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Springboro is a thriving community on the north end of Warren County. Springboro's business community is continuing to grow, with increased development of the Austin Pike interchange. The business community of Springboro is made up of hundreds of small businesses, from locally owned retail stores, to small manufacturing plants, from health care providers to service industry providers, and from family owned and operated cafes and restaurants to independent insurance providers. The Springboro Chamber of Commerce has almost 500 business members, 50% of whom have 5 of fewer employees. Only about 25-30 Chamber members have more than 25 employees.
Small businesses are what keep the Springboro area alive from a commerce perspective. It is one of the fastest growing communities in Warren County, with a growing economic base, great schools, and beautiful neighborhoods and city parks. The population of the City has grown more than 41% in the last ten years. Small businesses see this picture when they consider relocation or a start-up.
Location is also one factor that cannot be ignored. Perfectly situated just a couple of miles from two exits off Interstate 75, and just 14 miles from Dayton and 37 miles from Cincinnati, the heart of Springboro provides small business owners with easy access to everything they need to be successful, affordable housing, reasonable taxes, great family values and schools, plus a high quality of life. Maybe this is why for the past two years Springboro has ranked around 40th place on the CNN Money list of desirable small cities to live.Our vision for Springboro is a community of excellence, a desirable place to work and live. Our schools are rated Excellent with distinction by the State of Ohio, our city and township officials provide our residents and small business owners with much needed resources and support, and our calendar of events provides our residents with ample local entertainment and enriching activities all year long.
Interesting facts about Springboro: As of 2011, Springboro's population was 12,380, up 41% since 2000. Median home price is $171,300 and median household income is $72,316. Springboro has access to top quality entertainment, prime shopping malls, professional and semi-pro sports teams, means residents, their guests and travelling visitors have plenty to choose from. We have several unique and interesting tourist attractions in Springboro which include: "La Comedia" Dinner Theater, Friesinger's Chocolate Factory, The Wright Brothers Museum, and our own famous Self Guided Walking Tour of the Underground Railroad Sites in town. From our rich history, to our promising future, Springboro has become the ideal place to work, live and play in Southwest Ohio.
*Special thanks to Sara Arseneau from the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce for writing this guest blog.
It's nearly Black Friday, the day we emerge from our turkey coma and race to local malls and national chain stores to score major deals on merchandise. But in Lebanon we invite you to join us for a much more fun option: Small Business Saturday! November 24, 2012, is a day to support Lebanon's small business owners, help fuel the economy and invigorate our community.
It's in this spirit that we celebrate "small" in a big way with this fun guide to our favorite local spots that make Lebanon what it is! So, put this pamphlet in your back pocket, and hop around to some of these wonderful restaurants, bars and shops on Small Business Saturday, for a truly magical shopping experience! Whether you're reveling in your super-discounted new sweater, munching on a cookie or sipping some warm cider, make sure you tip your hat to these independent entrepreneurs who make Lebanon so special.
And don't forget to come back downtown as we shine throughout the year with Festivals, Fairs, and December 1 for the worlds' largest Holiday Horse Drawn Carriage Parade & Festival!
Lebanon Area Chamber, 212 N Broadway; 513-932-1100
*Special thanks to Dawn Schroeder from the Waynesville Chamber of Commerce for guest blogging!
Waynesville is located in Southwestern part of Ohio, where small businesses are key to its vitality. When people think of Waynesville, they think of the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival, but we're so much more than that. We are a Village of over 2800 people, who invest deep into their community, by shopping, dining and caring about the people and the businesses that invest and set roots into Waynesville. We have very little industry, so as a result most of Waynesville, are small business or, "Mom and Pop" businesses.
The greatest feature the average person receives from a small business is more one on one customer service. They know customers names, how many children they have, details about their lives and what they like to shop for and in some cases they already know what you want for lunch and have it ready for you.
