DaVinci’s Rates a “WOW!!” in Downtown Fremont
“Amazing!” “Unbelievable!” “Yummy!” “Unique!” “You Gotta See This Place!” Or – just plain “WOW!!”
These are the reactions when people step into DaVinci’s in Historic Downtown Fremont.
First of all, the place is BIG, not what you expect in a Coffee House and Gallery.
And it is full of stuff that you’ve never seen before, and won’t see anywhere else nearby.
And it SMELLS good: coffee, and pastries, and – at lunch time – paninis cooking on the grill. The paninis are named for artists, by the way, continuing the theme that starts with Leonardo DaVinci’s iconic “man” painted on the floor.
This is not a coffee shop with a few pictures hanging on the walls; this is a huge “art” gallery full of surprising treasures, lovingly collected by Gary and Marie Perkins from artists all over North America; artists who have become their friends and who furnish the gallery with unusual prints, pottery, jewelry, handbags and other beautiful – and even practical - things that defy the usual classifications.
There is stunning contemporary jewelry, pottery tableware, wood and glass and metal art, and – for the technophobe – binary watches! And if you are observant, you will find scattered throughout the gallery examples of Gary’s custom framing; he has a way of taking almost anything and framing it in an unusual and artistic way.
Gary and Marie, who were high school sweethearts, are celebrating 25 years in business; it all started with a frame shop in 1984. Now they are leading the revival of downtown Fremont, in the building that once housed a Kresge’s. They are active in the community, and offer the use of their conference room to various groups.
But mainly they are immersed in the world of cooking, and art, and providing their customers and friends with “a treat for all the senses.” The motto on their wall is truly their mission: “Surround yourself with beautiful things …” They do, and you can also, simply by making the trip to Fremont! And while you are there, sample the “raving craving chocolate cake” that is the signature dessert in the coffee shop.
You can see a lot at their website, www.artsandcoffee.com; but you really have to pay them a visit. Walk into 115 S. Front St. in downtown Fremont, and ---- “WOW!!”
Gary and Marie hooked up with SCORE counselor Mary Caracci five years ago. Mary’s task – according to Marie – is keeping them “focused” in their marketing efforts, spreading the word about this wonderful place where you don’t expect to find it. Mary started by moderating two focus groups to better understand the needs of prospective customers, and she continues to provide suggestions and ideas.
Mary Caracci is one of forty volunteers at Northwest Ohio SCORE – “Counselors to America’s Small Business,” where she works the Port Clinton area. SCORE is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and may be reached at 419.259.7598 and www.nwoscore.org