Reineke buys auto dealer in NW Ohio
Reineke Family Dealerships last year purchased the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram franchise from Dukes Sales in North Baltimore.
"We are excited to be entering a new market and with that adding another Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram franchise to our vehicle lineup in Northwest Ohio," Tom Reineke, president, said at the time. "This will provide our customers with options, which in turn allows us to do what we do best and that is to take care of our customers' vehicle needs."
Jean-Claude Schmidt, Schmidt Cottage Foods, explains some of the ingredients to Karen Michniak and Bob Berg during an event Feb. 5 at Phat Cakes & Cafe in Tiffin.
The franchise is to stay at 207 W. Water St.
The family also operates Reineke Ford Inc. in Fostoria, Reineke's Tiffin Ford-Lincoln Inc. in Tiffin, Reineke Nissan-Mazda in Lima, Reineke Motors Inc., Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep in Upper Sandusky, Reineke Ford Lincoln Inc. in Findlay and Reineke Ford Lincoln of Lima.
Tiffin Insulators purchases local Seves operations
Phat Cakes & Cafe opens in Tiffin
After three years of running her business from home, Natalie Wertz opened a storefront not just for those with a sweet tooth or looking for a wedding cake, but for future wine-and-diners. Wertz, a 2002 Tiffin Columbian graduate, moved her business, Phat Cakes & Cafe, to 45 S. Washington St. in March 2012 and operates from a room adjacent to Bunky's Bike Service. Wertz offers daily lunch and dinner specials, with more than 40 menu items, including gourmet cupcakes, coffee, salads, desserts, paninis, wraps, soups, gourmet cheesecakes, cookies and cake balls. The business specializes in birthday cakes, wedding cakes, shaped cakes, cupcakes and gourmet desserts. Phat Cakes is open 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The business can be found on Facebook, at www.phatcakes.com or customers can call (567) 220-6118.
Tiffin Insulators Co. LLC purchased the Tiffin operations of Seves USA Inc., effective Nov. 30.
The announcement was made in a news release by Dennis K. Kerschner, president and CEO of Tiffin Insulators Co. LLC, and his wife, Julie.
Seves USA's headquarters are in Houston. The company was founded in 1894 as Federal Porcelain and focuses its local business on the national sale of pole line hardware and low-voltage OEM insulators for electrical distribution.
According to the release, the purchase did not result in a change of local management or staffing.
"Our primary goal with this transaction was to maintain the business in Tiffin," Kerschner said. "My wife, Julie, and I were born and raised in Tiffin and it was important to us to maintain the business here.
"We are very excited about this transition and look forward to maintaining our relationship with current customers while continuing to expand our customer base throughout the United States."
The company continues to operate at 981 Tyber Road.
Grant brings new network to Sycamore area
SYCAMORE - Since Sycamore Telephone Co. launched its new multi-million-dollar fiber-to-the-home Internet, television and telephone upgrade a few weeks ago, customers have responded positively, said Rick Ekleberry, broadband operations manager.
The company, founded in 1894, worked for two years to run fiber-optic cable to 4,200 residents, 450 businesses and 14 community institutions in Sycamore, Melmore and McCutchenville.
"Things are going really good," he said. "We have a lot of people signing up. Our Internet speeds are much, much faster and we also have TV service now.
"The upgrades are so modern, in fact, that the new Internet, telephone and television services offered in the three villages outpace those of larger cities like Upper Sandusky and Tiffin," he said.
The new services were made possible through a federal grant of more than $4.1 million awarded in 2010. The grant was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and was designed to allow community-minded telecommunication companies to provide modern tools to rural markets.
"As a small company we are able to offer the same kind of technology as the bigger companies and a lot of times we think we do a better job than they do because we're more local," Ekleberry said. "We understand the challenges of living in rural markets. We also understand the benefits of raising a family and living removed from bigger cities."
TV content is much the same as other cable TV networks and satellite TV services provide, he said.
The grant wasn't enough to provide all services to the company's entire service area, Ekleberry said.
"All customers have the ability to get improved Internet service," he said. "That $4.1 million only went so far. We did our best to hit the most populated areas that we have."
New services can be bundled or purchased separately. Customers may call (419) 927-6012 to schedule an installation update or visit www.syctelco.com for more information.
New ownership takes over Tiffin Sears location
Sept. 24, Ryan Burnside and his wife, Amanda, assumed responsibility as the new owners and operators of the Tiffin Sears store.
Burnside said they also own the Sears store in Mount Vernon, and they were able to grow that location from a ranking of 971st in the country to the fifth-ranked Sears store nationwide. Burnside said they took over the Tiffin location during a time of transition and are committed to the store "for the long haul."
