Running a small business in Southeast Ohio takes hard work, tenacity, and gumption. People start small businesses for a number of different reasons, so in our new 3-part series, you will meet three ACEnet clients. You may already know them, but if you don’t this is your opportunity to learn about them, their businesses, and why they started them.

Last week we introduced you to Primaterra Farm. Our next client, Farm on the Ridge, is a necessity for every gourmand and our last entry in this blog series. Another staple at the Athens Farmers Market, you may have seen them on Saturday morning where they sell amazing pork products. In their own words, read how they got their start:

“We breed and raise pasture raised hogs with emphasis on the Red Wattle, … Read More

Running a small business in Southeast Ohio takes hard work, tenacity, and gumption. People start small businesses for a number of different reasons, so in our new 3-part series, you will meet three ACEnet clients. You may already know them, but if you don’t this is your opportunity to learn about them, their businesses, and why they started them.

Last week we introduced you to Gina Gabriel of Congress Run Greenhouse. You may know our next client from the Athens Farmers Market, where he sells delicious produce, poultry, and eggs every Saturday. His name is Henry Jochem:

Henry Jochem has been farming on twelve acres in Perry County, Ohio since 2015. Henry’s career in sustainable farming began in his early twenties when he worked on several farms throughout Maryland, eventually renting his … Read More

Running a small business in Southeast Ohio takes hard work, tenacity, and gumption. People start small businesses for a number of different reasons, so in our new 3-part series, I would like to introduce you to three ACEnet clients. You may already know them, but if you don’t this is your opportunity to learn about them, their businesses, and why they started them.

We met Gina Gabriel last year when she came to an ACEnet small business class at the Glouster Library. She told us that she had bought some land, opened Congress Run Greenhouse, and began selling plants. Here, in her own words, she explained her start to the present:

“’Don’t worry,’ 8 year old Marcus said to his muddy little brother Gabe, ‘we’re country boys now.’ Just like that, … Read More

Appalachia Asset Building Project

Appalachia Asset Building Project

Story Posted:

Melissa King, AmeriCorps VISTA at ACEnet

My name is Melissa King and I moved to Athens in 2015 from Cleveland, Ohio where I have lived my whole life. I graduated from Ohio University in December of 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. While I was attending Ohio University I became interested in advocating for vulnerable populations and assisting individuals in locating supportive services in the community through the various volunteer experiences that I chose to pursue. While I was attending college I volunteered at organizations like Good Works Incorporated and Havar Incorporated where I gained a wide variety of professional experiences through various volunteer roles. My favorite volunteer experience while I was in college was my senior field practicum at Havar Incorporated who serves adults with developmental disabilities and … Read More

When stopping at a food truck for dinner after work, I met a man working hard on a beautiful sunny fall day. This man explained that he was installing aluminum flooring and shelving in his daughter’s food truck. As a big fan of Pork and Pickles I knew this food cart belonged to his daughter, Becky Clark. I asked him if Becky had learned to cook from him. He laughed, and told me that he was lucky to have married a cook and to have a chef for a daughter. Becky is a chef. Pork and Pickles serves, as you can guess, delicious pork, pickles, sausage, bacon, cake, and vegan food with a presentation matched only by the winners of The Great British Baking Show. You can find this food … Read More

As the newest member of ACEnet’s staff, I have a lot to learn. Before I began working for ACEnet, I was vaguely aware that they do something with food. I had come to know and expect the delicious smells wafting over the building from my years at working for ReUse Industries next door. Now, I can put those smells to names like Milo’s Whole World Gourmet, Casa Nueva, or Kaiser’s. In fact, I have learned that there are several small food manufacturers working out of the Athens Food Ventures Center shared use kitchen. And this makes sense because ACEnet’s mission is “to grow the regional economy by supporting entrepreneurs and strengthening economic sectors.” This is the type of thing you might see Pork and Pickles do in the kitchen on … Read More

Visit from Japan

Visit from Japan

Story Posted:

Visit from Japan Society and Japan NPO Center

ACEnet recently received a visit from theJapan Society and the Japan NPO Center. The visitors,
many of whom traveled a great distance to Southeast Ohio, got a glimpse of ACEnet and our
community during their short stay in the area. One visitor, an alumnus of Ohio University, was
especially excited to be back in Athens.

Before getting an overview of what ACEnet is, the members of both organizations explained what
other organizations or areas of work they were a part of and what they wanted to learn from ACEnet.

One individual who attended is the director of Taberu Journal, a magazine that has expanded across
Japan and focuses on connecting consumers to producers. Many of the articles feature farmers and
the passion and process behind what they are growing. A brief … Read More

Herbal Sage Tea Company

Herbal Sage Tea Company

Story Posted:

Herbal Sage Tea Company is one of ACEnet’s many clients that we have been working with for about 15 years. Maureen Burns-Hooker, also known as the Tea Lady, owner of Herbal Sage, began the business in 1996 on the principles of creating beneficial tea blends using the highest quality ingredients.

As Maureen is CHES certified, which is a Clinical Health Education Specialist, and an experienced herbalist. She is strategic about making sure the tea blends both taste wonderful and have some health-improving quality. As I learned during a recent meeting with Maureen, loose leaf tea retains far more essential oils from the plant as well as stronger health benefits due to the herbs being minimally cut, in comparison to normal bagged tea.

Though Herbal Sage has always created its products with organic … Read More

Squeaky Duck Farmstead

Squeaky Duck Farmstead

Story Posted:

Erin Hogan and Kyle Look of Squeaky Duck Farmstead aspire to open a cooperative farm store on their farm in New Marshfield, OH. Realizing that farmers sometimes need to stick together, they envision working with neighboring farms to sell a variety of fresh produce and value added goods.

In this venture, Erin & Kyle reached out to ACEnet and Rural Action for advice on their business model. ACEnet’s experience in business incubation and marketing assistance and Rural Action’s work in connecting farmers to training and resources are the perfect match to help Erin and Kyle move forward with their goal.

 

Blog post by Alexandria Polanosky, ACEnet Multimedia Designer

Farm to School

Farm to School

Story Posted:

This week, a few ACEnet employees spent the morning at Hocking College helping Rural Action process corn for their Farm to School program. Rural Action’s Farm to School program involves purchasing produce from local farmers, like the many producers at the Chesterhill Produce Auction, then processing this produce with the help of Rural Action staff, local students and volunteers. This processed food is then distributed to school districts in the area for use in their cafeterias.

 

As our Food Partners Access Coordinator, Carrie Carson, expressed a need for a little extra help
processing recently, other employees at ACEnet decided to volunteer a few hours and contributed to the processing of 55 dozen bags of corn! There were also a few other new volunteers, so the process of shucking, washing, cutting and freezing … Read More