Recent Posts

The Well: A Restaurant Café Rooted in Wellness

The Well: A Restaurant Café Rooted in Wellness

After working on several projects and businesses together, brothers Adam and Aaron Leu came together to open The Well, a café restaurant that serves the people of Fairfield County and beyond. The Well is a self-described modern gathering place for the whole family to eat, […]

Coffee Brewers Go from Hobbyists to Wholesalers

Coffee Brewers Go from Hobbyists to Wholesalers

The Walkers broke into the coffee industry after humble beginnings as coffee enthusiasts.   Lorraine and Phil Walker started their coffee business off about as local as possible. They began roasting coffee beans in a popcorn maker and selling it to their friends in Gallipolis in 2008.   […]

Yarn Lovers Unite in Logan 

Yarn Lovers Unite in Logan 

Yarn Lovers Unite is a weekly knitting club that meets at the Logan-Hocking County District Library. Nancy Wright, the program and events coordinator at the library, founded the group in January 2015.  The yarn enthusiasts meet on Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the library’s meeting room to share and compare projects and techniques. 

“In the beginning I think we started with five to eight, and it kind of just ballooned from there,” Wright says over the phone. “We almost never have less than nine members show up. Generally, there are 15 or 16 people there.” 

Carol West, a 69-year-old grandmother and retired nurse, sits across the meeting room table. In her hands, two knitting needles joined together by a thin and flexible plastic wire stitch together a bundle of gray wool. The end product will be a new sweater for her loving grandson. 

“We’re open to the public,” West says. “If anybody wants to learn to knit, crochet, whatever, there is someone here who can show them.” 

West discovered Yarn Lovers Unite two years ago on the library’s website, but was reluctant to join. She already knew how to knit and crochet. She had been yarning-over since she was a teen. It wasn’t until her friend and former colleague Ruth Johnson decided to pick up the hobby that West elected to join.    

“I wanted Ruth to know as a beginner, she is going through the same things that every new person does,” West says. “She thought she was stupid, she thought she couldn’t do it. I wanted her to see that she’s no different than anybody else. It just takes practice.”  

West and Johnson were welcomed with open arms. 

“First day I came, these guys were really fun and nice,” Johnson says, addressing the group with a smile. “They made me feel comfortable almost immediately. I loved you guys.” 

Being frustrated is normal when first learning. The craft takes a tremendous amount of dexterity and concentration. After two years, West and the rest of the Yarner Lovers have coached Johnson up to a full-blown knitter, needles and all.   

Yarn Lovers Unite provides its members with a dose of weekly socialization with needlework as the common ground.  Johnson turned to the hobby as a way to adjust to retirement and the amount of free time that comes with it. 

“Work takes up a huge part of your life,” Johnson says. “I worked 12-hour days . . . It’s hard to fill up the hours. I don’t want to wash and clean all the time.  It [Yarn Lovers Unite] not only gives us an outlet to learn something fun, but also people to talk to.”   

At its core, Yarn Lovers Unite is just a weekly knitting club. More importantly, though, it provides the women of Logan with a safe place to speak candidly about the world they live in free of judgment.  

“There’s no fighting or fussing in here,” Johnson says.   

Instead the women of Yarn Lovers Unite work through life’s problems the best way they can, one stitch at a time.

New Lexington’s Caring Bookstore 

New Lexington’s Caring Bookstore 

Along with selling books, a small bookstore wants to help create awareness for Ohio’s growing problem.   The little book store in the middle of Main Street in New Lexington might not seem like much at first. But among the small stash of books that line the 5-foot-tall shelves in Twice Turned Bookstore lies real gold and a […]

Preserving Shenandoah’s History

Preserving Shenandoah’s History

Nestled in Noble County is a piece of United States history.   Back in 1925, the USS Shenandoah crashed in Ava. The crash’s history lives on at the Shenandoah Air Disaster Museum.   The museum is in a camper and is packed with artifacts detailing life aboard the airship. Theresa Rayner opened the museum with her […]

Wheatberry Books: Downtown Chillicothe’s newest independent bookstore

Wheatberry Books: Downtown Chillicothe’s newest independent bookstore

In the growing heart of Chillicothe, a former tattoo parlor is now an independent bookstore. In December, Wheatberry Books, a community-oriented business opened to sell new and used books to the people of Ross County.

