Locally Grown 2023

Starting your own business can be a daunting task. Not only do you need the right idea, the paperwork and the many other logistical elements, but you also need to create good relationships within the community to thrive. Luckily, local businesses are sharing their tips for the nine steps to owning our own business.

┃1. Business idea/inspiration┃┃2. Finding your client┃

┃3. Researching your competition┃┃4. Creating a business plan┃

┃5. Registration & Paperwork┃┃6. Funding & Finances┃

┃7. Compiling business tools┃┃8. Marketing your business┃

┃9. Giving back to the community┃

The Businesses



Alice Louise Press

Amy Lesniewicz
107 Louisiana Ave.
(419) 345-8045



Ashley Bush
112 E. Dudley St.
(419) 326-5732


Boyd’s Retro Candy

Pam Lloyd-Camp
954 Phillips Ave.
(419) 720-7387





Phil & Jo Feltman
24124 Front St.
(419) 830-3055


Crunch Fitness

Sarah Page
4925 Jackman Rd. #16
(419) 262-0722


Flying Rhino

Angie Cucunato
201 Morris St.
(419) 973-7099



Frankel Dentistry

Pamela Weitzel
5012 Talmadge Road
(419) 474-9611


Health Foods by Claudia

Jim Roscoe
3904 Secor Road
(419) 474-2400


HLS Orthodontics

Deana Butler
4413 Keystone Drive
(419) 882-1017



Ink & Iron

Mike Klein
1505 Adams St.
(419) 265-6453


Inside the Five

Katie Fields
5703 N. Main St.
(567) 408-7212


Jeff’s Hauling & Cleanup

Jeff Hoffman
310 Mulberry St.
(419) 508-3782
Jeff’s Hauling & Cleanup on Facebook





Loma Linda

Mike Kunzer
10400 Airport Highway
(419) 865-5455


Rosie’s Italian Grille/Rosie’s Rolling Chef/Rosaria’s on Third Street

Andrew Cooper
Various locations



Douglas Schmucker
2103 N. Reynolds Road
(419) 260-5395






Eric Sitter
1430 Holland Road
(419) 474-0000


Whitehouse Inn & Crust

Tony Fronk & Marcy
10835 Waterville St.
(419) 877-1180



John and Carroll Nystrom
5311 Airport Highway
(419) 389-0560

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1. Business idea/inspiration

What inspired you to get into this industry? 

Alice Louise Press
Photo provided via Alice Louise Press.

Alice Louise Press: I saw an area in the wedding industry that was lacking when it came to modern invitations. This was 20 years ago when they did not have online sites and only traditional companies were still ruling the game. 

Bloom: Bloom Women’s Counseling, Consulting, and Wellness, LLC. was created to meet a gap in services in the Northwest Ohio region. We felt there was a need for specialized mental health care specifically geared for women and women’s health. This included infertility, postpartum, motherhood/parenting, life transitions (like entering or leaving college), empty nesting, sexual or physical difficulties (like intimacy or pelvic health concerns) and meaning making in the lives of older women.

Boyd’s Retro Candy: Peanuts. More specifically ground up peanuts to make a candy chew called Squirrel Nut Zippers. An older gentleman asked me if the store I worked in carried Squirrel Nut Zippers which I’d never heard of. He described them the best he could and told me how they were his favorite candy and he couldn’t find them anywhere. Then and there was born my love of finding that special candy customers were looking for.

BuchuVida: The inspiration behind my journey into this industry stems from a deeply personal experience that transformed my life. I had several medical issues but one in particular started several years ago. I underwent a lymph nodes removal procedure under my arm, which prompted my holistic doctor to suggest that the use of deodorants containing aluminum might have been a contributing factor. Determined to make a change, I embarked on a quest to find an effective alternative. 

Driven by the desire to create a natural deodorant that would suit my needs, I delved into extensive research. I sought out a plant with both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and that is when I discovered the remarkable buchu plant. This botanical marvel fascinated me, and it became the focal point of my exploration.

Simultaneously, I found myself on a parallel path in search of a deeper purpose in life. Yearning for clarity and direction, I embarked on a transformation journey where I took a vow of silence and found divine guidance. Through this introspective period, I humbly asked God to give me a purpose and it was granted. 

Armed with newfound purpose and armed with the knowledge I had gained, I channeled my passion into formulating a natural deodorant and meticulously navigating the patent process, ultimately securing my patent within a mere 18 months. Throughout this process, I became acutely aware of the astounding benefits of the buchu plant, not only in the realm of deodorant but also in its potential to alleviate inflammation and pain, particularly in my back. My personal experience with buchu tea as a remedy for back pain solidified my belief in its healing properties. I feel as though God puts plants and herbs on this planet to heal ourselves.

With this profound realization, I expanded my product range beyond deodorants. I began creating additional natural products such as facial toners, patented shampoo, yoga mat sprays, soaps and lip balm. Embracing a holistic approach, I also ventured into the world of teas, curating a selection that features blends incorporating buchu and other beneficial herbs to address various health concerns. 