At a time when many small cities are struggling to keep and attract businesses, this quaint little town is holding its own, with more than 70 shopping and dining establishments open and more on the way. These days, in addition to antiques, you'll also find home decor, gifts and fine arts. "We are recycling America's historic past" says Lauran Lepley of Waynesville Antique Mall. You'll find everything from rustic and primitive to classic American furniture and collectibles in Waynesville, in addition to the quaint boutiques that dot the downtown area with a wide variety of items such as jewelry, prints, seasonal items, dip mixes and doggie treats.
When you are ready for lunch we have a variety of restaurants to choose from such as Bentino's Pizza and Waynesville Pizza, in which both are operated and maintained by family members. Don't forget the Hammel House, owned by Pam Bowman, who has been a staple in Waynesville, and creates salads, sandwiches and soups (best onion soup around). We have everything from gourmet at the Cobblestone Cafe to our newest restaurant Stone House Tavern. Every business in Waynesville is a "small business" which makes us distinctive from everyone else. We don't have a lot of chain stores, we are a group of individual businesses trying to make a name for them and we have done a great job of sustaining through the economic times this country has faced. So the next time you think of purchasing something for your home or to purchase a gift, to go out to eat, buy a special cake or pastry, support a small business. They support the local economy by supporting local ball teams; donate to causes, raffles and so much more.
For more information on Waynesville, please visit us at www.waynesvilleohio.com.
Are you someone who enjoys taking walks in the summer time? Then you're in luck as Warren County is home to some of Ohio's best walking tours suitable for the whole family. There are walking tours that highlight the beauty of nature, art, historical monuments, and stories of the paranormal. The walking tours of Warren County are a unique way to spend some time with the family while getting outdoors. If you're not sure what walking tour would best suit your family, let us tell you about them:
Waynesville Ghostly Walking ToursThe Museum at the Friends Home in Waynesville, Ohio has guided tours that recount stories that defy explanation. Tour guides will lead you and your family to various destinations in downtown Waynesville where people have experienced paranormal activity. You and your family will learn about some of Waynesville's past residents whose spirits remain in limbo. Tours are offered Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays through October.
Visit the Museum at the Friends Home for more information.
Springboro Underground Railroad Walking Tours
These self-guided walking tours take you through the historical Springboro district, detailing the network of 27 safe houses and tunnels in the area. While walking through the historical district of Springboro, you'll learn how residents aided runaway slaves as they escaped to Canada. The self-guided tours are accompanied with a brochure, or you request a tour-guide for a small fee.
Visit The Springboro Chamber of Commerce website for more information.
Coined, "City of Murals" Franklin is home to breath-taking works of art. Painted by Franklin resident Eric Henn, these award-winning murals allow you to take a look back into the city's history. Franklin Murals make for a great day trip for you and the family.
Contact the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce for more information.
Call 513 932 1817 for more information or visit the Warren County History Center website .
In Warren County, shopping is always in season, whether its back-to-school, the holidays or a summertime girlfriend getaway there's something for everyone. Warren County is home to some of the best shopping destinations not only in Greater Cincinnati, but in the Midwest. From trendy designer stores t family-owned boutiques and the quant antique storefronts in many small towns around the county Warren County offers shoppers variety they won't find elsewhere. And with several cozy bed and breakfasts', restaurants and cafes nearby, it the perfect spot for you and your girlfriends to find a relaxing getaway not far away.
Cincinnati Premium Outlets
This upscale shopping center in Monroe, Ohio features a vast array of designer and name brand outlet stores. With more than 100 stores to choose from including Banana Republic, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nike, Gap, New York & Company and many more, Cincinnati Premium Outlets gives you have the opportunity to find savings of 25 - 65% on some of your favorite designers and brands.
Deerfield Towne Center
Located in Mason, Ohio, Deerfield Towne Center is a premier entertainment destination with top-name retailers, salons and spas, dining options and a multi-plex Regal Cinema. There is no shortage of things to do at Deerfield Towne Center, making it an ideal shopping destination for back to school shopping.
Shops of Waynesville
If you like antique shopping, then you must come to Waynesville, Ohio, also known as the "Antiques Capital of the Midwest". With shops catering to colonial-made furniture to brass antiques, you'll find Waynesville to be both a charming and unique shopping experience.
