Rubber City Match offers SIRNA, Gypsy Grace and The Vintage Goat tea


A second new tea store in Kenmore and a West Hill store that sells healing crystals are each receiving $ 50,000 from the city to expand their operations.

Mayor Dan Horrigan announced the winners of the first round of the 2021 Rubber City Match program on Thursday. Gypsy Grace & The Vintage Goat at 451 W Market St. and the soon to be opening SRINA Tea House on Kenmore Boulevard will also receive private business loans from the Western Reserve Community Fund and the non-profit ECDI. headquartered in Columbus and helping underserved people. and small, underbanked businesses.

Rubber City Match program managed by Akron's Integrated Development Office

More Rubber City Match winners are expected this year with a second round of nominations expected on June 30. For more information or to apply, visit rubbercitymatch.com or call the city’s Integrated Development Office at 330-375-2133.

Mayor Dan Horrigan launched the Rubber City Match program last year just before the pandemic. The program allows startups and small businesses to apply for cash rewards, tech assistance, private loans, and help find empty storefronts and commercial spaces in need of revitalization.

Gypsy Grace and the Vintage Goat

Gypsy Grace & The Vintage Goat, a metaphysical supply store and gift shop, plans to use her loan and grant to grow her business by adding “Healing Salt Rooms and Floating Tanks” to the boutique’s menu. healing crystals, herbs, plants, incense and more.

Olivia Buzzi looks in a crystal drawer while shopping at Gypsy Grace & the Vintage Goat in Akron.

Owners Angel Gunter and Joe Schiebe told the city demand for their products increased during the pandemic, prompting the expansion.

SRINA tea house

The grants will also help open a second teahouse on Kenmore Boulevard, where ManiKitchen Tea Shop 2Health 4Life opened last fall. With cash assistance from the Rubber City Match program, SRINA Tea House would open across the street at 975 Kenmore Blvd., making it the third business on the streets to be owned by a black woman, according to the city. .

The new store will feature “organic teas, coffee and healthy and delicious food made with ingredients produced on their small farm in Sri Lanka and prepared by Akron’s own chef, Glenn Gillespie (Edgars restaurant),” said the city.

SIRNA Tea is moving into a closed beauty salon, where the Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance has been working for a few years to gain public support and develop private businesses.

“The City of Akron is pleased to provide this type of impactful support to our new and growing small businesses,” Horrigan said in the release. “Retail and service businesses like these contribute greatly to the vitality of our community by providing services to the neighborhoods they inhabit and by occupying key properties on display. Our 2020 grant recipients are great examples of successful and in-demand local businesses that will use these funds to create jobs for our residents. “

Contact reporter Doug Livingston at [email protected] or 330-996-3792.


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