Distinctly Downtown: Crafty Mart

Crafty Mart logoCrafty Mart was first established in 2009 as a haven of uncommon, quality-made, local arts and crafts. In 2013, Crafty Mart won a “Best of the City” award from Akron Life Magazine.  Growing by leaps and bounds to fit the needs of the crafting community, Crafty Mart is now a non-profit organization.

In 2015 Crafty Mart joined the Downtown Akron Artwalk as a pop up space on the third floor of Summit Artspace.  Beginning in February with Valentine’s Day-themed items, Crafty Mart became a regular stop on the monthly Artwalk route.

Crafty Mart filled three Downtown Akron venues in November 2014 including Musica Performing Arts

Crafty Mart filled three Downtown Akron venues in November 2014, including Musica Performing Arts

On Saturday, March 7 from 5-9 p.m, Crafty Mart hosts the Nerdy Pop Up Market with vendors featuring items that celebrate geekiness, nerdiness and pop culture obsessions.  The Nerdy Pop Up Market theme has been chosen to honor Pi Day which takes place the following week.  Pi Day is a celebratory time by nerds of all stripes who cleverly recognize that the day March 14, 2015, can also be seen as 3.1415–the first five significant digits of the mathematical constant (pi.)

“The Nerdy Pop Up Market is a fun way for Crafty Mart to contribute its culture of local artisans and crafters to the monthly Akron Artwalk,” said Brit Charek, Crafty Mart Director.  “Artwalk guests get to experience the creativity and inspiration of these arty entrepreneurs. I’m also excited to introduce a passionate group of our vendors to give Akron residents a fresh new Artwalk experience.”

Crafty Mart will host between 20 and 30 vendors on the third floor of Summit Artspace during the Artwalk.  Crafty Mart’s addition to the tradition of the Artwalk not only opens a wider audience to its vendors but gives Akron’s residents more opportunities to discover local artists, crafters and their handmade items.

The Downtown Akron Artwalk takes place on the first Saturday of each month and features multiple destinations for art, shopping, dining, and entertainment.  Each month is a unique experience and a wonderful opportunity to meet artists that make downtown a culturally and artistically vibrant community.

The Akron Artwalk is a FREE event and entry into Summit Artspace is FREE.

For more information on Crafty Mart’s past and present, visit www.craftymart.org.

Follow Crafty Mart on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the most recent updates on this event.

Content courtesy of: Crafty Mart

Distinctly Downtown: Akron CitiCenter Florist

 Valentine’s Day is approaching and that means love is in the air. Love is not the only comforting scent in the air; flowers are a perfect way to express your love for someone on that special day. Giving flowers as a gift can be filled with love, appreciation and thoughtfulness. If you are in the Downtown Akron area and heading down Main Street and turn on the corner on Mill Street, you’ll see a very distinct and lovely display. Red, white and pink illuminate the front window of Paul Stitt’s Akron CitiCenter Florist. Stitt’s shop offers an array of beautiful bouquets and arrangements ranging from roses, to lilies to chrysanthemums.DSC00853

Before Stitt became a florist, he lived in San Diego, California, where he was a young boy just simply delivering flowers. After gaining knowledge in the florist business, he used that knowledge to move up and make a career out of his experience. Stitt opened his shop in Downtown Akron in September of 1989. His first location was the CitiCenter building during the 90’s, but once the city took over the building he relocated. Stitt is fully staffed during the holidays and supplies floral decorations and arrangements for occasions such as weddings, funerals, hospital stays and birthdays. If you are having a small gathering for any occasion and looking for an affordable florist, this is the perfect place. I asked Stitt what he liked most about being downtown, he says “I like the corporate business.” “I like dealing with business people…It’s different.” He enjoys assisting and servicing, but not limited to, small businesses and their employees.

Along with having a friendly environment for staff and customers, Akron CitiCenter Florist strives to accommodate the different emotions and situations their customers may experience. “I think what the customer sees, is romance,” says Stitt on the subject of flowers. Aside from other emotions, creating that feeling of romance is the main goal for Stitt and his employees for this upcoming holiday.

