Phat Cakes

First downtown Pumpkin Stroll a success

pumpkin stroll stopOn Saturday September 30th, more than 300 members of the Seneca county community enjoyed the Tiffin Pumpkin Stroll, hosted by Simply Susan’s. Those that participated walked around beautiful Downtown Tiffin, collecting pumpkin-themed treats at local businesses. Business involved included:

If you missed the Pumpkin Stroll, there’s a similar event in spring! On the Chocolate Walk, guests will collect sweet treats as they make their way through downtown Tiffin. More information will be provided closer to the event.

ABR approves two Façade Enhancement Grants

$40,000 remains in city fund for 2017

Elks LodgeTIFFIN, OHIO – March 7, 2017 – Today, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved two Façade Enhancement Grants for downtown building improvements. The projects were awarded a combined total of $5,337, for a total reinvestment in downtown Tiffin of $10,675, leaving close to $40,000 available of the $100,000 set aside by the City of Tiffin for 2017.

The Tiffin Elks Lodge, located at 106 E. Perry St., will be replacing the third floor windows to match the second floor, and repairing stucco. This is the third grant the building has received, one for each year of the program. “Being able to apply for Façade Grant funding each year has allowed us to make a strategic plan for building repairs,” Elks Exalted Ruler Joe Steinmetz said. “It also eases some of the burden of maintaining the building.”

Phat Cakes Exterior 2The Phat Cakes building, located at 45 S. Washington St. will also be undergoing some window repair. It was approved for a grant including the replacement and repair of wood trim and flashing around the front windows, as well as roof, gutter and shingle repair.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was pleased to see the grant is being used both by repeat applicants and newcomers. “One of today’s approvals shows how the grant has fostered continuous improvements to our downtown buildings, and the other shows that there are still building owners taking advantage of the grant for the first time,” he said.

About the Façade Enhancement Program
This City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program 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 (search “Façade Enhancement”).

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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at

Trivia Night in Tiffin heads downtown

trivia-night-in-downtown-tiffinThe Tiffin-Seneca Public Library has teamed up with SIEDC to bring their popular Trivia Nights in Tiffin downtown!

Announcement from TSPL:

Tiffin-Seneca Public Library, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) and Phat Cakes will partner to host “Trivia Night in Downtown Tiffin” on Tuesday, February 28, 7:00 to 8:30 pm at Phat Cakes (45 S. Washington St., downtown Tiffin.)

Hosted by Tiffin Middle School History teacher, Ben Gillig, families of all ages are invited to compete in four rounds of general trivia questions. Answers will be judged by local celebrities that include John Reino (Reino’s Pizza & Pasta), Jessica Williams (Bailiwicks Coffee Company) and Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz.

Participants are asked to form teams of two to four members, which can be composed of all ages. Teams will write their answers to be judged by local celebrities. Questions will be geared towards ages 12 and up. No phones, tablets or electronic devices may be accessed during the contest. A traveling trophy will be awarded to the winning team.

That night, Phat Cakes will offer $2 tacos, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Participants are encouraged to order prior to the event.

Space is very limited. Team captains are asked to register by calling the Library at 419-447-3751 or through the library’s online calendar at

For more information please call the Library.

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


RE/MAX realty and auction office opens in downtown Tiffin

RE/MAX Premier Realty & Auction Tiffin’s newest real estate option

99 perryTIFFIN, OHIO – December 7, 2015 – Lifetime Tiffin residents Bill and Kelli Jones have opened a new RE/MAX office at 99 E. Perry St. in downtown Tiffin. The office will be a full service agency, specializing in real estate listings, farm ground sales, estate auctions, and information for home owners and buyers.

Bill brings more than 10 years in the real estate business to RE/MAX Premier Realty & Auction. “I’ve always wanted to be a broker/owner of my own office and right now, Tiffin is a great place to be. There is so much going on downtown and we are excited to be a part of it,” Bill said.

Bill is happy to be opening a business in his hometown and giving back to the community. “Every house sold in the first year will benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and we often help out with charity auctions, like the St. Francis Mardi Gras, the Mercy Hospital Gala and 4-H auctions at the county fair.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz sees the new venture as a credit to the community. “With all of the positive economic and community development happening in Tiffin, it is a great place to buy a home.”

The owners of 99 E. Perry St. will also be showing major renovations to the building at an Open House Thursday, Dec. 10, from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and will include dessert and hors d’oeuvres from Phat Cakes, as well as beer, wine and soda.


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

About RE/MAX

RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, real estate industry visionaries who still lead the Denver-based global franchisor today. RE/MAX is recognized as one of the leading real estate franchise companies with the most productive sales force in the industry and a global reach of more than 85 countries. With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $120 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and other charities. Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX. Please visit or

Tiffin Art Fair & Art Walk this Saturday

2015_08_07 - Art Walk Map The Tiffin Summer Art Walk is this Saturday, August 8, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., in conjunction with the Tiffin Art Fair at the courthouse green space and the Tiffin Art Guild. In addition, the Seneca County Farmers Market on South Washington Street will be extended until 4 p.m.

