Getting Sweet in February with ACEnet! 
Athens Gets New Chocolate Food Truck for Valentine's Day

Just in time for Valentine's Day, a new chocolate food truck is rolling into town to offer locally made truffles, chocolate bars and more. Petru Chocolate will officially open on Saturday. The business is owned by Stacy Peters of Athens - the former owner of O'Chocolate.

Petru will begin with a limited menu of truffles and chocolate bars for the first few weeks. For Valentine's Day, Petru will be offering truffles (including in gift boxes) and chocolate bars on Feb. 12 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on East Union Street; Feb. 13 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Premiere Video and Feb. 14 on East Union from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Preorders will not be accepted.

You can check out Petru's website and interact with Petru on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Would you like to know more? You can read the full article HERE!

Entrepreneur of the Month

There's a new winery in town! Dutch Creek Winery  specializes in mead, cider and fruit wines. They are a husband and wife team who manage both the farm side  of the operation, beekeeping and growing an apple-peach-pear orchard, as well as the production side of their winery by creating some of the best artisanal, small-batch meads, ciders and fruit wines that Athens, OH has to offer.

They currently have 4 flavors of honey wine available: Royal Affair Earl Grey Honey Tea Wine, Commonwealth's Revenge Bourbon Barrel Honey Wine, American Mead Honey Wine and Autumn Harvest Honey Wine.

In the Athens area, you can currently purchase these wines at Coonskin Crossing in Amesville, Bella Vino on Stimson Avenue, and the West End Cider House on Washington Street. You can also pick these up in various Columbus locations.
Athens Regional Food Policy Council

The Athens Regional Food Policy Council is a group committed to growing healthy, equitable, and sustainable food systems in our region through understanding and policy work around food security and economic development.

The Council's next meeting is Tuesday, February 23rd from 1:00 - 3:00PM here at ACEnet (94 Columbus Road, Athens), and community members are encouraged to attend!
 Startup Weekend Athens

Have the next great idea? Want to collaborate with artists, engineers, or entrepreneurs? Come to Startup Weekend Athens!  The event is open to all people of all ages who have an entrepreneurial passion. The event runs through the weekend on March 18-20 at the Ohio University Innovation Center.  

All Startup Weekend events follow the 
same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers.  Don't have an idea but just want to learn how to start a business?  No problem!  Your skills will benefit another's idea. Have an idea but not sure what to do with it?  No problem!  Your idea will spark thought and perhaps generate action. 

For more information, check out the Startup Weekend Athens website!
2016 Southeast Ohio Farm-to-School Conference

2016 Southeast Ohio Farm-to-School Conference: Partnerships and Innovations for Successful Farm to School Programs. 

Join Southeast Ohio food system partners for the 2016 Southeast Ohio Farm-to-School Conference! Gather for a two-day, extensive conference that will cover all things Farm-to-School! Ohio Continuing Education Units Available.

Keynote Speaker: Chef Katie McGushin, Program Director for the School of Hospitality at  Hocking College.  Chef McGushin works with the Rural Action Farm-to-School program, and coordinates a partnership between Rural Action and Hocking College that encourages local schools to purchase local produce and assists in the local economic development of the area. She has been instrumental in helping Appalachian schools utilize fresh, local produce in their cafeterias.

When: Thursday March 3 & Friday March 4, 2016
Where: Eclipse Company Store | 11309 Jackson Drive, The Plains, OH 45780
Cost for the conference is $30/day with limited scholarships available. For scholarship &
 discounted lodging information, please see HERE

Topics Covered will include:
  • Farm-to-School Procurement
  • School Gardens
  • Food Safety
  • Food Service Staff Training
  • Sourcing Local Food
  • Healthy Food Curriculum
  • Food Policy
  • and MUCH MORE!
These Southeast Ohio food partners have worked together on local food initiatives for decades, bringing economic viability and healthy home consumerism to Southeast Ohio families. Their work with farm to school lunches, school gardens, healthy cooking classes, farmer education, and regulation technical assistance has made them experts in Farm to School programming. At this Farm to School Conference, these four organizations will welcome regional partners and other experts in the field to come share their experiences, and speak about the struggles and successes of farm to school work.

Upcoming Events

ARTS/West Presents will be hosting a "Spoken Word" Concert produced by the Appalachian Ohio Storytelling Project. The event will take place on Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 2:00pm.  The concert will feature poets, regional storytellers, readings from  the late Will Dewees, and Burnett will also perform! Doors open at 1:30pm and there is a suggested donation of $5 per adult.  For more information contact ARTS/West at 740-592-4315.

The Ohio University Credit Union is hosting a Family Skate Night at Ohio University's Bird Arena! Admission is free AND skate rentals are free while they last!

2016 Southeast Ohio Farm to School Conference: Partnerships and Innovations for Successful Farm to School Programs. Located at the Eclipse Company Store (11309 Jackson Drive, The Plains, OH 45780). 
Cost for the conference is $30/day with limited scholarships available. For more information, please see above newsletter article.

March 17 & 18 marks the first annual  Appalachian Conference on Social EnterprisePlease join business and community leaders for an exciting exploration of business' power to do good. Do you have an idea for investing in your community and earning profit? Do you believe profit is more than the money we can make? Join us for the region's first social enterprise conference and connect with other pioneers in this powerful sector. For more information & to register, click HERE.

Startup Weekend Athens comes back to the Ohio University Innovation Center! The event is open to all who have an entrepreneurial passion.  All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Following the opening pitches, teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it's a 49 hour frenzy of business creation.  The weekend culminates with presentations in front of a judging panel of thought leaders with an opportunity for critical feedback.

Your tax-deductible contribution helps ACEnet expand economic opportunities in the Appalachian Ohio Region! Thank you for your continued interest in and support of when we do here at ACEnet!
Meggan Loveland
Appalachian Center for Economic Networks
94 Columbus Rd,  Athens, OH 45701 
(740) 592-3854
94 Columbus Rd, Athens, OH 45701