by Sammy Bonasso, ’20 and Claire Driscoll, ’19
Upper Arlington contains many locally-owned businesses that contribute to the community and receive widespread appreciation. Although these businesses possess varied histories, purposes and locations, they often support groups and programs in the community, which reciprocates by providing many loyal customers.
Huffman’s Market, owned by Tim Huffman, has occupied Tremont Plaza for over 30 years. Like many family stores, Huffman’s puts customers first, who can utilize its smaller size to receive more niche products and faster service than larger stores.
Ryan Huffman, along with a managing team, helps his father Tim run the store. He mentioned that Huffman’s gives back to UA through its donations, advertising with local sports teams and involvement in community programs.
“There’s no better community [to run a local business in],” Huffman said. “The community support is fantastic… [We’re firm believers] that if you do good by the community, the community will pay that forward by giving you good business.”
Unsatisfied with a previous hardware store in the community, Chuck Nutter opened Nutter Hardware and Rental Center in 2011. Although it collaborates with Ace Hardware, its free popcorn and slushies, potbelly stove and commitment to customer service reinforce it as a local business.
“All of the Ace Hardware stores are independently owned and operated, and most often the owners live in the community that their [stores are] in,” Nutter said. “I live in our community and am part of it, and we do whatever we can to give back to the community.”
The business often donates supplies and merchandise for fundraisers; and it sponsors local schools, churches and sports teams, including little league and high school teams. Nutter himself personally interacts with the community by helping his staff and customers when he is in the store, which occurs frequently.
Carsonie’s initially opened in Westerville but its history spans over 30 years, almost a decade of which has been in Upper Arlington. David Zadnik owns the restaurant and inherited it from his parents-in-law, Frank and Millie Carsonie. One can typically find Carsonie’s catering trays at youth sports gatherings and logos in locally-produced publications, calendars and coupon books.
Gallery Art Center
This year marks the 40th anniversary of this family-owned framing center’s presence in UA. Gallery Art Center has previously owned shops in different locations in town but currently calls 4725 Reed Rd its home. This store not only sells beautiful frames but also features work from local artists.
The Original Goodie Shop
The Goodie Shop opened in Tremont Center in 1958. Deborah Smith has worked hard to make sure this well-loved bakery originally owned by her father continues to “keep [customers] happy.”
The business participates in charitable work, as well. Emilie Smith, Deborah Smith’s daughter, once met a homeless woman and her child on the street and responded by setting aside a dollar from every “home for the holidays” themed cookie sold to donate to the family, with the goal of acquiring an apartment for them.
The Goodie Shop is also committed to generating fond memories with its products. Smith called its signature creation their cinnamon sticks, which are meant to taste like the inside layer of a cinnamon roll. Additionally, sports banquets often serve The Goodie Shop’s golden bear cookies, making these treats well-known among many student athletes.