Farmers Market

John and Linda Detwiler receive TSEP Special Recognition Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 25, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have honored John and Linda Detwiler with the Special Recognition Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

After 11 years of service, Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services President and CEO John announced his retirement from the position in March 2020. Born and raised in Tiffin, Detwiler left the community in his late teens and worked in sales and marketing. In 2009, he and Linda returned to the community where he took the job of president and CEO of the Tiffin Area Chamber of Commerce and she became a professor in the Communication Department at Heidelberg University.

“The work that they put in over a decade really elevated the Chamber to a major player in making this community a great place to live, work, play, visit and study,” said David Zak, President and CEO of Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership.

Since joining the Chamber, John has been instrumental in the revitalization of Tiffin, including being involved with Tiffin Tomorrow, a citizen-led group with the goal of promoting and encouraging economic development in downtown Tiffin, and helping to unveil the Downtown Strategic Survey in 2010. John also championed and implemented successful events for the Chamber, especially the Seneca County Farmers Market in Downtown Tiffin. Starting in 2010, John and Linda had been organizing and working the event for two Saturdays a month for much of the year. By laying that groundwork, the Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market now is under the direction of the non-profit organization Seneca County Common Ground.

“Whenever there was a farmers market downtown, you could always find John and Linda in the same spot, watching everything and everybody from start to finish,” said Linda Burns, co-owner of Burns Electric.

“Without John and Linda Detwiler, the farmers market wouldn’t have started, it wouldn’t have been sustained, and look what we have today – we have an independent 501c3, we have a professional market manager, we have a $2.6 million community kitchen project that’s underway, raising money because of what they did. That’s going to be a lasting legacy,” Zak said.

Under his leadership, John brought the county’s visitor services under the direction of the Chamber, renaming the organization the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services and creating a separate organization in Destination Seneca County under the umbrella of the Chamber.

“Coming on board as the next director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce, I want to thank you for the groundwork you put in to support our members, tourism and this community,” said Bryce Riggs, Executive Director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“Thank you for everything you’ve done for our members, you’ve done for our community. We wish you well,” he added.

The Detwilers also brought the business community together, with the Chamber’s Annual Meeting, Casino Royale, Golf Outing and ribbon cuttings.

“Congratulations, John and Linda on your special recognition award. What a worthy couple in everything you’ve done in Tiffin,” said Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz.

Montz added that one of his favorite things he does each year is being invited to speak to Linda’s Heidelberg classes about civic engagement.

“I would just like to say to you, John, how much I appreciate the way you led the Chamber. And to you, Linda, over the 13 years that you’ve been a communications professor here at Heidelberg, I really admire the focus and the fire you brought to the classroom for our students,” said Heidelberg University President Rob Huntington.

“Together as a wonderful couple in this community, you helped strengthen our economy, educate our students, and for that, I say ‘congratulations, you really deserve the TSEP 2021 Special Recognition Award,” he added.

To view video of the award winners, click here.

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.

PHOTO CAPTION

TSEP Chair Dean Keller (left), president of First National Bank of Sycamore, presents Linda and John Detwiler with the TSEP Special Recognition Award during the 2021 TSEP Annual Meeting.

Tiffin Community Kitchen project secures investment of 250K

Large commitment from Episcopal Dioceses of Ohio kicks off capital campaign.

Information via Tiffin Community Kitchen

TIFFIN, OHIO – February 23, 2021 – The Tiffin Community Kitchen Project received a commitment of $250,000 from the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio this week. Old Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Tiffin is spearheading the project in partnership with Seneca County Common Ground and is connecting with their larger faith-based community in an exciting way.

The Rev. Aaron Gerlach is both the Rector of Old Trinity and the President of the Board of Seneca County Common Ground. “We are incredibly grateful for the support of our state-wide organization in getting this initiative off the ground,” said Gerlach. “We look forward to further developing this relationship with the Diocese as well as with other partners who are helping to bring the Tiffin Community Kitchen from a vision to a reality.”

With this initial investment of $250K comes the official kickoff of the project’s capital campaign. The total cost of the project is estimated at $2.7 million, and the group hopes to utilize a combination of public, private and philanthropic support to meet their overall goal. The team will be applying for grants, meeting with private foundations and donors and reaching out to community members for support in the coming months.

The group recently launched a new website with an online giving portal, a Facebook page and a professional video showcasing the goals of the Kitchen project and the many benefits that it seeks to provide for the Tiffin and Seneca County community. The video features various local leaders sharing their perspective on how the project ties into the future of the community.

The kitchen will focus on connecting local growers and businesses to the community, providing opportunities for groups to cook and eat together, housing a diverse set of cooking classes and creating ways to give back to the community by preparing food. “The Tiffin Community Kitchen at its core is about developing community relationships around food. We are extremely grateful that the Diocese desires to be a partner in creating a space for this to happen,” said Gerlach.

