A Day in Cleveland, Ohio
Ohio Proud's slogan is "Made in Ohio. Grown in Ohio", this means when you see the Ohio Proud logo, you know that you are getting Ohio-made products. It is more important than ever to support local businesses, and Ohio Proud makes it easy. Every dollar that is spent on an Ohio Proud product is reinvested back into our great state!
A couple weekends ago my husband and I spent the day in Cleveland, Ohio, oddly enough we live about 30-40 minutes away from Cleveland yet we've never taken the chance to explore the LAND. With the holidays coming up, we decided that it would be a good time to explore Cleveland and start our holiday shopping!
Our first stop- West Side Market, a Cleveland public market located on the West Side, which is a very clever name if you need to figure out where you are going! The West Side Market has everything you can think of and is home to over 100 vendors and has also been around for over 100 years. A fun fact about the West Side Market, in 2008 they were named as one of the 10 Great Public Places in America, and from the minute you step foot in the building you immediately know why! Ranging from cheeses, to meats, and countless delicious sweets, it's safe to say that the West Side Market is its own treat. Although all of the vendors were great, one of my favorites was Ohio City Pasta. I've never seen fresh, handmade pasta before and let me tell you it did NOT disappoint. If you are a pasta person, then I highly recommend you stop at Ohio City Pasta and stock up on your pasta and sauces.
We also made a stop at The Cheese Shop, which has over 100 cheeses, both rare and traditional, for you to choose from. When I stepped up to the counter, I was in immediate cheese heaven! Something you may not know about me is I am a huge cheese lover and this was the perfect stop. You can easily spend a lot of time here, learning about all the cheese they have to offer. I ended up getting some mozzarella and halloumi cheese, which I've heard is great pan fried or grilled (spoiler, it was amazing!!). We stopped and looked at a lot of vendors to see what they had to offer, which was more than we could imagine. Our last purchase was of course at Campbell's Sweets, where we picked up some popcorn seeds, chocolate covered pretzel sticks and of course buckeyes. I had to resist eating them all before we could get out the door! I could go on and on about all the amazing vendors located in the West Side Market, but just reading about it doesn't do it justice. This market is truly a unique gem in Cleveland and something that anyone who lives in Cleveland or who is visiting Cleveland needs to stop and see for themselves.
Going to a party and need to bring a gift for the host? Maybe you are having a party of your own and want to serve something local? Or are you looking for that perfect gift to give to your friends or family? Then I highly recommend that the West Side Market be a stop on your list.
After spending a long time at the West Side Market, shopping and just taking everything in, we headed to downtown Cleveland to a very unique store, Cleveland in a Box. Which is exactly what you would think the store is, it is literally Cleveland in a box! This is a great way to support local businesses in Cleveland while making excellent gifts for your friends and family whether they live near or far. Located in the heart of Cleveland, Cleveland in a Box is a hidden gem in my opinion. You walk into a shopping plaza, and after wandering around for a little bit you stumble upon the storefront. When you first walk in you see boxes on your left and on your right a store full of products that are locally made in Ohio. Definitely talk to the sales associates, as they do a great job of explaining how it works! There are different box options for you to choose from, ranging from 3, 5, 10 or even 15 items. They have products ranging from food, to knick knacks, a Cleveland bandana for your furry friend, self care items and a whole lot more!
Once we wandered around for a while, we grabbed a basket and started filling it up with items that we thought would make the perfect Ohio experience!
I decided on some homemade pasta and pasta sauce, because you can never have too much pasta! If you know me, then you know I love drinkware, it's always a fun and easy gift, so of course I had to get a Cleveland coffee mug. You can also never go wrong with more food choices, especially Buckeyes! I love gifting friends and family buckeyes every year because it's Ohio in chocolate form!
If you are wanting to create a box and send it to someone who lives in a different city or state, Cleveland in a Box offers free shipping, making it a perfect gift for the holiday season!
Our final stop of the day was located in The Van Aken District in Shaker Heights, Ohio. The district is a fun and vibrant area with multiple shops, restaurants and entertainment. Though we explored the district a little bit, our main reason for heading to the area was Nature's Oasis, an all-natural foods market and cafe. It was getting a little later in the day and we needed a little pick me up, so we stopped and got some coffee to fuel us up for the remainder of our shopping day. Not only do they serve coffee, they have a full café menu, so if you are hungry you can order a meal to go with your cup of Joe. It's the perfect spot if you are a college student or on your lunch break and need to get out of the office.
Once we got our caffeine fix, we were ready to finish our shopping day. There were so many things to choose from and we could have done all of our grocery shopping here! Not only do they have food, but they also have locally made products that make great gifts.
These wallets were so cute and make the perfect gift for your girlfriend! They also had notebooks and candles, anything to make the perfect holiday gift basket.
I will say that this place is dangerous if you don't have a list, which isn't always a bad thing! This district is the perfect place to spend some time as it has something for everyone.
I'm so glad that we finally explored Cleveland and even got some holiday shopping done. My favorite part of the day was the West Side Market and I'm already planning my next trip back!