Before winter is over, Hamilton will see some of its new establishments ready for business.
By the end of this month, Mindy and Josh Staton hope to have the Farmers Collective open at 302 Main St. They say it’s going to be similar to an indoor farmer’s market but without all the booths.
“It’s going to be a cafe and market, so we will have a small menu,” said MindyStaton, adding the website www.shopthefarmerscollective.com, which is not yet up and running, will have the menu and contact info. “We are a collective of farmers, about 20. It’s flowers and produce, but mixed in with that are also artisanal makers, like bread and jams and cheese. It’s all regional.”
It’s also in the DORA district, and they plan to serve wine.
The location is on Main Street is the former Hughes Pharmacy, which closed in February 2021, and next to the Staton’s Two Little Buds flower retail shop on North D Street.
They’re opening the Farmer’s Collective because they saw a need and they are also farmers.
“We farm flowers, and we’re on our eighth growing season, and we felt there was a need for other farms to sell their product,” Mindy said.
And this way, Josh said, farmers “don’t have to spend the weekend sitting out at a farmer’s market.”
Mindy said they will be similar to Moon Co-op in Oxford, adding “we have the same principles.”
The producers that will be available at the Farmer’s Collective are mostly from Ohio, spreading from the Cincinnati to Columbus region, and the farthest is from Indianapolis, Ind.
“We’re very farm to table,” said Mindy, as she stood in front of a hand-painted mural by Bright Wall Collective inside the business.
And with nearby Rossville Flats development expected to open this year, Josh said, “we’ll be some place where they’ll be able to get eggs or milk, or other staples, or something else.”
Not long after the Farmer’s Collective opens, High Main Laserworks is set to open its retail shop.
While it does take orders for custom-made work, Kelly and Brian Robinson will have their retail shop open by mid-to-late March.
Hopefully, Kelly said.
This week they’re planning for the city to have a final walk-through inspection of the 571 Main St. facility. While she said they don’t expect any issues, there’s a punch list of things that are needed to be finalized before they can open.
The Robinsons had hoped to have opened by now, but there were delays, including being overwhelmed by orders over the holidays, and didn’t have time to make some of the items that would be for sale in the retail shop.
“That has kept me going and then some,” she said of her mostly word-of-mouth business.
Another issue were delays they couldn’t control. In addition to some supply chain issues, contractors were busy.
“With so many projects on around town, I think the contractors were spread thin,” she said.
But High Main Laserworks will be all about local, as most of their products will be from the surrounding communities.
“I prefer to work with the community and work locally, sourcing materials from Unsung Salvage, Butler County Lumber, and First Ward Wood Company,” she said.
Eventually, the Robinsons plan to hire part-time help or find paid interns, ideally through Hamilton High School. She said they are considering contracting freelance work with area graphic designers.
While Main Street is seeing several businesses opening, one will be leaving.
Legacy Martial Arts Academy at 327 Main St. is constructing a new and significantly larger building on Northwest Washington Boulevard. Ryan and Amanda Roach opened their martial arts school about four years ago, they quickly saw they needed more space.
“The place we’re at is just way too small,” said Ryan.
The Roaches are having a new 10,000-square-foot building constructed at 835 NW Washington Blvd., next to West Side Animal Clinic and El Mariachi. Though there are some delays with concrete due to the recent inclement weather, all the steel for the building has been delivered.
The academy teaches various forms of martial arts, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, NoGi Grappling, and Muay Thai Kickboxing, as well as mixed martial arts and self-defense.
They have around 300 students today, which is too many for their current location, which eventually will be demolished to be incorporated into the anticipated Agave & Rye development.
While they have some professional MMA fighters and first responders taking classes, they pride themselves on serving all corners of the community, Ryan said.
“We try to make it a more family-friendly type of approach, so a mom who wants to come train here doesn’t have to worry about it being some MMA gym,” he said.
At the new facility, the Roaches also plan to expand their fitness offerings, where something like Crossfit could be offered. They’ve already started to expand their staff.
Behind where Legacy will relocate is the former Danbarry Theater, which soon will see some construction activity, said owner Todd Helton, who plans to open a Shooters Sports Grill in part of the 27,000-square-foot building.
The theater, which closed in November 2010, was the backdrop of the 2022 State of the City address last fall, Helton said he hopes Hamiltonians and visitors to Butler County’s capital city can have Shooters Sports Grill’s Pole Bender Fish Sandwich and Cincy-Philly Cheesesteak by the end of the year.
“We are really close with the drawings for Shooters and the event space,” said Helton. “They are working on mechanical drawings now.”
The drawings are being done by Hamilton-based Community Design Alliance.
Helton said he believes a design review by the city could happen soon, and once that process is completed ― and it goes according to plan ― construction at the NW Washington Boulevard building could start as early as April “and open by the end of the year.”
Shooters Sports Grill won’t take up the entire 27,000-square-foot building, and Helton said he’s reaching out to his contacts for someone to lease the remaining space of the old theater.
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