Baking My Dreams: A Childhood Dream Brings This Community Together
Vines Bakery got its start when Julianna Hritz finally listened to her heart instead of her head. She graduated in 2016 from Ashland University with a degree in Family and Consumer Science Education. When she was handed her diploma, she decided her heart wasn't in the public school classroom and took a leap of faith to follow her childhood dream instead.
It all began at the local farmers market with a simple scone and some cookies. Since that time, she has been on a journey to explore her love of baking with the encouragement of friends, family and God within her kind, supportive, small town. The Farmers markets led to websites, which led to special orders, and the idea that she could open her own store, but without a business background and with limited funds, the path was unclear and the climb was steep. "In those moments when I was about to give up", she recalled, "something, someone, whatever the situation was, convinced me to take a different look, and just keep taking steps after that."
A real brick and mortar Vines Bakery meant a chance to connect, encourage, and celebrate with her community. Ever since she was a student at Ashland University, Julianna had her heart set on 530 College Avenue. She would walk past the building and jokingly tell her friends, "Hey look! It's Vines Bakery and Coffeehouse!" while on their way to class. At the time, it was simply a daydream. She could never have imagined that one day she would truly make that place her own.
Julianna got some initial financial support from her parents and then established a Kickstarter campaign and set a goal of $3,000 to complete the required funding. Within just two weeks she had raised over $6,000 from dozens of people. Despite all the obstacles that come with business ownership, Julianna picked up the skills and nuances, a little every day, and reached her goal of creating a place with a comfortable, living room feel for everyone to relax, work, play and come together as a small community.
A key promise she kept was to use fresh, local products and produce and serve everything her community has come to know and love from the farmers market. They proudly pour Goldberry coffee, roasted locally in Ashland, as well as loose leaf tea blended in Cleveland by a family owned business called Storehouse Tea. Julianna has also partnered with Ashland's own Buckeye Creamery to supply them with delicious dairy products!
Someone who is getting kick out of this "follow your dream" story is Juianna's Mom, Sue. "Being proud of Julianna is maybe an understatement at this point. Every day she amazes me what she can accomplish." She and everyone else who has supported her daughter are thrilled that Ashland now has a new gathering place like Vines Bakery where everyone feels welcome.
To learn more about Vines Bakery, visit them at: https://www.vinesbakery.com/
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