OH Donut, Spruce Open Shared Space Today
BOARDMAN, Ohio – The concept is something the owners of Spruce Home Décor & Gift Store and OH Donut Co. acknowledge will take some getting used to for many patrons.
As customers enter the store, 1315 Boardman Canfield Road in the Pelican Park Plaza, to the right and up front is OH Donut Co.’s counter space and table seating for the new specialty doughnut shop. To the left is Spruce’s counter and stock, which takes up about two-thirds of the store’s 2,100 square feet.
Patrons will have the opportunity to experience the concept beginning with the two stores’ opening today.
“The concept of the shared space for OH Donut Co. and Spruce is something that is unique for the Mahoning Valley,” said Morgen Reamer, OH Donut’s president and co-founder. “I like to say it’s like going to get breakfast in the most beautifully decorated house you’ve ever been in, and then you’ll have the opportunity to bring that décor to your own house.”
OH Donut is a spinoff of One Hot Cookie, which Reamer founded with her mother, Bergen Giordani, six years ago.
“This new venture is something that we have been talking about for a while and it’s exciting to see it come to life,” Reamer said. “With the support that One Hot Cookie receives from the community, we’re grateful to be able to start this new concept almost six years to the day that we first opened the doors at One Hot Cookie in downtown Youngstown.”
For Spruce, the storefront marks its second space, alongside the original store in Niles.
“We really try to offer a little something for everyone,” said Nick Giancola, who co-founded Spruce five years ago with his sister, Erica Lewis. “We definitely operate in the wheelhouse of modern farmhouse but there’s different takes on that and we try to provide that.”
The combined retail-and-dining establishment concept is a growing one, Lewis reported. “It’s the newest trend that’s happening all over,” she said. “There’s no place out here that’s doing anything like that.”
The concept is one Giancola said he encountered during a visit to Roman and Williams Guild New York, a French-inspired café in New York City that opens into a retail space.
“It’s definitely going to be an education to the customers as they walk in,” he said about his store in Boardman. “You see two counters, you see the one side that looks different and feels different than the other side, and then you’re not quite sure what you should be doing.”
Reamer and Giordani partnered with Dr. Nino Rubino to launch OH Donuts, which piloted in several pop-up locations last year. On the menu are gourmet doughnuts, breakfast sandwiches, walking waffles, coffee and juices. Ingredients will be locally sourced whenever possible, Giordani said. She was particularly pleased to be able to offer coffee from Branch Street Coffee, recently named Ohio’s best coffee by Food & Wine magazine.
“As we expand our offerings into more brunch and lunch kinds of things, we’ll be working together with Spruce to showcase plates, flatwear and glasses that the customer can then buy and then have in their home, so it will be this immersion experience,” Giordani said.
“That will be completely different and take both of our establishments to the next level,” Giancola added.
Another unique offering at OH Donuts is a “doughnut wall,” which can be rented out for special events like Weddings and graduation parties. Giordani is having two constructed, each able to accommodate 10 dozen doughnuts, she said.
Offerings at the Boardman Spruce will differ somewhat from the parent shop, with a larger selection of housewares and kitchen items, Giancola said.
“We are also here in Boardman offering larger furniture pieces, an area that we want to grow into and we feel like the market here will support that,” he continued.
OH Donuts will have staff at its counter from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. weekdays and from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on weekends, while Spruce staff will be on hand 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Associates from each will be able to serve the other’s customers.
Representatives of Spruce and OH Donuts hailed the collaborative process throughout development of the joint space.
“Working with Nick and Erica from Spruce on this project has been wonderful. Although they’re not technically family, we all have this family business mentality and treat each other as family,” Reamer said.
“Any time you’re in business, you kind of feel like you’re in a silo because no one quite gets what you’re going through except other people who own businesses,” Giordani said.
Having someone nearby who has been in the trenches and able to provide honest feedback is “invaluable,” she said.
“Through the whole process we had somebody to bounce something off of” and know “we’re in this together,” Giancola agreed. “That’s a really good feeling as small business owners to know that the other half has your back.”
Giordani, One Hot Cookie’s president, acknowledged she had no idea six years ago when she and Reamer launched their first cookie shop in downtown Youngstown in 2013 that it “would become our career and or life.” It’s grown to the three company-owned stores in Youngstown, Boardman and Pittsburgh, plus a franchise store in Berlin, Ohio.
It’s also a success she doesn’t think would have happened outside the Mahoning Valley. “The town really rallies behind its businesses and it’s people, and supports them,” Giordani said.
Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.