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Explore Nordonia Hills: The Mom & Pop Era

by Eric Marotta and Briana Barker | Editor and Reporter Published: May 20, 2015 10:20 AM
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Nordonia Hills is home to numerous "big box" retailers and nationally known retail chains, but it's the local, family owned businesses that make their mark on the community. They can be found all around town, from Macedonia Commons, to Sagamore Square, to historic downtown Northfield Center and summit plaza in northfield village. The following are just a few of these local "Mom & Pop" establishments.

Namaste Yoga Studio

Namaste Yoga, which has been in the Nordonia Hills area for the past seven years, recently moved from Sagamore Hills to a new location at 9293 Olde Eight Road in Northfield Center.

Owner Jolynn McFerrin said she's a mother of three who is active in the PTA and at St. Barnabas Church. Before she began teaching yoga, McFerrin says she worked for others as a high school teacher, in editing and publishing, in addition to work as a consultant.

"The flexibility of the schedule and being able to do things in the community are the two reasons I wanted to be self-employed and to own my own business," she said, explaining the studio collects food and goods for the Emergency Assistance Center and the Make a Wish Foundation, among other organizations. A yoga practitioner since college, "for me, it's always a place I can turn to to get centered," adding her business helps other people accomplish the same. "I get to make people happy and make people healthy," she said.

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"I think it's a very youthful, active community … but this is an old community as well," she said, adding she feels Namaste serves as a "gathering place" for residents of all ages and backgrounds.

Wills Jewelers

Nathan Joviak, of Wills Jewelers in Sagamore Square Shopping Center, said he wanted to own his own jewelry store since he was in high school.

He then studied at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, Calif., specializing in gemstones used in jewelry.

"I've pretty much always worked in the jewelry industry, but my ultimate goal was always to own my own store."

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Though the store has been in the community since 1974, Joviak became the owner eight years ago.

His daughter, Katie, who recently graduated from the Gemological Institute, works in the store with her father full time, assisted by three part-timers.

"We have a very loyal customer base. I'd say 90 percent of our customers are from the local area," Joviak said, adding he also sees a good share of new customers.

"This is just a very well-rounded community."

Post Net

Rick Centa, owner of Post Net, a business, printing and shipping service, said he is celebrating 12 years in business this year at his Macedonia Commons location. "We're generally, locally based. We do a lot of business with travelling people, but most of it's local," he said.

A former pressroom foreman, plant manager, pressman and "you name it" in the printing industry for many years, Centa said he went into business for himself because he got tired of working for others.

Centa said he didn't know at first that Nordonia Hills would be a great place to do business.

"Everybody is pretty loyal. I have a wonderful client base," he said.

Crossroads Chiropractic Center

Drs. Bobbi and Wayne Taylor, of Crossroads Chiropractic Center and Acupuncture at 9320 Olde Eight Road, are a pair who are dedicated to helping others and wanted to be in business for themselves when they opened shop eight years ago. "I personally wanted to help people naturally, without drugs, medication or surgery," said Bobbi Taylor.

"Everyone is so nice and friendly. It just makes it easier to work here," she said, adding she and her husband live in the community. "We still have patients who are coming to us since the first day we opened, but we also get a steady stream of new patients and referrals every month. I think the family based practice that we have makes people feel comfortable referring their family and friends to us."

She said the addition of acupuncture to the practice about two years ago has provided a unique service not available in other area practices.

Petal Place Florist

Leslie Johnson, owner of Petal Place Florist in Northfield Village for the past nine years, says she's lived in Nordonia Hills her entire life and went to school to learn her trade. "I worked in an office, I worked in a bank and that wasn't a really fulfilling job for me," she said. "I didn't want to travel far. I wanted to be in the community and basically, I just really wanted to be my own boss, set my own hours and priorities. I'm kind of particular, so I want things done my own way." She said the most important thing about her work is satisfying customers' needs.

"My customers are awesome. I have a very loyal customer base. I like the fact that I can give them individualized service," she said. "We can handle pretty much any special request, which in this industry is something that you pretty much have to do." Her shop at 10416 Northfield Road -- only a half-mile from the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park -- has also seen added business, as the Rocksino has placed numerous special orders with her since opening at the end of 2013.

Resource Metals Recycling

Joe Pestino, owner of Resource Metals Recycling at 8509 Freeway Drive in Macedonia, said his family saw a need for a "clean, friendly environment for the Nordonia Community to recycle." In business for the past four years, the company buys all sorts of scrap metal and goods, including jewelry and machinery. Pestino said he is committed to recycling for the benefit of the environment, and has a wide customer base.

"We get a broad range of customers, from general homeowners who are looking to get rid of scrap to large industrial companies," he said, adding his 4 year-old company has a special commitment to Nordonia Hills.

"I had an opportunity to buy a business like this in another community and I chose to open one right here where I live," he said. "It's a great place to live, a great place to raise a family. The schools are great … my family and I really enjoy living here.

"Rather than buying a business and getting involved in a community where I don't live, I'd rather provide a great service and help the community that I do live in," Pestino added.

Stepping Stone Eductation Center

Debbie Keleman, owner of Stepping Stone Education Center at 9305 Olde Eight Road in Northfield Center, says she's been in business for 34 years providing full childcare and education services, including summer camps and drop-in babysitting services.

"It's a great place to raise children; it has a lot to offer with the parks, schools and the local businesses. I think we all work together well," she said.

"The majority of our customers are long-term and the majority are referrals -- a lot of them are family members, people who they work with," she said, adding some have been children who grew up, went to school and returned with children of their own to be cared for.

"The kids typically call it the Blue School," Keleman said. "Our mission here is to help raise happy, healthy, intelligent children."


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