Today, my journey continues as I strive to provide individuals with products that are not only effective but also naturally derived, promoting well-being and embracing the power of nature. Witnessing firsthand the transformation potential of natural remedies and the positive impact they can have on people’s lives; I am filled with a deep sense of purpose and gratitude.

Flying Rhino: My very first job was as a barista at a chain coffee shop. My boss at the time was incredibly passionate about coffee and that definitely rubbed off on me. The most important thing I learned there was to ask questions. I remember just being so eager to learn more. I still feel that way – 17 years later!

Frankel Dentistry: My father, Dr. Sheldon Frankel started Frankel Dentistry in 1946. His dedication to the art and science of dentistry was inspirational. Along with this daily exposure to dentistry, there is a familial factor as well. My father was a dentist, my aunt and my sister are dental hygienists, my uncle and two of my cousins are dentists, and my daughter is currently in dental school.

Health Foods by Claudia: My greatest inspiration for opening a health food store and getting into the business of true health will always be my beautiful mother. She had a simple and powerful understanding of the importance of food and what it truly means in our life and I am so grateful. When our health needed attention, she turned to what God and nature offers us first.

HLS Orthodontics: As a teen, I went through two rounds of orthodontic treatment, which meant I spent a lot of time in an orthodontic office. I was interested in the different options for improving my smile, and the interest that began when I was in 8th grade developed into a pathway to dental school and orthodontic residency.

Ink & Iron: I first got tattooed on the Eastside and fell in love with the industry. I’ve drawn my entire life and through a myriad of random jobs, I knew I needed to be in a creative field.

Inside the Five: I bought my husband a home Brewing kit 15 years ago. Brewing beer was a hobby as well as visiting local breweries around the country. The hobby turned into a business that keeps growing. 

Jeff’s Hauling & Cleanup: I moved a couch for my grandmother’s neighbor and I quickly realized that I was doing something that I enjoyed.

Loma Linda: Adela’s hard work and dedication truly inspired me. This business really takes everything you got.

Rosie’s Italian Grille: I was inspired to enter the restaurant industry because of my mother Rosie, who is our restaurant’s namesake. She was always cooking, it was a way of love and a way to bring the family together. Many of her recipes were passed down to her from her family in Sicily where she was born. We pride ourselves in offering authentic Italian dishes and having a family atmosphere. 

Schmucker’s: As a 12 year old I was able to work alongside my father and mother. I admired them both so it was a natural transition through high school for me to choose to stay with it even though my father encouraged me to do whatever I wanted.

Sidelines: I worked at a local sports bar in college and fell in love with the hospitality business.

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: I was suckered into the business by my Dad. I graduated from college with an accounting and business degree and agreed to work for the family for 2 years and get his accounting systems out of the cigar box and old school dinosaur cash registers era. That was 28 years ago. 

Woodcraft: John has been a hobbyist woodworker all his life. When all the downsizing of corporate companies hit the economy in 2006, he decided he wanted to own and grow his own business. After a year of research we decided that a franchise was the way to go and a visit with the Woodcraft corporate officers sealed the deal.

How long did it take you to open your business after having the initial idea?

Alice Louise Press: Now I realize I am not “normal” by any standards in answering this question, but I am not one that likes to sit and wait for someone else to do it, so I’d say a minimum of two months before I had the big picture already in the works and just hit the ground running. 

Bloom: The owner initially had a desire to open a counseling center during graduate school. However, it takes many years to obtain the appropriate experience and licensure to be able to open a counseling center. It took more than 10 years to see Bloom Women’s Counseling, Consulting, and Wellness, LLC. open its doors.

Boyd’s Retro Candy: That was in about 1998. It took me till 2006 to actually begin operating a store of my own.





Photo provided via BuchuVida.

BuchuVida: It took about five years to open my business after the initial idea. This time frame includes the years of downtown due to my back pain, during which I conducted research while recovering from back surgery. Despite the challenging and difficult times, I found solace in the vow of silence and the discovery of the buchu plant. During this period, I dedicated myself to studying how to write a patent and successfully wrote my own. I furthered my knowledge by taking classes on topics such as suffering from RZIM, Christianity from Harvard, and obtaining a certification in creating natural products from Formula Botanica. Additionally, I achieved my Yoga Faith certification in hopes to help people like myself. Through perseverance and personal growth, I overcame obstacles and launched my business within five years. But I didn’t do it alone. The unwavering support and belief from my family, coupled with the strength derived from my faith in God, have been instrumental in making this dream a reality. Their continuous encouragement and unwavering faith in my abilities have played a significant role in overcoming obstacles and achieving this milestone.

HLS Orthodontics: Luckily for me, the business was already open. HLS originally started as Sylvania Orthodontics and was founded by Dr. Eugene Simon in 1981. I joined the team in 2018.

Ink & Iron: I always knew I wanted to open my own business. It took about a year from development to execution.

Inside the Five: From initial idea to door opening I think was 5 years.

Jeff’s Hauling and Cleanup: I “kicked” around the idea for a few weeks before I got serious about it.

