Author: aaflood95

Tiffin Farmers Co-op expands with Drive Thru

New service recently completed

TIFFIN, OHIO – July 8, 2021 – Tiffin Farmer’s Co-Op Inc. has announced today an expansion of their operations to add a drive thru, open during normal business hours, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday. The project started in March 2021 and was recently completed.

Through the service, customers can purchase water softener salt, wild bird seed in multiple sizes, lawn/garden fertilizer, animal feed, including for chickens and cows, pond chemicals and other items.

Tiffin Farmers is a member-owned, member-focused business striving to succeed in customer satisfaction. They offer a variety of products and services, including Agronomy, Feed, Grain, Industrial,  Seed, Lawn, Garden, and Pond. Following World War I, farmers in the Tiffin vicinity wanted to organize an elevator owned and operated by farmers. Tiffin Farmers’ Exchange opened on July 20, 1920, at the Walter Trumpler Elevator. Today, the Co-op employs 11 people.

“We’re excited for this opportunity to offer a service to our customers who want to pick up some essentials with the convenience of not having to leave their cars and come into the office,” said Steve Welter, bookkeeper at Tiffin Farmers Co-op.

“This is a great service and will hopefully help the co-op to continue to grow and provide its services for more people in Seneca County,” said Seneca County Commissioner Tony Paradiso, who recently tried the new drive thru.

A ribbon cutting with the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce is set for July 13 at 4pm.

Tiffin Farmers Co-op is located at 585 S. CR 13. For more information, call (419) 447-0366, visit www.tiffin-farmers.com.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

Architectural Board of Review Approves Four Grants

New sign approved for Laird Building

This artist’s rendering shows what the perpendicular signage w

Today, the City of Tiffin Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved three façade grants for Downtown Tiffin buildings and a grant for a new sign to be installed at the Laird Building.

During the meeting, the board approved three projects for Façade Enhancement Grants:

  • Tony Consolo, owner of 45 S. Washington St., B.E.S.T. Taco Shop & Breakfast Spot, was approved for a $10,000 grant for roof repairs.
  • Donna Brose, owner of 135 S. Washington St., Cabin Creations, was approved for a $10,000 grant for window and masonry restoration.
  • Jay Zheng, owner of 253 S. Washington St., Hunan King, was approved for a $10,000 grant to improve the exterior façade to make it more historic.

The board also approved a $1,000 Downtown Sign Enhancement Grant requested by Don Zeis for a 19-foot-tall perpendicular sign to hang on the Laird Building, 114 S. Washington St.

Combined, these projects total more than $97,000 in investment in Downtown Tiffin.

In 2020, the ABR approved façade grants for the owners of seven building in Downtown Tiffin for a total investment of $227,188.12.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented: “I’m proud to be able to support these building owners in improving their properties and investing in the beautification of Downtown Tiffin.”

Since the Façade Enhancement Program’s inception in 2014, 92 projects have been approved for a total downtown investment of more than $2.6 million.

About the Façade Enhancement Program

The Façade Enhancement Program is a City of Tiffin reimbursement grant that was started in 2014 and provides a 50 percent match of funds for eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district, up to $10,000. Each building is eligible to receive up to $10,000 per calendar year. For more information, visit www.tiffinseneca.org (search “Façade Enhancement”).

About Downtown Tiffin

The revitalization of downtown Tiffin began in 2011, when a group of community members came together to for “Tiffin Tomorrow”, with the goal of promoting and encouraging economic development in downtown Tiffin, and creating plans, programs and actions to ensure long-term vitality and prosperity. In 2014, the city of Tiffin contracted with SIEDC to act as the downtown organization and “Tiffin Tomorrow” came under the SIEDC umbrella as the “Downtown Development Committee,” which serves as the governing board of the downtown organization. In 2015, Tiffin joined Heritage Ohio’s Ohio Main Street Program. For more information, click here.

Bird Scooters launches Tiffin rides next week

Bird working with local entities to provide new scooter sharing service in Tiffin

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 18, 2021 – Santa Monica, California-based Bird Rides, Inc. has announced it will begin offering its e-scooters in the City of Tiffin beginning Monday, June 21.

