The small farm communities of Beverly and Waterford, Ohio, have just one grocery store between them—Sponey’s IGA. Even without the threat of another grocery competitor however, second-generation owners Bryan and Matt Spindler are working tirelessly to find ways they can support the local community and provide their friends and neighbors with the freshest, local products available. And that’s why the store hosted a special Taste of Local event to introduce the Beverly community to local growers and makers and the products now available at the store.
“We’ve always been a supporter of local,” Matt Spindler said. “Whether that’s supporting the high schools or town events, employing local people, or stocking as many local products as we can. We’re in a farming community, so it only makes sense that we would buy as much of our homegrown produce as possible. It’s better for the environment, it’s a better product for our shoppers, and it’s keeping the money and tax dollars right here in Beverly.”
The Taste of Local event marked an important expansion of that support. “While we’ve had local produce in the store for a while now, I wanted to expand our local offerings to every department,” said Matt. “We have local makers of cleaning products, dog treats, coffee and spice rubs…the list goes on! It’s amazing how many local vendors are out there with quality products when you start looking.”
For this tasting event, Bryan and Matt invited 14 of the local makers to the store to meet with shoppers and provide samples of their products. “It was a fun day. We had tables setup around the store for each maker, and they had informational displays and samples of their products,” Matt said. Additionally, signs hanging off the aisle shelves throughout the store identified all locally made products, and provided a picture and information about the makers themselves. “It’s really pretty fun to walk through the store and learn about the cool things Ohioans are up to,” said Matt.