Locally Grown 2014

There are no shortcuts to success for small businesses. It takes time, effort and vision. The Toledo area is fortunate to have so many business owners who have invested the time and energy required to make their companies not only successful, but part of our daily lives. Join us as we celebrate their success and hear them explain what makes them stand out from the rest.

IMG_6280Matt Bucher

Elizabeth Scott Community

2720 Albon Rd. Maumee, OH 43537



How did you get started?

Our facility was started by my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Scott, out of her farm home, 65 years ago in 1949.  My grandparents Vern and Mary Bucher were owners after her, and my dad, Paul Bucher, is the current owner. Our goal is to keep the facility family owned and operated for as long as we keep making family members! My wife and I have two children, so we’ll see what happens down the road.

My favorite local establishments?

In my spare time I like to go to Urban Active in Maumee to exercise, or to go on walks or bike ride with my family at Oak Openings Metropark. I also race and ride off-road motorcycles, so I like to ride in the Maumee State Forest in Swanton. We try to eat at home as much as possible, but I love Dale’s diner in Waterville for an early morning breakfast!

Favorite business quote?

“If you aren’t building on or moving up, then move out of the way!” My grandpa, Vern Bucher once said this, I’ve heard. My grandparents always had projects going on, so it probably stems from this.

What was the turning point when you knew you were successful?

For our company, we’ve been here so long and have had a great reputation, so we’ve had success long before I was even thought of. We will continue to succeed as long as we stay true to our mission. For me personally, however, I brought the idea of independent living apartments to the table in 2009, probably in the worst economic times possible.  They’ve remained pretty much full for 5 years, and are a very popular option here.

What is your company vision or mission statement?

To treat our residents like they were our own family members.

Chris-RayChris Ray


12715 Roachton Rd. Perrysburg



What makes your business great?

We help elderly and  disabled people maintain their freedom by overcoming barriers in their lives  and in their homes.

How did you get started?

By paying attention. I was working in the healthcare industry when an opportunity to open my own business in the accessibility industry (ramps, stair lifts, ceiling lifts, bathroom modifications) presented itself. I took the leap ( with the OK of my wife!).

What’s your best advice for local business owners?

Be persistent. If you believe, others will too. And even if they don’t, be persistent!

What was the turning point when you knew you were successful?

When we went out on our own, and were able to pay the bills and could still pay our salary.

What is your company vision or mission statement?

To provide the best service/solutions to people and help them overcome the barriers that stop them from living their lives in freedom.

IMG_9671Thomas R. Merritt, M.D.

Foot Solutions (Toledo)

Sylvania at Talmadge (behind Chick-fil-A)

419-214-FOOT (3668)


What makes your business great?

Foot Solutions is an international franchise with approximately 125 stores in the U.S. We are the only store locally, with our closest sister stores in Cleveland.

As a retired orthopaedic surgeon, I possess the knowledge of the foot and ankle (as well as the secondary effects it may have on the rest of the skeleton) necessary to address people’s foot pain.

What’s your best advice for local business owners?

As a relatively new business in the community I believe that rather than being in competition with the other shoe stores in town, we complement each other, each with its own unique niche.

One word to describe your business?


Favorite business quote?

Opportunity rarely comes delivered neatly wrapped and all ready to go. You must seek it out, recognize it, and then act on it.

What is your most popular product or service and why?

Xelero shoes—a  quality product, with great technology, that can speak to so many foot problems.

IMG_6274(2)Keith Walker

Walker Funeral Home

5155 Sylvania Avenue



What makes your business great?

The enthusiasm of our team of funeral professionals and support staff working together tocreate personal, unique and meaningful tribute services for each client family.

 How did you get started?

My grandfather started the funeral home in 1933 and grew it successfully until his death in 1983. My father, Gary Walker, took over at that time and continues with the homes today. I joined the business in 1993 and became president in 1997.

What’s your best advice for local business owners?

Look ahead five years or so and anticipate where your industry or profession will be, then adjust to be prepared when that happens.

Favorite business quote?

“Work hard and enjoy life.”

 What is your company vision or mission statement?

Consistently meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of everyone who interacts with our organization.

ROBERT COHEN & DEAN SOLDEN Vibrant Life Senior Living-Temperance

667 W. Sterns Rd., 7342 Jackman Rd., 888-985-6530


 What makes your business great?

Many companies have good care, but this is just our starting point. We believe people deserve to have a great life in their later years as well.

How did you get started? 

Vibrant Life Senior Living was bought on February 19, 2014, from the previous owners of Windhaven Eldercare.  The new owners, Robert Cohen and Dean Solden, have been providing quality lifestyle and care to Michigan’s seniors for over two decades in over a dozen communities.

We couldn’t do it without…?

Our staff!

Favorite business quote?

Keep your feet on the ground and your head in the clouds, but it’s a long stretch.

What is your company’s vision or mission statement?

All Vibrant Life communities believe that each person, despite any physical or cognitive limitations, can continue leading a vibrant and fulfilling life, and can continue making contributions to those around them.

IMG_6244Joel Whalen

Yaeger’s Shoes

5333 Monroe St.



What makes your business great?

Our business is comfort casual shoes in all sizes and widths from the best brands in the shoe business.

How did you get started? 

Family owned since 1846. Gregg Yaeger and Joel Whalen are current owners with over 50 years of combined experience in the shoe business.

 What’s your best advice for local business owners?

Shop local as much as possible and always thank your customers!

We couldn’t do it without…?

A brannock device—the old school way to measure people feet to determine the correct size.

Favorite business quote?

Always talk about what the customer needs are and then fulfill them!

IMG_9753Mike Phillips

Home Solutions of Maumee Valley

1038 S. Holland-Sylvania Rd., Holland


What makes your business great?

The satisfaction I receive when a customer looks me in the eye and says, “Thank you for your great work.”

How did you get started?

I was traveling a lot for business when my wife called and told me our son took his first steps. At that moment I said I would not miss another first, so I resigned and started the business.

What’s your best advice for local business owners?

Be a benefit to your customers and fulfill your commitments.

Favorite business quote?

The straight line is the shortest in morals as in mathematics.

What is your most popular product or service and why?

Adapting living spaces for a safe environment to accommodate the needs of the maturing population, allowing one to stay in their own comfortable home, living a longer, happier self-sufficient life.

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