New winery for Norwalk

Zoe Greszler • Jun 13, 2018 at 2:00 AM

Norwalk is getting a new winery. Sandy Ridge Vineyards and Mercenary will open its 180 East Ohio 61 location in mid-August.

Sandy Ridge Fruit Farms date back to the early 1950’s, according to the business website, and has served Huron County as a fruit and vegetable purveyor for three decades.

“Strawberries, apples, fresh pressed cider and Christmas trees have been sold seasonally and approximately 70 acres of the property was devoted to apple trees. The farm closed in the late 80’s and the orchards were replaced with farm land,” the website said of its history.

Now though, the land will be home to the vineyard and gathering space.

“Sandy Ridge will reopen in mid 2018 as a community gathering space highlighting the farm’s history as an agricultural hub, however this time the spotlight will focus on viticulture and wine,” according to the business’s concept.

“The design and layout of the property will feature guest areas inside and out that will allow people to socialize and interact either in the mercantile, around a large fire pit, a grill area, in a boardroom or sitting and relaxing inside the historic barn.”

While the location doesn’t boast a restaurant onsite, it will feature an array of simple hors d’oeuvres and Charcuterie to compliment the drinks.

The space will hold special events for the community such as seasonal farmers markets, concerts, car shows, wine and food events and classes and more. The property also will be available to lease for special events including weddings, graduations and the like.

And dogs will be welcome to accompany their owners in their visits to the winery as well. Pooches though will have to stay on the patio area, unless they are service animals, and must weigh 50 pounds or less.

Once it opens, Sandy Ridge will be open noon to 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

To rent the space or place a reservation email [email protected]


Commons to unveil new Memory Care addition

The Commons of Providence invites the community to the blessing and ribbon cutting for the new Memory Care addition from 4 :30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 19 at 4901 Providence Drive, Sandusky. The blessing will take place at 5 p.m. by Deacon Jeff Claar from the Catholic Parishes of Sandusky, immediately followed by the ribbon cutting with the Sandusky Chamber of Commerce. Light refreshments and tours of the new wing will be available.

“There is a need in our community for families with loved ones who have dementia and Alzheimer’s,” executive director Staci Lehmkuhl said.

“The facts are staggering. In Ohio alone, there will be an increase of 13.6 percent of Americans age 65 and older or 30,000 people with Alzheimer’s Dementia between the years 2018 through 2025. It was imperative that we took immediate action to add additional memory care suites for our families and their loved ones for their need now and in the future.”

The 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease facts and figures study published by the Alzheimer’s Association recently released states that one in 10 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s dementia. Plus, the percentage of people with Alzheimer’s dementia increases with age: 3 percent of people 65 to 74 years, 17 percent of aged 75 to 84, and 32 percent of people older than 85 years have Alzheimer’s dementia.

“Our role is more than providing the very best in senior care. We educate the community on senior health needs,” Lehmkuhl said, adding they hold educational seminars open to the public on a variety of senior care topics.

“We hear from families all the time about the difference we make in a loved one’s life. George Steinemann shared with us regarding his mother, Elizabeth, that ‘The Commons has far exceeded our expectations. In spite of our mother’s memory problems, she is always happy and thrives in the warm, caring environment.’”

To learn more go to homeishere.org or call 419-624-1171.


Sandusky gets new restaurant

SANDUSKY — Firenza Pizza, a burgeoning franchise touting “Pizza Like Never Before,” is set to open its newest restaurant in Sandusky. A grand opening was held May 29 through June 2.

Located at 913 Crossing Road, the new restaurant specializes in hand-crafted, made-to-order pizza.

While convenience and price are important selling points, the priority for Firenza is phenomenal pizza.

“Unlike most other fast casual pizza chains where the crusts are premade and machine-pressed, our pizza dough is made in house daily and hand-stretched to order right in front of the guest,” Osborne said.

In addition to pizza, the restaurant offers diners customizable salads, oven baked wings, homestyle meatballs, breadsticks and more. Restaurant hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.


Sandusky earns four national destination awards

SANDUSKY — Lake Erie Shores & Islands, Sports Force Parks and Cedar Point were named among the best destinations throughout the nation by a recent Reader’s Choice Awards. 

Sports Destination Management, a publication geared toward sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market, announced the winners of its 2018 Reader’s Choice Awards. This year’s winners, voted on by a jury of their peers, represent the go-to destinations and companies in the sports tourism industry for event owners and rights holders.

Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands was honored in two categories. The destination was named “Favorite Overall Destination” and “Best Destination for Amenities.”

Sports Force Parks at Cedar Point Sports Center was named one of three “Favorite Outdoor Venues,” while Lighthouse Point at Cedar Point was named the “Favorite Campground.”

All winners of awards have been recognized in a special feature published in the May/June 2018 issue of Sports Destination Management.


JCPenney launches sports shops 

Just in time for Father’s Day shopping, JCPenney has partnered with Fanatics, Inc., the largest online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise, to launch Fanatics shops designed to entice loyal sports fans to see and buy the latest and most popular team apparel right inside stores in the Cleveland area.

Customers can now find Fanatics shops exclusively in 325 JCPenney stores across the country, featuring a curated selection of local collegiate and professional sports team merchandise for men, women and children, representing all major sports leagues. These flagship destinations boast approximately 1,300 sq. ft. of space.

While, for now the shops will only be available at the JCPenneys inside the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor and SouthPark Mall in Strongsville, there are plans to expand the accessibility. The company plans to introduce approximately 325 additional Fanatics destinations by the back-to-school season for a total of 650 shops. 


EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have an item for the business roundup column, send the information to the Norwalk Reflector in care of Zoe Greszler, 61 E. Monroe St., Norwalk, Ohio 44857, or email [email protected]

Norwalk Reflector Videos