Waynesville also has bed and breakfast options nearby including:
Warren County also has options for those looking for a bargain. With three flea markets including Caesar Creek Flea Market, Traders World and Treasure Aisles, you'll find a variety of unique items that can't be found in retail stores. So put on your walking shoes and explore the grounds at some of the most expansive flea markets in all of Ohio!
For some tips and tricks check out this blog post: Warren County Flea Market Tips and Tricks
For more information about each location please visit:
As you can see, Warren County is great for a back to school shopping and offers many opportunities for shopping getaways for you and your girlfriends. Be sure to book your rooms at some of our cozy B&B's -you will need a place to drop after you shop!
If you're a bargain hunter or someone who enjoys finding items you wouldn't traditionally find at retail stores, perhaps it's time to visit a flea market. Warren County is home to some of the most unique and expansive flea markets in greater Cincinnati including Treasure Aisle -which won "Best Place for Unique Shopping" in the 2011 Best of Warren County Awards.
Greg Dove, President of Levin Service Company (Owners of Treasure Aisles) said, "People should come to the flea market because it's inexpensive entertainment with music, food and it's a great place to people watch. There are a lot of great products, collectibles and antiques- it's a chance to find that one time treasure."
However, if you're unfamiliar with flea market shopping in the Cincinnati area, it can be a bit intimidating to make your first trip, that's why we've put together a few helpful tips to help you get familiar with the nuances of a flea market:
1) Visit Local Cincinnati Flea markets:
If you've never been to a flea market, perhaps it's time to visit the flea markets in greater Cincinnati. Most flea markets are only open on the weekends, but it's always best to check before you venture out. Below is a list of some flea markets in the greater Cincinnati area:
The atmosphere of a flea market is very laid back. Therefore, you should wear comfortable clothes ideal for walking around. Flea markets are great for perusing, so go in with the mind set that you aren't looking to buy anything in particular. However remain open to purchasing something should it catch your eye.
3) Engage the Merchants:
Merchants at flea markets are typically easy going and enjoy engaging customers about their merchandise. In order to not appear too eager to buy something ask the merchant questions about the merchandise or about where they are from. Ask about where an item came from or how it was acquired. Some questions include:
• What is this made of?
• Where does it come from?
• What can is it used for?
These questions are just some examples of what to ask merchants. Obviously each item will prompt different questions, so use your best judgment and ask the questions you want to have answered.4) Know how to negotiate:
The art of haggling is very beneficial when making a purchase at a flea market. Knowing how to negotiate will allow you to purchase an item on your own terms, while allowing a merchant to sell at an agreeable price. According to shoppers advocacy blog, "The Consumerist" A good rule of thumb is to discount the price by 20-25 percent. Any more and the merchant may tell you to move along. In reducing the price 20-25 percent, the merchant will counter with another price below the list price. You can continue negotiating until you both reach an agreeable price point where you don't over pay and the merchant doesn't take a loss.
Helpful hint: 2 "The Cheapest Woman Alive" Blog recommends bringing small bills because it's easier to negotiate a specific price than if you have larger bills.
We hope you found these hints for flea market shopping helpful. Be sure to visit the greater Cincinnati flea markets and see what items you find! Tell us in the comments some of your favorite Flea Market finds!
The people have spoken, and on Wednesday, February 8th the winners of the Best of Warren County poll were honored in an awards ceremony at the Great Wolf Lodge Conference Center. Throughout the month of January the public sent nominations for their favorite local attractions to The Pulse-Journal. Thousands of votes were then cast for the finalist of 10 different categories including Best Hidden Gem, Best Festival, Best Burger and more.
The awards were designed to highlight some of the brightest features of Warren County not only for residents of the area, but also for out-of-town visitors looking to get a taste of local flavor. So when you visit us let this list of local favorites act as your tour guide to the can't miss spots in Warren County.
