Business briefs


Staff Reports



“Vanilla Castle Bakery” Issues a Voluntary Recall

BALTIC, Ohio (March 15, 2017)-Vanilla Castle Bakery in Baltic, Ohio is voluntarily recalling its snickerdoodle cookies (16 oz. tray), snickerdoodle whoopie pies (7 oz. bag) and snickerdoodle cookie packs (3 oz. tray) due to an undeclared soy and wheat allergen. This recall has been initiated due to the ingredient label not stating soy and wheat.

Products were available for sale prior to March 14, 2017 at retail locations throughout Ohio. The issue was discovered during a routine inspection conducted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. There have been no reports of illness involving products addressed in this recall, however, people who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy and/or wheat run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product. Individuals exhibiting signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction should contact a physician immediately.

Customers with a soy and/or wheat allergy or sensitivity who have purchased the affected product should dispose of it or return it to Vanilla Castle Bakery for a replacement. Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Vanilla Castle Bakery at 330-897-1233.

NARAL Relaunches Gender Cards

For Women’s History Month, NARAL’s Hand-Drawn Playing Cards Celebrate Trailblazing American Women

In honor of Women’s History Month (March) and coinciding with worldwide activities marking International Women’s Day, NARAL is relaunching The Gender Cards—a deck of illustrated playing cards that celebrate trailblazing American women. Each card is hand-drawn and unique, and recalls the incredible women—past and present—who have helped define the American spirit. These cards feature some of the strong leaders, brilliant thinkers, fierce competitors, brave risk takers, and trailblazing innovators who achieved great things while always moving our nation forward.

“Now more than ever, it’s time to celebrate the trailblazing women who have always made America great,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “One of my favorite things about The Gender Cards is seeing my friends and family post photos of their kids playing with the cards. These cards are not only beautiful to play with, they help us learn more about the women whose lives help tell the American Story. These really are the perfect gift.”

The Gender Cards make a great gift for friends and family, and are available only through NARAL. Get yours today at TheGenderCards.com.

Some of the amazing American women featured on the 54 hand-drawn cards include: Rosa Parks; The Women of the Supreme Court; Black Lives Matter leaders; Hillary Clinton; Helen Keller; Rachel Carson; Gloria Steinem; Dolores Huerta; Sojourner Truth; The Suffragists; Sheryl Sandberg; Beyoncé; Michelle Obama; Sally Ride; Ella Fitzgerald; Laverne Cox; Georgia O’Keeffe; and many more!

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”

Isaly’s Ice Cream Makes its Return to Market

Beloved ice cream brand will again delight, adhering to iconic family tradition and sourcing high-quality ingredients

Unique flavors Isaly’s Ice Cream has become known for including Maricopa and Whitehouse Cherry.

Pittsburgh, PA (March 16, 2017)—This spring, Isaly’s, one of the tri-state’s most trusted names in the dairy and deli business, is making its return to freezer shelves with Isaly’s Ice Cream. The relaunch of the iconic super-premium ice cream will adhere to Isaly’s family tradition and source only high-quality ingredients including fresh cream and the purest flavors—a commitment to quality that customers have long associated with the Isaly’s name.

Isaly’s Ice Cream flavors, available at all Giant Eagle stores, will include favorites such as Whitehouse Cherry, Maricopa, Vanilla, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

The Isaly’s story began in 1833 when Swiss cheese maker Christian Isaly and his family emigrated from the hills of Switzerland to the hills of Monroe County, Ohio to continue the family legacy of cheese making. For years, generations of Isaly’s carried on the family trade and even expanded to dairy farming. But Isaly’s became a household name when Henry Isaly brought his brand of farm-fresh dairy products and deli meats to Pittsburgh from Ohio in the early 1930’s. Here he opened an eponymous line of retail stores that operated as a grocery store meets deli meets ice cream store—and a hometown favorite was born. In its prime there were over 100 Isaly’s shops serving culinary classics such as chipped chopped ham and tall, pointed ice cream cones known as “Skyscraper” cones, made with special scoops.

Isaly’s was well-known for their unusual flavors of ice cream with unusual names like Maricopa, a mix of vanilla ice cream and butterscotch swirls; and Whitehouse Cherry, vanilla ice cream with plump maraschino cherries. The Whitehouse Cherry flavor is a nod to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue’s meticulously landscaped cherry blossoms characteristic of Washington, D.C. The shops also sold a full range of sundaes; cones; milkshakes; and Klondike® bars, originally sold with one random bar made with a pink center indicating that lucky customer received a free Klondike bar.

