Letter from the editor: Columbus Region has treasures to boast

Mary Yost

I have a confession to make: I have not experienced enough of what Columbus has to offer.

It's something most of us who have lived in Columbus forever are probably guilty of-thinking we know all about our community and that we don't need to explore it as a tourist or new resident. But we do!

Working on this month's issue brought this shortcoming home to me. I sadly realized I have not personally enjoyed the full Jeni's Experience. Sure, I've had Jeni Britton Bauer's heavenly ice creams, but I haven't spent time in her scoop shops-something I plan to have rectified by the time this issue lands on your desk or in your mailbox.

You can't read Assistant Editor Kitty McConnell's story about the origins and purposeful growth of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams without hankering for a fix. While Jeni's is available online and in local grocery stores, I realize now I need to make visits to a Jeni's scoop shop a regular event. After all, my grandsons need to grow up appreciating this great local treasure!

My Columbus roots also give me a personal backstory to share about our Spotlight on Small Business this month. Contributing writer Dana Wilson tells us about Tarik Yousef's new showroom for T.Y. Fine Furniture at the corner of E. Moler and S. Fourth streets. You may have also heard Yousef sponsors the Merion Village Chamber Music Series and hosts it in his showroom.

Yousef's story conjures memories from my earliest days, when the site of his showroom housed the Blue Bird Baking Company, and my grandparents' house and their poultry business were next door. My early childhood home was just down the street. We moved when I was still a toddler, but visits to Grandma Mock's and the "poultry house" often included the special treat of Blue Bird's signature individual-sized pies. Fun to know the site will once again house great pies when Bake Me Happy opens a new location in part of the building Yousef has renovated.

The kind of entrepreneurial energy that Yousef has brought to his new neighborhood is evident throughout the 11-county Columbus Region. That is made clear in the special Columbus Region supplement included with this issue. Appreciation for all that this area provides for ongoing economic development comes through in the 14 business profiles by contributing writer TC Brown. In story after story, business executives praise the region's great logistics, a creative and educated workforce, reasonable cost of living and expansive availability of vendors and customers alike.

No wonder, then, that Columbus 2020 is on target to meet and probably exceed its goals for creating jobs, boosting income levels, attracting capital investment and elevating the Columbus Region's reputation as a national economic leader.

Asked what he would say to others thinking of setting up shop in the Columbus Region, one of the profiled business leaders responded: "What are you waiting for?"

It's good advice for all of us-don't wait to experience more of Columbus and its treasures!