Rosie’s Italian Grille: We had been conceptualizing what another restaurant would look like ever since we closed the four Rosie’s locations in 2004 and focused on more of a fine dining experience at McCord and Nebraska as Rosie’s Italian Grille. Rosaria’s itself was obviously delayed because of COVID and the pandemic.

Sidelines: Six months.

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: I bought Dad out in 2007 when he wanted to retire and I began to elevate the Inn to new heights without jeopardizing the philosophies and what he had created dating back to 1995. It was time for fresh new menu items because times and pallets were changing out here.

Woodcraft: After the the discussions with Woodcraft officers, it was seven months of filing all the required paperwork, selecting a location, working with contractors, hiring, ordering and preparing for a December 13, 2006 opening.

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2. Finding your client

Who is your key demographic and how did you determine this?

Alice Louise Press: It started off with the higher-end bridal clientele and anyone looking to stand out from the traditional designs. More of a modern look. But since, we’ve been able to make our operation more accessible to most clientele and really our designs span not only the modern but classic feel.

Bloom: Our focus is on women’s mental health and wellness across the lifespan from ages 14 – 99. If you’re a female identifying individual we are trained and available to work with you to reach your mental health goals.

Boyd’s Retro Candy: Our focus is on women’s mental health and wellness across the lifespan from ages 14 – 99. If you’re a female identifying individual we are trained and available to work with you to reach your mental health goals.

Frankel team




Photo provided via Frankel Dentistry.

Frankel Dentistry: If you ask our staff who schedules appointments, over 70% of our dental appointments are made by moms, wives, and girlfriends. Attractive hours, two locations, individualized dental care, online scheduling, and complimentary consultations make seeing the dentist convenient. Our doctors, healthcare providers, and staff want every visit to be the best dental experience. All of these factors lead current patients to recommend Frankel Dentistry to their family and friends. Most of our new patients are referred to us by our existing patients. It is a telling compliment for us all.

HLS Orthodontics: Although the key demographic for orthodontic treatment has traditionally been middle schoolers through high schoolers, the introduction of clear ceramic braces and Invisalign has greatly increased the number of adult patients in treatment. Often, treatment is most efficient and effective when a patient has all, or most, of their permanent teeth, and is still growing, which is why so many teens and pre-teens get braces. However, we have patients of all ages. Sometimes, children need early treatment while they still have most of their baby teeth if it can help prevent the need for more complex treatment later on.

Ink & Iron: The key demographic of Ink and Iron has shifted over the years. When we first opened our demographic was primarily men. With reality television broaching the world of tattooing, all walks of life have started coming to get tattooed. Young, old, man, woman, early 20’s to mid 60’s we want a place where everyone feels welcome. Having 8 tattooers at our shop we have a little something for everyone.

Inside the Five: Our largest demographic is any craft beer drinker. But our locations are made for anyone and make all feel welcome. We are family friendly with dog friendly patios, and have something on the menu for everyone.

Jeff’s Hauling & Cleanup: Everyone is a client. We all have something that needs hauled away.

Loma Linda: The key demographic is the generations of families who have made Loma’s their tradition, starting in 1955. I cannot thank our loyal customers and employees enough.

Schmucker’s: We realize that our customer of tomorrow is the child we serve today. Also, for the past 75 years we have enjoyed growing old with many of our customers who have become our friends. All that to say we appreciate everyone who stops in.

Sidelines: Families for sure. We did not determine this; the families supported us and made us their local choice.

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: Our key demographics are of course Whitehouse, Waterville and Monclova. We also have noticed the past few years we are reaching out to guests as a destination restaurant. We have been getting guests from Michigan and Indiana quite frequently. We determine some of this by asking most guests where they are from along with guests telling us where they are from. I also determine it by walking around the parking lots like a psycho looking at license plates.

Woodcraft: Within the franchise framework, we had access to purchase history and general demographics of who our customers were within our geographic quarters as well as who we could attract to our business. With the strategic model we developed, we have also reached out to women and youth with our classes to educate and train them on safe operation of woodworking tools, training them on the various forms and skills of woodworking and supporting their interests and projects. We also sponsor all of the woodworking PBS programs on WGTE and WBGU. It helps us not only attract new customers, but also supports community PBS programming.

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3. Researching your competition

As you grew your business, what was your biggest threat from your competition and how did you overcome it?

Alice Louise Press: I never try to see others as competition in our industry. I thrive on seeing others who have made something of themselves and know that they worked just as hard as I did to get here. If anything it just pushes me to try something new, but as far as I’m concerned, there’s enough to go around.

Bloom: There is no threat. There is plenty of mental health work for us all to be able to play in the sandbox. 

Boyd’s Retro Candy: One thing I’ve always wanted to be is different from others. I never wanted to be just like the other guy. I’ve always wanted to have something no one else has. Unfortunately, we’ve become so popular that others who don’t want to stand out in the crowds, who just want to have our customer following, have tried to imitate us. They come into the store and try to figure out why others love Boyd’s and want to create the same love for a store of their own. Others have actually given us reviews where they knock Boyd’s and claim another store is better in some aspect. I always think that is a sad way to build a business.

Health Foods by Claudia: Our biggest challenge over the years has been competing with big box stores and internet selling supplements for money without the care or education necessary to go with them.

