What makes Medina so appealing?
For those who haven’t been here, Medina is a very picturesque and pristine place, especially with the gazebo in the square. (The city) began buying flowerpots to place throughout the historic district’s nine blocks. We’ve added each year (75-76 last year), so when you come to the area the square is surrounded with these colorful flowers, and it gives the strong impression of a community that cares and is welcoming.
Are there plans to expand and grow the downtown area?
We are in the process of a downtown strategic plan, which is soliciting opinions from the business community and residences as to what they would like to see added to the downtown area in addition to what we have already — maybe a boutique hotel or certain eateries. Then, as we plan redevelopment of the existing buildings or add new buildings, we can incorporate some of those ideas of what the constituents are really looking for.
Can you update us on the economic development and growth of the city?
We’ve created a community development department, which is a combination of business and economic departments all housed in one place. As new businesses come in or expand, they can come to one office and get all of their questions answered. We work collaboratively with the Medina Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Medina. With the three of us all working together and pushing in the same direction, it has created great dividends for all of us.
Space on the square is very much in demand and even other areas of the city. We have created a pro-business model to attract new businesses, which has been done intentionally because the more folks we have here working and the more amenities we have, it just helps the overall economy....
A mother and daughter sit for high tea and scones surrounded by beautiful Victorian décor. They haven’t traveled to England where high tea is a common practice, but instead, to the nearby city of Medina at Miss Molly’s Tea Room and Gift Shop.
Tea has become a growing trend, along with specialty tea shops. In fact, there are more than 4,000 specialty tea rooms and retail shops in big cities and small towns across the U.S., according a 2013 report from the Tea Association of the USA, which is an independent authority on the industry.
Miss Molly’s Tea Room has been in the community for more than 16 years, ever since owner Ed Wright stumbled across the business with the help of his wife.
“I ran a big corporation in Cleveland for a number of years, and after selling that to a German group, I started doing private equity with several firms,” Wright says. “(My wife) picked up on the fact that the gift shop might be for sale and asked me if I was interested in looking at it, so we took a look. “
The couple soon bought the shop, located on West Washington Street.
“We tried to create an environment to step out of the hustle and bustle of the crazy world we live in and, not so much step back in time, but to a degree,”he says. “All the décor is Victorian, and it feels warm when you walk in the door; our place is warm and welcoming.”
The Tea Room
Sitting down for tea and sandwiches in a tea room can give families a respite from our technology-filled world, allowing for relaxation and conversation.
“If you go back to how tea rooms started in England, it was originally an opportunity for the ladies to go somewhere without their husbands; a reputable place to go,” Wright says....
Taking a Break to Shop and Dine.
While it’s tempting to envision a beach vacation or maybe a Caribbean cruise, these long excursions aren’t always feasible. Instead, I remind myself how much there is to see and do here in Ohio, including what my husband and I enjoy — day trips.
Day trips allow us to check out the many shops, businesses and museums that might not be open at night. And for parents, day tripping may be a preferable option, too, allowing time away as a couple, but also providing Mom and Dad a chance to come back home and tuck their children into bed for the evening.
Our most recent excursion took us to Medina, a quaint city located just off of Interstate 71, and easily accessible throughout the tri-county area. We started our day at Cool Beans Café, 103 W. Liberty St., a coffee shop in the heart of downtown deemed to provide us “a break from the daily grind” — and, it did. There, I enjoyed an iced latte and my husband had a strawberry smoothie. We discussed plans for the summer — a season we are looking forward to after this Northeast Ohio winter.
Next we made our way around the main square, checking out many of the downtown shops. From the handcrafted furniture at Eastwood Amish Craft Furniture, 23 Public Square, to homemade dog treats at One Lucky Dog Bakery, 45 Public Square, and the antiques and collectibles at Perfectly Charming, 248 S. Court St., stores here appeal to a variety of interests.
For those who embody the Christmas spirit year-round, a visit to Castle Noel, 260 S. Court St., a Christmas entertainment attraction open year-round, is a must. We also enjoyed Ormandy’s Trains and Toys, 10 Public Square, which showcases all types of locomotive memorabilia and train sets....