Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2010
In an economy where chain retailers sell everything on the cheap and their customers push for even lower prices, is there still a place for products made by skilled craftsmen? On the next Sound of Ideas, we roll up our sleeves to find out about people in northeast Ohio who still make things by hand and how they find a market. Who buys artisan bread when the supermarket has a thousand mass-produced loaves? Plenty of people, it turns out. Hand-crafted goods, from food to stone fences, Tuesday at 9:00 on 90.3.
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I still buy food that is hand made-sausage from the Sausage Shoppe on Memphis in Old Brooklyn, ice cream from Honey Hut on Pearl in Cleveland and multi grain bread from Stone Oven in Cleveland Heights. In addition, our furniture is Amish made in Ohio.
I am so thrilled that this discussion is happening. My husband and I opened an independent bakery in cleveland heights 15 years ago. He learned to bake bread and pastry at the age of 16 in Switzerland, where he did his apprenticeship. Three years later he was a baker. If we as a society want locally and artisan products then we also need to make it possible for high school students to have the opportunity to really learn a trade.
In Wooster we started a cooperative market called Local Roots where (very) small businesses can connect to shoppers by sharing a downtown storefront. We carry mostly food, but also hand-made soaps, arts & crafts. This way, shoppers can easily connect to the great products being made locally and support their neighbors with each purchase. Thanks for doing this story!
I am the operator of Chagrin Valley Soap, in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. I truly believe a big difference as time goes, is how the consumer is becoming so educated and knowledgeable about what we buy and use. We don’t even advertise! Customers get online and search for what we offer every day. Consumers know they want quality, legitimacy in a product and a fair price. The educated consumer seems to be happy to look a touch harder a pay just a touch more for a HANDMADE and authentic QUALITY product. Good for all of us! -Sam, Chagrin Valley Soap
It is interesting to find that in today’s economic climate, people appear to be getting more creative. Producing goods, growing food and working with your hands is becoming increasingly popular. The growing traffic at local markets is testament to how eager the public is to be part of the process.
I am particularly proud of my son and daughter-in-law who have recently begun a business roasting and grinding coffees from all over the world. Their participation in local markets with a product that is freshly roasted in small batches has been getting them great word of mouth and a lot of repeat customers.
More power to all the talented entrepreneurs in our area!
I was so happy to hear this show, and was thrilled that you chose to interview Jody from Daybreak Lavender Farm and Sabine from Breadsmith since I’ve been a customer of both businesses for several years now. Both make wonderful products and as a small business owner myself, I prefer to patronize other small, local businesses. Thanks for a great show!
I live in Lakewood, yet drive daily to my job at Don Drumm Gallery in Akron. It’s one of the top 25 galleries in the country! Don works in a variety of metals and his sculptures, both functional and decorative, are made of cast aluminum, pewter, and cut metals. His works appeard in public spaces across the country as well all around Akron.
The Drumms, Don, and his wife, Lisa, who is also an artist, have supported the work of hundreds of other American artists by purchasing and selling their artwork in the gallery. Our constant goal is to introduce an artist to our customers through the handcrafted pieces they make. For anyone seeking fine craft, we welcome you! And to find both emerging and established artists, our area provides numerous fine craft shows where you can meet the people who make the work. For me, it has been a lifelong passion. Drinking my locally roasted coffee in a mug made by George Roby or Sandy Miller becomes a visit with a friend! Thank you for a great show!