Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

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.