“We have a small store, but we like to cover all the bases. It’s very carefully curated,” store owner Chelsea Bruning says. “We’ve had several local authors that are self-published come in, and their books go right on the shelves. We focus a lot on the local authors, and then we fill in the gaps.”

Bruning grew up in Ross County. She went to Paint Valley High School and later graduated from Ohio Northern University and began working as a pharmacist.

After some moving around, she and her husband decided to move back to Chillicothe, where Bruning continues to work as a pharmacist in addition to running her bookstore.

“It was a time when downtown wasn’t thriving, and we would walk around and say things like, ‘It would be so great if the community could come together and blossom.’ We started a family, moved outside of town, and it happened, and we wanted to get in on it,” Bruning says.

Downtown Chillicothe has seen the arrival of several new stores in the past few years. “This city is in such growing pains right now and has been,” City Fire Inspector Glenda Cornett says. “I love doing what I do because I love seeing places like this getting started.”

While the city has seen several shops come and go, Bruning is determined to change the way businesses function within the city, and she’s starting with her own.

“I really want it [Wheatberry Books] to be a community hub where we get involved with other businesses, the schools and the churches,” Bruning says. “I want it to be a safe place and a place that can encourage ideas and imagination. I don’t want it to be about selling books but bringing people together and starting conversations.”

Wheatberry Book has a children’s room and is working with Mighty Children’s Museum and the local library to create events for children in the community.

Bruning is also attempting to hold local author events at the bookstore monthly to promote local art and create a gathering space for community members.

Shauna Shanks, a local author, says she was excited to see Bruning’s bookstore open. “I was thrilled to see how selective she is with the books she chooses,” Shanks says.

In February, Wheatberry Books held a local author event to promote Shanks’ first book, A Fierce Love. “It was just really nice. We had a lot of people in and out, and I got to talk to a lot of people in the community,” Shanks says.

Bruning says that owning her own bookstore has been a dream of hers since she was a teenager. While nearly anything can be ordered online, she believes that bookstores serve their own unique purposes and do what e-commerce sites cannot.

“Bookstores have that element of surprise, the unknown. We usually have people walk in and say, ‘This is what I like. Can you help me find something?’ We know everything on the shelves, so we can make recommendations, but sometimes they’ll be surprised by something they find while browsing. It’s the unexpected that’s there. They don’t really come in looking for one particular book, but they find something that they can really treasure,” Bruning says.

Wheatberry Books is located on 41 South Paint Street and is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday.

Wayne National Forest to construct 88 new miles of trail

Wayne National Forest to construct 88 new miles of trail

After years of planning, Wayne National Forest, which spans across 12 southeastern Ohio counties, received approval to begin the construction of 88 additional miles of biking and hiking paths. The Baileys Mountain Bike Trail System, to be located between Athens and Nelsonville, will connect to other trails along […]

Marietta Makes History

Marietta Makes History

One studio is responsible for markings of history all across the nation. And nobody even knows it’s there.   Marietta is a treasure trove of history and off-beat facts. Taking the time to explore the small town will reveal ghost stories, museums and the last intact steam-powered sternwheel boat. But Marietta also harbors a bit […]

Traveling Through History on the Ancient Ohio Trail

Traveling Through History on the Ancient Ohio Trail

The Ancient Ohio Trail (AOT) is a comprehensive collection of travel routes and resources designed to help tourists discover “the distinguished Native American Culture in the Midwest,” according to the AOT website. AOT also offers virtual excursions to experience earthworks as they were believed to have been before they were damaged or destroyed.
John E. Hancock, a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Cincinnati, is the man behind AOT. Hancock started the project in 2007, and through funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and partnerships with the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University Newark, AOT has grown to include 12 scenic routes as of 2011.
The idea behind AOT came to Hancock during a project at the University of Cincinnati, during which he created digital renderings of various ancient earthen mounds, effigies and enclosures around the state. He and his colleagues traveled around Ohio for roughly 10 years studying the various sites.
“It was at that point that I was particularly inspired to create something which would highlight the cultural heritage tourism potential of this whole region,” Hancock says.
Southeast Ohio is prominently featured along the Ancient Ohio Trail, with routes near Lancaster, Marietta, Chillicothe and Athens.