Best Burger: Quatman Cafe, Mason
Quatman Cafe, originally founded in 1966 in the Norwood neighborhood of Cincinnati, has brought its huge, tasty burgers north to a new location in Mason. Matt Imm, owner of Quatman Cafe said "We get fresh deliveries of meat everyday and like all our food, the burger is hand-made." It's this care and detail put into every burger and a devoted fan base that has Quatman Cafe topping the charts of the "Best Burger" category.
Best Festival: The Ohio Renaissance Festival
One of the largest festivals of its kind in the United States the Ohio Renaissance Festival gives visitors the unique opportunity to enjoy over 400 years of fun in a single weekend. Over 150 costumed characters welcome visitors to the 30-acre re-created 16th Century English Village and partake in nearly 100 daily shows from jousting matches to dueling sword shows. Visitors of all ages will be amused by the food, games and human-powered rides at the Ohio Renaissance Festival.
Best Dessert at a Local Restaurant: Ice Cream at Mr. Frosty
This ice cream stand in downtown Franklin, Ohio has been enjoyed by members of the community for more than 30 years. Tasty treats such as the Wildcat Twist, named for the local high school football team, and the footlong coney with chili and cheese are a few of the hometown favorites. So if you're in town on a hot summer night and need a quick cool-down, stop in and try the best dessert in Warren County.
Favorite Dish at a Local Restaurant: Pulled Pork from Porky Capone's
Having only been open for a year, Porky Capone's has quickly become a local favorite, due in large part to the fact that owner, Mark Groce, practically lives at the restaurant ensuring that his Southern style BBQ is always slow-cooked to perfection. Although he hates to choose favorites amongst his own culinary masterpieces, Groce admits that the pulled pork is one of his most popular dishes, evidenced by the number of votes it received from the public.
Best Hidden Gem: Irons Fruit Farms
This 4th generation farm is dedicated to providing farm fresh fruit including apples, cherries, pumpkins and peaches as well as delicious fresh-baked goods to the public. Throughout the year you can pick your own fruits and in the fall the farm offers many great seasonal activities including a corn maze, hayrides and a pumpkin patch. You can also find the Irons Fruit Farm folks at the annual Lebanon Country Applefest held every September.
Best Historical Site: The Golden Lamb
The Golden Lamb is recognized as the oldest continuously operating business in the State of Ohio, so it's fitting that it would win in this category. The Golden Lamb has also hosted many notables throughout history like 12 U.S. Presidents, including President Lincoln who stopped in town on his way from Illinois to the White House. You can also stop in the restaurant and have a drink where Charles Dickens once sat.
A Not-to-miss with Teenagers on Vacation: Ozone Zipline Adventures
This exhilarating ride through the canopy of the Little Miami River Valley will leave you breathless. Now offering 3 unique zipline tours, including one tour that crosses the Little Miami River at 250 feet in the air PLUS a Full Moon Night Zipping tour, Ozone Ziplines is the ultimate adventure for your teen. Not only will your teen test their nerves, but with a full staff of knowledgeable guides to accompany them they might even learn something about the 500 million year old fossils they're soaring over, the 2000 year old Native American Earthworks across the river at Fort Ancient or current environmental issues like water conservation and habitat loss.
Best Place to Create Winter Holiday Memories: The Christmas Ranch, Morrow
A whimsical place with 350,000 dancing Christmas lights synchronized to holiday music, the Christmas Ranch is one of the best places in Warren County to make Holiday memories with your family. Get your picture with Santa, take a night time wagon ride through the village and mark that special someone off your list with a gift from the Christmas Shop.
Congratulations to all of our 2011 Best of Warren County Winners! The competition was stiff and although these winners were voted the best this year, there are plenty of other great places to dine, shop and create lasting memories with your family in Warren County. Surf through our site to find other priceless gems you won't want to miss.
When you stroll down the streets of Lebanon and drive through the hills of Warren County, you are in good company. Presidential company, that is! Lebanon, Ohio has been graced with a multitude of visits from Presidents dating back to as early as the 1800s. As we honor Presidents' Day this month, we thought it would be interesting to highlight many of Warren County's esteemed Presidential visitors through the years.