Burnside said he and his wife are able to offer extensive product knowledge and approach customers with a friendly, non-pushy attitude. They don't try to sell the most expensive items, he said, but rather work to meet the needs of each customer.
Burnside said he and his wife were approached by Sears regarding ownership of the store after the success they had in Mount Vernon.
Burnside said he is ranked third in customer satisfaction within the company, and the district and regional managers of Sears have expressed excitement for the direction the Burnsides can bring to Tiffin's Sears store.
Burnside said plans for the Tiffin Sears include a move to a new location within Westgate Village Shopping Center, which is larger than the current location and is designed specifically for Sears, and an increase in products carried at the store, including a larger selection of tools.
Roger Smith Insurance marks 25 years, moves to new office
Roger Smith Insurance celebrated its 25th anniversary by moving into a newly remodeled office space at 720 W. Market St.
When the Smiths purchased the former Fifth Third Bank building early last year, they increased office space from 800 square feet to 3,200 square feet, said Kyle Smith, who joined his father in the business 12 years ago. The new location also improves parking space for clients.
During remodeling, the new owners kept a piece of the building's history by making an old bank vault door into a table in the lobby. They added a piece of glass on top and four table legs.
The office was downtown for the first few years, and then moved to the company's former address on Wentz Street in 1990.
In addition to auto insurance, the company offers policies for home, umbrella, life, health, long-term care, farm, motorcycle, RV, boat and classic car.
For more information, call (419) 447-9900 or visit tiffininsurance.com
Barb Smith opens own insurance office in Tiffin
Barb Smith has been providing insurance services in Tiffin for more than 25 years and last year opened an independent agency, Barb Smith Insurance Agency.
The office, at 424 Wentz St. at the site of the former Roger Smith Insurance Agency, opened in mid-August.
Gary Smith said he and Barb decided to open an independent agency to provide more competitive insurance services for clients.
Barb Smith previously worked for Nationwide Insurance on West Perry Street, and opening an independent company allowed her to pick up new companies and add additional services, Gary Smith said.
In addition to casualty and property insurance, he said, Barb Smith is certified to provide senior product representation, including Medicare advantage plans, Part D and regular Medicare supplement plans.
The agency also specializes in annuity products, Gary Smith said, which is a financial contract that allows for guaranteed, fixed payments throughout a client's life.
They chose the Wentz Street location, Gary Smith said, because it is on "the main drag" of town, making it convenient and easy to notice.
The agency is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturdays by appointment.
More information can be found by visiting www.barbsmithinsuranceagency.com or by calling (419) 443-1270.
Local cellular services provider changes name, has new location
K&C Cellular, which previously was located at 68 E. Market St., has a new location, new ownership, new management and a new name - Nationwide Prepaid Cellular.
Scott Ferguson, who purchased K&C Cellular, said he bought the business to provide customers with better cellular services. He said he wants customers to know, while he purchased the merchandise inside the store, everything else is different, including the location, name and quality of service.
The company now is called Nationwide Prepaid Cellular, Ferguson said, and is located inside Sameday Signs, 80 E. Market St., where the phone number is (419) 448-0123. Ferguson also is the owner of Sameday Signs.
The change of ownership and location happened in early October, he said.
Nationwide Prepaid Cellular offers pre-paid, no-contract cell phone service, including unlimited talk and text with Internet access, Ferguson said.
The network, Page Plus, is as reliable as Verizon, he said, because both networks use the same towers.
Craft and gift store opens in Sycamore
Country Baskets, Crafts & Gifts opened in rural Sycamore last year offering a variety of gift items.
Owner Elinor Ames said she originally wove baskets to sell in her store, but merchandise has changed through the years. She no longer makes baskets, but has retained the name.
A native of Port Clinton, Ames opened her first store at Lakeside in 1998, and moved from Lakeside to Marblehead.
A couple years ago she met her significant other, Larry Goodman, and recently decided to move to Sycamore.
He remodeled his office to create a store for her.
Today, the store carries a wide variety of gift items and crafts - from metal pumpkins she designed to red, white and blue American items.
There also are flip-flops, bath and body soaps and lotions, soy candles, greeting cards, jelly, decorative holiday items, wreaths, purses, potpourri, crystal potpourri, Ohio State items and a variety of beads, to name a few.
The store, at 3849 SR 231, Sycamore, is about 20 minutes from Tiffin.
Hours are noon-7 p.m. daily.
For more information, call (419) 927-2275.
Welding supply store opens on Wall Street
Local businessman Aaron Nye opened a welding supply store last June at 447 Wall St.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to start my own business," Nye said. "My primary market is job shops, lab shops, maintenance departments, schools and production welding."
Nye purchased the building from Atlas Industries LLC for $250,000 and plans his store, NyeCo Gas, to be a retail operation that sells welding equipment, welding supply and welding gases.