“The Trustees of the Diocese of Ohio were persuaded to apply funds originating from the Tiffin-Seneca County area to this project by its creative and community-involved nature. The partnerships fundamental to its success reflect the collaborative leadership of Old Trinity and the essential role of religious institutions in the wellbeing of the communities they serve. We are delighted to be counted among their enthusiastic supporters,” stated the Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr., Bishop of Ohio.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the project can give online at tiffincommunitykitchen.com or mail gifts to 125 East Market Street, Tiffin. For information, contact Gerlach at RevGerlach@OldTrinityEpiscopal.com, call (567) 938-0102 or visit tiffincommunitykitchen.com.

About Old Trinity Episcopal Church

Originally constructed in 1856, Old Trinity has been a staple in the Tiffin community for decades. The church worships in the Anglican beliefs centering on liturgy, tradition and intellectual response. It has from its beginning in Tiffin been attractive to community leaders. Tiffin’s first mayor, Henry Kuhn, was a member of this parish as well as many elected officials and community leaders throughout the years. The church has recently completed several projects including restoration of the stained-glass windows, renovation of the undercroft to accommodate parish and community functions and installation of an elevator. The central location and the community spirit of the congregation provide the incentive to the ministry of the space. Old Trinity Episcopal church is heavily invested in the community and continually looks for ways to provide value. Learn more at www.oldtrinityepiscopal.com.

About Seneca County Common Ground

Created in 2019, Seneca County Common Ground (SCCG) is a new organization with a mission to strengthen Seneca county’s local food system through collaboration to improve the overall health and growth of our community, and a vision of a vibrant, accessible and sustainable local food system in Seneca County that supports the health of residents, businesses and institutions. The board of the organization includes Seneca County OSU Extension Agent Hallie Williams, Reverend Aaron Gerlach of Old Trinity Episcopal Church, local business owner and chair of the Downtown Retailers Committee Dave Spridgeon, local business leader Dale Depew, TSEP Development Manager Audrey Flood, and local food vendors Kristy Buskirk of Clay Hill Farms and John Riehm of Riehm Produce Farm. SCCG oversees the operations of the Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market and supports other local food initiatives including the Tiffin Community Kitchen Project. Find out more at sccommonground.org or find Seneca County Common Ground on Facebook.

New Community Kitchen Project Proposed in Downtown Tiffin

Exciting new initiative supported by organizations involving local food.

TIFFIN, OHIO – October 1, 2020 – A plan to invest $2.4 million in a community kitchen in Downtown Tiffin was announced today by Old Trinity Episcopal Church. The kitchen will focus on connecting local growers and businesses to the community, providing opportunities for groups to cook and eat together, housing a diverse set of cooking classes and creating ways to give back to the community by preparing food.

“Our Christian faith has taught us that breaking bread with our neighbors builds community. Working with others in our community to nurture healthy and life-giving relationships through preparing and sharing food fits with who we are,” said the Rev. Aaron Gerlach, pastor at Old Trinity Episcopal Church and board president of Seneca County Common Ground.

Seneca County Common Ground, a nonprofit organization operating the Tiffin-Seneca Farmers Market and leading other local food efforts, is one of the important relationships Old Trinity has formed while envisioning this project. Susan McCafferty, Senior Warden of Old Trinity said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Seneca County Common Ground and others in our community. This kitchen will be a welcoming space that facilitates Tiffin community members forging new relationships as they enhance their culinary skills.”

The kitchen space will be connected to the church building, 125 E. Market St., but will be a separate space with its own entrance. As well as being available to individuals and groups on a reservation basis, the kitchen will partner with the Tiffin-Seneca Farmers Market to serve locally grown food on market days and to teach community members ways of using local foods at home. Old Trinity and Common Ground look forward to utilizing the space with other local organizations who have been key in the shaping of the project.

The group has been working together since mid-2019 on the project.  Old Trinity has engaged its neighbors at the Seneca County Justice Center, including the judges and the Seneca County Commissioners. The project is contingent on the purchase of a portion of the county parking lot adjacent to the church and the Justice Center which would allow the kitchen’s footprint to expand just past the church’s current square footage. The parking for the Justice Center would also be enhanced and secured by a perimeter security fence and gate.

For information about the project or to find out how to support its development, contact Gerlach at RevGerlach@OldTrinityEpiscopal.com or call (567) 938-0102.

About Old Trinity Episcopal Church

Originally constructed in 1856, Old Trinity has been a staple in the Tiffin community for decades. The church worships in the Anglican beliefs centering on liturgy, tradition and intellectual response. It has from its beginning in Tiffin been attractive to community leaders. Tiffin’s first mayor, Henry Kuhn, was a member of this parish as well as many elected officials and community leaders throughout the years. The church has recently completed several projects including restoration of the stained-glass windows, renovation of the undercroft to accommodate parish and community functions and installation of an elevator. The central location and the community spirit of the congregation provide the incentive to the ministry of the space. Old Trinity Episcopal church is heavily invested in the community and continually looks for ways to provide value. Learn more at www.oldtrinityepiscopal.com.

