The nominees are in! Let the voting begin!


Finalists of the 2018 GenoaBank, Sylvania AdVantage and Boomers – We Love Small Business Campaign are: Frameworks Art and Frame, Sautter’s Food Center and Upside Brewing.

The favorite reader-chosen Sylvania-area small business will be announced in the May 15 issue. The winning business will receive a three-month advertising package with the Sylvania AdVantage newspaper and Boomers magazine and a $300 Visa gift card from GenoaBank.

Cast your vote by April 30!

Michael Calandra

Frameworks Art and Frame
5660 Mayberry Sq.
Owner: Michael Calandra
Year established: 2003

For over 35 years, Michael Calandra has been assisting customers to preserve and display their cherished family photos, sports memorabilia, collectibles and children’s artwork. As the owner of Frameworks Art and Frame in Mayberry Square, Calandra enhances his customers’ experiences by guiding them to the best design for their artwork. Calandra is also an award-winning artist whose air-brush fantasy and illustration work have been featured in many publications including Heavy Metal Magazine and Art Scene International.

What makes your business unique?
“As a working artist, I offer a different perspective when helping my clients design their projects. The finished design has to complement the artwork as well as the space where it will hang,” explained Calandra. Frameworks carry thousands of frame and mat samples to help bridge the gap between art and environment. “That shouldn’t intimidate anyone. I can easily guide people to the best design by showing them options to fit their style and price range,” he said.

Who or what inspired you to create your business?
“With many companies reorganizing during the economic downturn in the early 2000s, I thought the time was right to open my own frame shop and art studio,” said Calandra. “It was a bit of a risk with two young children, but I had the support of friends, family and the Sylvania community. It is an exciting and challenging endeavor since it offers me the opportunity to do my own art, as well as frame art for my clients,” he added.

How do you define a successful business?
“Being an artist, I place a value on happiness in my career. It’s important for me to enjoy what I do. Creating art that makes people happy and preserves their treasures goes a long way in making my business successful. I am forever grateful to the community for their support, as it allows my to do what I love to do.”

How does your business benefit the community?
“Local owners tend to be active in the community and understand that when we take care of people, they, in turn, take care of us,” said Calandra. For several years he has worked with Sylvania Schools on their student art show, cutting mats for the kids’ artwork and volunteering his time. “By having kids’ art up on the walls, it validates their work. You don’t know what that means to them.”

“Being part of the Mayberry Business Association has given me the opportunity to plan and participate in many events such as our Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween Walk and the December Candy Cane Trail. Seeing families with smiles on their faces is a great way to give back to the people who support us.”


Jim Sautter

Sautter’s Food Center
5519 Main St.
Owners: Jim and Bob Sautter
Year established: 1927

Sautter’s Food Center, part of the Sylvania landscape since 1959, has roots dating back to 1927. Ray Sautter had planned to open a bar, but thanks to Prohibition, he changed course and opened a neighborhood grocery on Collingwood Boulevard and Dorr Street. It was there that Sautter put into practice his philosophy to, “Buy the best and offer it at a fair price,” one that has survived the test of time and has been passed down to the second and now third generation owners.

What started as a small neighborhood grocery has more than doubled in size thanks to renovations in 1976 and 1992 resulting in a large produce area, deli featuring a selection of prepared entrees and artisan desserts courtesy of chef Juan Nunez, a large wine selection with prices in all ranges and a varied selection of craft and regular beers. In addition, spring and summer bring a wealth of color to the front of the building thanks to all of the flowers and bedding plants that are offered for sale.

What makes your business unique?
“We have been a family-owned business for over 90 years. We have been able to establish relationships with customers,” said Jim Sautter. “We do offer a large selection of grocery items, and our customers also know that if we don’t have something they want or need, they just ask and we will get it if it’s possible,” Sautter noted.

Another factor that sets this family-owned grocery apart is Sautter’s willingness to stock locally produced products that the larger food chains will not. Several products that are now distributed nationwide made their debut at the local grocery. “I’ll help anyone who has a good product,” he said.

Sautter’s also offers fresh locally grown produce thanks to the strong relationships the local grocer has developed and maintained through the years.

Sautter, at age 13, started working in the store when it first opened and always knew this would be his career. “I love what I do. I can’t think of doing anything else,” he said.

How do you define a successful business?
According to Sautter, a successful business is one that has longevity and is flexible enough to adapt to the changing business environment. “We also continue to subscribe to my grandfather and father’s philosophy to never compromise on quality and offer the best products at a fair price,” Sautter related.

How does your business benefit the community?
In addition to Sautter’s 40-year history as an active Sylvania Rotarian, he is willing to help various organizations with their philanthropic endeavors. He allows individuals and organizations space in the store to display posters and flyers for events and more. The local grocery also provides an opportunity for employment. Sautter estimates that over 10,000 people have worked in the store through the years. “I know we hire at least 200 people every year. Many people tell me how working at Sautter’s was their very first job.”


Nick Dallas

Upside Brewing
5692 Main St.
Owner: Nick Dallas
Year established: 2016

Nick Dallas takes customer service, quality, and community involvement seriously. Working since he was 14 in his family’s restaurant J & G Pizza Palace, and now serving as its manager, has instilled a strong work ethic in Dallas giving him the business skills and confidence he needed to launch his own business, Upside Brewing.

What makes your business unique?
Upside Brewing, located inside J & G Pizza Palace, is the first beer brewing business to open in the Sylvania area. “My wife Melissa and I both take part in the brewing operations,” said Dallas. “All of the beers we brew here are ales but with a more adventurous and unique feel. Our beers tend to have more spices, fruits and uncommon ingredients than the average brewery,” he explained.

Who or what inspired you to create your business?
“I had been home brewing for family, friends and a few J & G customers for several years. It was a fun hobby, and then I became more serious about it and thought, I could be doing this for the restaurant,” Dallas explained. Dallas’ goal is to expand his business as a separate entity in the future.

How do you define a successful business?
“Success for Upside Brewing is continuing to grow, to provide high-quality products and to offer community support. We are continuously educating ourselves and implementing quality brewing procedures while keeping day-to-day operations for employees and ourselves positive, fresh and on the upside,” said Dallas.

How does your business benefit the community?
“Supporting and bringing people to Sylvania is a big drive of ours and will always be part of our business plan. Upside Brewing is a member of the Downtown Sylvania Association and a proud participant in the Red Bird Art Walks, which take place on the first Friday of each month. Helping DSA coordinate events such as Local Fest – Bands, Bites and Brews and participating in other events like Miracle on Main, Maple and Main Art Fair and Tree City Film Festival is a great experience that helps to bring awareness to all the local businesses.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++VOTE HERE!

Congratulations to all the nominees!
Advance Advertising Ltd.
Beautiful Blooms by Jen
Christian Home Care
Classic Café
Earth to Oven
Executive on the Main
Frameworks Art and Frame
The Lens Butler
Mayberry Diner
Pro Music
Reemsnyder Decorating
Sautter’s Food Center
Upside Brewing

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