From the Executive Director’s desk:  Happy Summer! Summer started for Oberlin before summer started… 2nd Saturdays in Oberlin happened on June 12th and was a big success. Our goal was to get people back in the spirit of community – to bring back some of the vibrancy and vitality of our downtown after a challenging year – to offer ways to participate safely in events and to support our small businesses. 
There are so many stories to tell….here are a few of them.
Second Saturday was promoted in the Elyria Chronicle, Morning Journal, Lorain County website by Lorain County Visitors Bureau, Cleveland West Side Mom’s newsletter, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, WEOL Radio, and more!

  • More than 50% of the White Squirrel Scavenger Hunt participants said they went into some stores for the first time.
  • THANK YOU to these businesses that participated:  Ben Franklin’s, The Carlyle Shop, Gibson’s, Evie Lou, Oberlin Bookstore, Ginko Gallery, KidSpeak, The Hope Collection, and Watson Hardware.
  • Thirteen out of  thirty-three scavenger hunt participants found ALL 9 of the squirrels!  Participants received tickets to enter the prize raffle. A lucky first draw received a $25 Oberlin gift certificate and five more lucky people received $10 Oberlin Gift Certificates.

Gee Gee’s Kettle Korn sold out! They said they had a great day.

The East College Street Courtyard was a very busy gathering place for family activities:
  • Robert Ullman introduced people to his restaurant Bistro Bella Luna which is opening soon where Dave’s Cosmic Subs was.
  • James Peake introduced people to his Foldspace origami business and had fun creating origami with kids of all ages – some signed up for his classes.
  • Jenn Keathley of OberlinKids and Laura Slocum of KidSpeak provided lots of activities for kids all day.
  • Peter Slowik and Credo musicians provided lovely music in the morning and introduced people to Credo.

Three musicians played at various times in various locations during the day – helping to create a welcoming environment downtown.

Representatives from the new Willow Jewelry store opening Tuesday, June 15 where Herrick Jewelry was on W.College St. introduced people to the new store. They said they really enjoyed getting to know so many friendly people.

Jessa New from Slow Train Café  reported a 20% increase in business from last Saturday.  The Slow Train Story Telling was attended by 30 people who heard Pastor David Hill’s story and raised $50 for Oberlin Weekday Community Meals.

Evie Lou Oberlin and The Hope Collection had the best sales day since being in Oberlin!

The Arb at Tappan Square had a 27% increase in sales.

Friends of the Oberlin Public Library sold $400 in DVD’s and CD’s.

These companies and organizations came downtown to participate: 
  • Oberlin Community Services – Emily said she gave away tomato plants and people signed up to participate in some OCS programs.
  • Mercy Health – representatives talked to people about their services and gave away lots of promotional items.
  • CATTS – representatives had lots of cat-related items that people were happy to purchase to support the organization.
  • Gene Piazza’s Insurance Agency had a table by Gee Gee’s Kettle Korn and really enjoyed the day – AND the kettle Korn!

Signs were installed in the downtown cement gardens acknowledging the volunteer sponsors of people and businesses that have agreed to maintain them. The downtown garden project is a program of OBP’s Keep Oberlin Beautiful initiative.  Be sure to thank the garden volunteers when you see them.

Many thanks to Maureen Simen, Event Coordinator; Eli Chambers, OBP Summer Intern; and Elizabeth Elrod, OBP Administrative Assistant for all the work they did to make the June 12th 2nd Saturday a success.

How can you help with the July 10th and August 14th 2nd Saturday events?

July 10:  Family Activities and Music Theme.  Do you know a musician who might be interested in playing/singing?  If so let us know so we can ask them to share their talents on July 10th.  Do you know of a community organization that would be willing to perform? (singers, dramatists, baton twirlers, bubble makers, balloon shapers, jump rope teams, etc.)  If so let us know or have someone contact us.

