schools she decided to not retire but start a staging business with her sister Sheila called STAGEPLUS, and then began a real estate career with her daughter-in-law Britny. In January of 2016 they opened Slate Real Estate LLC. She lives in Tiffin with her husband Rich and is enjoying being a Grandma to Jaxon and Sebastian.

Sara Wingart

Sara is a Broker/Owner of Slate Real Estate. She was licensed in 1978,and managed an office for 15 years before becoming a Broker/Owner for Coldwell Banker, Hohman Wingart Realtors and later Colwell Banker Tri-Pro Realty. She was on the Firelands Board of Directors for over 15 years, serves on the Professional Standards, Legislative Forums and was the ChairPerson for the Property Management Forum for 2012, at the state level for the Ohio Association of Realtors. She is also Past President of the Firelands Association of Realtors, Community Hospice Care, and Bascom Long Distance Board of Directors. She and her husband Don have two sons, Scott of Tiffin, and Brett of Columbus area, and two grandchildren, Noah and Zora.

Slate Real Estate is a member of the Firelands Association of REALTORS, a professional trade association of over 500 licensed real estate agents that provides its members with resources and training to enhance the services they provide their clients.

For more information, please contact the office: (567)207-2100.

Hannah Taulbee – Heidelberg Student and SIEDC Intern

Revolving Loan Fund opportunity available

Seneca Regional CommissionThe Seneca Regional Planning Commission is offering a Revolving Loan Fund & Economic Development Program for 2016.

The Revolving Loan Fund provides funds to units of local government to provide gap financing for local business development. The goal of the program is to create and retain permanent, private sector job opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons, through the expansion and retention of business and industry in Seneca County.

The RLF is intended to be a tender of last resort. Other sources, such as private lenders, should be consulted first. Also, be prepared for loan application, review, and processing to take two or three months or more. This is unavoidable in most cases, due to environmental review procedures, which require public comment periods, and due to additional required procedures, including a meeting of the RLF Administrative Board, subsequent review by the Ohio Development Services Agency, and Seneca County Commissioners’ approval. It is best to maintain close contact with the RLF Administrator during the application and review process.

Program guidelines and application can be found online. If you have any questions, contact Tanya Hemmer at 419.447.4550 ext. 101.

Hannah Taulbee – Heidelberg Student and SIEDC Intern

“Mission Main Street” provides affordable downtown finance

anchor logoLooking for financing for your small, downtown business? Anchor Financial Services provides a  “Mission Main Street” lending initiative,which aims to provide downtown businesses with long-term, cost-effective financing to help support and stimulate growth.

For-profit businesses operating in one of Anchor’s targeted communities are eligible for $15,000-$250,000 loans with competitive interest rates, for up to 10 years with no penalty for early pay-off. The proceeds of the loan can be used for any business purpose including working capital, inventory, hiring, purchasing furniture and fixtures, renovations, leasehold improvements, and machinery and equipment purchases.

With these affordable small business loans, Anchor hopes to increase and reassert the historic and economic value of downtowns across America, and preserve businesses that convey a community’s identity, heritage and personality.

You can find more information about Anchor and their other loan programs here. For more information about the Mission Main Street program, contact Lisa Wagner at 419.873.8322.

About Anchor

Anchor is a non-profit, U.S. Treasury, and SBA-certified economic development agency whose mission is to support America’s communities through creative lending initiatives within underserved communities. We provide viable small businesses with long-term, cost-effective financing strategies designed to stimulate economic expansion, promote sustainable job growth, and achieve the American Dream. By bridging the government gap, we are building diverse vibrant communities where access to capital is within reach for those committed to entrepreneurship, ideas, and hard work.

The Building Doctor Is In

Ohio Historical Soc.SIEDC is proud to announce a partnership with the Tiffin Historic Trust and the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services to bring the Building Doctors, a program of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office, to Tiffin!

The Building Doctors will be hosting an informative two-hour seminar on caring for older buildings the evening of July 21 at the Tiffin-Seneca Public Library. This seminar will address issues such as peeling paint, failing plaster, wet basements, deteriorating masonry, damaged wood, window repair, and many other topics. Those interested in a consultation the following day must attend the seminar.

Friday, July 22, the Doctors will visit ten buildings to provide a free consultation. They are available to visit a variety of types of buildings built before 1955. Due to the limitedBuilding Doctor 1 number of consultations, applications are to be sent to SIEDC, and the SIEDC Downtown Design Committee will choose the top ten for the Doctors to visit.

Applications can be downloaded here, or picked up at the SIEDC office (19 W. Market St.). Please submit applications to Amy Reinhart. Be prepared to provide a picture of the structure and description of the issue.

Hannah Taulbee – Heidelberg Student and SIEDC Intern