Bird announced in April its intention to add Tiffin to its list of cities. With the help of the newly-established Entrepreneurial Opportunity Clearinghouse through the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, a local company who will oversee the operation was identified.

The electric scooters can be used on roads and in bike lanes and have a maximum speed of 15mph. Scooters must be parked out of the way of pedestrians and never blocking driveways. Riders are required to be 18 years-old and above to access the scooters. They are also encouraged to wear a helmet on every ride and required to obey all standard rules of the road. For more information, including an opportunity to receive a free helmet (only pay for shipping and handling), visit www.bird.co/safety-mobile.

Users who want to rent the scooters will need to install the Bird app, where all available scooters are displayed. Before starting, the user supplies payment information, scans the QR code on the scooter, and begins the trip. To end the trip, the user must take a photo of the parked scooter. The price of the trip is immediately withdrawn from the user’s credit card.

Bird offers the following programs that are available for all who qualify:

  • Community Pricing – Bird’s Community Pricing Program offers a 50% discount to low-income riders, Pell grant recipients, select local nonprofit and community organizations, veterans, and senior citizens. It’s designed to be the most inclusive micromobility discount program available anywhere. To sign up for the Community Pricing Program, download the Bird app, create an account, and email your proof of eligibility to access@bird.co.
  • Free Rides for Healthcare Workers and Emergency Personnel – Bird is proud to offer free rides to healthcare workers and emergency personnel. To sign up, simply email a copy of your medical identification card along with your name and phone number to together@bird.co. Eligible riders will receive two free 30-minute rides per day for as long as it takes to help our communities to recover from this global health crisis.

Founded in September 2017, Bird operates shared electric scooters in more than 100 cities in North America, Europe and the Middle East with 10 million rides in its first year of operation. The company was founded and is run by Travis VanderZanden, formerly an executive at Lyft and Uber. Notably it became the fastest startup to ever reach $1 billion in valuation.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was excited about Bird’s announcement. “We’ve been working with Bird for a while, and I’m looking forward to having this fun, environmentally-friendly mobility solution in our community. They will make a great addition to the City of Tiffin.”

If a resident sees an issue with a Bird scooter or would like to contact the company, call 1 (866) 205-2442, email hello@bird.co or use ‘Community Mode’ feature in the Bird mobile app. More information can be found at www.bird.co and on their blog, www.bird.co/blog.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

Handshoe Cakes and Cookies receives 2020 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

  • View the award video here (also at bottom of article.)
Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bryce Riggs presents the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award to Beverly Hemmerly on Lisa Handshoe’s behalf at the 2021 TSEP Annual Meeting.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 8, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have named Handshoe Cakes and Cookies as one of the 2020 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award recipients during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

Owner Lisa Handshoe started the company in August 1999, after a lifelong love of baking. The store offers a variety of baked goods, including custom cakes, sugar cookies, and holiday items and gluten-free and sugar-free desserts.

“I just really enjoy baking. Baking is my therapy, it’s just what I like to do,” she said.

Since opening in 1999, the business has grown from baking 2-3 cakes a week to more than 18 cakes a day during graduation season and 500 dozen cut out cookies during the holiday season. Handshoe continues to make time to set up at Tiffin Y-Wives, Seneca County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and Seneca East local schools. Additionally, Handshoe has had to take on employees to keep up with the demand.

In July 2017, Handshoe started Project Cookies from Home, in which she sends boxes with 45-54 cookies, with letters and pictures from area youth and other items to local men and women stationed overseas with the U.S. Armed Forces. To date, she has sent 724 boxes, totaling 40,000 cookies.

“It’s really awesome to see the feedback from the military members, and how appreciative they are,” Handshoe said. “They absolutely love the cookies, but I think they appreciate the drawings and letters from the kids, from the youth, as much as the cookies, just to know that there are people supporting them at home.”

In October 2020, the company invested $25,000 to open a new storefront in Handshoe’s garage, which has allowed her to expand her products and gave space to offer items from local vendors.

