Shopping: Celebrate Local

By Columbus Alive
From the Shopping: Celebrate Local edition

This summer Easton Town Center began a weekly farmers market in one of its parking lots. The markets were so successful, they’ve yielded a crop: a pop-up shop of Ohio-made products.

Celebrate Local, in the space between C.O. Bigelow and Kay Jewelers, is like the farmers market without the farmers.

“There were so many wonderful repeat customers” at the Easton Farmers Market, said Heidi Maybruck of the Maybruck Group, which managed the market. “A light bulb went off,” and she passed along the idea of opening a brick and mortar store with these products.

See the light this weekend at Celebrate Local’s grand opening Oct. 1. The shop will tentatively be open through January.

Store manager Connie De Jong is excited about the opportunity to teach customers about fair trade. De Jong is the executive director of Columbus’ fair trade bulwark Global Gallery, a member of the Celebrate Local collaboration which also includes the nonprofit Economic and Community Development Institute and the Easton Community Foundation.

“We want to sell a lot for our vendors and help consumers understand fair trade,” De Jong said. “Keeping their products from Ohio, that’s the best way to go.”

More than 80 vendors are selling items at the store now, and the list is growing. Art, beauty products and accessories are for sale. Foodstuffs from Ohio farms are the staples. Among them are jams from Fredericktown’s Ann’s Raspberry Farm, bison hot dogs from Grove City’s Ohio Bison Farm and maple syrup from Athens’ Sticky Pete’s.

“Shoppers will be able to fill up their shopping basket and go home and cook,” De Jong said.

Products buy-local proponents will recognize include Wholly Craft creations, T-shirts by Alison Rose and Traxler Tees, Anne Holman jewelry and Jeni’s ice cream.

The store is waiting for its liquor license, and will soon sell wine and beer as well.

Photos by Jodi Miller