Columbus

Sassafras Bakery Thrives With Classic Flavors

Though it’s always fun to chase the latest dessert trends and flavor crazes, there’s nothing like returning to the classics: small batch cookies, homemade pies, tall glasses of home brewed lemonade and root beer. These sorts of classic treats are exactly what Sassafras Bakery serves to their customers at their Worthington store.

Like most local bakeries, the day starts early for Sassafras. “You get as much as you can in the oven right away,” says owner AJ Perry. Those ovens continue to turn out trays of muffins, cookies, chicken pot pies, seasonal fruit pies, and more throughout the day. It’s comfort food at its best: delicious, made-from-scratch, stick-to-your-bones goodness.

“I describe what I do as a classic American bakery,” continues Perry. “It’s a rustic modern [store]. It’s about comfort. Nostalgia.” You can find this blend of rustic and modern right on the Sassafras menu. For instance, Perry uses some of her grandmother’s recipes in her baked goods. She makes basic (but incredible) fudge brownies and blueberry muffins and an apple pie like you wouldn’t believe. They’re the sorts of things that might take you right back to your own grandmother’s kitchen. But Perry also integrates some more contemporary flavors and tastes into her menu. There are chewy chai cookies and caramelized onion and brie scones and a seasonal menu that brings a revolving set of produce and flavors to Sassafras customers.

This blend of the rustic, the modern, and the nostalgic is also tied together by the hickory countertops that Perry chose for her bakery. “I wanted something sturdy,” says Perry. “I just wanted that wood grain look, and I love how [AJ Studio] did these raw edges.”

Though these custom countertops from AJ Studio are only a small part of Perry’s business, they still do an important job for the bakery: they help to set the tone and atmosphere for the store, bringing that sense of nostalgia right to the forefront. Of course, they’re functional too. And if they’re sturdy enough to hold one of Sassafras’s signature mile-high slices of apple pie, then they must be getting the job done well.

Anxious to try one of the Sassafras original recipes in your own kitchen? Perry was kind enough to share her Aunt Parmelia's apple pie recipe with the world.

And don't fret if your attempt at Aunt Parmelia's pie doesn't turn out quite as you expected it to. You can always order a perfect version of it at Sassafras Bakery.

3 Reasons You Need A Business Blog

Three Reasons Why You (Yes, You) Need A Blog on your Business Site

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“Do I really need a blog for my business website?”

“Isn’t that going to be a lot of work?”

“Is it even worth the investment of time and, potentially, money?”

These are three questions that we hear often enough. Our short answers are: We think so! Maybe a little, but we can always help you out! And very, very, very likely, YES!

In other words, a regularly-updated blog filled with useful and interesting content can be a great investment for any business. And if you need any convincing on the matter, here are three big reasons why you (yes, you) need a blog on your business site.

You can demonstrate your company’s range and expertise.

Let’s say that your business specializes in bacon. (And what a delicious business that would be.) Your website’s home page probably showcases your location, your services, and any other information that is pertinent to your customers. Maybe you even have a cool tagline: something like “MAKIN’ BACON SINCE 1957.” (Okay, well maybe it’s a cool-ish tagline.) You likely have an about page, a contact page, and perhaps a page for your online store. You might even have an image gallery highlighting some of the key moments in your bacon-makin’ history.

 Courtesy USDAgov

Courtesy USDAgov

That’s all porktastic. But now think: does your website really exhaust all of your vast bacon knowledge? Probably not. 

You need to take those words, take that knowledge, and create your very own bacon business blog.

Or in your case, you need to take the words and knowledge that apply to your own business and create your own business blog. Because if you’re good at what you do, you have all sorts of ideas and tips and bits of wisdom that go well beyond what you already share on your website. And no one—current customers and potential customers alike—is going to know that you have all that wisdom unless you share it with the public. 

A blog is a great forum for all of that wisdom-sharing. It shows that you’re an authority on a number of topics, and that’s never a bad thing when it comes to attracting new customers.

