A Fair Trade Trip Down Memory Lane

photo (9)I’m just wrapping up a wonderful trip home to Cleveland, Ohio where I grew up.  It was my son’s first trip to Ohio.  Actually, it was his first trip outside of California and on a plane.  It has been so special sharing my first home with Declan.  He’s only 18 months old so the sharing is more for me at this point than for him really but it means so much to me that he is sleeping in my old bedroom and that he is meeting the children of my high school friends.  The photo to the left is of Declan in his first ever real winter coat (a friend living in Cleveland with a son kindly let us borrow it). He’s always only needed heavy sweaters on cool San Diego days and nights. And since I’ve been here I also had a chance to visit my old stomping ground one day while Declan was visiting his grandma on his dad’s side. Lakewood is the first suburb just west of the city of Cleveland and it’s here that I spent my early and teen years. I left for college and then volunteered for a year and then headed back to Cleveland for a while to decide what I would do next.  It was during this time I had the chance to live in Tremont, a neighborhood on Cleveland’s west side.

I’d like to take you on a little tour of this jewel of a neighborhood!

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Civilization (or Civy as my husband calls it) is a small, quaint and cute coffee shop in an old pharmacy; the old pharmacy that my paternal grandmother’s family shopped at when she was a girl.  Its dark wood creates a cozy atmosphere. The majority of their coffee is organic fair trade (check out the photo above) and you can get a small cup of good tasting coffee for just a dollar).

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Visible Voice is a locally owned book store quite near Civilization.  I absolutely love the name of the place; it’s so clever! The sign above resides outside the front door of Visible Voice and for me pretty much sums up the feel of the place: independent and proud!  And they sell a lot of interesting and unusual titles about Cleveland.

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 The Banyan Tree is another locally owned small business in Tremont.  They sell unique clothes, jewelry and accessories as well as other gift items.  And I was so excited to find out that they sell fair trade jewelry and clothing this just adds to why I love the store another reason, your purchases are given to you in reusable bags.

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Lily Chocolates was new to me but its reputation of creating all its own delicious chocolates right at home in Tremont had proceeded itself.  With that in mind I made my way over to taste test on my own.  I asked the clerk if they had any fair trade chocolate and she said they had thought about it but found that they couldn’t afford it.  It sinks my heart that fair trade chocolate seems so out of reach to small chocolatiers sometimes.  A chocolate maker I know in San Diego had a similar problem.  Still I was impressed they had even had it on their mind as a possibility (and I might drop a line again in the future to see if they have started using it).

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Lucky’s Café is just across the street from Lily’s but was closed so I didn’t get a chance to see if they have fair trade items.  However, I did check out their garden which is next to the place, they use the produce they grow on their menu.  I hope that they sell fair trade but I was definitely thrilled to learn that they grow, at least some, of their own produce.  I mean really how awesome is that?!?

There are other little gems in Tremont too like great restaurants and a few bars, art galleries and at least one wine bar.  But the places I stopped at are my favorites.

Cleveland may not be my home any more but there is and always will be a very special place in my heart for the city and its surrounding suburbs and communities. I really and truly love Cleveland and one never forgets her first true love!

Thank you for sharing in this little journey with me.

Have a great day – Dawn

One thought on “A Fair Trade Trip Down Memory Lane

  1. Deanna


    Thanks so much for taking us on a visit of your home area. Always fun to come home and check out the new and visit the familiar places of our youth. Loved all the wonderful places you have taken us to, and if I get that way I’ll surely be checking them out.


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