Despite roses being his personal favorite flower, Stitt admits that the mixed bouquet is the most popular arrangement with a standard price of $6.98. Many might stray from flowers for their loved ones who may believe flowers are not affordable.DSC00858 Unlike some florists, who may significantly raise their prices for special holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Stitt values his customers and his community and does not raise his prices as high as some other companies might raise them. To show appreciation and support for the community he lives in. I asked Stitt what his best advice for people wanting to order for Valentine’s Day was and he said, “Order early!” The earlier he knows what you want, the better chance of it being available.  No matter how difficult the order might be he also says, “We try to deliver that upon their request.”

As of last week Akron CitiCenter Florist is also participating in DAP’s Kiss My Akron promotional campaign. During the month of February, different businesses downtown handout ‘kiss’ window clings to their customers, who then go out and stick them in the window of their favorite establishments. This is a way to display the love of Downtown Akron businesses. Akron CitiCenter Florist also participates in Do Downtown. DSC00851Akron CitiCenter Florist offers a 20% cash and carry on cut flowers if you visit and sign up on the Do Downtown page. Next time you are on Mill Street, stop by Akron CitiCenter Florist to tag a sticker in the window or buy a bouquet for that someone special. Valentine’s Day is approaching fast, so remember when ordering flowers to order with Akron CitiCenter Florist and don’t procrastinate!

Akron CitiCenter Florist is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. & Saturday 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. & CLOSED on Sundays. So, order online today at their website OR call ahead at (330) 253-3700.

By: Chantel Burt, Downtown Akron Partnership Intern

Distinctly Downtown: Pizza Fire

Of all the places to dine in Downtown Akron, one of the newest ones can be found at 22 East Exchange Street: Pizza Fire, a pizza restaurant with a new and different twist. Pizza Fire gives customers the chance to have the staff build their own pizza right in front of them, and cook and have it ready in a matter of minutes. After hearing about its new pizza fire interioropening, I decided to travel there on a cold and rainy Tuesday afternoon. The restaurant itself is well advertised from the outside, and as soon as I walked in, the warmth and smell of fresh pizza hit me quickly. The inside of the restaurant itself has a sleek and modern style, and has many tables and bar-esque seating against the windows. There is a big screen television in the corner, and the entire restaurant was extremely clean and well modeled.

When I first sat down with Pizza Fire founder and CEO Sean Brauser, his passion for the Northeast Ohio area and the industry became very apparent. He was raised in Hartville, Ohio, and graduated from Lake High School in Uniontown, just 20 minutes from Akron. After graduating from Bucknell University in central Pennsylvania, Brauser began working in New Jersey at a pharmaceutical manufacturing company, but soon left that job to open up his first pizza restaurant at the age of 24. He returned to Northeast Ohio and opened the first Romeo’s Pizza in Medina in 2001, and the chain has quickly grown to 36 locations since then.

Brauser first came up with the concept of Pizza Fire about two years ago, and after some careful planning, found the perfect location in Downtown Akron. “We got lucky with the location and space. It was previously a different pizza restaurant, and it was obvious that it would be the perfect location for the first Pizza Fire,” he said. “We’re at the juncture of Downtown, The University of Akron campus, and the nightlife.” The restaurant space was quickly designed and set up, and the first day of business for Pizza Fire was Sunday, October 12.

When it comes to pizza, Brauser cited great product and great customer service as the two most important things he focuses on. He’s traveled to Italy eight times, and talked with some of the most successful pizza chefs in the world in order to gain knowledge of what it takes to become successful in the industry. “Everything I’ve ever learned about pizza I put into Pizza Fire,” he said. “All of the ingredients here are fresh; we don’t have a freezer in the entire place. We hand crush the tomatoes, hand roll the dough, and make sure everything is high quality and that it tastes great.”

