Underground record store coming to Downtown Tiffin

Tiffin native turns love of music into business

Under the Surface will be opening in October at this storefront at 16 E. Market St.

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 28, 2021 – The owner of a small business is taking his love of music to the next step, by moving up from the back of another business to his own storefront in Downtown Tiffin.

Jacob Wheeler, a Tiffin native and graduate of Columbian High School, had been selling records in the back of Line Drive since July, but plans to soon open his own underground record store, Under the Surface, in October at 16 E. Market St. The store will specialize in independent label releases and demos.

Wheeler said his friends from high school introduced him to music, and they then in turn spent time bringing bands into Tiffin in his youth. He wants to have a way to reach youth about this genre and style of music.

“I love being in Downtown Tiffin and wanted to give people a reason to stay here and appreciate the strong sense of community in this town. I’m excited to be able to expand my offerings and have a home here in Tiffin for independent and underground music,” Wheeler said.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented, “Congratulations to Jacob Wheeler on expanding his business to a storefront in Downtown. I’m excited to see people investing in our community.”

For more information, call (567) 268-9278 or email

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.

Retail, restaurant owners encouraged to join business forum

Weekly program sponsored by Chamber, TSEP

TIFFIN, OHIO – May 18, 2020 – As retail stores and restaurants begin to reopen following the lifting of stay-at-home orders from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services will be continuing its Weekly Local Business Forum for business owners to share and gain information. The meetings are at 10 a.m. Wednesdays and can be accessed via GoToMeeting or by dialing in on your phone.

Each week, our local Tiffin and Seneca County businesses can come together to discuss challenges they’re facing and ask questions of TSEP and Chamber staff and other businesses. The calls will sometimes also include guests such as Seneca County Health Commissioner Beth Schweitzer, a liaison from the Governor’s office and other authorities who can answer questions. The goal is to share information, provide resources and get feedback from local businesses.

To join the meeting from a computer, tablet or smartphone, visit or dial in by calling +1 (646) 749-3122, Access Code 117-118-341.

For more information, look for “Weekly Local Business Forum (Tiffin/Seneca County)” on Facebook or email Audrey Flood, Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership development manager, at

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

4CG opens wage and benefit surveys

Surveys focus on citizens, business owners

TIFFIN, OHIO – Dec. 17, 2019 – Economic development and workforce development organizations in Huron, Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca counties representing the partnership of the 4CG initiative have announced the openings of two surveys to gather information on wages and benefits for the region’s workforce. This is the first wage survey of Seneca County employers since at least 2005.

The wage and benefit survey is being conducted with the goal of improving local industries’ competitiveness for skilled labor. The surveys are focused on citizens/employees ( and industry/business owners/plant managers ( Employers should encourage their employees to fill out the survey.

4CG represents the 4 County Group 4 Collaborative Growth. The group began working together six years ago to collectively address the region’s workforce challenges. To date, the group has completed a SWOT analysis and industry specific focus groups on manufacturing, healthcare, tourism/service/travel, transportation/logistics, Davis Besse, agriculture and education

Following the survey, the plan calls for the identification and recommendation of partnerships with potential training partners. Final analysis and strategies based on the SWOT analysis, focus groups and surveys are to be provided to 4CG by May 2020 and will then be released to the public.

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

Washington Street Outfitters to relocate, expand

WSO moves to 186 S. Washington St.

IMG_6897.jpgTIFFIN, OHIO – August 27, 2018 – Downtown boutique Washington Street Outfitters will be moving to a new location this fall. The storefront space at 186 S. Washington St. will provide the shop room to expand their product offerings and selection.

Owners Zoe Dolch and Spenser Blackiston are looking forward to providing a better experience for their customers. “The new space has the right aesthetic, gives us a larger area to work with, more storage in the back room, better ease of access, and more readily available parking, as well as a more visual storefront,” Dolch said.

WSO got their start through the Laird Business Contest. Dolch and Blackistan submitted their business plan and competed with six other entrepreneurs to win one year of free rent for a space in the Laird Arcade, courtesy of the Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group.