You can increase your website’s traffic.

How does that happen?

Well, it doesn’t just happen. It takes some work. But if you maintain a regular blog and promote your posts via social media, you will increase your website’s traffic. Let’s go ahead and call it the “Blog of Dreams”: if you build it, they will come.

First thing’s first: make sure that you share your latest posts on whatever social media networks you use. This gives your followers easy access to your blog, and thus to your entire website. You might not be the only one sharing these posts too. Every blog post you publish is something that someone else—or many someones—can share on their social networks. And the more your posts get shared, the more new visitors you’ll get on your site.

But the potential for all this new website traffic doesn’t just stop there. Think back to that wisdom-sharing I just mentioned. Let’s say our old bacon business has published a few blog posts on topics that span the following range:

  • Curing bacon
  • Bacon recipes for the Superbowl
  • Ohio bacon producers
  • The best bacon appetizers on local menus
  • Bacon-themed greeting cards

Do you know what you have right there? You have five search terms that can bring brand new visitors to your website. And it doesn’t matter if each blog post’s readership dies off after a few days or weeks. The very fact that it’s there on your website means that it can continue to bring you traffic for months and even years to come whenever people search for those topics.

Better yet, each post is a way for you to say, “Hey, Google! Hey all you other search engines! I’m creating dynamic content on my website, so you should check me out as much as you can to see what I’m doing!”

Each post gives you another opportunity to show up in search engines. Need we reiterate that this is never bad for business?

You can gain a broader audience.

Your current customers already know your name and likely know your website name. They might type in your url whenever they need to remember your address or check out your list of services, but they’re probably not going to visit it regularly.

And your potential customers? Those people who probably haven’t even heard of you yet? How are they going to find your website?

One of the easiest ways to drive them to your site is to (you guessed it) maintain a regular blog.

 Courtesy flickr user: (matt)

Courtesy flickr user: (matt)

Let’s go back to bacon, people!

All those times you share your posts via social media? Every time your bacon-loving customers share your posts with their bacon-loving friends, you’ve just expanded your reach to all those friends too!

All that vast knowledge and expertise that you’ve shared about bacon? Someone out there might be searching for it, and when your post pops up in their search engine, you’ve just reached them!

More shares, more traffic, more appearances in search engines: it’s all possible when you add a blog to your business site.

And this broader audience isn’t just a simple audience either. It’s an audience filled with potential customers, all who found you because of your business’s blog.

A Bold Look at Office Supplies

At Bold Hive, we think we have one of the best creative teams around. It’s something that make us pretty proud and excited. But what makes us even more proud and excited are the creative minds and entrepreneurs who make up our client base. Their talent is immense, their ideas ingenious, and their passion for what they do unparalleled.

Bold Hive’s partnership with the Robert Mason Company has given us access to the talent, ideas, and passion of store proprietor, Robert Mason Grimmett. Grimmett brought his unique perspective on office supplies and furnishings to Columbus after running a successful store in Ravenswood, WV for many years. (He’s got an amazing story behind his business too.) One of Grimmett’s many goals is to make purchasing office supplies fun and inspiring. To that effect, he carries not only a line of traditional office products but also a whole host of products from his own RM line. Whether you need a new pen or a hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind leather bag, Robert Mason Company is the place to go.

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With current plans for store expansions, Grimmett has teamed with Bold Hive to help him launch the Robert Mason Company’s online store later this month. Recently, our photographer Kellie was on site in the German Village to shoot some of the signature Robert Mason lines of bags, journals, portfolios, and more. We think that these images do a splendid job of showcasing:

1.       Kellie’s knack for capturing products in a way that highlights their beauty and functionality, and

2.       Robert Mason Company’s gorgeous and durable office products.

Are you ready for the Robert Mason Company’s online store launch? Count down with us to Black Friday. You’re sure to be amazed—and inspired—by what our partnership has created. 

