Upcoming Chamber Events
- Ribbon Cutting & Grand Re-Opening: West Liberty Splash Pad 05/29/2021
- Ribbon Cutting: Heaven's Dew Agriculture & Healthy Home 06/04/2021
- YP Lunch & Tour of Myeerah Nature Preserve 06/11/2021
Member of the Month Spotlight
LOGAN COUNTY FARMERS MARKET
Back in 1996, a few Logan County producers had an epiphany: rather than driving back and forth to Columbus to sell their goods at other farmers markets every weekend, maybe they could pull off a market in Bellefontaine to keep their products in the same area they were grown in. Starting with just five vendors, the Logan County Farmers Market began. Those five vendors saw steady growth year after year - a sign that Logan County was finding value in their locally produced goods.
After a few location changes, several successful federal grants, and an organizational shift, the Logan County Food System Initiative, which oversees the Logan County Farmers Market, is proud to offer two physical farmers markets in downtown Bellefontaine and Lakeview as well as an off-season online market. The market boasts over thirty local vendors and is excited to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year.
"The best part about food is that everyone needs it," shared MacKenzie Myers Fitzpatrick, Food System Coordinator and Board Secretary of the Logan County Food System Initiative. "Whether they are a producer, a customer, a volunteer, a sponsor, a student, or any other way of identifying within the market or food system, each individual has their own relationship with food. Our organization works hard to facilitate those relationships, aiming to create accessible experiences for every role."
The market founders felt it was important to bring the value of local, ethically grown produce to the residents of Logan County just as they had seen in the Columbus markets. "This step creates a wonderful economic opportunity for the community while benefiting the residents and vendors alike with shorter commutes, better health options, new food experiences and more," said MacKenzie. "So for our organization, Logan County is home because what better place to share love and joy through food than home?"
The market is open to vendors within 40 miles of downtown Bellefontaine. In addition to the three markets, the Logan County Food Systems Initiative offers outreach and educational experiences as well as integrative events with its various community partners. Vendors at the Logan County Farmers Market and its offshoots are required to grow the produce that they sell at the market, a value that they are proud to uphold as it becomes increasingly rare as "eating local" gains a broader definition nationwide.
The pandemic brought a significant shift to the operations of the Logan County Farmers Market. Beginning in March of last year, the team began to work diligently on a long-time dream of implementing a virtual market option for Logan County. Just one month later in April 2020, the team was able to launch LCFM Online, a weekly online market where community members could place streamlined orders from Logan County vendors. The online market continues to operate in the off-season from October through April.
More information on the Logan County Food System Initiative is available at locofood.org. You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Please join us in congratulating the Logan County Farmers Market on 25 years and for being named the Logan County Chamber Member of the Month.
2020 Stars In Business Award Winners
Matt Wiley - Max Evans Tourism Award Winner
This award is presented annually by the Chamber and Visitors Bureau Council to a person who exhibits hospitality to visitors and tourists in our community and for tirelessly working to promote Logan County attractions.
This year's winner is Matt Wiley, the executive director at Marmon Valley Farm. Matt grew up at Marmon Valley Farm as the son of the owners, Bill and Phyllis. He fondly became known as "Wrangler Matt" and his parents handed the reins over for the business and ministry in 1984.
Logan County Farmers Market - Nonprofit of the Year
The Non-Profit of the Year award is given to an agency that shows dedication to improving lives and strengthening our community.
The Logan County Farmers Market began in 1996 with 5 vendors who cared about how food was grown, where it came from, and sharing these values with the local community. It has been the work of the dedicated Vendors, Customers, Board Members, and various volunteers over time that brought this organization to a day where they are able to welcome 20+ vendors and over 750 families each week, add value to the local economic systems, and provide for families in Logan County.
Jacob Schroeder - Young Professional of the Year
The Young Professional of the Year Award is given to an applicant who has devoted time to improving the quality of life of others through civic and community service and is actively developing leadership skills and demonstrating growth towards future goals.
Jacob Schroeder is the CEO and founder of Ascend Consulting, the Co-Founder of Hydda Living and the Co-Founder of Ideation: Think Forward. Jacob launched Ascend in 2017 with a passion to help small business owners truly understand and scale their businesses. As a Logan County native, Jacob is so grateful for the amazing community that Logan County has become and hopes that other young professionals are inspired to make Logan County their home.
P. Allan Properties - Emerging Business Award Winner
The Emerging Business of the Year Award is presented to a business who exemplifies a unique business idea, marketing approach or management style that have contributed to its growth and success.
P. Allan Properties was started in 2016, when Patrick and Jenna James returned home to Logan County after 11 years of service in the U.S. Air Force. Over the past 3 years, they, along with their Director of Operations and part-owner, Tyler Thompson, have grown from owning and operating a single duplex rental to 52 residential & commercial rental units.
City Sweets & Creamery - Small Business of the Year
The Small Business of the Year Award is presented to an independently owned Logan County business that is financially strong and profitable and has shown a history of growth.
City Sweets and Creamery began in February 2015 after the success of owner Angie Hall's original business, the Donut Shop & Bakery on the Lake. From fresh donuts – still made from scratch daily – to cookies, cupcakes, brownies, pastries, and ice cream, City Sweets and Creamery fulfills any sweet craving, and has become a staple of downtown Bellefontaine.
Steve Buchenroth - Entrepreneur of the Year Award
The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is given to an individual who has made a significant investment and impact on Economic Development in Logan County. The award winner exhibits an innovative spirit and willingness to take risks to provide products, services and employment opportunities for our community.
Steve Buchenroth is a 1980 graduate of Indian Lake High School and a 1986 graduate of The Ohio State University, and today is the owner of Midwest Corporate Air and World Class Plastics, Inc. Midwest Corporate Air trains over 200 pilots each year from nearly every state in the nation. To date, they have trained over 1,000 multi-engine pilots and several hundred Certified Flight Instructors. World Class Plastics employs over 90 people to produce injection-molded products for customers in the automotive, medical, industrial, and aerospace markets.
Dairy Queen of Bellefontaine - Integrity in Business Award Winner
The Integrity in Business Award is presented to a business that is recognized for providing quality service with honesty and probity to the Logan County Community.
Graduates of Bellefontaine High School, Chris Leasure and Dal McDonald are lifelong Logan County residents and supporters of our community. Dairy Queen regularly employs over 30 individuals, many of whom are high school students from across the county. Chris and Dal are always happy to support their young employees' fundraisers - anything ranging from yearbooks to senior prom.
Doug Zimmerman - Richard J. Rupp Leadership Award Winner
The Richard J. Rupp Leadership Award is given to an individual who has made a significant impact in Logan County with his/her outstanding leadership skills. In addition, they are recognized for their commitment, vision and dedication to our community.
Since beginning in the Real Estate industry almost 40 years ago, Doug Zimmerman has worked tirelessly for the betterment of his community. While growing his own real estate company and participating in numerous professional leadership positions at the local, regional and state levels, Doug has used his resources and experiential knowledge to generously support and promote local schools and education, health care, community events, veteran's services, law enforcement, and church organizations. Preferring to stay out of the spotlight and pass the credit on to others, Doug works quietly behind the scenes, promoting our community. Doug never misses the opportunity to support an idea he feels will help Logan County continue to grow. Over the years, Doug has mentored many local young Real Estate Agents and business owners, hoping they too will continue to support the community they call home.