August 14:  Art Theme.  Do you know artists who would like to share their work – maybe demonstrate how their work is done? Let us know or have them contact us. They can also sell their work. 

WHO TO CONTACT about 2nd Saturdays in Oberlin:

GO HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE JULY 10th 2nd Saturday:  2nd Sat - July 10

OBP held a grand opening on Tuesday, June 22, to welcome Bill and Holly Piorkowski, owners, and Chris Sariss, manager to downtown Oberlin.  Linda Slocum, President of Oberlin City Council, Rob Hillard, City Manager, Rick Flood, President OBP Board of Trustees and Janet Haar, Executive Director OBP, welcomed the new business and wished them success while also offering to support their needs.

Willow Jewelry and Repair is owned and operated by Bill Piorkowski who is also the owner of Elyria Jewelers and Repair in Elyria that opened in 2006. Bill is a certified jeweler with 26 years’ experience. Chris Sarris is the manager at Willow Jewelers and Repair in Oberlin. He has been working with Bill at Elyria Jewelers and brings 25 years of experience to their team.
Their goal has always been to treat customers like family. They prioritize customer service and the highest quality products to ensure the best relationships with their clients. 
Services include jewelry repair, appraisals, watch repair, custom jewelry design, and buying gold and coins. Hours of operation are Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Be sure to stop by and welcome them to Oberlin!

2nd SATURDAYS IN OBERLIN. OBP is initiating a return to a ‘happening downtown’ with 2nd Saturdays in Oberlin. Each summer month on the 2nd Saturday the town will come alive with activities.
Get more info here: 2nd Saturdays Information
Follow our Facebook page for up-to-the-minute info about 2nd Saturdays: OBP Facebook Page
Stay tuned for more information and SAVE THE DATE for the 2021 Comedy Night fundraiser which is being held at the New Russia Township Lodge on Friday night, September 10th – music, raffles, food & comedy!

You can register here: 2021 Comedy Night
2021 LEADERCAST EVENT. Save Thursday, October 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a day you will not forget! This year’s theme is SHIFT and it couldn’t be more relevant! It will be a jam-packed day with networking, presentations from nationally recognized speakers and a panel of local business people who have ‘shifted’ because of COVID, learned important lessons, and been successful. SAVE THE DATE – REGISTER HERE: Leadercast SHIFT
Business Profile
Krista Long
Ben Franklin and MindFair Books
Tell us about your business. The fun thing about Ben Franklin is the long history and having been revolutionary in the way that it approached retail in the 30s. Ben Franklin was part of the whole change away from shops where ladies helped you by bringing items out of the case. Shoppers went around from station to station and made their little purchases. Then it was open displays and whole thing was really revolutionary. Retail has continued to change with the move to malls and online sales. Ben Franklin is here doing pretty much the same thing, serving the community, and providing basic goods at fair prices. We try to provide merchandise that will be of interest to our community. That’s what I really love about Ben Franklin. As we clean out the basement, I keep finding stuff such as old ads, materials or old ways things were done. It’s fascinating to see how things have changed.

Tell us a little bit about you – what are your interests, passions, etc.? I play the piano and cello. I love tiny things, especially if they’re natural. I have a collection of shells and driftwood and I love plants. I like to sit outside and listen to and watch birds. I am fascinated by ants, namely because there are tons of them around my property. I don’t use any poisons. They’re fascinating to watch and they’re tiny. 

I’ve done a lot of social justice work and served on a lot of boards and I like community based work. I’ve served on the Bill Long Foundation Board, The Community Meals Board, and the Main Street Board. Now I am working on the Community Land Trust Board. I do try to put my skills and connections to use and I feel energized by that work. 

I hope to be doing more music at Ben Franklin. As my kids have gone off and left me at home, I have spent a lot of time listening to music and wanting to have it on all the time. I go to a lot of concerts. I also enjoy watching videos of historic concerts. I hope to move the music scene forward in Oberlin.