A Sweet Partnership With Pistacia Vera

Meticulous technique. Exacting attention to detail. An ardent devotion to perfecting the process behind the product.

You might think we’re describing the characteristics of a wood-worker, a painter, a sculptor, or a stonemason.

But would you believe that we’re actually describing the characteristics of the owners and employees of Pistacia Vera, one of the most beloved—if not the most beloved—pastry kitchens in Central Ohio?

As siblings and Pistacia Vera owners, Spencer Budros and Anne Fletcher, will be the first to tell you, crafting fine pastry is about more than flour and sugar and butter. It’s about more than sourcing the finest flour and sugar and butter (and chocolate and vanilla beans and nuts) in the land too.

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To make the sorts of pastries and desserts that Pistacia Vera creates, you have to be willing to bring the patience and skills of a master craftsperson to the table. (Or in their case, you have to be willing to bring them to the kitchen counter.)

Take, for instance, the amount of time that it takes to craft one of their renowned macarons. Would you guess that it takes a few hours? Maybe an entire day at most?

Think again. It takes three to four full days to create those slight yet full-bodied, restrained yet flavorful French cookies for which Pistacia Vera is so famous. In fact, each one of their pastries and desserts is hand-crafted over a matter of days. During those processes, every member of the kitchen team pays exceedingly careful attention to timing, temperature, and measurement. In many ways, they are just as much artists as they are bakers and pastry chefs. Their kitchen is just as much a precision laboratory and art studio as it is a bake shop.

To this effect, Pistacia Vera’s passion for quality and detail might seem mind-boggling. Why so much effort if it’s “just dessert”?

If you’ve ever tasted one of Pistacia Vera’s pastries or desserts, however, you know that their creations are not “just dessert,” and you know that their passion is not for naught. Like many things in this world, an extraordinary product—even an extraordinary croissant—is often the result of extraordinary work. And lucky for us, Pistacia Vera’s work offers up extraordinary enjoyment.

At Bold Hive, we are deeply thrilled and honored to announce a creative partnership with Pistacia Vera. From website design and development to photography and video services to social media enhancement and copy writing, we will be complementing our particular love for technique, detail, and process with theirs.

Like the chocolate ganache between the two cookies of a macaron*, it’s a pretty perfect partnership in our eyes.

(*What, you didn’t think we could talk about Pistacia Vera without making you hungry, did you?)

 

Top SM Accounts for Columbus Business Owners

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Though nothing beats the in-person connections you are making each and every day as a business owner, staying connected via social media can help you boost your business and stay on top of all the relevant news and events happening in Central Ohio.

Your own social media accounts aren’t the only important ones you should be paying attention to either. Here in Columbus, there are plenty of organizations, groups, and businesses with social media accounts that are relevant to nearly every local business owner in town.

These are the accounts that are pertinent to Columbus business: the ones that can connect you with other business owners, and the ones that will share the stories and news that are essential to your own business and brand. If you don’t know what’s going on with them, then you might be missing out on something that is important to you.

 

Who, what, and where you should be following as a Central Ohio business owner? 

Columbus Chamber of Commerce

The Columbus Chamber of Commerce already provides great connections, resources, and solutions for area businesses. Though most of their tangible benefits are reserved for CCC’s members, this doesn’t mean that non-members won’t benefit from following them on social media.

Whether you’re looking for news about local events, business webinars, or just some insight into what the organization is all about, following the Columbus Chamber of Commerce on Twitter and Facebook is something that we at Bold Hive recommend for all local businesses, big and small.

Is your business or residence located in one of the area’s fine suburbs? Make sure to follow their Chamber of Commerce too.

Experience Columbus

Though the goal of Experience Columbus is to promote the Columbus area to visitors, this doesn’t mean that the organization and its social media accounts are only for out-of-towners. Whether you’re looking for ways to entertain clients or colleagues or just searching for ways to keep your own business connected locally, Experience Columbus is a Central Ohio social media “must.”