Perhaps one of the most beloved U.S. Presidents to visit Warren County was Abraham Lincoln. In 1862, President-elect Lincoln traveled through Warren County on his way from Springfield, Illinois to Washington, D.C. for his inauguration. Historian John Zimkus wrote, "Being on the Little Miami Railroad, what is now the Little Miami Scenic Bike Trail, Lincoln traveled the full length of Warren County." Another Lincoln connection to Warren County: his great uncle, John, lived on 181-acre farm between Lebanon and the community of Red Lion. John and his wife, Mary, are buried in Lebanon's Pioneer Cemetery, located just six blocks from the historic Golden Lamb Restaurant & Inn. Click here for Pioneer Cemetery Tours coming in May.
Known for main streets rich with antique shops, Lebanon has been host to numerous presidents on the campaign trail or passing through Ohio. Several presidents have also stayed at the Golden Lamb, Ohio's oldest hotel. While campaigning for the presidency in 1840, William Henry Harrison delivered a speech in Lebanon near what is now the Warren County fairgrounds. Two years later after Harrison's visit, Martin Van Buren, who lost his re-election bid to Harrison in 1840, traveled to Lebanon and visited the Golden Lamb on his way to Columbus.
The Golden Lamb has been a destination of many presidents since that time, and consequently has rooms named after several of these Presidential visitors. More recently, The Golden Lamb has been visited by Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. As governor of California, Reagan visited in 1968 while campaigning for Congressman Buz Lukens. While George H. Bush was campaigning in the area in 1988, his wife, Barbara Bush, held a fundraising event in Lebanon and stayed overnight at The Golden Lamb. Their son, George W. Bush, visited The Golden Lamb in 2004. Of the 12 presidents who have visited The Golden Lamb, he is the only one to come while in office. Other presidents to visit and have rooms named after them include:
• John Quincy Adams: As the 6th U.S. President, Adams was one of only two presidents to visit Lebanon after his term in office. He arrived in Lebanon in 1843 on his way to Cincinnati.
• Ulysses S. Grant: Originally from Ohio, Grant, visited The Golden Lamb in his younger years (most likely in the 1820-30's). He served as the 18th U.S. President.
• Rutherford B. Hayes: When campaigning to be governor of Ohio, Hayes came to Lebanon in 1867. He was elected to be the 19th U.S. President eleven years later.
• James Garfield: Garfield, the 20th U.S. President, visited Lebanon in 1871 to give a political address at Washington Hall, two blocks away from The Golden Lamb.
• William McKinley: The last time McKinley came to Lebanon was in 1893 when running for re-election as governor of Ohio. He was the 25th U.S. President.
• William Howard Taft: In 1898, Taft, the 27th U.S. President, traveled to Lebanon to attend a funeral. He had dinner at The Golden Lamb during his visit.
• Warren G. Harding: Harding, the 29th U.S. President, spoke at the Lebanon Opera House in 1910 and again in 1914, subsequently serving in the U.S. Senate and six years later as president.
Get into the Presidential spirit this month and experience the rich history Warren County offers. You can check out additional opportunities in the area and get museum and historical site details by visiting Journey into the past.
Presidents' Day Shopping Sale: Cincinnati Premium Outlets
Charles Schulz might have said it best, "All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."
With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, you might be thinking about something special you can do for or with your special Valentine. Whether it's sweet treats or a special outing, many local Warren County businesses offer tempting treats and deals that are certain to sweeten your Valentine's Day. For a complete list of upcoming events, see our events calendar, or keep reading to find a few ideas to make your Valentine's Day much sweeter including some romantic getaways in Ohio that will knock your socks off!
Main Street Sweets owner Vickie Larcomb says her Mason candy shop will cover just about anything in chocolate! Everything is made from scratch, including homemade flavored marshmallows dipped in chocolate, chocolate-covered strawberries and even Twinkie's dipped in chocolate! Family owned for five years, Main Street Sweets boasts all kinds of delectable creations, including a multitude of popcorn treats: caramel, chocolate, cherry flavored, etc. Main Street Sweets makes its own chocolate and is known for its heart-shaped Rice Crispy treats dipped in chocolate - perfect for Valentine's Day!
