The Chagrin Valley encompasses 13 communities – Auburn, Bainbridge, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Gates Mills, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Newbury, Pepper Pike, Orange, Russell, South Russell and Woodmere – in Cuyahoga and Geauga counties.
Though many only visit these communities, others have decided to put down roots and open businesses there.
Randy Emerman, vice president of programming and strategic partnerships at Silverspot Cinema, which will open at Pinecrest in Orange in June; Kendra Urdzik, president and CEO of South Franklin Circle Judson Senior Living in Bainbridge Township; and Michelle Kalinyak-Adams and Halle Bargar, co-owners of Shed Boutique and Wellness in Chagrin Falls, said the Chagrin Valley community felt like the right place to be.
Molly Gebler, executive director of the Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce in Chagrin Falls said businesses thrive in the valley because it is “a mecca of shopping, arts, events and restaurants.”
“On any given weekend, you will find some amazing event going on here,” she said. “With all that the Chagrin Valley has to offer, it’s no wonder why businesses flock to set up shop. The successful family-owned businesses show potential business owners that local business is supported by the community.”
Gebler noted with events like the Hunter Jumper Classic, Blossom Time (happening this Memorial Day Weekend), Restaurant Week and the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival, businesses are attracted to the area because the events create an “instant customer base.”
Emerman said Silverspot was attracted to Pinecrest because the Chagrin Valley is a “wonderful area.”
“The (Pinecrest development) is a great project that we’re so fortunate to be part of,” she said. “The area meets the demographic for our programming. It’s educated and the community cares about the arts and they like good food. They are looking for something new, and the Chagrin Valley is perfect for that.”
Urdzik said Judson Senior Living chose Chagrin Valley for a similar reason – the strong arts and culture community.
“To have that secondary piece in this beautiful neighborhood with a small community feeling, it’s imperative for our work,” she said. “When (Judson) started looking 20 years ago where our next roots would be placed, we looked at all our resident’s families and connections. We realized there is this whole population we have a relationship with. We know it wouldn’t get any better than the Chagrin Valley.”
When Kalinyak-Adams and Bargar were looking for a place to start Shed Boutique and Wellness, they agreed on the Chagrin Valley.
“We both raised our families in Chagrin Falls,” Kalinyak-Adams said. “So not only was it in our backyard, but the area is about supporting local grassroots businesses.”
Bargar said, “Also, Chagrin Falls is such a walkable town. It draws people from all over the Greater Cleveland area who make their visit a whole afternoon trip. That is wonderful too. The town brings in tourism and people stumble upon so many great things, like us.”
Emerman said she thinks Silverspot will thrive there.
“From my point of view, it’s been wonderful,” she said. “People love the idea of it. The people who live (in the Chagrin Valley) are very forward thinking and a lot of what (Silverspot) does is about the arts. We do a lot of different programming and I think it will be well received.”
Urdzik said the Chagrin Valley is also a great place to retire.
“We’ve only seen an uptick in residents,” she said. “The Chagrin Valley has made their mark on what a true community like this could be. The valley is always looking at what is next. We’re tied into that and there is a strong correlation in our community.
“There is this unique balance in the Chagrin Valley, as it’s a retirement destination and also a great community to raise your family in.”
Bargar said since communities in the valley are walkable, she has high hopes for the future of her business and others like it.
“Since people can come and spend a day at the falls,” she said. “So, (the Chagrin Valley) and we will endure. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember, so I can only imagine it will continue to be a great place for people to gather and businesses to open.”