You can follow them on Instagram to see some of the visual highlights from around the city. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter to stay on top of all the major attractions and events occurring around Central Ohio.

 

 Credit flickr user newmanchu

Credit flickr user newmanchu

The Dispatch

As a local business owner, you’re probably already reading The Dispatch. But are you following their social media accounts too?

Even if you don’t have time each day to read the paper from cover to cover (or webpage to webpage), you can still check in to see what people are discussing on Facebook or what articles the Dispatch is linking up on Twitter.

Your favorite indie local indie papers

Of course, The Dispatch is not the only place that offers excellent local news. Our local indie papers give area business owners that opportunity to learn more about the stories and people who matter to area business. To stay on top of local news—including great features and interviews with local business owners—make sure to follow your favorite local indie papers, including:

Other Columbus businesses

From restaurants to independent stores to your public library branch, there are plenty of local businesses ready to keep you connected on social media. Pick your favorite five, ten, twenty, or more, and start following them wherever they are.

As you might already know, participating a good, solid network can only help your own business become stronger.

More importantly, when you connect with other essential social media accounts in town, they might start taking an interest in your business too.

 

 

Delicious Columbus Instagram Feeds

As all of us at Bold Hive know, Columbus isn’t exactly lacking in the food department. From incredible hot dogs (that’s right—incredible hot dogs) to fine dining, from farmers’ markets to farms, from impressive restaurant empires to hole-in-the-wall treasures, we have almost everything that a foodie—or even just a regular old hungry person—could look for in a city.

In addition to amazing food, a few Central Ohio restaurants are also serving up some pretty amazing photos of their culinary creations on Instagram. Listed below are a few of our favorites.

(And caution: you are about to get very, very hungry.) 

@breakfastwithnick from Breakfast with Nick

As one of the most renowned Central Ohio food bloggers, it makes sense that Nick Dekker of “Breakfast with Nick” would have a pretty delicious Instagram feed. One of the best and worst things about his photos is just how wide a variety of food and restaurants they represent. I say “the best” because Nick showcases a veritable smorgasbord of Columbus-and-beyond breakfast dishes and delicacies in his feed. And I say “the worst” because we can’t quite figure out how to fit that entire smorgasbord into our bellies right now.

What has Nick been sharing with his followers lately? This Davy Crockett donut from Westerville’s Schneider’s BakeryThese surlitos (aka Surly Girl’s huevos rancheros).  This French toast from Tasi Café.

No matter what he’s sharing, Nick celebrates his love of food and his love of Columbus businesses, and that’s something that we at Bold Hive especially love.

@chef_wijohnst from Black Creek Bistro

Black Creek Bistro brings the farm to the table with their sustainable and as-local-as-possible lunch and dinner menus. With hearty and inspired sandwiches at lunch (Chimichurri tuna melt!  Pork burrito!  Yes please!) and a quaint but varied selection of entrees at dinner (Braised lamb shank!  Rathskeller salmon!  Sign me up!), the restaurant has quickly become a Columbus favorite.

On his Instagram feed, Chef Will, a Black Creek Bistro sous chef, captures the beautiful and the delicious from Black Creek Bistro.  Focusing primarily on the day’s lunch features, Chef Will delights his followers with near-daily photos of the kitchen’s creations.  There are vegan selections (like the recent eggplant caponata). There are sandwich selections (like pulled pork po’ boys).  And then, of course, there are those selections that just make your stomach growl, no matter what time of day it is (like
chipotle mac and cheese with corn, bacon, guacamole, cotija, and kale chips). 

@cherbourgbakery from Cherbourg Bakery

Though it’s relatively new to town, Bexley’s Cherbourg Bakery has risen to the top of many locals’ favorite bakeries. Serving up gluten-free and nut-free baked goods, Cherbourg proves that you don’t need wheat, gluten, or nuts to make delicious donuts, muffins, cookies, and more.

