Written by Olivia Peabody & Kayden Blinn, Dutch Ridge Elementary School Students
Our names are Olivia Peabody and Kayden Blinn. We are from Dutch Ridge Elementary School, and we are 11 and 12 years old. We interviewed multiple store owners in downtown Beaver to learn about the history of the store and got to check out a lot of interesting things too!
Witch Flavor | Owner: Lisa Ragazzini & John Biondi
You scream, I scream, we all scream for WITCH FLAVOR!!! Love ice cream, then you should fly right down to Witch Flavor and enjoy this frozen treat! And the best part, you can also get some tasty delicious homemade soup as well! The lasagna soup will leave you wanting more!
Olivia: How did you come up with the idea to start a business?
Lisa: My friend, now business partner and I lived across the street from each other and while we were busy raising families and working full time, we knew our town needed an ice cream store. We envisioned a place that we could walk to with our children that would also be a lovely asset to our already thriving community. We talked about it for about a year before planning began.
Olivia: How long has your store been in business?
Lisa: We opened in June of 2011, so over 10 years!
Olivia: What are the best rewards from opening your business?
Lisa: The rewards are honestly, endless. We have met and befriended so many people in the community and beyond. We have watched our employees grow into great people. We have had opportunities to connect with the local schools, churches and organizations. We have met quite a few puppies too!
Some advice from Lisa
• When you are planning to start a small business, it’s important that you find something that your whole town can benefit from.
• We believed in the power of the ice cream cone from the very beginning. It brings such joy to children and folks of all ages.
• Once you have chosen and established your business, always be aware of the unexpected and enjoy every moment. We believe in slow and controlled growth.
• Stay true to yourself and be open minded to change.
Two Rivers Olive Oil Store | Owners: Sherri Herstine-Icenhour & Bill Porto
When you go to the Two Rivers Olive Oil Store what do you first think of it? Is it the variety of flavors, the unique tastes, the endless possibilities? And…. did you know that the average olive tree lives for 300-600 years?
Olivia: What was the hardest part in starting your business?
Sherri: The hardest part in starting the business was not really knowing if it would succeed or fail.
Olivia: How did you come up with the idea to start this business?
Sherri: I came up with this business when I was out of town on a girl’s weekend in Ohio. I went into a store like mine and absolutely fell in love with it. But I had no experience whatsoever! But I knew it was what I wanted to do!
Olivia: What’s the busiest time or part of your day? Sherri: Saturdays are always the busiest day. Olivia: How long has your store been in business? Sherri: We’ve been in business for 6 1⁄2 years!
A little bit about Sherri
• Her favorite Olive oil is Baklouti Fused Green Chili Oil.
• Previous work experience was always with outside sales, and she started off selling payroll to businesses like hers. Also, for 20 years, she sold medical devices to hospitals.
• She loves the main street of Beaver and meeting the people from all over who love to come down and shop at little stores like hers!
• Before her business came into this lot it was Sangha Yoga Center, and before that it was a pet store. For years it was Roland’s Toy Store which was a big part of Beaver History!
Photography By James | Owner/Manager: James Bango
Have you ever thought about who takes school pictures!? Well this is it, Photography By James takes school photos every year! How cool is that!?
Kayden: What was the hardest part in starting your business? James: Building out the customer base is the hardest part. Kayden: How did you come up with the idea to start this business? James: I’ve wanted to be a photographer since junior high school! Kayden: What’s the busiest part or time of your day?
James: Mornings and after children get home from school it gets busy. Kayden: How long has your store been in business?
James: 40 years.
A little bit about James Bango
• He drove a locomotive for the railroad, but it wasn’t his passion.
• What he likes most is being around the people and taking their photos and looking back at them.
Pizza Joe’s | Owner/Manager: Tiffany Rader
Have you ever thought about the most original pizza place in downtown Beaver!? Well, when I think about it, I think of Pizza Joes and their delicious pizza!
Kayden: What was the hardest part in starting your business?
Tiffany: I was here as a regular employee for 15 years and I worked my way up
to own it!
Kayden: How did you come up with the idea to start this business?
Tiffany: Just working here for a long time and loving what I do so I knew I wanted to take it over.
Kayden: What’s the busiest time or part of your day? Tiffany: Weekends are the busiest time, mostly Sundays are. Kayden: How long has your store been in business?
Tiffany: It’s been in business since 1993 so 29 years!
Interesting Facts About Pizza Joes and Tiffany Rader
• Pepperoni is the most common topping.
• She likes the fun atmosphere at Pizza Joes.
• Before it was Pizza Joe’s the space was many things including an ice cream store!
• Owners of Pizza Joe’s were originally Dave Porter and his wife.
• She took it over in April of 2021.
Special advice: Stick to your goal and work hard and you’ll achieve it! This is her message to kids who want to do this.