MEDINA — A sign of economic prosperity returned to Medina on Friday when the city of Medina, Main Street Medina and the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce hosted five ribbon-cuttings, business-focused events that fell by the wayside in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Several elected officials from the city and county attended, along with state Rep. Sharon Ray, R-Wadsworth, and representatives of Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Treasurer Robert Sprague, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati, and Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Rocky River and Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville.
The events started with Bubbles & Bows, 119 Lafayette St.; Medina County Habitat for Humanity, 233 Lafayette Road; CSL Plasma, 1104 N. Court St.; The Salon at Towne Square, 23 Public Square; and Medina Brewing Co., 320 S. Court St.
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore opened in March 2020, days before the pandemic hit.
Matt Wiederhold, executive director of Main Street Medina, called the ReStore an anchor tenant in the South Town District. He isn't entirely objective, since the ReStore hosts Main Street's South Town Cruise-Ins on Wednesdays.
The store is at the old location of Hawkins Market.
"I can think of no better way to repurpose this building than the ReStore," Ray said.
Habitat Executive Director Tom McConnell said he wanted to thank his board for the courage and faith to buy the building for $800,000 in September 2018. It moved from its former location on East Smith Road to Lafayette Road and sells building materials at a bargain price.
"So many hands made it happen," he said.
Habitat's mission is to build "safe, decent, affordable housing for individuals in Medina County," McConnell said. "There is a lack of affordable housing units. That's why we're here."
Habitat for Humanity has been in Medina County since 1991 and has built 43 homes across the county.
"Our capacity needs to grow and our reach needs to expand," he said.
McConnell said there are four full-time and 10 part-time employees at the ReStore, in addition to about 40 volunteers at the store and at the building sites. They currently are building a house on Byron Drive in Brunswick. They are excavating two homes on McKinley Avenue in Brunswick, and two more houses planned on Durling Drive in Wadsworth.
Bubbles & Bows
Owner Christy Overman opened her store in August 2020. She has seven employees and said she could use several more. She plans on putting a party room upstairs in the house she leases, but needs more staffers.
"We've had an incredible experience since opening the door," she said. "We could be doing way more business if we could find employees. We're that busy."
The custom design balloon store opened and expanded during the pandemic. Its motto: Bringing joy on purpose.
CSL, which stands for Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, made an investment of more than $1 million in the building, according to manager Mike Ryan, and opened June 29. The Party Station used to be at the location.
New donors can make up to $825 a month donating their plasma. They are allowed to donate twice in a seven-day period.
The business has 20 employees, Ryan said.
"Donating blood is a lifesaver," Commissioner Steve Hambley said. "It will have a 100 percent impact on the community."
The Salon at Towne Square
Co-owners Heidi Schontzler and Barb Clutter are two of six individual contractors in the shop, which does hair, nails, massage, facials, waxing, lash lifts and tinting.
Clutter thanks her co-owner for "taking a chance on me."
The shop opened in July 2020 at the location that formerly housed the Candyapple & Co. Boutique Store.
Schontzler said she wanted to thank her team members for being "awesome."
Medina Brewing Co.
The brewery celebrated its one-year anniversary July 17, manager Liz Wilhelm said.
"We just started brewing last month," she said. "Beer is being made as we speak."
Wilhelm handed out samples of the South Town Hazy IPA that was being brewed to the officials.
After a $600,000 investment by owner Mathias Houck, things are starting to pick up at the bar, located in the basement of the Medina Farmers Exchange building.
"It's been a challenging year," Wilhelm said.
Medina Brewing has seven employees. She said there are parties and showers scheduled, along with yoga.