The building is 56,000 square feet and is located directly south of Tiffin Metal Products on Wall Street.
Also, Nye said he is renting out 19,000 square feet of storage space in the back.
The combined 75,000 square feet maintains a fire repression system, he said.
Nye has more than 18 years of experience in the welding industry.
Crafter opens shop
Angie Steinmetz opened her own gift shop, adjacent to her residence, at 204 Ohio Ave. last June. Steinmetz approached her husband about turning their garage into a small shop. With his approval, she borrowed money to update the structure. Then, she stocked the store with her handiwork and merchandise she researched and carefully selected. She calls it Heavenly Creations.
Advance Auto Parts opens in Tiffin
Advance Auto Parts opened at 2205 W. Market St. in August. General Manager Fenton Hanchett said he has been a member of the Advance Auto Parts team for five and a half years and has been in retail for 12 years. Company officials said they chose this location for the store because it's convenient to where customers live and shop as well as garages where they take their vehicles for repair. It is the first Advance Auto Parts to Tiffin, but the second in the area, with a location in Fostoria at 534 N. County Line St. Regular store hours are 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Pet groomer opens in Green Springs
Jennifer Bruckenmiller opened Grooming 4 Heavenly Paws in downtown Green Springs last June. Her area extends mainly from Green Springs to Tiffin, Oak Harbor, Port Clinton, Bellevue and Fremont. After seven years working at another similar business in the area, Bruckenmiller said she decided to open her own shop and attend Cornerstone Dog Grooming Academy in Clyde to earn her certification. During the six-month programs she learned the proper way to bathe dogs and cats. "You learn nails and ears and they teach you how to groom them to breed standards," she said. "You learn all the breeds and take multiple tests." She said she also learned how to properly handle dogs and equipment. She said she chose Green Springs because it's close to home and a central location for her clients. To make an appointment, call (419) 639-3647. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and the second and fourth Saturday as needed.
Backroads Diner moves to Attica
ATTICA - Backroads Diner opened in its new Attica location on SR 4 in August. A Bloomville staple for almost 14 years, owner Peg Carrick said she's happy to see the new restaurant open after months of work. "It was purely a business move," Carrick said. "I have to do for the business what I have to do." The new location on the busy street through town makes the restaurant convenient for local people as well as travelers passing through Attica. "It's a little bigger community and there are a few more businesses," she said. "We had a fair amount of Attica people come (to Bloomville)." Hours are 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.
OC Shocks expands
OC Shocks, 281 Wall St., has added motorcycle tire sales and tune-ups to its product line. "With there being a motocross track just outside of town, we're heavily involved in that," said owner Nick Silardi. Silardi, who races dirt bikes, said he opened the business a little more than five years ago in Fremont and moved it to his hometown of Tiffin two years later. The business started by specializing in repair and service of performance shocks for race cars, and now serves four-wheelers, snowmobiles, drag racing cars, road race cars and oval track cars. "The bulk of our business is race cars from Attica and Fremont but we sell and service shocks for race cars all over the country," Silardi said.
Tiffin shop features local designers
Shoppers seeking a fresh approach to style have a new local option with an eclectic edge. Rochelle Slosser said Ro Ro Design, 164 S. Washington St., offers vintage designer jewelry, ornaments, candles and other items. The pieces, she said, are "artistic, very different" items, offering shoppers a unique collection to experience. Ro Ro has "a really different feel," Slosser said, and is an "artistic outlet" for designers and customers. The jewelry offered at Ro Ro, she said, features collections from four designers, offering a variety of looks for the unique tastes of each customer. The focus of the store, she said, is "style and art." The store is open 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and noon-3 p.m. Sunday. There also is a Facebook page, Ro Ro Design and Photography LLC, where samples of Slosser's photography and items at the store can be seen, she said.Slosser said appointments are available for customers who need additional information, or want to see more of her work for event planning or business needs. Slosser can be reached at (419) 618-3052.
Pizza Hut remodels
Pizza Hut in Tiffin last spring offered customers an updated look. Area Supervisor Randy Wilhelm calls it "hometown decor." Wilhelm said it is a blend of Pizza Hut-branded decor and various spotlighted items with a local focus, such as high school and college sports memorabilia and historical highlights from the city. A major goal of the remodel, he said, is to increase the comfort of Tiffin Pizza Hut customers, and the seating arrangement has been completely changed. While only two additional seats were added, he said, the seating in the restaurant is now more spacious, and will feel less crowded to customers. The remodel included the addition of a small foyer as a carryout and drive-through window location, for the comfort of dine-in customers and the convenience of those picking up meals. In addition to a new interior, customers see a new look on the outside of the building.