In the 1980’s, after the Isaly family retired, the baton was passed to long time provisioners and friends the Deily family. After much success, the brand changed hands once more in 2015 when Tim Deily sold it to food industry veterans Jim and Leslee Conroy, owners of Conroy Foods, Inc. The Conroys have been in the food business since 1986 with their introduction of Beano’s Original Deli Condiments. Tim trusted the Conroy family to carry on the incredible legacy of quality associated with the name Isaly’s–keeping the brand, in essence, “all in the family.” Under the Conroys, Isaly’s deli products have met steady demand in food chains and independent stores all over Southwest Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and beyond by remaining passionately committed to preserving Isaly’s tradition and quality.

When investigating a box of Isaly’s memorabilia they received in the purchase, the Conroys discovered an original Skyscraper scoop, an Isaly’s store operational manual, and much to their surprise, all of the original ice cream formulas. The rest, as they say, is history—2017 will mark the return of Isaly’s Ice Cream to grocery store shelves.

Customers can visit Isalys.com for more information and to find their nearest store.

About Isaly’s Ice Cream

Based on generations of Swiss dairy farmer heritage, Isaly’s Ice Cream was established in 1904 with one mission: to make ice cream according to family tradition that customers can trust for consistent freshness, high-quality ingredients, and unbeatable flavor. Now Isaly’s Ice Cream is back with its unique flavors with unusual names. For more information, visit Isalys.com.

DuPont Announces Agreement to Sell the Hotel du Pont Business to The Buccini/Pollin Group

New owner has a successful track record in luxury hotel management and dedication to the Wilmington community; all unique amenities of landmark property will be maintained and enhanced

WILMINGTON, Del. – The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) and DuPont announced an agreement for BPG to acquire the historic Hotel du Pont business. The ownership transition and closing are expected to occur on Feb. 28, 2017. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The hotel will continue to operate under the Hotel du Pont name, with all of its unique amenities, including the renowned Green Room restaurant and stately Gold Ballroom. BPG’s hotel management affiliate, PM Hotel Group, will operate the hotel.

BPG is a local, full-service real estate company that has a demonstrated commitment to Delaware and has been a leader in revitalizing the city of Wilmington. Underscoring its commitment, BPG recently announced the acquisition of the DuPont Building that houses the hotel. Its affiliate, The PM Hotel Group has a long and successful record of managing full-service and select-service hotels in the Hilton, Starwood, Marriott and Choice families of brands. BPG will unveil its comprehensive restoration plan for the Hotel in the near future, and will begin several targeted capital improvement projects upon closing of the acquisition.

“We are extremely proud that DuPont has entrusted The Buccini/Pollin Group and PM Hotel Group as stewards of this great hotel,” said David B. Pollin of The Buccini/Pollin Group. “We see ownership of the Hotel du Pont as a public trust and will work with the Wilmington community to ensure its next 103 years are as – or more – successful as its first 103 years. We expect the transition in ownership and management will be seamless for the hotel’s guests who can continue to expect a premier experience at a premier venue.”

“For over 100 years, DuPont has been proud to offer luxury accommodations and first-rate service to its guests,” said Richard C. Olson, senior vice president, DuPont Corporate Services. “We are very pleased to have found the right owner to ensure a bright future for this historic, world-class hotel and downtown Wilmington landmark. Under the ownership and expert management of BPG and PM Hotel Group, the Hotel du Pont will provide an enhanced luxury experience for the Delaware community and hotel guests from around the world.”

The prestigious 217-room Hotel du Pont opened in the heart of downtown Wilmington in 1913 to serve the local business community and represents the best of Wilmington to visitors from across the country and the world. Its guests have included U.S. presidents and other world leaders, first ladies, religious leaders, world-renowned musicians, artists and actors, professional athletes, and countless local tourists and business professionals. The elegant Green Room, the Hotel’s signature restaurant, has been recognized with the AAA Four-Diamond Award and the Forbes Four-Star Award.

Separately, DuPont will initiate a process to explore a potential sale of the DuPont Country Club. As with the Hotel du Pont, the foremost consideration will be securing a bright future for the venerable club, and ensuring that it provides an even greater experience for its members and the Wilmington community.

The Buccini/Pollin Group, Inc. (Buccini/Pollin) is a privately held, integrated real estate acquisition, development and management company with offices in Washington, D.C., Wilmington, Del., Philadelphia, Pa., and Baltimore, Md. Buccini/Pollin has developed and acquired hotel, office, residential, retail and parking properties throughout the United States.

Buccini/Pollin has acquired, developed and owns real estate assets having a value in excess of $4.0 billion, including over 40 hotels, 6 million square feet of office and retail space, 10 major residential communities, and multiple entertainment venues, including Talen Energy Stadium, home of the Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer team.

