ASHLAND — Paul “Dick” Baum, the man behind Ashland’s own Grandpa’s Cheesebarn & Sweetie’s Chocolates, died Thursday at the age of 93.

The family made the announcement on the company’s Facebook page.


“Grandpa and grandma celebrated 73 years of marriage on Dec. 4, 2022. We’ve been blessed with their guidance and presence all these years. The Lor has a greater purpose and has called him home for Christmas. Heaven gained a sweet smile, so say cheese and a prayer for our family,” the post reads.

Baum started in business by following in the footsteps of “Grandpa Yarman” dating to the early 1900s. He took over Yarman’s West Salem store and married Yarman’s daughter.

In 1978, Baum’s daughter, Ronda, and her husband, Richard Poorbaugh, founded “Grandpa’s Cheesebarn” when they sold their sporting goods store.

According to a company history, Yarman became famous for his smoked meats. Baum started exploring “new areas in Ohio to obtain the best Colby, Swiss, baby Swiss and many other types of local cheeses,” the company’s history states.

He sold the West Salem store, Wonderland of Food, in 1991. He joined his daughter and son-in-law at the Ashland location, which was the Poorbaugh’s dairy farm.

People on social media have expressed condolences to the family, some of them sharing special memories of Buam.

Many have written about his “sweet” character. One woman described a recent day that he waited in the rain to say hello and chat with her.

Cheesebarn carver

Another said she would stop there often on her way to drop her son off at Ashland High School.

“We absolutely had to because I made a fuss if we wouldn’t have stopped. Everyone is so sweet … must have gotten it from Grandpa,” she wrote.

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