CLEVELAND — Pushing forward with plans to start a new business despite a pandemic could soon pay off for dozens of locally-grown brands. Jayson Demagall and his business are taking the leap of faith to do just that in the Duck Island neighborhood on Cleveland's West side.
Demagall, who also owns Forest City Brewery, offered locally sourced products along with his beer.
“We’ve been working with the West Side Market for the past four years with that," Demagall said.
However, when the pandemic hit he still wanted to support the market despite not having customers bellying up to his bar.
“When people would come and get a growler fill from the neighborhood, now we had eggs for them and butter and they will take it home," Demagall said.
The Duck Island General Store was born out of that commitment to locally-owned businesses.
“With what’s happening right now, we probably need to see more of that," Demagall said.
Demagall said while the main focus is coffee, they also sell those basic necessities like fresh produce, dairy and meat.
“This is what a neighborhood needs," Courtney McCrone said.
Mccrone, who lives in Ohio City, likes the nostalgia of a general store, especially a general store that is stocked with food and products from Cleveland-owned companies.
“It’s really important to me to shop local as much as possible," McCrone said.
Demagall is hopeful this one-stop shop will be more appealing than big box stores during the pandemic.
“It’s small enough you’re not around a lot of people and you can feel safe doing it too," Demagall said.
Right now, there are 50 local brands available inside the Duck Island General Store. Several more are expressing interest in being on the shelves.
“We’re asking people from the neighborhood 'What do you want us to carry? What would you come in and buy?" Demagall. said.