“The Laird allowed us to get on our feet and learn,” Dolch said. “We are thankful for the opportunity and experience, and we are ready to take what we’ve learned and use it on a larger scale.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz congratulated the pair on their success. “With Washington Street Outfitters, Zoe and Spenser have proven that their concept works in downtown Tiffin and that young entrepreneurs can thrive here,” he said.

WSO is still open at their current location inside the Laird Arcade Tuesday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Visit their Facebook and Instagram pages for more information and updates.

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

Harbor Freight Tools to open store at Westgate Shopping Center

Visconsi.jpgPress release by Visconsi Companies, Ltd.

Tiffin, OH – June 8, 2018 – Visconsi Companies, Ltd. announced today that Harbor Freight Tools plans to open a store at Westgate Shopping Center on West Market Street. The new 15,000 square foot Harbor Freight location will join Peebles, Kroger, Pat Catan’s, Dollar Tree, and 14 other merchants at Westgate. A Grand Opening is planned for this summer.

“We’re thrilled to be opening our 34th Harbor Freight Tools store in Ohio and very pleased by the warm welcome we’ve received in Tiffin” said Eric Smidt, President of Harbor Freight Tools.  “At Harbor Freight, we’re all about delivering high quality tools at ridiculously low prices.  We do it by manufacturing our tools at the same factories as the expensive brands, but we cut out the middle man and pass the savings on to our customers.  We’ve also invested millions of dollars to build and operate our own state-of-the-art quality test labs to ensure that we’re constantly driving quality at the lowest possible price.  We invite everyone in the Tiffin area to visit our new store at 682 W Market Street and see why if you buy tools anywhere else, you’re throwing your money away.”

About Harbor Freight Tools
Founded in North Hollywood, CA in 1977 and now based in Calabasas, Harbor Freight Tools is the leading discount tool retailer in the U.S. selling in its over 900 stores nationwide and on its website. Harbor Freight Tools stocks over 7,000 items in categories including automotive, air and power tools, shop equipment and hand tools. With a commitment to quality and a lifetime guarantee on all hand tools, Harbor Freight Tools is a favorite of automotive and truck repair shops, government agencies, schools, manufacturers, contractors and tool enthusiasts who want top-quality and great selection and value. The results speak for themselves – with over thirty million customers nationwide and thousands of people switching to Harbor Freight Tools every day. Additional information about Harbor Freight Tools and online sales can be found at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Westgate Shopping Center is managed by Visconsi Companies, Ltd. and owned by affiliate Tiffin Westgate, Ltd. Visconsi Companies, Ltd. is a fourth generation, family-owned developer and manager of retail properties and a provider of real estate advisory services. The company is headquartered in Pepper Pike, Ohio, and manages a shopping center portfolio of over two million square feet. For more information about Visconsi Companies, visit

Contest winners open for business


Zoe and Spenser with the contest judges.

In September of 2016 the Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group held a contest to give a space to an aspiring entrepreneur rent free for one year. From the applicant pool, seven possible businesses were chosen to present their business in front of a panel, who decided the winner. This week, contest winners Zoe Dolch and Spenser Blackiston will open Washington Street Outfitters in the Laird Arcade.

Their store is located on the interior of the Laird Arcade (corner of Market and Washington Streets) and features men and women’s clothing and jewelry as well as new and used vinyl records and home decor. “It’s a mixed-merchandise approach, ” Zoe said. “We have hundreds of items and different styles as well as staple items.”

As winners of the contest, in addition to free rent, they received two business organization sessions with professional organizer Reannon Hayes, six sessions from KKR Consult, a business consulting and dream coaching service, and meetings with Retail is Detail (provided by Heritage Ohio), which provided marketing and demographic information for the area. The Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services provided one year of free membership, which includes participation in the Chamber Cash gift certificate program.

After winning the contest, they were also contacted by groups at both Heidelberg and Tiffin Universities looking to take an active role in marketing. The Enactus group from Heidelberg has been helping the pair since a couple weeks after the contest, assisting with tasks ranging from building clothing racks to planning the grand opening. Tiffin University marketing students also started working on a marketing campaign that will be presented to Zoe and Spenser upon completion.

“I love the students,” Zoe said. “Working with them has been a great experience and a lot of fun.”