Brauser mentioned how pleased he was with his staff so far as well, and that he has hired many University of Akron students who have done a great job. He also praised the revitalization of Downtown, “I love what they’ve done to the city; it’s a very clean and safe environment. With places like Lock 3 and Canal Park with the RubberDucks, Akron is definitely headed in a great direction.”

pizza fire chefs

Approaching the order line, Pizza Fire definitely has the feel of a Chipotle or Subway-style system. All of the ingredients are laid out in plain view for everyone to see and choose from. Customers start at one end of the line and first choose which one of six sauces they would like, followed by their choice of five different cheeses. After that, it’s onto toppings, where there is a choice between 11 different meats and 18 different vegetables. When it was my time to order, I admittedly had a tough time deciding between all of the different possibilities, but finally settled on a pizza with authentic Neapolitan pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and topped with pepperoni, mushrooms, and green peppers. The staff did a great job pointing out all of the different options available. After my order was complete, the staff put it in the oven, and I grabbed a drink and sat back down at my table in the restaurant, and the pizza was ready about 90 seconds later. Cut into six slices, the first thing I noticed was the crust. It wasn’t too thin or thick, and had a great crispiness to it. The rest of the ingredients were light and fresh, and it all combined to create a great-tasting pizza. After eating about half of my pizza, I grabbed a box and packaged the rest of my pizza to take home with me. All in all, it was a great experience, one that is definitely different from any pizza restaurant I’ve ever been to before. The restaurant was clean, the staff was friendly and helpful, and the pizza was delicious and came out extremely quickly. It is an ideal place to grab a quick bite at anytime, as one could easily walk in the door, design and order their own pizza, sit down and eat, and be out the door in 20-30 minutes at most.pizza fire pizza

Brauser also mentioned his desire to expand and open up at least eight new Pizza Fire locations in the near future, stretching from Cleveland to Canton, and even expressed interest in opening up locations as far as Columbus and Pittsburgh as well.

Pizza Fire is open seven days a week: Monday-Thursday from         11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday & Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; and Sunday from 12 p.m.-9 p.m. They are now offering delivery services to downtown locations during lunch hours as well. Pizzas can also be called in or ordered online ahead of time and picked up anytime during business hours at (330) 535-4545 or their website.

By: Brent Flanik, Downtown Akron Partnership Intern.

Distinctly Downtown: My First METRO Experience

Having grown up in rural and suburban areas, the thought of using public transportation rarely crosses my mind. To be honest, the few times it has crossed my mind it has always made me a little apprehensive. I have had a slightly irrational fear of getting on the wrong bus and worried that I might somehow break the rules (rules that don’t actually exist except in my own mind). Inspired by a recent trip to Detroit with the Knight Foundation, and my time working at DAP, I decided to challenge myself to step outside my comfort zone and ride the METRO bus to and from work one day.

photo 1 (5)Because I had never ridden a METRO bus before I was clueless on how to ride, how much it costs, and everything else one would need to know. While preparing for my first bus ride I found the METRO website to be extremely helpful. I used their Trip Planner to find out what bus I would need to ride, where I should get on and off, what time to be at the bus stop, and how long my trip would take. If you are planning to ride the METRO in the near future, or are curious about the routes, be sure to check out the Trip Planner first!

Feeling prepared, I walked outside my apartment on a chilly Wednesday morning and made my way to the bus stop near my West Akron apartment. Standing there waiting I was transported back in time and felt like I was waiting for the big yellow school bus. When I got on the bus the driver showed me where to put my money to pay for my ride and I quickly took a seat. Riders put on their headphones and listened to music, watched out the window, or talked on the phone and almost everyone seemed to observe the unspoken one seat buffer between them and other riders. Just 25 minutes later I exited the bus outside the Shoppes at Akron Center and had time to grab a coffee from Angel Falls Coffee Shop before walking to my office.

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Boarding the bus to go home, I no longer felt nervous or scared. Instead I felt confident. I knew which bus to wait for, paid my fare, and enjoyed my ride home. While I prefer the convenience of travelling according to my own schedule, something I have become accustomed to since I got my license at 16, I feel at ease knowing I have another way to get to work should I need it.

