Shopping Local in NEO

Beer

Whenever we have the opportunity to buy local, we should. Not only does shopping local positively impact our economy, it also improves our overall quality of life.  In our ever-changing global economy, it has become imperative that we retain local dollars and create jobs. The impact that we can have when we do support local, independently owned businesses greatly strengthens our economy. To that end, studies have shown that about 45 cents of every dollar spent locally stays in the community versus about 15 cents of every dollar spent otherwise.

If we can grow stronger locally, we can then act and deliver more successfully globally.  We go to the global market in a more meaningful and lasting way when we have grown strong in our own backyards.

A Cleveland Heights store, The Wine Spot, is a perfect example. It was founded in December 2011 by Adam and Susan Fleischer.  The pair decided to follow their passion of family and community and in turn invested their time, talent and treasure into a store they opened in their local community on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights.  A sustainable model was designed to buy and sell local – in Cleveland Heights first, then in the broader Northeast Ohio region.

CLE - Wine Spot2 - Kevin Goodman

The Fleischers wanted to invest in the community they loved and lived in, paid taxes to and were raising their families in. So, they became entrepreneurs and combined their love of community, family and wine and opened The Wine Spot. In doing so, Adam and Sue made a conscious effort to invest fully in Cleveland Heights and Northeast Ohio.

Adam voices with enthusiasm:

“We are working 365 days a year, employing local residents, eating, shopping, and supporting the community in which we live. We are all in.”

Adam is able to stay committed to selling local products in nearly every area of his business.   Lucky for those who enjoy craft beer, Northeast Ohio is producing some of the best beer in the country. In fact, three Ohio breweries have been named to the list of the top 100 craft breweries in the world. These include: #17 Hoppin’ Frog  Brewery  of Akron, #35 Great Lakes  Brewing, and #97 Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery of Athens, Ohio. Adam said, “We are blessed to be creating some of the finest craft beers in the world. It is a no-brainer to source these and other fantastic beers locally…”

Northeast Ohio also produces some of the finest wines.  According to Mr. Fleischer, “We have serious people making some very serious wines in the area.”

In addition to craft beers and wines, many other locally sourced foods and products are available at The Wine Spot. These include:  Mayfield Road/Creamery, Mitchell’s Candies, Restless Coffee, Clark Pope Catering, Uncommon Grains, and Hummingbird Bakery.

Another unique feature of their store is The Art Spot at The Wine Spot. This is a partnership through the Cleveland institute of Art (CIA).  The student run gallery features art on The Wine Spot walls in two month segments- new exhibits for art to be shown and sold by local students. The gallery also generates interest and foot traffic to the store. The Fleischers participated in the Cleveland Garlic Festival presented by the North Union Farmers Market this past summer along with other local entities that support locally sustainable farmer produce. The event draws over 20,000 visitors from five states.

Kevin Goodman is the managing director and partner with BlueBridge Networks, a downtown Cleveland-based data-center business. He can be reached at (216) 367-7580, kjg@bbnllc.com.