Sunday, June 29, 2003

Tristate business notebook



By Jennie Callison
Enquirer contributor

Small business clinic for women

Female entrepreneurs who want low-cost promotional ideas are invited to a Small Business Administration roundtable program July 9.

Featured speaker is Debbi Brock, director of Miami University's Entrepreneurial Resource Lab (ERL), who will also lead a session on writing a marketing plan and using low-cost, unconventional guerilla marketing strategies to boost business.

"A good example of guerilla marketing would be a new restaurant inviting local hairdressers for a special dinner," explained Brock. "What do hairdressers do all day? They talk to their customers."

The SBA roundtable, part of the agency's Women's Entrepreneurial Network Training, is supported by UC's Small Business Development Center, Miami's ERL, SCORE, Cincinnati Business Incubator, lenders and local entrepreneurs. The program's goal is to provide discussion opportunities on a variety of subjects during which experienced business owners can share their expertise with participants.

The roundtable takes place 4-6 p.m. at Edibles-N-Such, 1 Gateway Place, at the corner of Elsinore and Reading roads in Walnut Hills. Cost is $12, which includes light refreshments.

Registration information: 684-2814, ext. 200 or Gwen.Caudill@sba.gov.

Blinds Plus now building new store

A fast-growing business in Mason has just broken ground on its new store.

Blinds Plus, one of the largest window-covering dealers in the Tristate, took the first step toward constructing its own building, a $1.5 million retail space at the corner of Reading and Tylersville roads. Currently the store is in the Mason Thriftway Shopping Plaza on Reading Road.

"It's been a three-year plan to find the best location in Mason that will serve our purpose," said owner Dave Moushey. "Almost 50,000 cars pass through the intersection daily, making it a prime location."

The two-story building will have 6,000 square feet of space on each level. The first floor will be shared with a retailer in a complementary home furnishings area. The second floor will be developed as office space. Moushey and real estate partner Jerry Louden will manage the property and are currently seeking tenants.

Information: 398-8510.

New coffee shop in Over-the-Rhine

Coffee entrepreneurs Eileen and Tony Tausch are brewing up another venture.

The owners of the Coffee Emporiums in Hyde Park and Oakley have opened another location in the Emery Center apartment building on Central Parkway in Over-the-Rhine.

It offers the same variety of coffee beans, brewed coffees, pastries and smoothies available at the other eateries, along with panini (Italian sandwiches) for lunch.

Phone jacks enable patrons to work on their laptops. Seating options range from stools at the counter to easy chairs and couches.

The new Coffee Emporium's hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Information: 651-5483.

London Pine now available locally

A distributor of handcrafted English Pine furniture has opened his operation in Essex Studio.

Importantiques has exclusive distribution rights for London Pine furniture in the Tristate.

"The intricate hand-carved detail gives London Pine its exclusiveness," said owner John M. Withrow. "The products are made from real old-world pine. As some of Europe's antiquated buildings are razed and dismantled, the durable pine timbers are literally recycled."

Withrow explained that each timber is crafted in a way that best shows off its color patterns, knots and nail holes. After the pieces are carved and assembled, they are hand-rubbed with beeswax. Items include armoires, tables, four-poster beds and sideboards.

Importantiques is open on a regular basis only from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, but appointments can be made anytime.

Essex Studio is at 2511 Essex Place, Walnut Hills.

Information: 550-1906.

Veteran magician moves online

Veteran magician Brad Eickhoff has created a Web presence for himself.

Eickhoff, who has been performing for more than 25 years in the Greater Cincinnati area, went online to better market himself to potential customers.

"This Web site is designed to provide information on my background, services and party planning links," said the Fort Wright resident.

Information: 859 391-4166 or www.mymagicpro.com.

Tower Grill aims for sports fans

Sports action is on the menu at a new restaurant in Deerfield Township.

Tower Grill, which opened June 1 next to Petsmart in the Kings Auto Mall shopping center, boasts 13 televisions, a pool table, video games and a jukebox.

"We have daily drink specials such as quarter beers on Monday and dollar domestics on Tuesday," said general manager Adam E. Speckert . "Tower Grill also hosts karaoke on Friday nights."

The restaurant serves 25-cent wings every day as well as appetizers, soups, salads and sandwiches. It is open 11 a.m. to midnight Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday and noon to midnight Sunday.

Information: 774-WING or www.towergrill.com.

Former fitness club owners take it back

Scott and Kris Stapleton have seen fit to resume ownership of a business they founded in 1991.

The Stapletons are again the owners of Royal Family Fitness Center, 930 Lila Ave. in Milford.

Royal Family Fitness earned the Small Business of the Year award from the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce in 1995, but later was sold to a chain operation.

Before reopening this fall, the new owners plan to expand the club and offer new services for members of all ages.

Information: 831-0006

E-mail jcallison@zoomtown.com or fax 564-6991 with openings, expansions and other news about neighborhood businesses.



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