Ink & Iron: Nine years ago we were the new cats on the block. We had a difficult time proving that we deserved to be a tattoo shop in a town with such a deep history in tattooing. Over the time we have been open we have taken every step to earn the respect and care of our clients and the other shops in town.

Loma Linda: Adela always told me, “Your only competition is yourself; our troubles are all the same.”

Schmucker’s: We have seen the growth of national chains over the years. Many do it well! We have a simple plan in response: Stay the course by continuing to stay focused on Grandpa Harvey’s core beliefs. He believed that if provided quality food at a reasonable price and made sure the customer did not go away hungry that they would be back. As a fourth we have added: exceptional service. When we do this, we secure another 75 years.

Sidelines: Definitely chain restaurants. They tend to sell an inferior product, but have huge marketing budgets. We use quality to overcome it.

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: I think the biggest threat was us internally. As we grew we made mistakes, naturally, and had to adjust as quickly as we could. The last four years we have grown beyond measure and all we did was chase to catch up with it and be internally strong. Everyone here worked their butts off and we caught up with it.I don’t feel we have any threats of competition in the area.

Woodcraft: We continue to strive not to have threats, but to partner with other businesses who are interested in supporting the woodworking communities in NW Ohio and SE Michigan. We continue to refer our customers to other businesses who might better meet their specific woodworking needs. And we believe that what sets us apart as a business is our honest, direct relationship with our customers.

What sets you apart from your competition?

Alice Louise Press: A lot of what we do here is done in-house so that allows us to keep our price and production time more reasonable than say, someone who has to outsource either the design or production.

Bloom: The main thing that differentiates our counseling office from others is our focus and the specialized training of our providers in that focus area.

Boyd’s Retro Candy: If you are going to build a successful business, you must build it on some unique need you fill, not by trying to destroy someone else. Candy should be about fun and love of laughter and joy on a timeless summer day. When I think of candy, I think of those carefree summer days when I spent my allowance in the corner store.

Frankel Dentistry: At Frankel Dentistry we don’t compete, we create. Knowing our passion (changing lives a smile at a time) and our niche, (the best dental experience) while living our core values of always better, serve all, G.E.T. (gratitude, encouragement, trust) lead us to exceed the expectation of our patients.

Health Foods by Claudia: Our motto is to stay focused on what we do and continually strive to do it better and the best we can. Guiding people to reclaim their health safely, responsibly and effectively through years of firsthand experience, knowledge and heartfelt dedication will continue to be our focus and we are grateful our community trusts our guidance.

Ink & Iron




Photo provided via Ink & Iron.

Ink & Iron: Our commitment to the client experience is what sets us apart. With 8 tattooers that have 80+ years in tattoo experience we have the ability to execute a sustainable tattoo in an expert way.

Loma Linda: My years of experience, hard-work, and dedication. I’m not ready to hang the cat by its tail quite yet.

Rosie’s Italian Grille: Simply put, we are not a franchise. We are a family owned and run restaurant that offers guests to dine with us and enjoy our family recipes passed down from generation to generation.

Schmucker’s: Being a 75-year-old diner with made from scratch meals and the best staff one could ask for truly sets us apart!

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: First, I believe in our concept 100% from front to back, and it’s the best in the area. Second, we all have our own concepts and menus which gives this area choices to locally owned restaurants. Third, my dad taught me to never try to compete or concentrate on competition – it will make you weak internally.

Woodcraft: We have expert woodworkers on staff who can teach woodworking skills, provide support and recommendations for project questions, and know how wood will respond. We “help you make wood work.”


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4. Creating a business plan

What is your business model?

BuchuVida: Our business model is centered around offering a range of natural health and wellness products. Our product line includes natural products such as a patented natural deodorant, facial toner, patented shampoo, yoga mat spray, soaps, lip balm and teas. These products are created using natural ingredients, with a particular focus on the buchu plant due to its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. 

In addition to the product offerings, our business model involves a holistic approach to health and wellness. We provide information and resources to educate customers about the benefits of natural remedies, promoting overall well-being and potentially offering additional services through Yoga Faith and upcoming retreats. We have an upcoming retreat scheduled for September that may be of interest to you. You can visit our website BuchuVida, and navigate to the events page to learn more about this exciting opportunity. The retreat promises a rejuvenating experience focused on holistic wellness, providing attendees with a chance to immerse ourselves in a transformative journey towards well-being.

Flying Rhino




Photo provided via Flying Rhino.

Flying Rhino: It’s really important to me to be relatable. In specialized industries (like coffee) it’s very easy to get sidetracked with the nuances and forget the reason why we are doing what we do. People know when they come to Flying Rhino Coffee they can ask questions honestly, no matter the skill level they’re coming from. I’m really proud of that!

Frankel Dentistry: Frankel Dentistry is the first 100% employee owned dental practice in the United States.

Health Foods by Claudia: Our business model is to create success through integrity for ourselves, our team and our community.

Ink & Iron: Our business model is simple; we want to make sure that everyone feels like they are important. We are patient and have a ton of experience to make sure that we can articulate each step of the process. Putting the art first and letting the business end work itself out.