Zoe and Spenser are recent college graduates who were originally looking to start careers elsewhere and defer their dream of opening their own store when they learned about the business contest. “We didn’t know if we could win, but we knew we could put our whole hearts in it,” Zoe said. “We didn’t anticipate this opportunity, it just came about and it felt right.”

Property Manager for the Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group and organizer of the contest Tyler Shuff said he is working with runners-up of the contest to help them launch their business ideas. “The contest was great and brought everyone out of the woodwork that had an idea. Even though there was only one winner, I want to help all seven finalists,” he said. “We are looking at doing another contest within the next year or two, with the goal of getting people downtown and giving their business a head-start.”

Two of the finalists now have office space in the Laird Arcade – Small Victories Financial Coaching and Lascala IT. Shuff is currently working with a wine and craft bar, dance studio and business incubator to find space downtown.

Kuebler Shoes

KueblerMeet Joe Obringer, owner of Kuebler Shoes, located at 440 W. Market St. in Tiffin. Founded in 1832, Kuebler is the oldest retail store in Ohio, and could possibly be the oldest shoe store in the U.S.! The store carries 25 different brands of shoes and stocks about 8,000 pairs. They also carry a variety of handbags and other accessories, but their best feature is their excellent customer service.

“We’ve made a lot of friends, being in business for so long. I’ve waited on generations of the same family, and have gotten to know their likes and dislikes. We’re not just talking shoes, we’re catching up,” Joe said. He also regularly attends seminars about the shoe market and keeps up-to-date on medical trends. “It really is where the fit makes the difference,” he said.

Stop by Kuebler Shoes Monday & Thursday: 9:30am – 8:00pm Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat: 9:30am – 5:30pm to find your perfect fit!

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Who’s ? Nuts

Who's NutsMeet Matt Molyet, President & Buckologist of Whos ? Nuts, located at the corner of SR18 and US 224 in Tiffin. Matt started out selling buckeye necklaces on the OSU campus in 2001, and opened his shop in 2007. He now offers OSU apparel, accessories, jewelry, glassware, signs, decorations and much more. Matt also creates custom cornhole boards and sells Victory Tailgate boards. He also ships orders to all 50 states and internationally.

Matt moved back to Tiffin after living in Columbus for five years. “This is home, and I have a great location. The Vogels next door at Rock Run Bulk Foods have been great, and my dad’s store, Molyet’s Farm Market & Garden Center is right down the road,” Matt said. “I saw an opportunity to bring something unique that Tiffin doesn’t have.”

Matt still hand makes items at the shop. Outside of his store you can find more than 50,000 buckeyes ready to become buckeye necklaces, key chains, bracelets, necklaces and more.

Check out

or stop by the store for more information.

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Rock Run Bulk Foods

Rock RunMeet Barb Vogel, owner of Rock Run Bulk Foods at the corner of SR 18 and US 224 in Tiffin. Barb started the business decorating cakes out of her home in 1984. In 1993, they opened the store front and have grown their services to include caterings, rentals, party trays, bulk foods, amish meats and cheeses, frozen foods, paper products and more. Barb says the business has always been about family. “Everyone’s gifts and abilities are used,” she said.

The Vogels are also behind Harvest of H.O.P.E., a yearly event that raises donations for F.A.C.T., which assists Seneca County cancer patients. “The whole core of it is to let people know that they’re not alone,” Barb said.

This weekend Dec. 4-5, Rock Run is hosting an Open House, Friday 9-5 and Saturday 9-3. There will be free samples, prizes, hot dogs and drinks. They are also working on rolling out a new website in the near future, which will allow customers to shop and order online.

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RoRo Design and Photography

Meet Rochelle Slosser, founder and owner of Ro Ro Design and Photography, LLC, located at 164 S. Washington St. in downtown Tiffin.Rochelle opened her storefront three years ago this week. The store has a lot of unique items, including up-cycled furniture, vintage items, hand-made, customizable crafts and decorations, and rental wedding items like arbors, barrels and card boxes. Rochelle also creates custom cards and invitations, does wedding and family photography, and works as a freelance graphic designer.

A Tiffin native, Rochelle worked for the Toledo Museum of Art for 10 years before returning to Tiffin and starting her business. “I said I’d never be back, but here I am! Tiffin is a nice place to raise your kids,” she said.

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