Throughout the day, walkers can visit Tiffin museums and galleries to view exhibits, take tours, create crafts and enter into drawings for door prizes. There are also 15 downtown businesses participating, with free live music, art displays and demonstrations, and tours.

The following museums and galleries are participating:

Along with the following businesses:2015_08_07 - Art Walk Guide

For a complete map and more information about the museums, galleries and businesses, click here.

Recap – first Downtown Historic Bar Tour a success


The downtown Tiffin revitalization efforts have been hard at work helping to enhance the great events that downtown Tiffin has offered in the last few years and starting some others. One of the new ones this year is expected to take place every year – the Downtown Historic Bar Tour.

Starting at the Clover Club, participants made their way through downtown Tiffin on South Washington Street, stopping at eight unique Tiffin bars. At the beginning of the tour, participants received a booklet with historical information about the bars and bar owners gave a brief history of their establishment at each stop. Kudos to tour host Seneca County Young Professionals for a great event.

Here is the complete list of bars visited on the tour:

  • Clover Club: Opened in 1936, the Clover Club features an antique art-deco bar, white tablecloth dining area and landscaped patio garden, not to mention 18 taps and a stock of 50 different beers.
  • GW’s Fine Food & Spirits: GW’s opened in May 2010 and caters to not only the bar crowd but also the after-bar crowd with food service and late hours on the weekends. This bar features two dining areas and a large patio with seating.
  • DP’s: Don Paull has owned DP’s since 1972, and it was one of the last ‘stag’ bars in Tiffin. DP’s has a nautical theme and a unique layout with four different levels and a patio area closed in by the building’s walls.
  • MST Pub and Grub: MST is made up of three separate buildings, all of which served a variety of different purposes over the last 100 years. The current bar was established in October 2009.
  • Reino’s Party Room (lunch): Reino’s Pizza and Pasta was established in 1950 and has always served beer and wine along with Italian food. Its current location on West Market Street was once the National Theater, among other businesses.
  • Bear’s Den:The Bear’s Den has been a bar or tavern since the early 1950’s. Dennis Wickert bought Izola’s Tavern in 1974, later changed the name to Bear’s Den and has been running the bar with his wife, Gwynn, since 1986. Bear’s Den often hosts live music on Saturdays.
  • Phat Cakes & Cafe: Phat Cakes was founded in 2009 and opened the store on Washington Street, which started out as The Sandwich Shop in the mid-1930s and was later Reino’s, in 2012. They offer a full menu, including desserts, sandwiches, wraps and salads, along with alcohol.
  • Viaduct Bar & Grill: The Viaduct started out as a bar in late 1800s. It has had many names since, but it has been the Viaduct since 2010. The bar often hosts live music on the weekends, and boasts a unique outdoor patio with seating and a pond.
  • McGowan’s Tavern: This building once housed “the largest movie theater on the West side of the river.” For many years it was an “Arcade” under several different owners before becoming McGowan’s Tavern in the mid-1960s.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Phat Cakes offers hip cuisine in Tiffin’s downtown

2014_03_01 - Phat Cakes Cupcakes

A view of the cupcake case at Phat Cakes.

I had dinner at Phat Cakes & Cafe for the first time in downtown Tiffin last night, and it didn’t disappoint. The decor is clean and neat with a hint of urban vibe. College students, residents, visitors – a nice mix of people who come to the two-year old restaurant started by Pittsburgh culinary graduate Natalie Wertz, who honed her skills in Columbus and Pittsburgh before choosing to move back to Tiffin.

There’s a glint in her eye as she discusses one of the new dinner specials–the Cali French Toast–and how a visit to California and the taste of orange-infused French Toast inspired her to create it. She’s pleased one of her regular patrons–who always orders the house famous Black Jac, a blackened chicken breast on a panko-crusted pepper jack macaroni and cheese dish–ventures to try her new creation. They were glad they did. It’s also worth mentioning that they have a nice wine and beer selection (on tap…on this night I had the Magic Hat #9.)

Wertz’s local fame grew because of her custom cakes (wedding, birthday, shaped cakes) and cupcakes, which is still a passion of hers. Cupcake choices available during my visit included the warm fudgy Red Velvet and a Bananas Foster, among others (I had the bread pudding, though). A nice selection of tempting cheesecakes, brownies, and cookies were also there for dessert.

Thursday nights also feature live jazz, which often showcases local jazz band Zarathustra. Phat Cakes also gets a lot of traffic from people attending one of the shows at the $6.6M renovated Ritz Theatre. In the future, Wertz hopes to add more tables and perhaps a party/gathering/overflow room. She is definitely a “Seneca Success.”