Ashland Roots: Locally grown produce, handcrafted items from Ohio

The+Ashland+Roots+window+lists+hours+and+curbside+pickup+information.

Hannah Witteman

The Ashland Roots window lists hours and curbside pickup information.

Hannah Witteman

Ashland County features many exclusive small shops and restaurants that cannot be found anywhere else. One of the local businesses is Ashland Roots, which is a market that carries and sells locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as handcrafted items right from Ohio. 

In fact, most of these products come from within 20-miles of the stores location on Cleveland Avenue, according to Manager of the store Veronika Roberts deSalgado. 

“We are a co-op and community market. We focus on carrying items that are local to Ohio whenever possible,” Roberts deSalgado said. “That helps promote health and sustainability.”

The story behind the shop starts around 2010 when a group of teachers, lawyers, farmers and residents wanted to have a year-round farmers market where people could go get fresh goods without a middleman.

“A lot of times what happens is you get farmers selling their stuff at auctions for pennies on the dollar and then the box store buys it up and sells it for 70-percent more than what they bought it for,” Roberts deSalgado said.

The idea of the store is to cut out the need for local farmers to go to giant stores and compete for sales. Ashland Roots also makes it easier for local residents to buy the products they need, while supporting local farmers, crafters and bakers.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the store has had to make a couple of adjustments for the safety of customers.

The decisions on how to handle restrictions and ensure health and safety rested on the sole employee’s shoulders.

“Since I’m the only employee and I’m here pretty much 60 hours per week. They [Roberts deSalgado’s team] said it’s my choice,” Roberts deSalgado said, “I said we need masks to come in and sanitize your hands”. 

Ashland Roots has made sure that they are cleaning hourly and have also decreased the open store hours, but have hours where consumers may call in and order through a  curbside service.

During the summer, Roberts deSalgado had volunteers come in to clean surfaces, but because schools have started back up she has lost some help. However, she is accepting new volunteers to fill the vacancies. 

“[The volunteer job] is so basic. It’s like sweeping the floor, wiping the surfaces… do all the countertops once an hour, all the door handles, fridges and the door,” she said. 

If anyone is interested in helping out, it is recommended to reach out to Roberts deSalgado first by phone or email. 

Unfortunately, the market does not offer student discounts but if anyone is short on cash and wants to shop at Ashland Roots, the store has a program called ‘’Roots Bucks’.

If a customer wishes to, they can donate a few extra dollars and Ashland Roots will put that money on a gift card and save it for someone who comes in needing food.

“If somebody comes in and they are like, ‘Hey I’m a student and I don’t have any money but I want to eat healthy, can I buy some food?’ Absolutely. The money is there,” she said. 

“The community is putting in and the community is putting out.”

Since the items in the store are brought in by locals wishing to sell for profit, customers are in-turn supporting multiple families, not just one when shopping.

“If you buy six things that are from six different people, you’re supporting six families,” Roberts deSalgado said.

For more questions, or to volunteer, call 419.207.0300 or email [email protected] 

Customers can also visit the website ashlandroots.community to see which products are available.