In September, METRO and The University of Akron started a new partnership that allows students, faculty, and staff to ride for free using their ZIP Card. You can read more about this program on the METRO and University websites. Also, be sure to check out METRO’s new video, “All About the Bus!”

By: Kelli Fetter
Director of Events, Downtown Akron Partnership

Distinctly Downtown: Crafty Mart

Crafty Mart logoThe sixth annual Crafty Mart returns to the Rubber City on Saturday November 29 and Sunday, November 30, 2014.  Not only will the annual non-traditional holiday arts and crafts show take place over two days but it is stretching to include three separate locations in the downtown area. With over a hundred talented artists and makers selling a variety of unique handmade items, this is the perfect place to find distinctive gifts for everyone on your list.  Admission is free and the event runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on both days at all three locations.

Crafty Mart takes place at Musica (51 E Market St), the Akron Art Museum (1 S High St) and Summit Artspace (140 E Market St). The expansion is a coordinated effort by three community-minded venues to offer Akron residents the best opportunity to discover, meet, and purchase from some of the area’s best fine artists, artisans, and crafters.

Once again, Crafty Mart coincides with Small Business Saturday (November 29, 2014), a craftymart6thannualconsumer movement that encourages holiday shopping from small local businesses.  It is Crafty Mart’s intention to not only support local artists by giving them an opportunity to vend their wares but also to provide an exciting event for local residents to shop from small-business individuals.

The sixth annual Crafty Mart will also expand to include free workshop opportunities for members of the community to sign up and take classes from skilled artists. Crafty Mart’s workshops were first introduced during the outdoor Summer Faire 2014, July 5th Crafty Mart, and the new workshops scheduled during November 29 and 30 are expected to fill up quickly.  More information on the workshops is available at http://www.craftymart.com/#workshops

Food and coffee will be for sale during the event and deejays from The Mighty Soul Night will be spinning our favorite soul tunes at all three venues. Parking is free on the street, the Library Parking Deck on the SW Corner of High & Market Streets, and the flat lot on Summit Street across from Summit Artspace.

Crafty Mart was first established in 2009 as a haven of uncommon, quality-made, local arts and crafts. In 2013, Crafty Mart was voted one of the “Best of the City” by Akron Life Magazine. For more information on Crafty Mart’s past and present, go to: www.craftymart.com.

Distinctly Downtown: Akron History Exhibit and The American Toy Marble Museum

Akron History Exhibit and the American Toy Marble Museum

I did not know what to expect when walking into a museum that focused on toy marbles. It never really struck me as a crucial piece of history that one city could find important. I was wrong; it is a big piece to a much larger, captivating puzzle that is Akron’s history.
The museum has so much more than marbles in glass cases. It is a gleaming reminder of the history of Akron that anyone who lives in Akron must attend. I am from Cincinnati, and I had never expected so much affluent and pivotal history to engross Akron. No wonder LeBron wanted to come back. Akron has history and who wouldn’t want to be a part of it?

DSC00812When you enter the exhibit, everything you see is engulfed in fascinating history. The first thing that greets you when you walk in is a staunch, tall gate, which was actually the original gate in the Summit County Court House. There is also a display that shows you Akron in its earliest days as a simple village with the canals running through it. It is an interesting piece as it washes away the concrete buildings you see today and takes you back nearly a century and a half. The display was also built by students of the University of Akron.

DSC00828I found the most interesting history surrounding the marbles to be that they signified the birth of mass production of toys. Due to mass production becoming prominent, toy prices dropped and more than 250 manufacturers sprouted up during that time, making Akron a beacon of toy manufacturing, bringing joy to children throughout the nation. It did not stop there when it came to toys. Akron was producing so much rubber at the time; they began wondering what to do with all of the excess rubber. This created a new market for rubber toys, such as the Rubber Duck, which became a staple of children’s lives. Akron in many ways was a huge part of creating a memorable childhood for children across the country.