Jeff’s Hauling & Cleanup: It is easier to provide superior customer service upfront than it is to handle a customer complaint on the back end.

Loma Linda: Traditional family values, with hard work and excellent customer service. Tradition starts here.

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: Take care of the butt in the chair. 

How did you determine your big picture goals and what are they?

Boyd’s Retro Candy:  If I could recreate the corner store days when I could walk down Sylvania Ave. (licking my first Sweet Tart which I discovered in the early 60s) on my own at seven years old with no adult necessary by my side, I would. If I could create a corner store where a child could choose to save their allowance for two weeks to buy a Barbie doll dress or spend that allowance each week on a bag of candy, I would. I would love to put Boyd’s in more towns to bring joy to more families.

BuchuVida: The determination of my big picture goals has been a dynamic process, continuously evolving as my journey unfolds. When I sought a purpose from God, I received a vision that set the foundation for my aspirations. While my big picture goal has not yet fully materialized, I remain steadfast on the path towards its realization.

My initial steps involved starting the company alongside Phil, creating natural products that align with our values and promote well-being. As I delved deeper into my passion for holistic wellness, I pursued certifications in Yoga Faith and expanded our offerings to include teas. These steps were integral in shaping the direction of our business and aligning it with our long-term vision.

Looking ahead, our ultimate aspiration is to establish a comprehensive health and wellness company that caters to diverse wellness needs. We envision a platform that offers a holistic range of products, services and resources to support individuals in their well-being journeys. By combining natural products, yoga faith, teas and more, we aim to provide a comprehensive solution that nurtures mind, body and spirit.

While my big picture goal has yet to fully manifest, I embrace the belief that it is a culmination of the incremental process I make along the way. Step by step, I am committed to moving forward on this path, fueled by my vision, faith and the dedication to serving others in their pursuit of wellness.

Ink & Iron: Big picture goals include expanding our footprint in the artistic community by expanding our gallery and we have toyed around with the idea of doing classes for youths. It is so important to invest in the next generation by inspiring and educating. 

Loma Linda: The goal is to make the atmosphere welcoming and fun. People just want to get away and take a break from all their worries, with a margarita.





Photo provided via Schmucker’s.

Schmucker’s: Grandpa Harvey and Grandma Nola laid those down many, many years ago so why “mess with success?”

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: We determine some of our goals and ideas by listening to our Guests and their ideas and suggestions to see if it meets our business model. We also determine them by the demographics of the area we live in. Whitehouse and the surrounding areas are growing quickly and we need to stay ahead of it. 

What growth would you like to see with your business in the coming years?

Boyd’s Retro Candy: I would love to create a store like Boyd’s in another town where if my son sends out an April 1 message that we are closing it creates an outburst of sadness. We work hard at Boyd’s with all the supply issues and all the companies not able to make the variety they used to make because of lack of workers. It is truly appreciated each and every time someone leaves us a five star rating on Google or is in the store shopping and tells us they love our store, or sends that message on Facebook. We are truly blessed by our kind customers.

Ink & Iron: In the coming years I would like for the tattoo community as a whole to grow. I think by concentrating on what we do and making sure that we do it in a professional manner, the entire scene will be elevated and Toledo will have the ability to become a tattoo hub for the midwest and for the nation as a whole.

Jeff’s Hauling & Cleanup: We have consistently grown over the years. I would like to see the growth continue.

Loma Linda: As they say, “The more, the merrier.” Sure would help a lot.

Rosie’s Italian Grille: Ideally we would love to see Rosaria’s as busy as Rosie’s. That is the dream and the goal!

Sidelines: We are planning to open a neighborhood steak & seafood restaurant. Stay tuned.

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: We would like to create another Whitehouse Inn in the Toledo or Florida area within three years, along with a few more Crust Pizzerias if the opportunity presents itself. We are also currently in the works with an architect to move the bar at the inn into the patio area to create a beautiful new separate bar area that the younger families, our regulars and guests would enjoy.

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5. Registration & Paperwork

Were there any resources that were particularly helpful with the initial business registration and paperwork?

Alice Louise Press: The SBA (Small Business Administration) is an invaluable resource that was extremely helpful.

Health Foods by Claudia: I grew up with many family members that owned successful businesses, so business has always been in my blood. But one resource I utilized was SCORE, a wonderful organization of retired business people willing to share their expertise in all aspects of business and at no cost. I found it very helpful and would suggest any start-up to check out the organization.

Ink & Iron: Unfortunately, there were not a lot of resources available for a tattoo parlor. The government in general is playing catch up with the popularity of tattooing. It would be a great thing if there was a coalition of tattooers that could bend the ears of the politicians/city employees.

Inside the Five: We leaned on others in the industry for guidance and direction. Funky Buddha Brewery was our biggest mentor in the start up process.

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: Of the last six or so restaurants I have been involved with, we always bring out the health department to see what they would like us to change or update before we do anything. It will save you lots of headaches and disappointments. Hire an accountant for sure.





Photo provided via Woodcraft.