The expansion coincided with the Covid-19 global pandemic. Despite initially worrying that she would not be able to keep the business going, Handshoe the community stepped up to support her, and she gained many new customers, making 2020 her best sales year ever.

“I’m so honored and thankful for being able to receive this award,” she said. “There’s just so many people who’ve helped me get to where I’m at, and I’m just thankful.”

The store is located at 6085 E. SR 18, near Republic, and for more information, find Handshoe Cakes and Cookies on Facebook or visit www.handshoecakesandcookies.com.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

Seneca CEO Program Now Seeking Facilitator and Student Applicants

First program in the state of Ohio officially set to launch this fall.

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 16, 2021 – The board of the Seneca CEO program announced today that applications for student participants and the part-time Facilitator position are now open. Individuals can apply at senecacountyceo.com. The Facilitator job application is open through May 10 and the student application is open through May 15.

Seneca County is on track to be come the 66th community nationally, and first in Ohio, to host a Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) program which was developed by the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship to help high school youth successfully start new businesses and learn valuable skills.

A new 501c3 nonprofit called Seneca CEO was created last year to administer the program. Edward VanHoose, President of Federated Energy Services Cooperative including North Central Electric locally, is serving as the organization’s first president. VanHoose saw the program’s success firsthand when he worked in southern Illinois several years ago and is excited for the program to launch here in our community.

“I know this program works, makes business sense, and dramatically impacts local lives,” said VanHoose. “Our next step is to hire a Facilitator that embodies the spirit of the program and will be a great fit for engaging our students. We’re also looking for bright students to participate in the inaugural class beginning in fall of 2021.”

The program would not be where it is today without the generous support of the almost 40 community Investors who have committed financially to ensure that neither schools nor students are charged for the program, making it openly accessible to all students in the county. The organization also is seeking community business leaders to serve as speakers and one-on-one mentors for students as well as business locations to serve as visit sites.

Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kershner said, “This program will be a huge asset to our community’s educational, workforce and business infrastructure and I would encourage anyone who is interested to get involved.”

To apply, to learn more about the program or to enquire about getting involved in various ways, you can reach out at info@senecacountyceo.com , visit www.senecacountyceo.com and find Seneca CEO on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Seneca-CEO-110126164165302.

Seneca CEO Board members include Ed VanHoose of Federated Energy Services Cooperative, Tony Gorrell of Sutton Bank, Suzie Reineke of Reineke Family Dealerships, Nate Brickner of Bascom Communications, David Zak of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, Sarah Stevens-Krupp of the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce, Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kershner, Dr. Laura Kagy of Seneca East Local Schools, Michelle Snay of Mohawk Local Schools and Ted Willman of Calvert High School.

More about the Facilitator Job Description

Seneca County CEO will prepare the next generation of strong effective leaders and be proactive in building our future economic growth through a transformational entrepreneurship program called Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO). Our community is seeking an innovative educator to facilitate the class – someone who believes that education extends beyond the classroom.

The CEO Facilitator will create a learning environment where students are encouraged to explore, discover and experience learning through real life activities. The facilitator’s role is to model a passion for learning, connect with the students and community, collaborate with the CEO Board, and most importantly provide guidance to the students on their personal CEO journey.

CEO offers real life experiences through regular contact with local entrepreneurs and business people. Students in the program will come from area high schools and will meet from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM Monday – Friday during the school year. This is a half-time position. CEO requires a great deal of time from the facilitator to establish good relationships with the business community, prepare the many communications that make the program transparent, and build the learning environment that allows students to succeed. If you are passionate about cultivating lifelong learners, please send a resume with references to info@senecacountyceo.com.

More About the Midland Institute

The Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship was established in 2007 in Effingham, Illinois to oversee and promote the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) initiative – a year-long high school program created by Milken National Educator Craig Lindvahl designed to bring high school youth, entrepreneurs, and businesses together and provide an overview of business development and processes. Now, more than 200 schools offer the program. For more information, visit www.midlandinstitute.com.