The manager, Michael C. Cohill, is absolutely phenomenal in explaining all of the displays and history that is housed in the museum. Writing it all down in this blog would be an extreme disservice to Mr. Cohill, as the sheer passion he exudes during his explanations of the displays is simply enchanting. You can see he cares thoroughly about the city of Akron, and is ecstatic to shed light on its history of Akron with anyone. Mr. Cohill knows what Akron has been, what it is, and has visions of what Akron could do in the future.

DSC00821There is so much more housed in this museum that will absolutely stun the Akron community and visitors. It would be a travesty to pass up. It is extremely family focused and the people who work there absolutely love families of all ages and sizes to see all that it has to offer. “We love the holidays,” said Michael C. Cohill, “The busiest times of the year are October through December.” They love to decorate for the holidays and enjoy getting Akron involved with activities to decorate their area in Lock 3.

I could gush for hours about all that I had learned in my short visit to the museum but I would rather leave it up to you to go check it out and piece the puzzle together yourself. A piece of Akron you might not know anything about will captivate you as Akron was a pioneer of many things that you’ve come to know today.

Founded by the City of Akron, the Akron History Exhibit is a project of The Summit County Historical Society of Akron in partnership with the Akron-Summit County Public Library.

Akron Police Museum
Akron Fire Department
All-American Soap Box Derby
Cascade Locks Park Association
Hower House
The University of Akron
The Lighter-Than-Air Society
Summit Metro Parks
The Shirla McClain Gallery for Black History & Culture (U Akron)
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
The TV Dinner Club Museum
The University of Akron Archival Services
Wacky Woodcarvers

By: John Frank, Downtown Akron Partnership Intern

Distinctly Downtown: My Summer with DAP


Hillary working on her final blog for DAP

The summer is finally coming to a close and so is my internship at Downtown Akron Partnership. To be honest, I am quite sad that I’m leaving such an excellent non-profit organization. As a small town girl from New Philadelphia, Ohio and a KSU student, I never knew or heard of DAP until my advisor informed me of the opening. As soon as I heard it was a non-profit, I applied immediately mainly because I’ve always wanted to work for a non-profit organization to help out the community.

My words to express the atmosphere of Downtown Akron Partnership is endless, I’ve had loads of fun during my summer doing several different tasks, like promoting new businesses, working the Market at Lock 3, helping out with the Akron Art Prize, and writing blogs. I would have to say, working the Market at Lock 3 with Tony Long (Assistant Operations) was the most fun because I was out of the office, interacting with the community advising them to be healthy. As a health freak myself, I really enjoyed giving some healthy tips to Market-lovers and telling them different ways to live a healthy life.

I also did a lot of writing for DAP, one of my biggest projects of the summer was writing a press release about all the new businesses in Downtown Akron, that was also a lot of fun. I got to go around downtown and interview business owners and CEO’s of new companies and write about what they do, what they offer, and how they benefit Downtown Akron.


Getting recipe cards for the Market at Lock 3

I wrote a blog about The Coffee Pot that’s located in the Akron-Summit County Public Library. I went down on a Friday morning and met with the owner, Scott Malensek. We sat, drank coffee, and talked for about an hour about his two businesses. This was by far the best interview I have experienced. He was so excited and so enthusiastic about his business, it made me excited for him. He even let me try out some of his new menu items and talked me into going to his other business, The Stew Pot Kitchen. I tried some of his famous Tomato Basil Soup, and let me tell you, BEST SOUP EVER!

There are so many restaurants and activities to do in Downtown Akron, it’s quite overwhelming! But it also makes me want to move here because it’s such a great community with something always going on. Downtown Akron provides a great community for locals and that’s what I love the most about DAP. They really care about providing a fun, safe, and clean place for people to live and have fun.

