ASHLAND – Six new area businesses, ranging from a haunted house to a sloppy joe sauce manufacturer, were highlighted Wednesday morning during a press conference at Mitchell’s Orchard & Farm Market by the Ashland Area Council for Economic Development.

“There is a lot happening here,” said Kathy Goon, executive director of the AACED.

Nova residents Brenda and Shelby Joe Cutlip, owners of Shelby Joes, Inc., have been working for several years to get their sloppy joe sauce into stores.

Currently, the sauce is available in 27 different stores and the Cutlips are working through the process of getting their sauce in other major retail chains, including Kroger, Buehlers and DrugMart.

The Cutlips have been creating their sauce at a canning kitchen in Bowling Green, a two-hour drive away. Recently, they discovered that they would be able to make their sauce at any commercial kitchen as long as it meets a few stipulations, so they will now be able to make their sauce at a kitchen in Ashland County.

The Cutlips thanked Goon and her staff for helping them create a business plan.

“We met with her for a couple of days, she went over the whole process with us, and she typed it up for us and she basically just started steering our boat for us in the right direction,” Shelby Cutlip said.

The former Perrysville school building is being transformed in to a frightening experience thanks to John and Florence Gepperth. Lessons In Fear, a haunted schoolhouse, will open Sept. 16 and be open Fridays and Saturdays through the first week of November.

The Gepperths previously had a haunted experience at their residence but it grew too big to continue there.

“We got to the point of either we need to stop before somebody shuts us down or we need to try to grow. We opted to go forward,” John Gepperth said.

Goon said the Gepperths had called their office originally in 2013 and the AACED have been working with the couple closely for three years to get them to this place. John Gepperth thanked Goon and her staff for all their hard work and their willingness to help them achieve their dream.

Doug and Anna Reynolds made headlines this summer when their purchase of the former Gilbert’s Building was announced. The Reynolds have long dreamed of owning a pub and are in the process of renovating the former furniture store in downtown Ashland into Uniontown Brewing Co.

“We’re really dedicated to downtown Main Street, to the revitalization of Main Street, and to what is happening down there. We want to be a big part of that, so we’re hoping that our restaurant and brewery will bring people down and get people moving down there,” Anna Reynolds said. 

The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. six days a week. There is still no date set for opening the brewery but Anna said they were working through the licensing process.

Building on the popular Google StreetView experience, Nick Stevens of MultiCraft 360 has taken 360-degree photography to a new audience – businesses. Stevens, who has lived in Ashland his whole life, has already worked with several area businesses, including Local Roots, Bohland Jewelers and Ashland Comfort Control, allowing them to share virtual tours of their businesses on their websites.

While MultiCraft 360 is focused on static photography now, Stevens hopes to expand into offering complete virtual reality production capabilities in the near future.

Ashland Doggy Daycare and More, owned by Kim Stoner, offers a variety of services for dog owners who need care for their pets during the workday. Stoner worked in the veterinary business for about a decade, which gave her a good background in understanding dogs and how to care for them.

“I don’t like to see dogs in cages or being left alone so I thought why not open a doggy daycare in Ashland,” Stoner said.

At Ashland Doggy Daycare and More, the dogs are not kept in cages. Instead, Stoner said the animals stay in what is closer to a playpen like many parents use for children, with rubber floors and fronts made from PVC pipe, allowing the dogs to see out the front.

The owners of D&L Underground Solutions from Loudonville were unable to attend the press conference due to business obligations, but Georgia Kauffman, wife of co-owner Dave Kauffman, attended in his place and announced the company has an international deal after just five months in business. D&L Underground Solutions specializes in horizontal directional drilling and parts, accessories and modernization of machines. 

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