Regular readers of THE ROCK FATHER know that I'm a big fan of The J.M Smucker Company. Smucker's is an American tradition, so when I had a chance to visit their headquarters in Orrville, Ohio last Fall for their Holiday Traditions gathering, I jumped at it. While I had a great time and learned a lot (want a killer Brussels Sprouts recipe?), I couldn't help thinking that my family would like to visit there as well, so on our first-ever Great American Road Trip series, I took my wife and daughters to The J.M. Smucker Company Store and Cafe for a late lunch and a little bit of shopping as we made our way back to Illinois last month.
Located just down the road from Smucker's HQ, the store and cafe is an adorable shop filled with items from the entire Smucker's family of brands, including Pillsbury, Folgers, Jif, Dunkin' Donuts, Crisco, Hungry Jack, Santa Cruz Organic and more. When I was out there the first time, I got my picture taken alongside Richard Smucker as we stood in front of a six-foot statue of the Pillsbury Doughboy - a statue my little ones have asked me about ever since. Seeing the statue for themselves, they found him irresistible, along with the rest of the store, which they were so excited to see since they knew if "from Daddy's pictures."
A big draw for Little Finley was the Smucker's Jelly Wall, which is such a glorious display of color that she wanted to climb it. The kids roamed the store, did a little chalkboard art in the kids corner, and my wife and I picked up some goodies to enjoy after we arrived back home.
After a simple meal of a peanut butter sandwich and a side of apple sauce, we all shared a little dessert and hit the road for the 7-8 hour-ish drive back to Rock Father HQ.
Overall, if you're passing through Ohio, a stop at The J.M Smucker company Store & Cafe should be on your to-do list. It's a welcoming a homey spot that's certainly worth checking out.
To plan your own visit, check out the official website for The J.M Smucker Company Store & Cafe.
About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™.
Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality and Commentator.
He serves as a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent), has made guest appearances as a member of the Sprout Kindness Crew, was featured in the Father's Day issue of Lake County Magazine, and is a former contributor to Chicago Parent.
Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for the likes of FEAR FACTORY, DIRGE WITHIN, PRODUCT OF HATE, ARCANIUM and others, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands.
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, and in 2013 he's been quoted on CNN, Babble, The Huffington Post, and The Good Men Project, in addition to making appearances on ABC News and WGN.
Learn more here.