Joining in the Fit & Green Ride at The Market at Lock 3

Being a Downtown Akron Partnership Intern, I’ve learned so many great things that I will carry on all through my life. I’ve learned how to interview people professionally, I sharpened up my writing skills, I learned how to use different software to update the DAP website; I also learned how to break out of my shell and talk to people in the community to promote a healthy living style. I am truly thankful that I got to experience working at Downtown Akron Partnership.

By: Hillary Walker
DAP Intern

Distinctly Downtown: We Gallery

Creative inspiration.
Everyone has a creative side, but most people need inspiration before they can create amazing works of art. If you’re anything like me, you can use a creative push sometimes. Downtown Akron Partnership would like to reintroduce you to the We Gallery. We Gallery is the perfect place to spark your creative nature. we-gallery-logo

We Gallery opened in 2008 when two sisters decided to collectively bring handmade fine art to Downtown Akron. The name “We” means more than one and “Gallery” means building or location. When put together the name “We Gallery” means bringing together all art forms in one location and that’s what the two sisters did. Erin and Karyn Ludlam created a retail space that allows you view and purchase the beautiful hand- crafted art on display.


Reasonably priced hand-crafted jewelry

Before the sisters opened We Gallery, Erin successfully managed an art gallery in California where she developed long lasting relationships with artists around the United States. Karyn, fine arts graduate of The University of Akron, convinced Erin they could run an art gallery here with Erin’s national contacts and Karyn’s artistic ceramics pieces and her local contacts We Gallery was born. The gallery carries local and national handmade items that are available for sale such as ceramics, fine jewelry, paintings and photographs.

We gallery pottery wheel

Pottery wheel demo during Artwalk

As you enter through the door of We Gallery, the first thing you will notice is the jewelry case. Inside of the case are handmade one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry such as rings, earrings and necklaces. “The jewelry is reasonably priced to fit any shoppers’ budget,” said Karyn. “The jewelry is really popular and sells pretty fast.” As you continue to walk around you will see beautiful glass blown bowls, vases and table center pieces from designers in New York and California. In the back of the store you will also see a display of ceramic pieces created by Karyn. This room also has a display of painting and photographs on the wall from local artists and another jewelry case that shows rings made of vintage buttons. The center part of the back room has a table where handmade purses, small sculptures and one-of-a-kind greeting cards are located. As you gaze around the store in amazement you will become aware of this creative energy the store has from the displays of artwork to the vintage feel of the actual building. The We Gallery has created a retail location where you can shop and become inspired to tap into your own creative talent.

Downtown Akron has numerous family-friendly shops and restaurants but if you are looking for a place to draw some creative inspiration, please visit We Gallery located at 20 N. Main Street. Hours of operation are Wednesdays from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. We Gallery is also a part of the monthly Artwalk.

By: Ciara Milton 
DAP Intern

Distinctly Downtown: The Coffee Pot

photo 5The owners of the Stew Pot Kitchen are proud to announce the opening of their new business called “The Coffee Pot” located inside the Akron-Summit Library near the Main Street entrance. Scott Malensek, the owner, thought it would be a wonderful idea to offer customers a quick, grab-and-go, breakfast that’s not offered at the Stew Pot. The main reason why Scott decided to open The Coffee Pot is because his customers kept asking him to serve breakfast. Since the Stew Pot Kitchen is only 180 paces from the library, he gets a lot of people and employees from the library come into the Stew Pot. The employees from the library told him about the empty space inside the first floor of the library and Scott thought it was the perfect place to serve breakfast to his customers. The Stew Pot Kitchen and The Coffee Pot are both family-owned; Scott works with his wife and kids which makes both restaurants family-friendly.

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The Coffee Pot has a very settled, calm, and quiet environment with veggie plants growing in the windows and new paintings and photos hung on the walls. The vegetable plants growing inside of the Coffee Pot are used in the recipes at both restaurants, which makes the food even better since the plants are homegrown! The plants consist of basil, (for the tomato basil soup), hot peppers, lettuce, cherry and yellow tomatoes, cucumbers and much more. Since the Coffee Pot just opened they are still doing renovations on the inside. Scott likes to feature local artist work and by the end of the year he wants to make the Coffee Pot an “urban jungle”. He wants it to be warm and a bright green space whenever it’s grey and nasty outside in the winter. “Next time we get seven months of winter, I want it to be summer in the Coffee Pot,” he said.

