Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

Bill and Kelli Jones receive 2020 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

Scott Kromer, TSEP Board Treasurer and member of the Executive Board Member, presents Bill Jones with the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award at the 2021 TSEP Annual Meeting.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 11, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have named Bill and Kelli Jones as recipients of the 2021 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

Bill and Kelli started working in real estate shortly after Bill became a licensed auctioneer, and found that it was a natural fit to get in the realty market.

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset. I’ve always kind of wanted to drive my own ship and control my own destiny,” Bill said.

“It allows us that flexibility to raise our family the way we want to raise our family and also be part of a great Town,” Kelli said.

In 2016, RE/MAX Unlimited Results Realty moved to Downtown Tiffin, first at 99 E. Perry St., and then into their current office at in the historic Laird Building.

In 2020, Bill and Kelli brought Motto Mortgage Unlimited to Tiffin, an innovative mortgage brokerage franchise focused on transparency and compliance, has a new office in Ohio. Motto Mortgage Unlimited, is Tiffin’s only locally owned and operated mortgage brokerage and serves all markets throughout Ohio.

“With Motto Mortgage, we thought if we bought that back to Tiffin, that would be something else that would better our community,” Kelli said.

Kelli said one of the things she likes best about working with Motto Mortgage is that they are connected with Mission Against Hunger, and they hope to begin working on raising funds for that organization this year.

In other charitable ventures, through RE/MAX, Bill and Kelli have raised more than $70,000 for Children’s Miracle Network.

“We’re thankful we can help the community and do those things,” Kelli.

Bill said he likes that he and Kelli can maintain their independence while getting the support from respected companies that he works with.

“At the end of the day, we’re a locally owned and operated business,” Bill said. “Our agents, us, our employees, we’re all local to the community, most of us were born and raised here, so being part of the big national brands, we have all the tools and resources – with RE/MAX, with Motto Mortgage – but with that small town, local service.

Bill and Kelli thanked their family, friends, employees, agents and the clients and customers who have given them support throughout the years.

“We’re so proud to be part of the Tiffin Community, Seneca County community, and we’re going to continue to be here.” Bill said.

“Thank you for the continued support, we couldn’t do it without you.” Kelli said.

The store is located in the Laird Building at 108 S. Washington St., Tiffin, and for more information, find RE/MAX Unlimited Results Realty on Facebook or visit www.419homesearch.com.

To view the award video, visit https://youtu.be/Kf-kFHHfIg8 or find a link to it at www.tiffinseneca.org.

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.

Bailiwicks owner purchases building in Downtown Tiffin

Coffee company has been in business since 2011

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 4, 2021 – Established in 2011 and opened in 2012, Bailiwicks Coffee Co. has been an integral part of the revitalization of Downtown Tiffin. In January, owner Jess Wirth decided to take her business to the next level, by purchasing her building, 62 S. Washington St., and plans to invest more into the building and equipment over the next five years.

Wirth said she will be investing $70,000 in a total building renovation over the next three years.  March 2, the City of Tiffin Architectural Board of Review approved a matching Downtown Façade Enhancement Grant of $8,215 for masonry and wall repair. Additionally, Wirth expects to invest about $35,000 in new equipment upgrades over the next five years.

In 2016, Wirth invested in a coffee roaster, which is located at the front of the coffee shop, near the counter and in front of the windows on S. Washington St. The roaster has allowed her to introduce a locally-roasted coffee line that is bagged and sold at the coffee shop and at specialty shops throughout Seneca County.

“I’m excited that Bailiwicks is celebrating 9 years in business this year, and that I’ve been able to continue to invest and grow this business in that time,” Wirth said. “Thank you to the Tiffin community for all of your support throughout the years.”

Bailiwicks owner owner Jess Wirth.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented, “Congratulations to Jess on purchasing her building and continuing to make Downtown Tiffin a destination.”

In 2013, Bailiwicks received the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award from Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC, now Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership). Previous to becoming the coffee house, the building had been the offices of the then-Tiffin Area Chamber of Commerce and SIEDC.