Zaleski Mound

The Village of Zaleski is home to Zaleski State Forest. The forest is located approximately 30 minutes outside of Athens, primarily in Vinton County. On the grounds of the State Forest Headquarters is the Zaleski Mound. The grassy mound stands elegantly, ringed with a gravel path and surrounded by saplings.
“I love the Zaleski Mound,” Hancock says. “I think it’s probably the most beautiful mound in
Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, located in Chillicothe, features the beautiful Mound City. Mound City is a 13-acre earth enclosure filled with roughly 23 dome-shaped mounds, although one is an elliptical. The walls of the enclosure sit between three and four feet tall, with entrances at the east and west ends.
Making Strides Toward UNESCO World Heritage Inscription
The unique and historic earthworks have caught the attention of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Through the work of World Heritage Ohio, four of the main earthwork sites featured on the Ancient Ohio Trail – Fort Ancient, Mound City, Serpent Mound and Newark – have been placed on the U.S. Tentative List for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List. If these sites are placed on the list, they will enjoy the benefits of increased tourism, awareness, control and sovereignty.
The Ancient Ohio Trail provides tourists with a high-quality travel experience perfect for a day trip or weekend excursion.This summer, rather than spending a fortune on cultural tourism abroad, travelers can hop in the car, channel their inner historian and get in touch with Ohio’s
roots on the Ancient Ohio Trail.
Ohio’s Most Perfect Tree

Ohio’s Most Perfect Tree

In Pike County there stands a tree that is so perfect that it has been claimed to have been featured on Ripley’s Believe it or not. After that, it was rumored to be the world’s most perfect tree. It may not be the world’s most perfect […]

My Diary

Post ID:

After working on several projects and businesses together, brothers Adam and Aaron Leu came together to open The Well, a café restaurant that serves the people of Fairfield County and beyond.

The Well is a self-described modern gathering place for the whole family to eat, drink, play and live. In 2014, the brothers and their families built the business in hopes of creating a place that facilitates restoration. The goal was for everything from the food to the relationships made within The Well to be reviving.

In creating such an atmosphere, they included a large children’s play area to make the space family friendly. The same consideration went into making a carefully curated gluten-free menu that focuses on using whole foods and local ingredients.

The café is one of the few restaurants in the region that focuses on offering healthy options. The menu includes smoothies, salads, bowls, pita sandwiches, desserts and more. Most of the items are vegetarian or vegan. The kitchen uses organic ingredients whenever possible, and all the ingredients are non-genetically modified.

“We kind of had the view that we were bringing a type of food that there really wasn’t a high demand for, but we found that there was a large portion of the community that was waiting for us to come,” Adam says.

In its mission to bring quality food to the table, The Well is redefining what it means to have a scratch kitchen. The owners soak beans to make their own hummus; salad dressings are homemade, and each batch of kale is hand massaged to determine its flavor. The brothers salt and roast their own almonds. Everyday Aaron bakes the bread before 7 a.m., and Adam grinds and roasts the coffee in-house twice a week. Each latte is handcrafted using homemade syrups.

“When we cook we love using whole foods, and the flavors just naturally come out. Everything has to just taste wonderful and look wonderful,” Aaron’s wife Tricia says. “But most importantly it has to be nourishing. It’s so important to us to honestly know every ingredient,” Aaron continues.

Menu items at The Well change seasonally. In January, The Well added a breakfast menu. It’s one of the many additions that have been made since opening in 2014.

Aaron and his family live above The Well. Prior to expanding the café’s kitchen last year, he spent his mornings baking in his own kitchen. Everything on the menu was prepared with a blender, a juicer and one burner on an induction stove. Due to the warm welcome it received, The Well has been able to increase and revamp its space to better serve the needs of its customers.

While many aspects of The Well have changed, the heart behind it has not. The Well was created to support people in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle and to encourage every journey toward wellness. The owners and staff continue to choose people over profit by refusing to cut corners in making quality food to increase profitability. It all comes down to the simple desire that started it all—wanting a community to experience restoration together and wanting people to be well.

The Well is located at 203 South Broad Street and is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.