The Stew Pot Kitchen offers soups, salads, and sandwiches for lunch while the Coffee Pot offers grab-and-go food and drinks that are made to order. They serve a wide variety of coffee and tea that change daily.

photo 1 (3)
They offer Jamaican coffee that smells strong but taste light, kind of like tea, and it tastes amazing. Another coffee they offer is Kenya coffee, the smell is just what you would imagine Africa to smell like with a strong taste. The Coffee Pot also offers salami and American cheese, custom roast beef with homegrown lettuce sandwiches, basic salads, muffins, fresh fruit, and to-go snacks for when you’re in a hurry. In the near future, Scott plans to add more items to the Coffee Pot menu that includes more flavors of coffee and more sandwiches. He also wants to grow more varieties of plants in the Coffee Pot along with getting more artist work on the walls to give it that urban jungle feeling.

The Coffee Pot and The Stew Pot Kitchen have pretty much everything in common. Everyone who works at the Stew Pot Kitchen also works at The Coffee Pot. The customers that come into the Stew Pot for lunch also come into the Coffee Pot to grab a quick coffee and sandwich for breakfast. The Stew Pot offers a wide variety of soups, have you looked at their website? There are over 100 different kinds of soups, all from the customer’s feedback! Scott is the kind of person who loves customer input, every soup and sandwich on his menu has had some kind of customer feedback, like if they have suggestions on what he should add to it. He really values his customers and what they have to say about his recipes. If you don’t like the soup that you ordered, tell them and they will keep trying until they get it perfect just for your satisfaction. Most of the ingredients put into the soups are homegrown or they get them from a local homegrown market. They not only grow plants inside of the Coffee Pot, they also have their own garden at their home and that’s how the Tomato Basil soup is made.

The Coffee Pot is a unique addition to Downtown Akron with a homey, calm, and green photo 3 (1)environment that is always welcoming. He wants to make his customers happy by offering the best coffee and food in town. So stop by and have a cup of coffee before work or stop by the Stew Pot Kitchen and try their phenomenal tomato basil soup or their famous chili.

This year in July marks the 4th anniversary of the Stew Pot Kitchen and they are offering specials everyday and lots of awesome deals. Check their Facebook daily to catch the new specials offered the whole month of July.

By: Hillary Walker
DAP Intern


Distinctly Downtown: Biking To Work

suzie biking 2Inspired by the Chicago 8-80 Doable Cities Forum in Chicago last week and AMATS’ Switching Gears Active Transportation Conference yesterday I rediscovered a love for my neighborhood this morning by biking to work! Only eight minutes slower than driving in (obeying speed limits) and far better for my health and sense of well-being, my 20 minute ride began by appreciating how my old Akron street is built at a beautiful human scale with porches and windows facing the street to encourage a watchful and engaged neighborhood.

Every pedestrian I passed, even on the four lane Market Street route that I took, smiled and said hello. I took the street versus the sidewalk and braved the traffic. Cycling is not just for the lycra people – stuff a blazer and change of shoes in your backpack ad enjoy the ride. Hooray for our old neighborhood streets, built close-in to the city center so we can take advantage of a better life.

Skip the suburbs, stay in Akron. Thanks to the Knight Foundation for inspiring us to think differently about modes of transit and their impact on quality of life. Hope to see you at the lunchtime University of Akron’s How We Roll bike tour today with the fabulous Christine Mayer, president of GAR Foundation! The lunchtime bike rides take place every Friday at 12:15 p.m. with the Market at Lock 3. Click here for a full schedule of rides and celebrity tour guides and be sure to join us.

By: Suzie Graham
President, Downtown Akron Partnership