Economic Development

Midwestern Roots Cuts Ribbon in Downtown Warren

By Dan Hiner

WARREN, Ohio – A dark brown piece of wallpaper stands out against the gray-painted wall behind a counter. It’s a piece of Stephanie Dietelbach’s previous business.

Her shop was in Garrettsville, and it was destroyed by fire in 2014. A piece of wallpaper from the shop that was retrieved by the insurance company now sits on a shelf behind the cash register at her new space.

Midwestern Roots celebrated its ribbon-cutting Friday morning at 410 Main Ave. SW. Dietelbach’s family, coworkers and representatives from the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber were in attendance.

“Hopefully with the grand opening, it’ll bring a spark to where we are,” Dietelbach said. “It’s challenging geographically because we’re off the square.”

Midwestern Roots is a five-woman operation. Dietelbach, her aunt and her mother, Linda Nash, are co-owners. Her friends, Sheila Stiles and Debbie Knapton assist in the day-to-day duties.

The store sells new and handmade items. Candy, jam, candles, oils, wooden signs and other home décor items are spread throughout the front of the store. Dietelbach estimates that 50% of the store is homemade items.

The rest comes from vendors who handle furniture and large products, as well as any of the metal items for sale. Dietelbach makes the candles and natural body care products herself.

Midwestern Roots is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed Sunday to Tuesday.

Dietelbach and the city planned for a year to locate the business here. She made a $20,000 investment to start the company and is only renting the building.

“It’s a nice complement to all the nice investments that are going on in downtown Warren,” said Warren Mayor William “Doug” Franklin. “This is a true family business and they have a history of success.”

The retail business is in the front of the store, while Stiles and Knapton hold painting classes in the back rooms. Stiles said she’s held two classes, which are available for painters of various experience levels.

Dietelbach wants to add arts and crafts classes as well as host children’s parties. One of the company’s vendors might also start a ceramics class.

The art-retail combination brings the building back to one of its original purposes. According to Franklin, the building was designed to teach art. The back rooms were designated for art classes and art exhibits. 

“It’s a perfect blend for retail and the teaching of art classes,” Franklin said. “It’s a perfect blend of two nice components in downtown.”

Beth Kotwis Carmichael, executive director of the Trumbull County Tourism BUreau, said Midwestern Roots provides an alternative destination for Warren visitors.

“Small business is the heart of what tourism is all about,” Carmichael said. “People are looking for these authentic experiences, and Midwestern Roots just provides that in spades.”

Dietelbach wants to be a part of Warren’s “revival.”

“It takes everyone being willing to go that little extra effort to go to the places that are a little more out of the way,” she observed.

And what happened to the ribbon? Dietelbach trimmed it and hung it below the keepsake from her first location.

Pictured: Stephanie Dietelbach, center, celebrates the grand opening of Midwestern Roots with co-owner Linda Nash and employees Sheila Stiles and Debbie Knapton, as well as her family and city officials.

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.