Fire doesn’t burn out the desire

New store moves in downtown

WARREN — Stephanie Dietelbach’s retail store was among 13 destroyed when fire ripped through the charming Main Street business district in Garrettsville more than five years ago.

The store, One Real Peach — named after a line in the Shel Silverstein poem, “The Garden” — she described as an eclectic mix of vintage, farm house, rustic / industrial home decor was her lifelong dream and her livelihood at the time.

The fire devastated the store and Dietelbach, who said she put her blood, sweat and tears into making it a reality some 20 years after falling in love with the former hardware store and promising herself she would have a business in that building one day.

She eventually got out of retail in 2016 and became a Realtor — after the fire and after opening a store for actress Monica Potter in Garrettsville — but the draw of running her own business stayed with her.

She and a friend, Amy Marsh, continued to sell at craft shows, but that got stale quickly — they tired of lugging merchandise in and out of the shows and competing with direct sellers, so Dietelbach set out to open a new store.

And she is, on Main Street SW in downtown Warren at the site of the former Artisan Cafe. It’s called Midwestern Roots and has the same “vibe” as her former store in Garrettsville.

“I just think it’s like this burning entrepreneur and maybe I just don’t like people to tell me what to do. I like to be my own boss,” Dietelbach said.

Dietelbach said she had her sights on Courthouse Square just a block north, “but there’s not really any space and once I walked in here, I’m like this is so cool that I’ll take the challenge of getting people to come down here. It’s worth it.”

Marsh is a partner and so are Dietelbach’s mother, Linda Nash, and aunt, Sandi Hardesty.

The building at 410 Main Ave. SW has sat empty since Artisan Cafe closed a couple years back, but now is filled with the bustle of arranging furniture and displays to ready it for Midwestern Roots’ soft opening Sept. 6. A grand opening is set for Oct. 12.

In addition to home decor, the store will have filled chocolate candies, courtesy of Nash, and baked goods. The quartet also plan to host parties, mostly for little girls to make their own lotion, sugar scrub or soap using a base product and fragrance, and then make a label for their creation.

The hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.

And Dietelbach has a grander plan for the empty grass lot north of her store in the southwest corner of South Street SW and Main Avenue SW.

“That corner has potential. Now it just looks derelict. You can’t build anything on it. Paving it would be too expensive, so I would like to see it properly grassed, the debris cleaned up to host a semi-annual maker fair there,” Dietelbach said.

The idea is similar to the Shaker Woods Festival in Columbiana, but with an urban twist and a different type of venue. Dietelbach said she would facilitate and advertise the fair if it becomes real, and give the revenue to the city.

“I don’t want the money from it. I want to see it flourish … why let it just sit there unmowed and full of dead limbs,” Dietelbach said.

rselak@tribtoday.com

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