Why did you choose to open your business in Oberlin? My career was working in the Co-op Bookstore as a book buyer and then working for other booksellers in Cleveland as a book buyer. I came back and worked for NACS (National Association of College Stores) as a book buyer and then got laid off from there because of transition problems they were having. This was in ’99 and I had two small children and no job. I had applied for a job in publishing which would have meant uprooting these kids. I was single by then and I thought I might as well give used books a try so I opened MindFair Books where Lupita’s is today. I was there less than a year when I learned that the Cochran’s were looking to sell Ben Franklin. At the time, the area where the books are today was lightly merchandized, so it made sense to move MindFair Books there. I didn’t want to uproot my family or leave Oberlin.

Why did you join the Oberlin Business Partnership? I was on the Main Street Board when the Chamber and Main Street were merging. I’m really committed to the ideas that came out of the Main Street Program--keeping downtown shopping districts, preservation of historic buildings, economic development, and beautification. Those are the things that motivate me to continue supporting OBP to the extent that the activities are focused on downtown and keeping it a vital healthy district for all the visitors who come here and for all the employees. Collectively downtown businesses are really quite an economic generator; some people don’t recognize that because we’re all kind of small, kind of independent. The work of supporting our downtown is really important and we need to stay on top of it and OBP is going to be the organization that can do that and I’m going to support it for those reasons.
Would you encourage others to join OBP? If so, why? YesIt’s a way of showing support and being involved. The support helps the organization and gives members a voice to share what they think needs to be happening.

What is one piece of advice or input you would like to share with our readers? Be involved in your community and help to move forward the things that you’re passionate about. Don’t sit back and criticize and decry the lack of change or the way things are. You have to get in there and advocate for the things are most important to you in order to make a difference.
Thursday, August 12, 2021
via Zoom

Good Morning Oberlin will be on vacation in July but we look forward to seeing you at our August 12 meeting!

To receive monthly invitations, send your email address to or just register below.

We invite you to settle in with your morning beverage and share your stories with us and learn what other people are doing and how you can engage in new opportunities.

We hope you will join us in August for this opportunity to learn, grow and share!
by Megan Apple
Opportunity to Share and Receive!
CoWork Oberlin’s Resident Business Advisor, Megan Apple, is available to offer support and advice. She can be reached at
Profit Joyfully Business Network for Women
A twice monthly coach-facilitated group for female entrepreneurs to provide support, networking opportunities, business coaching and advising. You can join at any time.
Register here.

The health, safety and well-being of Oberlin employees, residents and businesses is our highest priority. Although City buildings are still closed to the public, Oberlin services are still operational. Please visit for how to contact City offices, and information on services, state of Ohio orders/advisories, assistance options, etc. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up to date information!

  • Oberlin Connector Service: The City of Oberlin has expanded the Oberlin Connector transit service in 2021 to include a greater service area and more hours.  The Oberlin Connector is available for any trip beginning or ending in Oberlin, with service running from 6:00am-6:00pm and from 9:30pm-12:30am, Monday through Friday.  The service area has expanded to include Oberlin and portions of New Russia Township, Amherst Township, Amherst, Lorain, Sheffield Township, Elyria and Carlisle Township.  For more information, visit
  • News & Updates: The City sends bi-monthly newsletters to residents with information on City programs, services and events. These items, along with past editions of News & Updates mailers are now available online HERE.
  • City Email Updates: Keep up to date on important City announcements, including City programming and service updates, job openings, event announcements and more! Sign up today:
  • Emergency Notification System: It’s more important than ever to stay informed.  Members of the local workforce are encouraged to register for the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS). This system is used by the City of Oberlin and Lorain County to alert the community about emergency situations, such as boil alerts, power outages, street closures, weather alerts, etc. Alerts can be received via email, text message and/or voicemail. Register HERE. For more information, contact the Oberlin Fire Department at 440-774-3211 or