For more about Bailiwicks, visit www.bailiwickscoffeecompany.com or find them on Facebook, on Twitter, @BailiwicksCoffe and on Intsagram.

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.

Ironwood Steakhouse recognized with Entrepreneurial Spirit Award by TSEP

Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner (from left) poses for a picture with Mitch Felton and Steve Shuff, two of the investors of Ironwood Steakhouse, during the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 2020 Annual Meeting Feb. 27.

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 11, 2020 – Opened in 2017 as the flagship of the investors of the Seneca Restaurant Group, Ironwood Steakhouse, 4399 S. SR 231, Tiffin, has continued to grow to be an asset to the community. For that, its investors were recognized by Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership at the 2020 Annual Meeting with the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.

“A lot of the reason the 45 investors stepped up and put their money in was just to be part of everything positive in Tiffin and Seneca County. We’re just excited we can be a small part of that,” said Mitch Felton, president of IS Insurance & Investments and an investor with the group.

“We started with the idea of a hamburger restaurant, modeled after (In and Out Burger), and we had a company called ‘Thick and Thin,’ but after a while we decided that really, steak was better than hamburgers, so we decided that Tiffin and Seneca County could use a really outstanding steakhouse. So, that is the journey that we started through many years of planning, and discussing and looking at sites,” said Steve Shuff, Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge and member of the investor group.

The group wanted to create a casual and friendly, but nicer dining experience and focus on using quality ingredients at affordable prices. Jimmy Jones, chef and general manager, said that was the idea that was pitched to him during a conversation with Felton.

“The idea seemed appealing to me at the time, being a little more creative, doing things on my own, versus some of the bigger companies I’ve been with,” Jones said.

After doing some searching for locations, Shuff said the group approached the board at Mohawk Golf Course to see if they could take over food and beverage and open the club’s restaurant to the public. After approval, the group went to work to make improvements to the kitchen and dining room, renovating the look of the existing space to give a fresh, modern look.

“We created a place where business people and families could have a little bit more formal dining experience,” said Felton, who was the winner of the 2018 TSEP Lifetime Achievement Award.

Last year, constructed a tent that can hold up to 300 people for events, such as golf outings and weddings.

“We’ve just had a lot of events that are open to the community, open to the public, and the plans are to do a lot more of those things this year,” Felton said.

Felton and Shuff thanked the other investors, their families and the staff, many of whom have been involved from the beginning. Jones echoed their comments.

“I’d just like to thank the investors and the community of Tiffin, Ohio, for supporting Ironwood Steakhouse and making us a slow — but a good — success,” Jones said.

For more information about Ironwood Steakhouse, visit http://ironwoodtiffin.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.

2018 SIEDC Award winners

SIEDC AwardThe SIEDC Awards are presented each year at the SIEDC Annual Meeting to recognize businesses and individuals in the Tiffin and Seneca County community. Not every award is given each year, only when the Membership & Events Committee and/or the president or chairperson deem a company or individual deserving of the particular recognition.

This year, the following seven awards were presented. Click the links below for additional information and a video about each award winner.

2018 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award – Ralph’s Joy of Living

The 2018 recipient of SIEDC’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award was Ralph’s Joy of Living. Ralph’s is a family owned and operated business that has been in the community since 1950 and is currently run by Ralph (the original owner’s son) and Julie Smothers. Though Ralph took over the family business started by his father, he and Julie have made many changes to the business, making them true entrepreneurs in their own right.

Ralph’s Joy of Living began as Ralph’s Maytag, an appliance store, in 1950. When Ralph took over the business he added cabinetry to their offerings and Julie began teaching cooking classes. Then came the Joy of Living. Ralph and Julie expanded into a 6,000 square foot addition and became the only appliance store in the nation with a liquor license, selling all kinds of wine and specialty beer. Finally, in 2016 they added mattresses to the store.

“We are thankful for the community,” Ralph said. “We love Tiffin, we love our customers.”

 

About the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
This award is presented to an individual, business or organization that have exhibited the imagination, initiative, ability, and determination to mix capital and labor together to generate a business that provides employment opportunities and  new investment for the community.