About Seneca County Common Ground

Created in 2019, Seneca County Common Ground is a nonprofit organization supporting local food & agriculture and promoting access to fresh foods for Seneca County residents. The board of the organization includes Seneca County OSU Extension Agent Hallie Williams, Reverend Aaron Gerlach of Old Trinity Episcopal Church, local business owner and chair of the Downtown Retailers Committee Dave Spridgeon, local business leader Dale Depew, TSEP Development Manager Audrey Flood, and local food vendors Kristy Buskirk of Clay Hill Farms and John Riehm of Riehm Produce Farm. Seneca County Common Ground oversees the operations of the Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market and supports other local food initiatives. Our market manager is Courtney Heiser. Find out more at sccommonground.org or find Seneca County Common Ground on Facebook.

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.

Chamber expands Farmers’ Markets with the Court Street Collection

Farmers Market LogoAs the 8th season of the Seneca County Farmers’ Market begins, a new shop local option has been added: the Court Street Collection. In addition to the traditional market vendors along S. Washington St., Court St. will be closed off between Washington St. and the alley to accommodate any business interested in setting up a pop-up shop (as space allows) in this non-traditional market.

This season also includes a bonus October date.

Press Release from the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services:

The Seneca County Farmer’s Market in Downtown Tiffin will begin its 2018 season on Saturday, June 9, 2018. This year’s calendar includes 9 total dates on the second and fourth Saturday of the month, June through September, with a bonus market in October! 2018’s full calendar is as follows:

  • June 9 & 23
  • July 14 & 28
  • August 11 & 25
  • September 8 & 22
  • October 13

For all dates, the market begins at 9 am and concludes at 1 pm, rain or shine. Vendor set-up begins at 8 am.

The market is located on South Washington Street between East Perry Street and East Market Street. A variety of products will be available, including baked goods, fresh produce, plants and flowers, and more. Live entertainment, demonstrations and children’s activities are also being planned.

New this year in conjunction with the farmers’ markets is the Court Street Collection. A non-traditional market on Court Street from Washington Street to the alley, any business is welcome to have a pop-up shop, but space is limited.

The Seneca County Farmers’ Market in Downtown Tiffin is sponsored by the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services. Vendors interested in participating are encouraged to call 419-447-4141 for additional information.

Registration forms and information are available at tiffinchamber.com

Riehm Farms

riehm firstMeet John, Diane and Phil Riehm, the owners and operators of Riehm Produce Farm located at 7244 N. SR 53 outside of Tiffin. John is the fourth generation to run the family-owned farm, started in 1911, and Phil will be the fifth.

After more than 100 years, John says, “we’re still doing the same produce thing they were doing back then.”

John is also a unique family farm owner as his father passed away when he was only eight years old. His mother and other family members were able to care for the farm until John was old enough to take over.

John and Diane’s son, Phil, was eager to learn about the family business. After earning a crop science and agricultural business degree, he pursued his own career path for several years before he came home to Riehm Farm in 2014. “With the CSA and everything here, I wanted to get back to my roots,” he said. “I always wanted to come back to the family farm.”

The Riehms have added many new aspects to their farm over the years. Not only do they grow and sell all types of produce year-round, they also sell eggs, meats and cheeses, run a market, participate in local Farmers Markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), host fun family events and more.

The CSA is a great way for consumers to purchase local, seasonal food directly from local farmers. Riehm Farms currently have 300 farm shareholders, but are hoping to reach 400 this year. You can register to be a CSA by May 15th.

They also hold seven different yearly events: two Farm-to-Fork Dinners, Barnyard Fun, a 5K Run/Walk (proceeds always benefit a local charity), Trick or Treat Night (featuring a corn maze), Christmas Trees & Family Fun, and the newest event, an Open House.

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Elks to celebrate Flag Day at Farmers Market this weekend

Farmers Market FBThe Seneca County Farmers Market in downtown Tiffin will feature a Flag Day ritual performed by the Tiffin Elks Lodge #94 on Saturday, June 13 on the courthouse lawn beginning at 8:30 a.m. The national observance of Flag Day is June 14.

In addition to the Flag Day observance, the Tiffin-Seneca Public Library will be on hand with children’s activities; GEM Yoga will conduct a class at 10 a.m. on the courthouse lawn and Keith Hodkinson of WTSC radio will cover the flag event and provide musical entertainment.

Concurrently, the second of ten Seneca County Farmers Markets will begin at 9 a.m. on South Washington Street between Market and Perry Streets. This month, strawberries will be featured as will a variety of products including baked goods, fresh produce, plants, flowers, and more. Expected Farmers Market vendors include Barb & Dicks, Bella Cuisine, Clay Hill Farms, Drown’s Produce Market, Grannys Cup, J & A Alpine, Joseph’s Greenhouse, JT’s Bagel Bar, Riehm’s Farm Market, Rimelspach Produce Market, Veggies and Such, Sabaidee Coffee House and 7th Heaven Creations.

The Seneca County Farmers Market in downtown Tiffin is sponsored by the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services. Vendors interested in participating are encouraged to call 419-447-4141 for more information and registration forms, or visit www.tiffinchamber.com/about/farmers-market/. Markets are held the second and fourth Saturday of each month until Oct. 10.