Artisans, business owners display products at Small Business Saturday event | News, Sports, Jobs

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Victoria Hooper, owner of Gourmet Balls by Tori, displays a hot cocoa bomb made of a snowman Saturday during Small Business Saturday put together by the Belpre Homecoming Festival at the Belpre Bingo Hall.
(Photo by Douglass Huxley)

https://www.febspot.com/2191620

PARKERSBURG — Small Business Saturday came to the Mid-Ohio Valley with shoppers and business owners from both sides of the river participating.

The Belpre Homecoming Festival put together an event at the Belpre Bingo Hall for local artisans and business owners to put their products on display.

“It’s getting people that have a small business, that want to expand, a chance to get their name out there and we’re helping them do that,” Amanda Wires, president of the Belpre Homecoming Festival said.

Wires said this was the first time they put on the event and that it included activities and games for those in attendance. The day started with a pancake breakfast with Santa as local vendors began their setups.

“And then pretty much every hour we had a scheduled event,” Wires said. “Ranging from an exercise class, to reindeer food making, things like that. Anything family oriented to get people out.”

Carter Cain fixes his fire hat as Kristen Cain, Calen Dye, Baylee Cain and Brantley Dye look at items at Piper’s Treasure Chest, owned by Malischa Cowdery, during Small Business Saturday put together by the Belpre Homecoming Festival at the Belpre Bingo Hall. This was Melischa Cowdery, online business owner of Piper’s Treasure Chest, first time doing business in-person, and she said she plans on doing something similar in the future.
(Photo by Douglass Huxley)

Victoria Hooper, owner of Gourmet Balls by Tori, said she was approached by Wires to participate in this inaugural event.

“That’s kind of an honor when someone comes to you and says they really want you to be a part of this,” Hooper said.

Hooper said she began making hot cocoa bombs during the pandemic as a hobby and it grew from there. She said she makes her bombs with ingredients that include marshmallows, sprinkles, hot cocoa mix and even edible glitter.

“I’ll put it all in there and when the milk hits it, it just kind of pops open. A lot of the time people will call them bombs, but I call them balls,” Hooper said. “I always joke and say, ‘Thank you for supporting my small ball business.’ “

She said she only makes them during the colder months but the sale of her balls helps her family tremendously this time of year.

A Belpre Fire Department fire engine was available for people to look at Saturday at the Belpre Bingo Hall during Small Business Saturday put together by the Belpre Homecoming Festival.
(Photo by Douglass Huxley)

“This little bit pays for my kids’ Christmas, pays for our groceries right now, strawberries are expensive,” Hooper said. “With five kids I have to find something to help out around Christmas and just in life right now.”

Hooper said more information about her hot cocoa bombs can be found on her Facebook page.

Wires said she hopes this will become another yearly tradition for Belpre.

“We’re trying to add more community events and traditions in our little town,” Wires said. “We appreciate everyone’s support and keep an eye out for any future events sponsored by the Belpre Homecoming.

On the other side of the river, the Parkersburg Art Center held a similar event for Small Business Saturday.

Paula Space, owner of Space Kraft’d, embroiders a picture she took while on a motorcycle trip with her husband.
(Photo by Clara Noelle)

They had businesses from all over the area come into the center and set up shop. Most businesses brought merchandise that is for sale at their shops.

Paula Space, owner of Space Kraft’d, sells various forms of embroidery and said most of her sales come from custom orders and memorial work where she embroiders pictures of lost family members and pets.

“I take people’s memories and make them stand out and embellish them,” Space said. “I like to create things.”

Space said she makes and sells muscle and sugar scrubs as well, and that her husband does woodworking they have available for sale.

Delta Coon, owner of DJs Sweet Creations, was also at Parkersburg Arts Center’s Small Business Saturday event.

Delta Coon, owner of DJ’s Sweet Creations (right), and her husband, Seth Coon, greet customers at the Parkersburg Art Center’s Small Business Saturday event.
(Photo by Clara Noelle)

She said DJs Sweet Creations is a home bakery that sells “all types of treats”.

She said they sell macarons, fudge and chocolate covered treats, but that she specializes in cakes and cupcakes.

Coon does events throughout the year, but Saturday’s event was only the second event at the Parkersburg Art Center she has attended.

Coon said she was inspired to start selling her sweet treats by friends, and that she started out with decorated sugar cookies. DJs Sweet Creations does not sell those anymore as Coon described them as being “a pain” to make. You can find DJs Sweet Creations on Facebook as well as Space Kraft’d.

Douglass Huxley can be reached at dhuxley@newsandsentinel.com.

An exercise class put on by Belpre Homecoming is shown during their Small Business Saturday Event.
(Photo by Clara Noelle)

Clara Noelle can be reached at intern@newsandsentinel.com



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