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Hi. My name is Rachel and I LOVE Ohio. Like, I really, truly, have a passion for my home state. We produce amazing people, products, and industry. I always try to buy as local as possible, but it’s especially important for me at this time of year. There are just so many local options from amazing creators right here in Northeast Ohio.
Not sure where to start knocking off your holiday gifts? I’ve rounded up my favorite local ideas below!
Pope’s Kitchen Bloody Mary Mix.
I am a recent convert to the Bloody Mary. The spicy aroma has always been something that has reminded me of my grandmother. But Pope’s Kitchen puts a fresh, local, and extra spicy spin on the traditional bloody mary. When I was pregnant with Remy I used to just drink the mix straight up (I had a craving for spicy!).
Want fresh, locally-roasted coffee? Look no further than S. High Street in Akron! Their love for their coffee and the roasting process is evident in each pour over they serve.
Akron Honey is a family operated, artisan honey company, and they have recently opened up a brick and mortar store at the Northside Marketplace in Downtown Akron. I’ve personally tasted all of their honey, but the Middlebury Butter remains my favorite. I put it on everything — bread, apples, you name it!
Vitamix is the leader in culinary blenders and food processors — and they are also a local Ohio company, with their headquarters located in Olmsted Falls!
Their products are produced, manufactured, and distributed here locally — and for those of us in Northeast Ohio, that means we’re lucky enough to get the first peak at new products! This past year I received the A3500 and was able to get rid of my old Vitamix. Let me tell you, this new version is incredible and so easy to use!
With the slogan “You’ve never been this close,” the folks at the Akron Zoo truly mean it! The zoo itself is the perfect size to take children of all ages for a few hours or an all day excursion. The recently renovated exhibits are absolutely stunning! And members are able to get discount admission on events ranging from Brew at the Zoo to Wild Lights!
The CVSR, operated wholly by volunteers, leaves either the Rockside Station in Independence or the Northside Station in Akron. You can hop on with a round-trip ticket or bike one way and take it one way back! Besides just regular train rides, the CVSR offers a variety of special events, such as The Polar Express and Ales On Rails!
We have a lot of options when it comes to local t-shirts here in Northeast Ohio. My favorites, by far, come from the Social Department. Located in my town of Cuyahoga Falls, they offer an eclectic variety of Midwest apparel.
Their sizes range from kids to adults, so no one will be left out! My personal faves are this Cleveland Indians shirt (which I bought for my husband last year) and this Go Local Sports Team shirt (which I should totally have because, sports!).
Located right next door to The Social Department, HiHo Brewing Company is a welcomed addition to Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls this last year. And their beers are incredible, too! Former teachers turned craft brewers, Ali and Jon, have turned this spot into one of Northeast Ohio’s most popular breweries!
They offer a range of beer, from blond ales to stouts, and tapas style food options. Don’t know what you want? Try a flight!
Café O’Play, located in Stow right off of Route 8, is a safe and fun indoor play place for kids ages crawlers through tweens! They offer climbing activities for young and old, as well as a special toddler-only zone for a safe-space for those who are just past the crawling stage, 7-days a week.
You can purchase gift cards in person or online here (gift cards available in denominations of $25, $50, and $100).
Not from Northeast Ohio and still not sure what all of the fuss is about?!? Well how about this for a reason — Cleveland was recently ranked #14 in the 21 places you need to visit by none other than National Geographic! So get your butt to Northeast Ohio and see exactly why I’m freaking out about where I live all of the time!