The principals of Buccini/Pollin, along with PM Hotel Group (hotel operating company), BPG Real Estate Services, LLC (office property management and leasing), ResideBPG (residential property management and leasing), and BPGS Construction, LLC (construction management), oversee all aspects of project acquisition, finance, development, construction, leasing, operations and disposition for its portfolio properties. The Buccini/Pollin Group has over 3,500 employees in 12 states. For more information, please visit www.bpgroup.net.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.com.

Secretary of State’s Office to Honor Columbus Business “Just Naturally Yummy Bakery and Catering Co. LLC.”

COLUMBUS– A representative of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was on-site at “Just Naturally Yummy Bakery and Catering Co. LLC.” in Columbus to present them with a certificate in recognition of their being a featured business in the Secretary of State’s Ohio Business Profile Program. Last month Secretary Husted recognized February as “Minority-Owned Businesses” month.

Just Naturally Yummy Bakery and Catering Co. LLC. is a family-owned and operated bakery that prides themselves on their healthy, great tasting baked goods.

New clearinghouse to streamline access to state services

COLUMBUS – On March 2, the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) launched the My Safer Ohio Business clearinghouse as a way to make it easier for businesses, law enforcement and public safety organizations to connect with the purpose of building a stronger, more prepared and safer Ohio.

The My Safer Ohio Business clearinghouse provides businesses simple access to a wide variety of resources, safety tools, and information in order to aid in their development of emergency plans, training, communication and collaboration. Programs such as the Ohio Public Private Partnership, Emergency Partner Credentialing System as well as a wide variety of templates are now available for all businesses in one central location.

“We are committed to providing resources to Ohio businesses and offering valuable safety and security resources in a more efficient manner so that businesses from across the state have the tools to aid in the protection of their staffs, customers and communities,” said ODPS Director John Born.

Partner organizations will also have the ability to submit and share topical information and resources through the clearinghouse.

The My Safer Ohio Business clearinghouse can be found at: http://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/mysaferohiobusiness/

Secretary Husted: 2016 was Ohio’s Seventh Consecutive Year of Record Business Growth

Number of new businesses filings has increased 30.8 percent from 2010 to 2016.

COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced that 2016, with 105,009 new filings, was a record-breaking year for new businesses forming in the Buckeye State. This marks the seventh consecutive year the state has seen a record number of new entities filing to do business. The previous record was set in 2015 when 97,746 new businesses registered with the Secretary of State’s office.

“We are offering better services to entrepreneurs at a lower cost and as a result, more are choosing Ohio for their new business than ever before,” Secretary Husted said.

Making it simpler and less costly to do business in Ohio has been a top priority for Secretary Husted since taking office in 2011. Some successes include:

The launch of Ohio Business Central, which enables all Ohio-based businesses to form and renew their business status online. This service has provided easier access, reduced processing time and saved taxpayer dollars.

The reduction of the cost of starting and maintaining a business in Ohio by 21 percent, making the Buckeye State the least costly state in the region for starting and maintaining a business. This move, which was made possible by Secretary Husted’s careful fiscal stewardship, has already saved Ohio businesses over $2.8 million.

The launch of the partnership with Google’s “Let’s Get Our Cities on the Map” program to put additional tools in the hands of new and growing Ohio businesses.

The launch of a partnership with the Cleveland Sight Center, which has improved customer experience by reducing the average wait time for callers into the Business Services Call Center from five minutes and 19 seconds to just 43 seconds with a 95.7 percent customer satisfaction rate.

These efforts to provide better services at a lower cost have enabled Secretary Husted to reduce spending in the Secretary of State’s Office by $14.5 million in his first term when compared to the previous administration, and in his second term, the Secretary became the only statewide officeholder to request a cut, not an increase, in his budget. Additionally, in December 2016, Secretary Husted requested a 100 percent cut in General Revenue Funds (GRF) for the next biennium while announcing his plan to run the Secretary of State’s Office for the remainder of his term without the use of taxpayer funds.

Though the most visible role of the Secretary of State is that of chief elections officer, the office is also the first stop for individuals or companies who want to file and start a business in Ohio. While recognizing these numbers can’t provide a complete picture of Ohio’s jobs climate, they are an important indicator of economic activity that Secretary Husted hopes will add to the ongoing discussion of how to improve the state’s overall climate for business.

NOTE: New business filings are classified as forms filed with the Ohio Secretary of State that declare the formation of a business entity, including for-profit, non-profit and professional corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. Filing as a business in Ohio does not guarantee the company will begin operations, be profitable or create jobs.

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Staff Reports