The Cherbourg Instagram feed is downright delicious too. Think cream puffs. Rosemary polenta cakeMaple streusel crunch muffins. Cinnamon donuts. This amazing sign. (Yes, that’s your sweet tooth telling you it’s time to visit Cherbourg.)

Beyond the sweet and delicious, this Instagram feed also serves up the plain old sweet with photos of the Cherbourg employees sharing meals, playing games, and just enjoying one another’s company. Looking at this sweetness is almost as nice as looking at Cherbourg’s famous lemon bars.

Almost.

@waywardseedfarm from Wayward Seed Farm

Wayward Seed’s Instagram account is brand spanking new (to date, they’ve only posted eight images), but don’t let that fool you: they truly have some of the most gorgeous and delicious-looking photos we’ve seen on Instagram.

As a certified organic farm that grows heritage and heirloom vegetables for Central Ohio residents and restaurants, Wayward Seed has posted striking images of fresh produce and fresh-produce-baked-into-mouthwatering-dishes. From Japanese eggplants to cherry and blueberry pie to bunches of rainbow chard, they are capturing some of the most beautiful things that we can grow right here in Central Ohio. This is an Instagram feed that won’t just make you hungry: if you’re right here in Columbus, it will make you proud to be an Ohioan.

@danthebaker from Dan the Baker

It would be an understatement to say that Dan the Baker simply bakes bread. His breads and pastries are little loaves of art that are hand-crafted from local and organic ingredients. Not surprisingly, these breads and pastries are delicious too.

On his Instagram feed, Dan shares little slices of baking life. There’s the dough (or in this case, the olive hazelnut bread dough). There’s the oven (or in this case, the oven full of golden raisin coriander chocolate sourdough). There’s the fruit filling (or in this case, the blueberry sauce for Dan’s scones).  And of course, there are the finished baked goods (like these Ohio peach puff pastries) that will make you want to run (and run fast) to the nearest location serving whatever it is that Dan has been baking. 

@commonwealthsandwichbar from Commonwealth Sandwich Bar

Commonwealth Sandwich Bar just happens to be one of the places that serves what Dan the Baker has been baking. And like any good sandwich joint, Commonwealth takes two great slices of bread and fills them with ingredients that take the great all the way to the spectacular.

What’s looking pretty spectacular on Commonwealth’s Instagram feed? How about their Bahn Fire sandwich, with roasted pork shoulder, cilantro, jalapeno, spicy Korean barbecue, and arugula on a demi batard. Or their Thai Shtick sandwich, with chicken, shaved cabbage, swiss cheese, peanut sauce, and pickled jalapenos on rustic Italian bread. Or their cheesecake. Oh yes: their cheesecake. Because if there’s anything that rivals the simple genius of a well-made sandwich, it’s a creamy cheesecake with chocolate graham crust and chocolate drizzle.  

@cbusadventures from Columbus Food Adventures

Offering Columbus food tours ranging from a Taco Truck Food Tour to an All Dessert Food Tour, it’s no surprise that Columbus Food Adventures’ Bethia Woolf has posted an array of unique (and tasty) photos on the site’s Instagram feed. This is truly the place to be to find the food that makes you hungry and the culinary gems that are still waiting for you to discover.

The Columbus Food Adventures Instagram feed isn’t just about amazing local restaurant food either. Of course, you’ll find highlights from their tours (like this striking display of Korean food from the Meat Lovers Tour), and you’ll find lots of other local food scene deliciousness (like this slice of chocolately awesomeness from Kolache Republic or this Shagbark mill hoecake from Knead). But you’ll also find images that are more personal: the blueberry patch at Berry Field farm, twin mason jars filled with homemade cherry syrup, a basket of sweet cherries from the North Market farmers’ market. 

And every single one of these images and Instagram feeds are enough to keep us excited about the local food scene for a long, long time. Have a favorite Instagram feed in Columbus that we left out? Share your favorites below in the comments!