Area artisan vendors displayed and sold unique hand-made items

Molnar Farms closes season with its 5th annual Christmas on the Farm

By William K. Alcorn


Molnar Farms on East Western Reserve Road in Poland Township closed its season Saturday with the fifth annual Christmas on the Farm craft and gift market.

Numerous local artisan vendors offered unique handcrafted gifts and decorations perfect for the holiday season.

The items ranged from jewelry pieces to intricate handmade quilts created from hand-spun alpaca yarn raised, sheared and woven at Crooked Creek Alpacas owned and operated in Petersburg by husband and wife team, Willie and Connie Ortz, for the past 11 years.

The Ortz farm, which has about 40 alpacas, also houses a second business, Farm House Yarn, operated by Connie Ortz and Denien Semach, which features yarn from all over the world in addition to the alpaca wool, said Willie.

The yarn shop, which offers knitting and chrocheting lessons, opened in September and is gaining a customer base. “We’re very excited about it,” Willie said.

Another local vendor with handmade items was Don Beauchene, who with his wife, Michelle, operates Blush Spa and Gift Boutique, a storefront business at 169 West Market St. in Warren.

The store, which has been open for about a year, features sugar scrubs, relax bath soaps and other similar items. “My wife makes them all,” said Don.

While many of the vendors continue their businesses year-round, Saturday’s event was the end of Molnar Farm’s 2018 season, which runs from June through Nov. 24 and peaks from the end of July through October, especially in July, August and September, said Virginia Molnar, who by virtue of her marriage to Rick Molnar Jr. is part of the extended family that keeps the family-owned and operated Molnar Farms going.

Virginia, who has a bachelor of arts degree in English and a master of business administration, both from the University of Mount Union, works in marketing at AVI Food Systems based in Warren. She also handles marketing for Molnar Farms.

Part of what the family does during the off season, besides equipment maintenance and deciding what to plant the next growing season, is work on adding to Molnar Farms’ list of special events, which now includes a 5-K race that benefits Second Harvest Food Bank of Mahoning Valley; an open house in August, and a corn maze and hayrides in the pumpkin patch in October.

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