2021 in Review | Village Businesses
- Published: January 6, 2022
In January, Millworks was back on the market. The local industrial park had been purchased by Jessica Yamamoto and Anthony Molina in 2018, and the pair listed it for sale after initial plans for artist housing, a hostel, community kitchens, maker spaces and a children’s museum fell through.
In March, the park was purchased by villager and realtor Allison Moody.
The same month, longtime Millworks business EnviroFlight announced that it would be leaving the village at the end of 2022, taking with it 20 jobs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in utility payments and payroll taxes.
EnviroFlight was founded in 2009 by Glen Courtright and later purchased by Darling Industries. After Millworks owners Yamamoto and Molina decided not to renew EnviroFlight’s lease, the business decided to expand its Maysville, Ky., headquarters rather than move its local operations elsewhere in the village.
Chamber and DBA
In March, the News reported on the YS Chamber’s Alexandra Scott, who was entering her fourth month as interim director after longtime director Karen Wintrow’s departure the previous October.
In July, the Chamber hired Xenia resident Elizabeth Ford as director, but she was let go after only 13 days, following backlash from Chamber members and villagers over problematic posts Ford had made on her Facebook account, including some that were deemed racist and transphobic.
Several businesses discontinued their Chamber membership, citing a lack of transparency in the hiring process and an overall feeling of underrepresentation. At the same time, business owners became more vocal about issues that directly affected them through a new collaborative group called the Downtown Business Association, or DBA, which only extends membership to local businesses.
Celebrating 50 years
Ohio Silver celebrated 50 years of operation in 2021. Begun in November 1971, the store was originally called Standing Room Only, or SRO, and was located in Kings Yard. The store, founded by Tucker and Kris Viemeister and Kerry Moore, is currently owned by Marcia Walgren and moved to its present location on Xenia Avenue in 1977.
New, developing businesses
In February, villagers Mark and Lesley Obstalecki opened Coactive Yellow Springs, which offers office and collaborative space for small businesses, on South High Street in the industrial building formerly occupied by Ertel Publishing.
In early March, longtime villager Coltrane Richlen opened Rosie’s Natural Foods at the previous site of Starflower Natural Foods.
Tuck-N-Reds distillery held its grand opening in Millworks in April, celebrated by owners Charles “Red” Harrell, Tucker “Tuck” Thompson and John Mick.
Belinda Stephens opened Beya Skin Studio, a skincare and aesthetic services salon, in the 100 Corry Street business suite in May.
The News reported in May that local artists Selena Loomis and Jaclyn Stephens were set to debut a new patron-supported subscription art service, CSArt, based on the community supported agriculture model.
The News reported that The Ohio Coffee Co. was under construction in August in the storefront previously occupied by Spirited Goat Coffeehouse. Its owner, Angelo Caliguiri, anticipated that the business would debut later that month, but it has yet to open.
In November it was announced that Clifton Crafthouse Co-op had begun selling ownership shares and is slated to open the first phase of its development in 2022. The cooperatively owned taphouse, event space and artist residences will be housed at the former Weber’s Antiques in Clifton.
Rob Houk and Karina Tafolla opened Yellow Springs Baking Co. in Millworks in December. To date, the new business sells pastries like cinnamon rolls and empanadas.
Transitions and expansions
At 108 Dayton St., Brother Bear’s Coffee and Wyld Hare Dreadlocks opened brick and mortar stores, and Village Cyclery expanded into the former Design Sleep storefront in the same building.
Epic Books moved back to its original location at 232 Xenia Ave. after Wildflower Boutique vacated that space and moved into the former Rita Caz building in Kings Yard.
Toxic Beauty expanded its operation into a downstairs showroom at its Xenia Avenue location.
In March, it was reported that longtime villager Tim Sontag had retired from Xenia Shoe & Leather after 38 years. Sontag founded the store in downtown Xenia in June of 1982.
In April, the board of trustees of the Little Art Theatre announced that former owner and longtime executive director Jenny Cowperthwaite Ruka had stepped down from her position after 42 years. In July, Kristina Heaton, who resides in Beavercreek, was hired to fill the position.
The YS Brewery opened its second location, the Barrel Room, in early April on Xenia Avenue in the former Village Lanes bowling alley, which YS Brewery purchased in 2016 and has used for warehousing and production since then.
Young’s Jersey Dairy resumed building its new Dairy Store after construction was halted due to the pandemic, also closing its Golden Jersey Inn and replacing it with an events center. The new 22,000-square-foot Dairy Store officially opened in late August behind the old location, built in 1968, which was torn down the following month.
In May, the Emporium rolled out the Emporium Customer Appreciation Program, or ECAP, which offers discounts on some items to local customers as a way to offset business-wide price hikes.
Villager Matthew Kirk purchased the Corner Cone from Bob Swaney in June. The business, renamed O&E’s Corner Cone, reopened in July after being closed since the previous fall.
Miami Valley Educational Computer Association, or MVECA, moved its operations from the Greene County Educational Services Center to 888 Dayton St. in August. MVECA purchased the property in late July for $2.4 million; its previous occupant, DMS Ink, left the village this year.
Yellow Springs Hardware changed hands in October when villager Dan Badger bought the business — only the fourth time in the store’s 94-year history that the business has shifted ownership.