Woodcraft: We are a strong supporter of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and any local opportunities (i.e., UT and BGSU seminars) that educate prospective entrepreneurs. There are so many classes and seminars available to help entrepreneurs along their path to becoming business owners – from understanding what the different types of businesses are and how to develop a business plan through understanding legal and state requirements, human resource needs and training, inventory modeling to record and accounting needs, assessment and evaluation reports, marketing and mining for new customers, supporting and complimentary services and planning for the future of the business. We also found networking with retail consultants and groups to field questions, generate creative ideas, share concerns and find solutions and support have been invaluable.

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6. Funding & Finances

Was there a business expense you weren’t prepared for or that you would recommend new business owners be on the lookout for?

Flying Rhino: The most unexpected business expense is always time. We want to think we can do it all. I can figure out most things myself (with enough time) but that doesn’t mean that I should! Time is valuable and finite. As a small business owner, knowing your capabilities and delegating wisely is a must.

Ink & Iron: The biggest expense that gets overlooked by most business owners is their  incidentals. They don’t keep enough money in the business for those crazy moments. Taking as little as 2-3% and allocating that throughout the years is how Ink and Iron has had the ability to survive floods, renovations and a pandemic.

Inside the Five: Legal fees. We found a lawyer to guide us in some initial business decisions. Many people see this as costly advice and not necessary, but it helped us to be more confident, knowing we were doing things the right way. 

Rosie’s Italian Grille: We had set our budget for Rosaria’s prior to COVID. While in construction, during the pandemic, everything had changed. Resources were harder to come by and the cost for labor and materials skyrocketed.

Sidelines: Taxes, taxes, taxes.

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: Where do I begin with this one? I own the building so all those unexpected expenses are going to hit you at some point in time. For me it has been a year to year overhaul on most everything from a new HVAC roof unit to all the air conditioning units outside. We replaced the roof five years ago, water heater years ago and probably every piece of equipment in the building. My advice would be to budget a certain dollar amount each year to safeguard yourself. I would also recommend to budget more than you would like to.

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7. Compiling business tools

What’s one unique tool that’s essential for your everyday business function?

Boyd’s Retro Candy: We’ve been fortunate over the years to employ workers who have become like family to us and have cared that we are successful as well. Without those workers, each with their unique talent, we could not have continued in business. We’ve had so many different types of employee talents. Some have been shelf scourers — if no customer was in the store they were going through our stock making sure everything was out on the shelves and filled waiting for customers. We’ve had baggers — workers whose goal is to make sure when customers come in the store, their sought-for product is bagged and ready for them to pick it up off the shelf. We’ve had treaters — employees who want to put together a special mix of candy in a grab bag for the joy of treating a customer to a mix they will love.

Flying Rhino: My roaster – it’s the backbone of my business. When I first purchased this company five years ago, we used a roaster that was a replica from the turn of the century. I wouldn’t trade those beginning days for anything. But, with a growing business I am definitely grateful to have upgraded our equipment for efficiency’s sake.

HLS Orthodontics: We use a 3D printer every day. By printing models of your teeth, we are more efficiently able to place your braces and are able to easily create retainers. Models for retainers used to be made from plaster, which broke after making a single retainer. Now, we can make unlimited retainers from the same 3D model, which is great news for people who tend to misplace things. 

Ink & Iron: People. Hahaha. Can’t tattoo fruit and fake skin forever.

Inside the Five: Our amazing designer Rae. After a few years, we decided to hire an employee to solely focus on our brand consistency including our website and social media. It was one of the smartest decisions we made.

Loma Linda: The microphone! Everyone knows, you wanna go, where the microphone knows your name!

Schmucker’s: A 1952 NCR cash register and a three coin slot payphone in a wooden phone booth.

Sidelines: POS system for the business. It tracks all sales, payroll, etc.

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: I feel our most unique tool that’s essential each day is our general manager. He’s the maestro and makes sure this wonderful restaurant runs like a fine tuned machine from front to back along with making sure each guest enjoys their time here.

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8. Marketing your business

What would you say to encourage new/potential customers to stop in?

Bloom: While we are not able to accommodate walk-in appointments/customers, anyone who is interested in our services is invited to call us at 419-326-5732, or visit our website www.bloomwomenscounseling.com for more information.

BuchuVida: Personalized Experience: At BuchuVida, we prioritize providing a personalized experience for every customer who walks through our doors. Our knowledgeable staff is dedicated to understanding your unique wellness needs and goals, ensuring that you receive tailored recommendations and guidance to enhance your well-being journey.

Premium Natural Products: Our brick-and-mortar store showcases a wide range of premium natural health and wellness products. From our carefully crafted patented natural deodorants and facial toners to our patented shampoos and soothing teas, each item is thoughtfully formulated with high-quality ingredients to promote optimal wellness and vitality.

Hands-On Sampling: When you visit our physical store, you have the opportunity to sample our products firsthand. Experience the delightful textures, captivating scents and beneficial effects of our natural offerings. This tactile experience allows you to make informed decisions and find the products that resonate with your needs and preferences.

