ESC to open Salem gift shop in November
SALEM - The Reach for the STARS gift shop, owned by the Columbiana County Education Service Center, expects to open its new store at 440 E. State St. in early November, according to Superintendent Anna Marie Vaughn.
The building formerly housed Kolby’s of Salem, a women’s clothing store, that closed in August of 2011.
Vaughn said they are waiting for architectural drawings to be approved by the state.
The front of the 7,000 square-foot building will house a retail department and the back will be used for vocational assessments, Vaughn said.
The building was purchased for $187,000 from Robert Sebo, reportedly some $35,000 less than the appraisal price.
The money was part of the $899,130 the CCESC received through a “Straight A” grant from the Ohio Department of Education to promote job skills and career education for students with disabilities.
The total grant award pays for Students Transitioning to Achieve Real Success (STARS) which is a project targeting increased career curriculum and vocational assessment resources for students with disabilities.
Vaughn said there are seven school districts and the county technical career center in the grant.
Called a transition training center, the store focuses on selling locally-produced items and merchandise while students from the CCESC’s partner school districts learn work skills in a community settings.
Kitty Kromer, a transition coordinator at the ESC, said Mike Mancuso, executive director of Salem Area Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, helped develop a business plan to enable the grant acquisition and with finding a building.
Another Reach for the STARS gift shop has been operating in the Old School Marketplace in North Lima since April.
That store is also used as a training center for students with disabilities and the Salem store will do the same when it opens.
The North Lima store will close once the Salem store opens, Kitty Kromer, a transition coordinator for the ESC, said while noting there wasn’t enough business in that store.
The Salem store will feature arts and crafts, engraved stemware, coffee mugs, hand-stamped stone coasters made by Freckles Vintage and Handmade, Stoneware by Nancy, Branch Street Coffee, The Clay Lady pottery, Beaver Creek Candles, Nancy’s Nook, MAD Creations, Rustic Shed Primitives, Pay it Forward Jewelry, Scarves by Carrie, the Soap Mason, Inca Teas, Lib’s Marketplace Coffee, Kayte Creates, Landgraff Chocolates, Branch Street Coffee, Joe Schmo’s Kitchen, while also offering books from the Salem Historical Society, assorted jams like hot pepper jams by Goodness Grows, and items made by ESC classes and
engraved glasses by the STEM class at Columbiana County Career and Technical Center.
It will be open with the hours based on other businesses in Salem and will stay open extra hours during special events.
“The majority of our items are consignment basis and the vendors get a percentage of what we sell,” Kromer said. Interested vendors can contact Kromer at the ESC at 330-424-9591.
Vaughn said the plan is to have the new space operating by the time school starts in the fall.
The STARS project is a partnership between the CCESC, local school districts, Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Columbiana County Career and Technical Center, Kent State University, Salem Area Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, Lisbon and Salem chambers of commerce, Salem Historical Society, and Valpar International Corp.