Retailer of Ohio-only products announces Liberty Center opening

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Retailer of Ohio-only products announces Liberty Center opening

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Liberty Twp. trustee Christine Matacic tells Journal-News about the impact of The Christ Hospital’s announcement Tuesday that it will build a new medical center near the Interstate 75-Ohio 129 interchange in Butler County. CHELSEY LEVINGSTON

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Locally-owned businesses looking to grow now have a new chance to sell their goods in prime retail space at the Liberty Center development, after the announcement Tuesday of the project’s latest tenant.

Easton Town Center storefront Celebrate Local will expand to the Cincinnati market with the opening of a second location at Liberty Center, the retailer announced.

Celebrate Local, which first opened in 2011, sells products and services made by small business vendors. It mainly sells only Ohio-made art, apparel, wine, beer, food and more. But it will accept vendor applications from throughout the Tristate for the new Cincinnati-area store opening in October, said Heidi Maybruck, president and co-founder of Celebrate Local Enterprises Inc.

Liberty Center is the approximately $350 million office, retail and residential complex under construction now in Liberty Twp. Liberty Center developer Steiner + Associates also helped build and develop Easton in the Columbus area.

“We’re coming back to when community is important when you know who your vendor is, you know who your farmer is, and where their materials are sourced,” Maybruck said.

Maybruck described her company Celebrate Local as a small business helping other small businesses. It started with 65 farmers, food artisans and entrepreneurs, and has now grown to over 300 businesses, she said.

In addition to providing retail shelf space for mom-and-pop operations, Celebrate Local helps entrepreneurs with consulting, networking and promotional opportunities to help them grow their sales, Maybruck said.

For example, one of its participating businesses, a coffee roaster, first started at the Easton farmers market. It opened its first storefront at Celebrate Local, where it did test marketing and honed its brand. Now the product is sold at a grocery chain, which has enabled it to add workers and pay taxes, she said.

“Our success is their success,” she said.

Events will be hosted at the future Butler County location featuring local businesses such as trunk shows and visiting food trucks, she said.

Customers won’t just find locally-made goods in stock, but employees will be able to connect them with local service providers as well.

Celebrate Local at Liberty Center will be located at 7127 Foundry Row, according to the company. Current Celebrate Local vendors and other Ohio small businesses are encouraged to apply online to be featured at the new location here: celebratelocalohio.com/2015-vendor-application/.

“(Steiner + Associates) believed in this concept,” Maybruck said. “They try to bring local into the center.”

Liberty Center’s first phase, consisting of just over 1 million-square-feet of shopping, dining, office and residential space, is scheduled to open in October at the intersection of Ohio 129, Interstate 75 and Liberty Way in Liberty Twp. But not all tenants will open at the same time. When Swedish fashion retailer H&M announced in May plans to open at the Butler County center, the announcement said the store will open in spring 2016.

Three anchor tenants — Dillard’s department store, dinner-and-movie theater CineBistro and Dick’s Sporting Goods — have been announced for Liberty Center along with AC Hotels by Marriott and The Funny Bone Comedy Club and Restaurant.

Restaurants announced to date include: Northstar Café, Brazilian steakhouse Rodizio Grill, gourmet burger joint Flip Side, Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern, Brio Tuscan Grill, Cheesecake Factory, Kona Grill and craft beer and pizza eatery Pie & Pints.

Liberty Center is believed to be one of the largest developments in Butler County history. Estimates are for the center’s retailers, restaurants and other businesses to create approximately 3,500 new jobs by 2018, according to the township.

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