In-Person Expert Guidance: Our dedicated team is available to provide in-person expert guidance and answer any questions you may have. Whether you’re seeking advice on specific health concerns, looking for holistic wellness recommendations or simply curious about the benefits of our products, we are here to offer personalized support and share our extensive knowledge.

Community and Connections: BuchuVida’s brick-and-mortar store serves as a hub for wellness enthusiasts and like-minded individuals. By visiting our store, you can connect with a community that shares your passion for natural well-being. We host workshops, events and gatherings that foster connections, inspire personal growth and provide opportunities for learning and self-care.

Exclusive In-Store Promotions: As a special treat for our in-store customers, we offer exclusive promotions and discounts that are only available when you visit our physical location. Take advantage of these limited-time offers and discover exceptional value while exploring our extensive product range.

By visiting BuchuVida’s brick-and-mortar store, you’ll gain access to a personalized, hands-on experience, expert guidance, a supportive community and exclusive promotions. We invite you to step into our store and embark on a wellness journey that nourishes your mind, body and spirit. We look forward to welcoming you and helping you discover the transformative power of natural health and wellness firsthand.

Flying Rhino: Flying Rhino Coffee is always evolving. Our roastery is really something special in Toledo. You can see the roaster running and coffee being manufactured. We have new coffee selections all the time and a very impressive selection of coffee brewing equipment. It’s a hidden gem. When new customers come in they always feel like they have been let in on a secret. It’s a positive space with good vibes and great coffee. What more could you want?

Frankel Dentistry: Great patients know great patients. Our dental family grows because our patients love us and refer us to their family and friends. Frankel Dentistry has Toledo’s best marketing team, their patients.

HLS Orthodontics: We love seeing how patient smiles and self-confidence improve through orthodontic treatment. There is no need to feel self-conscious about your current smile or worry about coming in because our job is to help you develop the perfect smile. We even have a 3D scanner that allows us to simulate how your teeth will look after they are aligned.

Ink & Iron: If you have been thinking about coming to get tattooed, stop by. Ink and Iron is a friendly environment based on information. If you feel like you are nervous or worried about the ins and outs of the tattoo industry, we can mitigate that and make you feel more comfortable with the overall process. Ultimately, even if you don’t get tattooed, you can enjoy the art!

Jeff’s Hauling & Cleanup: Give us a call and you’ll see why we have been voted the best junk removal company in the Toledo area for 4 years in a row.

Rosie’s Italian Grille: I would tell new or potential customers that Rosaria’s is a family owned and run restaurant. We are your neighbors and we just want to invite you to our home. Our guests are our friends and that is the culture we instilled at Rosie’s and now here in Perrysburg at Rosaria’s.

Sidelines: We only use quality ingredients. For example, all of our proteins are hormone-free, responsibly raised and all-natural.

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: If you’re an American president lover this is your place from an atmospheric perspective. Our menu has something for everyone from filets, prime rib to liver and onions. Not that I’m a world traveler, but I would put our prime rib up against any in the area along with our french onion soup, perch dinner and, of course, the margaritas. Our lunch and dinner menus are very unique with all fresh ingredients. We even have a monthly kids contest on the kid’s menu where they have a chance to win an Amazon gift card. 

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9. Giving back to the community

When did you know that you made it as an established business?

Alice Louise Press: I feel as though my business is constantly evolving and growing so establishing goals and hitting them is one way to feel established. For instance, quitting my day job and being able to support myself with my own business was a goal, opening up a shop was a goal, hiring employees was a goal and definitely giving myself a steady paycheck was a goal. I suppose since I’ve hit those goals that makes me an established business. 

Bloom: When we needed to hire more therapists.

HLS Orthodontics: Although I wasn’t around when the business was established, getting to accept an award at the Best of Toledo celebration the year after I started at HLS made me feel like I was part of a great business.

Ink & Iron: I made it as an established business? Hahaha. I don’t know that I personally can ever enter the space of comfort when it comes to business. Stay humble and work hard. Someone is always working harder than you. 

Rosie’s Italian Grille: We just had our one-year anniversary back in June so we are still putting our roots down. Even with Rosie’s I have never let myself get too comfortable as an establishment. Things can change very quickly in this industry.

Sidelines: After I failed and dusted myself off, educated myself more and opened a new location. 

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: When I started making money. No, seriously I never sit back or think I’m an established business because I always want to improve and get better each day, month and year and be the Even though I’m retired from sports, I still have a crazy competitive drive. Ask my employees – it kind of annoys them. Maybe when we have people standing outside the door the moment we open, we may have an established business.

What’s another locally owned business you admire and why?

Alice Louise Press: Bee for The Day is a local, woman-owned wedding planning business that I’ve always admired since I’ve gotten into this industry. Brooke Lauber-Cobb has been a great influence and mentor and has shown me tremendous support along my business journey. 

Bloom: There are so many wonderful counseling centers and mental health services in the area. We all have so much to offer. At Bloom Women’s Counseling, Consulting, and Wellness, we always admire and promote any business in the area that is female owned and operated. Female owned businesses and agencies that we are particularly fond of are Axium Lux, GOAL Physical Therapy and Solace Health and Wellness.

