New store helps artisans get to the ‘heart’ of it all

New store helps artisans get to the ‘heart’ of it all

Image Credit: Dave Mast

Heartland Gifts owners Art and Tang Vinci celebrated a bucket list goal on Friday, July 1 with the grand opening of their new store in Sugarcreek, where they welcomed guests and shoppers and showcased what they hope will be a store that benefits many.

The store is a mix of home decor, hand-crafted furniture, primitives and many items on consignment from local artisans.

Art Vinci said they have around 20 local artists who will continue to fill the shop.

“The closest artist is about three blocks away, and we have some about two hours away, so everyone is within fairly close proximity to the store,” Vinci said.

Vinci has been in retail for close to five years but said he has wanted to open a store in Sugarcreek for a long time. A Cleveland native whose wife grew up in Orlando, Florida, the two wanted to return to Ohio to start their family, and they always liked Sugarcreek and settled into Little Switzerland to live and develop their store.

The first effort in growing their store was to contact area artisans who could provide them with a bevy of works to sell in their store. Live edge tables, homemade soaps, brooms, decorative items and Amish-crafted items line the store.

Vinci said with artisans bringing in new items on a regular basis, what Heartland Gifts offers will change from season to season yet continue to maintain the appeal of its core of artisans.

“One of the things we enjoy about this new store is the chance to provide local artisans with another outlet to peddle their creations,” Vinci said. “I think the artisan outlets in Berlin couples well with one in Sugarcreek and gives artisans even more exposure. Our hope is that we can all grow together.”

Vinci said he has grown up in retail and knew what he wanted to see in the store. He felt with the store nestled in Sugarcreek between Interstate 77 traffic and Berlin’s drawing power, bringing an artisan-driven store to Sugarcreek seemed like a good fit.

Vinci said in addition to the grand opening, the couple hopes to invest in remodeling the basement, where they have some grand plans that will provide some evening fun for travelers and locals alike.

“We are beginning the initial stages of remodeling the basement, and our hope is that in the near future we will be able to offer craft classes for locals, but there are also so many tourists who visit and stay over who want something to do after 5 o’clock,” Vinci said. “We want to create that option for them to visit Friday and Saturday nights to take a class.”

He said they also stock a decent amount of board games for visitors who want an inexpensive way to enjoy an evening in Amish Country.

Heartland Gifts is located at 113 S. Broadway St. in Sugarcreek and is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.