Family owned since 1970, Valley Vineyards in Morrow offers numerous ways to celebrate Valentine's Day. If fine wine and good food fit into your Valentine's Day plans, be sure to check out Valley Vineyards' offerings. On Wednesday, February 8, take part in Grand Tastings, a popular event that features great wine, wonderful food, good company and live music. This month's featured wines will be Valley Vineyards' Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. For just $25 per person and up to 22 wine samplings, this event is a tremendous time at a tremendous value. Reservations required (513-899-9022).
Join Valley Vineyards' Weekend Cookout on Saturday, February 11 for some relaxing, and romantic Valentine's Day fun with your special someone. Typically, weekend cookouts appeal to groups, but according to owner Joe Schuchter, on the Saturday before Valentine's Day, you will find mostly couples cooking their meals and sipping on wine. Reservations are requested. Price is $59 per couple with one bottle of wine (age 21 and over). Feel like staying in? Valley Vineyards re-released its popular pink-label Merlot just in time for Valentine's Day. This medium-bodied Merlot smells like cocoa and pairs wonderfully with chocolate. You can find it online or at Kroger and Remke-Biggs.
Known for its Texas Tortoise and Almond Toffee, Golden Turtle Chocolate Factory offers an extensive selection of assorted chocolates, creams and chocolate molds. The shop's famous Texas Tortoise is made from pecan halves covered in caramel and then dipped in both milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Joy Kossouji of Golden Turtle Chocolate Factory says that each batch of their Almond Toffee is made with 12 pounds of butter! The raw almonds are added to the chocolate mixture and cook in the batch as the toffee cools. "The entire shop smells delicious when we make that almond toffee," Kossouji says.
Other shop specialties include caramel bars (each one weighs 4-5 ounces), snack clusters (popcorn, pecans, raisins, coconut and chocolate), chocolate molds (all kinds of shapes including turtles, trains and planes for children), and white pretzel sundaes (white chocolate, pretzels and milk chocolate on top). Stop by Golden Turtle for one-of-a-kind, delectable treats for your Valentine.
These are all great ways to liven up your Valentine's Day in Warren County, but certainly the list is not exhaustive. For other great ideas for romantic dining check out our local favorites listings, or for more great packages see our vacation packages page.
Historic Downtown Lebanon is home to more than 50 of the best antique and specialty shops in Ohio and sets the perfect stage for the Lebanon Antiques Show. Well-known for its investment-quality antique furniture displayed in room settings, the show has evolved into one of the longest running and most respected antique shows in Ohio.
The show, being held January 21st and 22nd at Bowman Elementary School in Lebanon, is the first of two 2012 shows. The show features local as well as national and international dealers peddling everything from furniture to jewelry to flatware and golf clubs. "Many of our dealers have been with us more than 30 years," said Victoria Van Harlingen of the Warren County Historical Society, which sponsors the event. Many dealers return year after year, but don't think that means you're going to see the same show as last time.
New for this January, the show plans to add a special exhibit of 19th century game boards from the collection of Tom Chambers. Chambers, from Missouri, who will be on hand to showcase his antique pieces and answer questions has been intrigued by game boards since early in his career and has even co-authored a book, "The Art of the Game," detailing the intricacies of a variety of game boards. You can learn more about his work, exhibit and book on his website at www.missouriplainfolk.com.
The history of this event is as unique as the pieces you'll find there. It was first begun in the 1940s to replace the home tours as the primary fundraising activity for the Warren County Historical Society. When reading back through the newsletters of that time, the staff was not so certain about this move and knew they were taking a huge gamble, but "the first show was so successful that they happily continued putting the event together the next year and then every year after that." said Van Harlingen. The Historical society now hosts 2 shows per year, one in January and one in October.
If you go:
Date: Saturday & Sunday January 21 & 22nd
Time: Saturday: 10a-5p/Sunday 11a-4p
Where: Bowman Primary School
825 Hart Road Lebanon, Ohio
Admission: $8 (click here for a $2 discount coupon)
Contact: Warren County Historical Society 513-932-1817