A flurry of new locally owned businesses opened in Butler County in 2019.
Here’s a look at a selection of the unmistakably diverse array that made their debut in the past 12 months.
The Village Parlor
The Village Parlor of Hamilton opened at 302 Main Street in Hamilton, serving Johnson’s Real Ice Cream from a family-owned company in Bexley, Ohio, along with fresh, hand-rolled waffle cones and bowls. It also offers double-dip sodas and a selection of sundaes, milkshakes and malts.
The business was able to save some of the character pieces from an old ice cream parlor at the site, refinish some of them and utilize them in the construction of the new parlor.
The building in which the Village Parlor of Hamilton resides is known as the Davis building, which formerly housed Hughes Pharmacy. It is believed to have always housed a pharmacy and ice cream shop since its inception in 1905.
Liberty Center welcomed a new dessert destination in 2019. Molly’s Cupcakes, 7120 Haskell St., offers products baked fresh daily.
It offers more than a dozen kinds of center-filled cupcakes, plus seasonal flavors throughout the year. A “Create Your Own Cupcake” option allows customers to pick a size of cupcake, then their own cake flavor, frosting and toppings, including a free “sprinkle bar” with more than 10 different options.
The shop also offers two vegan options and a flourless cupcake. It employs classroom chairs and stools from the 1960s to go along with its classroom motif and offers swings patrons can use for seating while eating their treats.
Belle Bridal Boutique
Aiming to help women find the perfect plus-size dress for their big day, Belle Bridal Boutique opened at 1028 Central Ave. in Middletown.
It caters to women who wear sizes 16 through 32W and also offers veils and jewelry. The store allows brides to book customized and private appointments, as well as walk-ins. In-store appointments take between one to two hours and on-location appointments, where Belle Bridal brings three gowns to a bride, last for three hours.
Belle Bridal Boutique offers a “Brides and Bubbly Night,” during which brides bring their bridesmaids for a private, after-hours appointment where the business provides the sparkling wine, music and “light bites” and the bridal party tries on gowns. It also offers the opportunity to hire a specialist to be available on-site for a day of services, assisting a bride with her gown and taking care of things like corset lace up, buttoning, bustling, carrying a bride’s train while walking around between pre-ceremony photos and the reception.
Wildfire Home & Gift
New home decor and gift business Wildfire Home & Gift opened at 226 High St. in downtown Hamilton.
The store aims to offer unique products like jewelry — most made by local or U.S. artisans — inspirational goods like leather-bound notebooks and handmade prints, candles and bath bombs.
It also offers Wildfire-designed and locally manufactured metal wall art, tea towels, doormats and throw pillows.
Locally owned ice cream shop Craft Creamworks opened at 7736 Dudley Dr. in West Chester, offering premium, house-made, hand-dipped ice cream.
The 1,311-square-foot shop uses its own ingredients to concoct ice cream that is up to more than 70 types in all. It keeps 20 of them available, rotating them regularly based on supply.
Always part of the mix are 10 offerings, including chocolate, strawberry, black raspberry chocolate chip, biscoff, funfetti cake, peanut butter oreo, s’mores and vanilla bean, plus two dairy-free options: a sorbet and a vegan ice cream.
Besides ice cream by the scoop, sundae or milkshake, customers also can order a “flight” of ice cream: four separate flavors at a smaller sampling size than the typical scoop.
The business, which was initially open every day, switched to seasonal schedule. Its owners say they are planning to reopen in March or April.
A new boutique hotel opened this year in downtown Middletown.
Indigo Pass occupies about 3,500 square feet on the fourth floor of the 38,000-square-foot building at 1131 Central Ave. It has six rooms, each with a king-size bed. All rooms have an additional sitting room with a fold-out full bed.
Each room is about 225 square feet , steeped in rich, dark indigo hues and featuring historic touches of exposed beams and brick walls.
Londyn Nutrition opened at 110 S. Second St. in Hamilton offering Herbalife meal replacement shakes, herbal teas and ice coffees.
The store’s products include vitamins, minerals and protein, are vegan and gluten free and contain no juice, milk or yogurt.
Recent offerings include a Caramel Banana Cheesecake shake, Pumpkin Spice latte, Cookie & Cream Frappe, Caramel Latte and a Strawberry Shortcake shake. An Iced White Chocolate Mocha has only 2 grams of sugar and 100 calories, but contains 15 grams of protein and is topped with sugar free or almond whip cream.
Candy Stash Sweets & Treats
Candy Stash Sweets & Treats at 7125 Liberty Centre Dr. in Liberty Twp. features a variety of premium hand-dipped Hershey’s Ice Cream flavors, both traditional and a variety of unique options that can be served in a cup, a variety of cone options, in a waffle ice cream taco or as a waffle ice cream pizza.
The new business serves no-sugar-added and reduced-fat Hershey’s vanilla, chocolate and turtle ice cream, plus Philadelphia Water Ice, a “creamy” premium Italian Ice similar in texture to a sorbet and served like ice cream in a cone or cup. It can create a milkshake with any flavor it has in stock.
Anything Granite & the barn cat
Barn cart owner Cat Malone had been selling her mosaic art and offering mosaic classes since 2012, but she turned her focus to cabinetry refinishing in the last year. Anything Granite originally launched in 2017 in Cincinnati’s fast-growing Hyde Park neighborhood.
Cool Comics & Collectibles
Cool Comics & Collectibles made its debut at 1215 Central Ave. in Middletown. It offers a variety of comic books and collectible items including but not limited to figurines, card games, and toys.
Located next to Spoken Bicycles, it’s in a storefront that formerly was a barbershop.
Scripted Studio Shop
New stationery shop Scripted Studio Shop opened at 306 Main St. in Hamilton.
Owner Carrie O’Neal, a graphic designer, said owning her own stationery store had always been a dream, and with the help of the city of Hamilton, she made that dream a reality this year.
“Scripted Studio allows me a space to share my love of stationery, creative gift-giving, beautiful wrapping paper and old-school letterpress printing with others,” O’Neal told the Journal-News.
Chubby Bunny Bakery/Chickpea Chicks
Two Hamilton businesses teamed up in 2019 to open a new storefront at 216 Main Street in Hamilton.
Chubby Bunny Bakery makes baked goods such as cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cupcakes, brownies and bars, and full-size cakes all without any gluten, dairy, eggs and nuts. It got its start back in 2012 at the Oxford Farmer’s Market.
Chickpea Chicks makes several different kinds of hummus, including Lemon Zowie, Toasted Sesame, Pumpkin Curry (seasonal) and Garlic, which is a restaurant exclusive. Spicy flavors include Smokin’, Wasabi Green Onion and Cincy Style, which mimics the taste of Cincinnati chili. It recently introduced dessert flavors Chocolate Raspberry and Chocolate Coconut.
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