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Meet the Merchants in the Midwest

Editorial Team

5 min read
Map of the Midwest

This October is the perfect time to enjoy the colors and flavors of the Midwest! Whether you find yourself in one of our great Midwestern cities or enjoying the countryside, be sure to support local businesses in the area.

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In this Meet the Merchant post, we feature 8 local merchants in the Midwest who manage and grow their businesses with Clover.

Illinois

Gonzo’s Rock & Roll Pizzeria, Sandwich, Illinois

It was a nickname and a talent for playing bass guitar that led Arturo Garza to name his restaurant Gonzo’s Rock And Roll Pizzeria. After volunteering for several years as part of a stage crew at Aurora’s internationally renowned blues festival, Arturo decided to bring the local music scene–and local musicians–to his restaurant. With its high ceilings and wood floors, the restaurant is an intimate space with a rich, vibrant sound–a place where the tight-knit community of musicians knows and supports each other. Be sure to stop in for great pizza and a good tune.

Michigan

London Beauty, Brighton, Michigan

While working in fashion and retail in New York, Kathleen London noticed a gap in the beauty industry–no one was offering clean makeup that performed well. And so began the concept for London Beauty. With a broad line of US-made retail products, Kathleen’s business offers eco-conscious luxury paired with affordable convenience. What’s more, over 85% of its inventory is made by female-owned businesses. If you’re in Brighton, Michigan, visit Kathleen’s shop.

La Gelati, Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Hussein Saad, Zeinab Cherkaoui, and Yousef Khalaf started La Gelati in Dearborn Heights, Michigan in 2017. It’s specialty is homemade ashta, a smooth, hand-pulled ice cream with a silky texture akin to gelato. Based on a very old ice cream tradition that started in what is now Syria, La Gelati’s ashta is popular with locals and is sold in over 30 retail locations. If it’s too chilly out for something cold, no worries. La Gelati offers other delectibles like crepes, waffles, boba tea, and more. 

Missouri

Fannies West African Cuisine, Kansas City, Missouri

Growing up in Liberia, West Africa, Fannie Gibson opened Fannie’s West African Cuisine to the public in April 2018. And ever since, she’s shared her grandmother’s traditional recipes–and her love of cooking–with people from all walks of life. Fufu, (a dumpling made out of cassavas, yams, and plantains), jollof (mixed vegetables and tomato sauce), and puff (small doughnuts, sweet enough to eat alone, and served with Fannie’s signature pepper sauce) feature on a plant-based menu–and are customer faves. If you find yourself in Kansas City, be sure to drop in.

Nebraska

Big Mamas Kitchen, Omaha, NE

Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering gained international recognition after being featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Known to her family and friends as “Big Mama,” founder Patricia Barron learned to cook from her grandmother, Lillie. In fact, it’s her grandmother’s biscuit recipe that’s still used today in the restaurant, along with hundreds of other recipes handed down to Big Mama from her grandmother. Owner Gladys Harrison, Patricia’s daughter, now runs the family business and shares her mother’s passion for food that serves and strengthens the local community. If you’re in Omaha or the surrounding area, visit Big Mama’s Kitchen for good food and good company.

Ohio

Crystal Marie’s Divine Designs, Cincinnati, Ohio

After getting her start in a high-end salon, Crystal Marie Render opened Crystal Marie’s Divine Designs. An upscale salon, Crystal Marie’s salon adds a touch of crystal, leather, and luxury to the Cincinnati salon scene. Dedicated to educating her clients on hair care, Crystal Marie invests time in teaching her clients how to maintain their hair properly. If you’re looking for a luxurious salon day in Cincinnati and tips on maintaining your style, visit Crystal Marie’s Divine Designs.

Destiny Farm Cattle, Medina, Ohio

Nestled in a valley with beautiful pastures and a wooded river, Destiny Farm Cattle is a small, independent farm in Medina, Ohio. Dedicated to raising grass-fed cattle without hormones, antibiotics, or steroids, owner Hendrick Leibrandt is a champion for sustainable and humane farming, free of pesticides. Destiny Farm Cattle have made healthier meal options for its community simple–locals can order farm products online and pick up their order, fresh from the farm. If you’re in the Medina area, take in the beautiful countryside and clean eats from Destiny Farm Cattle.

Wisconsin

Physical Therapy of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A childhood rollerblading accident introduced Dr. Sylvestra Ramirez to the world of physical therapy. Years later, she founded Physical Therapy of Milwaukee (PTM), an award-winning team of physical therapists who specialize in pain management and mitigation, as well as work and sports injuries. Committed to giving back to the community, the PTM team offers service internships for physical therapy students, volunteers in the community, and collaborates with local senior centers. If you’re in Milwaukee and need physical therapy, look up Physical Therapy of Milwaukee.

Want to learn more about other Clover merchants across North America? Read more Meet the Merchant stories here.

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