HLS Orthodontics: Jupmode is an awesome business.  Their shirts are super comfy, they rep Toledo and the Midwest, and they even have a “Here for Good” fundraiser to support other local businesses.

Ink & Iron: I have so many friends that own businesses around town; someone that truly inspires me to diversify and grow is Kengo Kato. His commitment to excellence has earned my respect and my business for years. Kengo, best sashimi in town. Kato, best ramen in town. Shobu, expanding the footprint of sushi. The man doesn’t miss. 

Jeff’s Hauling & Cleanup: I admire all local businesses. They all have a different story to tell. They all come from diverse backgrounds and have overcome obstacles to build a successful business.

Rosie’s Italian Grille: I have two. The Mancy and Sofo families are the ones I truly admire. Both of these businesses are like Rosie’s being as they are family owned and operated with deep roots in our community bringing quality food to the area generation after generation.

Schmucker’s: Bayer Hardware of Reynolds Corners. They opened in 1929 and still today if you have anything you need to figure out or fix, they will do all they can to make it happen. Phil and Scott are great.

Sidelines: Deets BBQ. Trevor works his business every day. He gets it.

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: We enjoy Local Thyme down the road and the owner Skip. We also enjoy Tom and his menu at Chowders and more. We also enjoy Benchmark, Fifth Street Pub, Rosaria’s in Perrysburg. When one of our many kids has a birthday and they get to pick, it seems we are always at Nagoya doing the hibachi. We don’t support the chains, but have to make an exception occasionally. 

Woodcraft: There are too many to mention. We look for other businesses or organizations willing to share ideas, partner, mentor, support community events, etc.

How do you feel your business impacts the community?

Alice Louise Press: I’d like to think that my little shop gives people a touch of inspiration and a few laughs.

Bloom: We hope that our business impacts the community by providing a mental health space that allows women to feel safe and supported both locally and across the state.

BuchuVida: Our business has a significant impact on the community in multiple ways. In addition to the positive influence our natural health and wellness products bring to individuals’ lives, we also make a tangible difference through our charitable initiatives. 

By donating 100% of our proceeds being sold online during a week in September we actively contribute to the International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference put on by the University of Toledo in our area. This support helps raise awareness, fund crucial programs and provide resources to combat this heinous crime. Through our partnership with this conference, we strive to make a meaningful impact in the lives of trafficking survivors and work towards a world free from exploitation.

Ultimately, our business seeks to be a catalyst for positive change, not only by offering natural products and promoting holistic wellness but also by actively contributing to important social causes. Through our community impact, we aspire to inspire others, make a difference and create a better world for everyone.

Frankel Dentistry: The Wednesday before Thanksgiving Frankel Dentistry opens the Toledo office offering complimentary treatment to  anyone with dental pain. The doctors, healthcare providers and dental staff donate their time to help others.

Health Foods by Claudia: I believe our business impacts our community in a very positive way because we witness individuals reclaim their health safely and effectively on a daily basis. We will always be a voice reminding everyone that our human body is a miraculous machine and designed to heal when given the proper tools to do so. That message means a lot to those that choose to embrace it.

HLS Orthodontics: A smile can make a huge difference in someone’s life. By straightening teeth, we help patients gain confidence in themselves. People want to show off their teeth much more after the braces come off, and everyone deserves a smile they’re proud of.

Ink & Iron: Ink and Iron concentrates on elevating the tattoo community. We are friendly and care about each other and the community as a whole. We are a group of artists that just want to grow and learn from our experiences while breaking stereotypes. Showing the community in Toledo that we can work together and create more peace, tattooed or not. That’s what is important today, harmony.

Jeff’s Hauling & Cleanup: We impact the community through our “givebacks” to local charities and non-profit organizations. We provide an essential service by removing trash and debris. We also organize community and neighborhood cleanups. We are committed to keeping our community clean.

Schmucker’s: Being a place where strangers become friends. It’s a story that repeats itself time after time. We also impact the community by giving back. It is our way of saying thank you to Greater Toledo for supporting us year after year. Pie Day fundraiser for Cherry Street Mission and our fundraiser for Sunshine Communities that we will be doing July 31 for our 75th anniversary.

Whitehouse Inn & Crust: I feel our business impacts the community by how much we give back to the community with both the inn and Crust. We get calls and letters weekly for worthwhile organizations that we do support at times but we try to keep 95% off our donations and support here in the community. It’s not just donations, it’s also fundraising, which is so much more fun because it introduces new guests and guests that may not have been here for a while.

Woodcraft: We hope we set a positive example. We support the annual national Turn for Troops event where woodworkers turn a wooden pen that is sent to our service men and women. We have an annual slab sale where we highlight the local sawyers as well as help them sell their domestic wood slabs. We have a Children’s Toy Workshop where they make two wooden toys – one to keep and one to donate to our annual Toys for Kids drive and all supplies and professional support during the workshop is donated. All of our Toys for Kids donations are donated to the Lucas County Children Protective Services and the Salvation Army. Throughout the year we display small projects made by our customers. We partner with the Maumee Bay Carvers and donate the room for their meetings and they do demos to display their carvings and talk about their club – and the list continues.