Athens Photo Project is a community of artists dedicated to using photography as a tool for self-expression, personal growth and social change. APP programs are provided in partnership with mental-health and social-service organizations to ensure all community members have the opportunity to experience the transformative power of the arts when they need it most.

Each year, more than 50 artists, photography instructors, and volunteers join together to participate in APP’s 30-week adult photography program, which is offered as a component of regional mental-health support and advocacy. Programs include Expressive Photography, photography classes, training workshops, and the Photo Co-Op, APP’s social enterprise.

More than 20 artists serve as members of APP’s Photo Co-Op. The Photo Co-Op members share their skills and creativity with the community as working photographers by providing photographic services and … Read More

ACEnet recently hosted Hocking College’s Culinary Program for a production run in ACEnet’s Food Ventures Center Thermal Processing room. They created 1 batch of “Bloody Butcher BBQ Sauce” and 1 batch of “Moonshine Mary Mix.” The processing was completed by an instructor and students from the culinary program in collaboration with their distillation program.

Purchased in December 2017, the Black Diamond Distillery is part of the Fermentation Science program at Hocking College, a two-year degree program focused on brewing, distilling, viticulture, and fermented foods. The program is currently the first of its kind in Southeast Ohio and is the first in the nation to offer students the opportunity to learn how to make beer, wine and spirits.

The products that were made & bottled at ACEnet this day were to help promote … Read More

ACEnet client, Kelly Kalfs Lawrence has taken the plunge and opened a new store in the city of Athens! You may know Kelly of Green Mantle Studio fame. She has been an active artisan in the region exhibiting and vending at many shows, festivals and pop-up markets. Her new enterprise, Chosen Pathways Spiritual Emporium recently had a soft opening on May 1st and is open regularly from 10am – 6pm Thursday – Saturday and 12 – 5pm on Sunday at 400 East State Street in Suite A.

The retail store is a new age shop with all sorts of spiritual items that cater to many different religions including Pagan, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, and Native American. Kelly shares, “my intention is to create a safe space for the people of our community. … Read More

ACEnet would like to mark a major milestone for entrepreneur Nick Penzone of Florentine Legacy. In March, Nick shared with his loyal customers that the Florentine Legacy pasta sauces and house dressing are now at available in almost 50 Kroger locations in Ohio on the Discover Local shelves of each store! For Athenians, this includes the Athens Kroger store on East State Street. As Nick would say the, “legacy continues.”

Nick’s grandfather opened Florentine Restaurant in Columbus in 1945. The restuarant was well known for its classic Italian food, dedicated staff and family-friendly setting. When Florentine Restaurant closed in 2006 after their amazing 71 years in business, Nick Penzone, part of the third generation in his family, couldn’t let the legacy die. He worked with ACEnet’s Food Enterprise Coordinator, Adam Kody, … Read More

Imagine being the operator of a natural foods store on one of the busiest commercial corridors in Athens, Ohio. Just as you feel that sales are picking up after a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, another challenge to your customer base hits your retail business. Road construction on Stimson Avenue — down to one lane and only headed west.

Remaining amazingly upbeat, Kevin and Carrie Tidd, owner-operators of The Farmacy Natural Foods store soldier on. As Kevin explains: “we love our business, our customers and our community. We will figure out how to keep going serving the health needs of our shoppers and creating employment opportunities for our workers.”

The Farmacy is a cornerstone of the retail community. The Farmacy was established in 1970 by previous owners Tom and Sue Zano, as … Read More

Rogers Woodworking, founded and owned by Justin Rogers, is a woodworking business that produces cabinets, furniture, and custom pieces to complement a home or business. Many of the finished pieces  produced are large customized pieces that require him to install them in a client’s space. Over the course of 15 years working with wood, and 6 years in business as Rogers Woodworking, Justin has developed a business that allows him to apply his creative energy and amassed skills towards developing aesthetically appealing and durable wooden pieces. He sees the wood pieces that he creates as a blank canvas that he gets to fill in to complement the client’s home or desired placement site.

Drawn to Athens, Ohio because of the opportunities it afforded him to live an intentional life and pursue … Read More

Flower essences are made from fresh blossoms infused in water, activated in sunlight, and preserved with brandy. Flower essences work through the body’s electrical system and are considered a form of energy healing. The electrical pattern of the flower carried in the essence serves as a catalyst to support change in thought processes, emotions, and feelings. They support balance in our emotional responses and help us transform our lives. The essences, according to their various properties, can bring calmness and peace as well as strength and protection. Flower essences can also work to support deep transformation.

Dr. Katherine Ziff of Briarwood Studios is a flower essence maker and practitioner. She received her flower essence training from the Flower Essence Society and the FES professional practitioner certification in 2014.

“About eighteen months ago … Read More

Appalachia Ohio’s Creative Economy: ACEnet is always learning from our region’s entrepreneurs. Recently Leslie Schaller, ACEnet’s Director of Programs, had an interesting conversation with Susan Abramovitz of Rock Riffle Run Pottery near Shade, Ohio. Susie has lived and worked in Athens County since 1978, when she opened her studio. Originally from the Youngstown area, she graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art with a degree in ceramics. Following graduation, Abramovitz lived on Deer Isle, Maine making pottery for a year and then headed up the Ceramics Department at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland for two years.

As one of the premier artisans of our region, Susie Abramovitz has been hand-throwing beautiful stoneware and terracotta ceramics, creating pieces both unique and functional. A recent video by the Metaphysical Café provides a wonderful overview of Susie’s … Read More

Singletree Farm Herdshare Provides Local Milk

Singletree Farm Herdshare Provides Local Milk

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ACEnet staff got to know serial entrepreneur Lauren Genter when she operated her first business, Ancient Roots, out of the Food Ventures Center. She recently returned as a midwife, starting Ohio Hill Midwifery and renting space on the Athens incubator campus again in 2019. But, always on the move, Lauren has since purchased property near Village Bakery and has set up shop, graduating once again from ACEnet.

And if that isn’t enough to keep one busy, she and Justin Reynolds bought a 91 acres in Northern Athens County in 2015 on Kuhn Road outside of Amesville. As Lauren explains “I was born and raised a city girl. But I think I knew somehow I’d end up on a farm. I used to visit my grandparents on their homestead in Northwest Ohio. … Read More

Athens Art Market Returns

Athens Art Market Returns

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The loyal, masked shoppers of the Athens Farmers Market may have noticed that the Art Market has returned in recent months. The Art Market sets up alongside the Athens Farmers Market on the west edge of the new market site design. This past Saturday, Beth Weingroff of Sledding Hill Pottery, Lisa Heinz of Southeast Ohio Fiberworks, and Hannah Stewart of Spiral Path Therapies were in attendance with their wares.

Since May, the art vendors have adjusted their layout to maintain social distancing, supplying hand sanitizer, and all the vendors are wearing masks, even prior to the statewide mandate. Another special feature of the Art Market includes providing free disposable gloves for use when handling products to safeguard the well-being of guild members and customers. Lisa is a new Athens Art Guild … Read More