LIMA — The Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce is holding its 19th annual awards gala on Wednesday at the UNOH Event Center.
Each year the chamber recognizes member businesses for the work they’ve done.
In the Woman-Owned 2021 category, there are three finalists: Pointe of Joy, Sara’s Sweets and Visual Eyes.
To be considered for the Woman Owned Business of the Year Award the nominated business must be 51% woman owned; the business must be financially strong and profitable and be able to show a history of growth in sales dollars and/or volume; the business principal or organizations must have demonstrated community involvement and/or made some civic contributions and the business must employ no more than 150 employees.
Pointe of Joy
Pointe of Joy is located at 119 N. Elizabeth St. in Lima and provides the community with dancewear, supplies, shoes and specialty gifts and is owned by Jennifer Velasquez.
According to the nomination form submitted to the chamber, “We originally started out of our home in 2013 as a way to alleviate the burden of my daughters’ dance director, who was forced to balance the work of ordering shoes and dancewear online for her dancers and running the dance studio,” stated Velasquez. “In January 2015 we opened an 800 square foot store at 116 N. West St. in downtown Lima. The response from the community and the area has exceeded expectations and has led us to expand and relocate to a larger location after just 18 months as a brick-and-mortar business. In October of 2016, we moved to our current location at 119 N. Elizabeth St. in downtown Lima.”
Sara Anderson is the Sara behind Sara’s Sweets, 435 S. Eastown Road, Suite A.
The business was started in April 0f 2012 at her home, filling custom orders and prepared desserts for The Met in downtown Lima. Her primary product was gourmet cupcakes. After a year she was able to quit her job teaching math to pursue the business full-time.
Fast forward to December of 2015 and Sara’s Sweets opened their brand new store on Eastown Road.
She began with three employees and now has 15 year-round with another six to eight people working during the holidays.
“The business has continued to grow and in the summer of 2017, we were able to complete an expansion of our bakery. We took over the suite next to us, doubling our workspace to 2500 square feet,” Anderson stated in her nomination form. “We were able to finance this project debt-free, with the business covering all costs. We added a second production kitchen, office and breakroom for team members. Our primary focus still tends to be cupcakes, but we have also ramped up our production of cookies, breakfast treats and custom cakes.”
Visual Eyes is located at 1593 Allentown Road in Lima and provides comprehensive eye care for all ages with emphasis on glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis and management of eye diseases. The business is run by Ann Rea Miller, Doctor of Optometry.
Visual Eyes opened on Feb. 10, 2014, and started examining patients and serving their eye-care needs.
Dr. Miller has a presentation called “RealEyes” which was developed by the Ohio Optometric Association to bring awareness to school kids about eyes, eye health, vision and the importance of taking care of our eyes to ensure good vision for a lifetime.
“Throughout the past years, I have presented to hundreds of students in the Lima City Schools, St. Gerard, St. Charles, Spencerville, Columbus Grove and Kalida,” states Miller in her nominating form.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.