Tiffin couple launching their new business Happy Days Nutrition

New smoothie and juice bar opening August 17

TIFFIN, OHIO – Aug. 14, 2020 – Jose and Kimberly Arias, long time Tiffin residents, are chasing their dreams with a new shop in the northeast part of Tiffin. The new store, at 451 East Market Street, will be serving nutritious shakes, smoothies and more after their grand opening on Monday, August 17th. The space features a comfortable lounge area where customers can relax, socialize and enjoy their beverages. The couple also hopes to build relationships with customers and spread positivity, hope and success through their business.

Jose Arias, born in Colorado but raised in Tiffin, and Kimberly, originally from New York, met after Kimberly moved to Tiffin to attend Heidelberg University and have since been building their lives here; they’ve been married for six years and have four children. Jose, along with his full-time job, got involved with Herbalife in 2013 and always dreamed of growing it into something more. During the COVID shutdown, they invested in the new shop and they believe now is the right time to take it to the next level. Mr. Arias credits his strong partnership with his wife as well as good timing with allowing them the opportunity to grow their business dreams.

“Happy Days Nutrition is not just about shakes. We want people to leave better than they came – to teach people that they can become better, do more and be more,” Mr. Arias says. “This is something we have always want to do, and it will also allow me to be home with my wife and children more.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said, “It’s exciting to see city residents starting a business right here in our own community. We’re happy to support young entrepreneurs like the Ariases.”

Happy Days Nutrition recently became a member of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services. They also plan to get involved in the community through philanthropic projects such as holding a food drive for local nonprofits like FISH and sponsoring golf outing fundraisers. The shop will be open 8am to 5pm Monday through Saturday. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit goherbalife.com/JoseandKimberlyarias, call 567-268-9047 or find Happy Days Nutrition on Facebook.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.com.

Free PPE Kits Available for Small Businesses

TSEP is distributing a limited supply of PPE Kits to Tiffin and Seneca County businesses.

TIFFIN, OHIO – July 24, 2020 – A small shipment of PPE (personal protective equipment) kits that include 100 disposable face coverings, 10 KN95 masks and a 23oz bottle of hand sanitizer have been allocated to Seneca County. These shoebox-sized kits are provided by JobsOhio, which is the private economic development marketing and sales arm of the State of Ohio.

The kits were distributed to counties on a population bases and are part of the State’s “Ohio Safe. Ohio Working” initiative which was launched to support Ohio business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. TSEP is tasked with distributing them to local businesses. Development Managers Audrey Flood and Nick Dutro, along with Downtown Main Street Manager Amy Reinhart are working to disseminate the kits to businesses. TSEP is working with rural elected officials to offer kits to businesses in the townships and villages as well as businesses in the Downtown and throughout the City.

We are grateful you chose to pursue ‘your American Dream’ with your business in Ohio and it is our privilege to provide support,” said JP Nauseef, President of JobsOhio, in a letter. “We hope these items serve as one less thing to worry about as you operate under the state’s Responsible RestartOhio safety guidelines.”

These kits are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are a small business owner who would like one, please reach out to TSEP at flood@tififnseneca.org or 419-447-3831. To find out more about this initiative, go to https://www.jobsohio.com/ohio-safe-ohio-working

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

About JobsOhio

JobsOhio is the private economic development marketing and sales arm of the State of Ohio, developing and implementing the state’s economic development strategy and crafting incentive and support packages to spur economic development in key targeted industries. JobsOhio is focused on job creation and new capital investment, and they work hand-in-hand with regional network partners supporting every community in Ohio, large and small. Learn more at www.jobsohio.com.

What is Rural Development Anyway?

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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. 

The Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership has always supported economic development across Seneca County. However, the Rural Development Manager position was just recently created to increase the level of service and focus in the townships and villages. Our services are free to the townships, villages and businesses we work with.

