Celebrate Local open house scheduled for today

Easton Town Center will soon feature Celebrate Local, a new shop dedicated to selling Ohio-produced merchandise, in the former Harry and David store at 4030 The Strand East.

Interested vendors can attend an open house today from 2-4 p.m. at the shop, where they will be able to explore the space, ask questions, and meet with store manager Connie De Jong, owner of local fair-trade boutique Global Gallery.

The  shop can accommodate 60 or more vendors, depending on the size of their merchandise.

“Space is filling up fast, but we are eager to work with great local brands and encourage interested vendors to send in applications as soon as possible,” says Evelyn Ebert, development and communications manager at the Economic and Community Development Institute.

Celebrate Local is the result of a collaboration between ECDI, Global Gallery, and the Easton Community Foundation.

Easton Community Foundation will provide the Celebrate Local storefront and utilities. ECDI will provide marketing for the shop, and provide training, technical assistance and loan capital to vendors who need it. Global Gallery will be responsible for managing the store and vendor relationships.

As the shop will be open for business from Oct. 1-Jan. 31, it will give Ohio farmers, growers, food artisans, handcrafters, artists and other local specialty retailers a presence at Easton during the busy holiday season. Plus, it introduces their products to a new market at minimal risk to the business.

“While many ECDI clients will be represented, it is our goal to provide local organizations with access to retail markets as part of our local small business development initiatives,” Ebert says.

Further, ECDI will offer a special loan package to all vendors who are interested in being part of Celebrate Local, but need an injection of capital to scale up their inventory or purchase equipment, she says. However, all loans must go through ECDI’s underwriting process and are not guaranteed to vendors.

All net profits from Celebrate Local will benefit Easton Community Foundation and ECDI’s Invest Local Ohio program, which provides loan capital, training and technical assistance to small businesses.

To learn more about Celebrate Local, interested parties can contact Patty Tumen at ptumen@ecdi.org or 614-732-0577.