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North Olmsted storefront offers collaborative space for small businesses

Posted at 5:34 PM, Apr 06, 2022

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio — One of northeast Ohio’s newest local businesses is making it its mission to support fellow small business owners. Wednesday, Cleveland Bakery Collective cut the ribbon on its North Olmsted storefront, with a long line of customers eager to see the new space.

“I think it’s wonderful. It’s great for North Olmsted, and I’d love to see more of it. This is a great start,” said Chrissy Hamett, who stopped by the market Wednesday afternoon and left with a bag stocked with pierogies, pepperoni rolls, syrup and baking mixes.

Nikki and Jay Odongray opened the market after successfully running Pierogi Pantry for five years. The couple started the business in their home, first selling their products at local farmers markets, before expanding to their own brick-and-mortar store.

“When we envisioned the concept of doing a storefront, we always imagined it would be something collaborative,” Nikki Odongray said.

Cleveland Bakery Collective sells products from Pierogi Pantry, as well as food and retail items from many other local vendors the Odongrays came to know through farmers markets.

“We really found this amazing community of small, local food makers,” Nikki Odongray said. “We can bring everyone together and build this one amazing thing together.”

Wednesday, a half dozen vendors set up in front of the store with samples of the products that will be sold inside. Many expressed the importance of camaraderie.

“We all work so hard. We just appreciate what it takes,” said Lauren Falcione, owner of the Blonde Italian.

Others recognized the value of collective marketing power of bringing their products into one space.

“The chance to put your product out in a store is a great opportunity,” said Marie Calarco, the owner of The Cookie Jar Enterprises. “You sort of become a family when you’re at the markets. So everybody starts to get to know each other and try each other’s products and be able to promote everybody’s products.”

When construction is complete, the market will also feature rental kitchen space for startup food makers. Odongray explained the concept maximizes efficiency and minimizes overhead costs.

“Hopefully, we can help people scale their businesses up and get bigger. And they can also have the opportunity to do things that you can’t do from home,” she said. “We really feel strongly about helping as many other people as we can along the way.”

The Cleveland Bakery Collective is located at 29603 Lorain Ave., North Olmsted, OH 44070. It will operate Wednesday - Sunday, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Learn more about the available products and opportunities to become a vendor by clicking here.

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