Our mission is to facilitate projects and we do so by using a variety of tools and resources. Here are just some of the ways in which we can help businesses:

  • Where to locate: We keep an up-to-date database of all available properties and buildings in Seneca County and can help with site selection for a new business or expansion project. 
  • Who to hire: Our workforce partner, Carol Kern of Ohio Means Jobs, can help find the right people to hire for your business.
  • How to finance: We work with a number of local banks on business loans and can also connect you with many different financial programs through organizations such as the Small Business Administration, USDA Rural Development, Great Lakes Community Action Partnership, Jobs Ohio and more.
  • Getting the word out: We put together press releases, help with social media and work with over 70 media partners to help market a new business or expansion. Our promotion frequently results in newspaper, print, online and even TV stories.
  • Working through red tape: Our staff can help coordinate and manage zoning, regulatory, code, permit and licensing requirements. We also work closely with township, village, county and city officials to support business projects. 
  • Retention & Expansion: We will periodically check in with businesses to see if we can provide resources to help them grow or keep them going. 

These are just some of the many ways in which our office can support businesses. Have questions? Reach out!

flood@tiffinseneca.org or 419-561-0244

#SupportLocalSnapshots social media contest created to promote the support of local businesses during crisis.

Directions for the contest are as follows:

Post a photo to Facebook that shows an action supporting local businesses! Examples include picking up a carry-out meal, getting a delivery from a local restaurant or ordering online from a local shop.

We ask you to use the honor system and to post only photos taken after this contest began on Monday, March 23rd.

To be entered in the contest, you must use the hashtag “#supportlocalsnapshots” and tag both the business as well as Downtown Tiffin or Tiffin Seneca Economic Partnership.

Gift card prizes will be awarded based on the number of “likes” received.

Remember, you can use the new site, SenecaDining.com to locate local carry-out and delivery options that are available as well as hours for each.

If you have qeustions, you can message our Facebook page or email flood@tiffinseneca.org.

We look forward to seeing your #supportlocalsnapshots posts!

Please remember to follow the guidelines put out by the CDC and the State of Ohio that include staying home expect to perform essential tasks. Picking up food and groceries is still permitted. Remember to wash your hands frequently and practice safe habits. See the website below for more information on best practices: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/

Lewis and Upton open in new Tiffin office

Local Thrivent Financial representatives open new office to better serve their clients

Release provided by Thrivent Financial.

Tiffin, OH (August 7, 2019) – Thrivent Financial representatives Chris Lewis, Financial Associate and Michele Upton, Financial Associate, recently announced they are opening a new office to better serve their members. 

The new office is located at 120 ½ S. Washington Street, Suite 210, on the second floor of the historical Laird Building.

The financial representatives believe the new space will contribute to the quality of the service they can provide. “We believe the new office will enhance our ability to work together so we can provide the best level of service possible,” said Lewis. Added Upton, “The space will help us tap our combined knowledge, experience and expertise to support our clients and help ensure they achieve their financial goals.” 

The financial representatives offer a broad range of financial products and services and assist individuals with education funding options, business continuation plans, retirement strategies, charitable giving options and estate strategies, among others.

Lewis says the group’s first priority is to help clients achieve their financial objectives by giving them the professional and personal support they need to make more informed decisions about their financial future. 

An open house and ribbon cutting will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28, 2019. 

Lewis and Upton are financial representatives with Thrivent Financials’ Mid-Atlantic Regional Financial Office in Cleveland. 

About Thrivent Financial
Thrivent is a not-for-profit membership organization that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously. It offers its more than 2 million member-owners a broad range of products, services and guidance nationwide. For more than a century it has helped members make wise money choices that reflect their values while providing them opportunities to demonstrate their generosity where they live, work and worship. For more information, visit Thrivent.com. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Insurance products issued or offered by Thrivent Financial, the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton, WI. Not all products are available in all states. Securities and investment advisory services are offered through Thrivent Investment Management Inc., 625 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415, a FINRA and SIPC member and a wholly owned subsidiary of Thrivent. Thrivent Financial representatives are registered representatives of Thrivent Investment Management Inc. They are also licensed insurance agents/producers of Thrivent. For additional important information, visit Thrivent.com/disclosures.