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Crooked River Herb Farm offers tasteful delights

11/22/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Crooked River Herb Farm is now open in Wadsworth. The store features many made-in-Ohio products such as jams, jellies, vinegars, soaps and baking mixes.
Photo courtesy of Crooked River Herb Farm
WADSWORTH — Kathleen Varga has been making herb-infused jam, jellies and vinegars for years, and now is back to running a store with those items and more at Crooked River Herb Farm.

The Wadsworth shop, located at 1719 Reimer Road, features items made by Varga, as well as other Ohio products, she said.

“The more local, the better,” Varga said. “We have only Ohio products, and mostly Northeast Ohio products. When I tried to do this many years ago, there just weren’t any people doing what I was doing. Now so many businesses have opened up in Northeast Ohio that are food related. We also have some nonfood-related items.”

Varga is an Akron native who lived all over because of her father’s job with Firestone. Professionally, she started out in the legal field but was not happy. She also was dealt a blow when her father died at 59.

“The herbs and growing, in particular, was kind of a cathartic thing for me,” she said. “I got good at it. Then I had to decide what I was going to do with them. Hence all these products were born.”

Varga took her mother’s and aunt’s jam and jelly recipes and added her own touch to them. She started giving them as gifts and then began selling them, eventually opening her own shop at her farm. She moved the shop to Peninsula in 2002, and that was open until 2007.

In the past few years, Varga has continued to make her products and sold them at farmer’s markets. In July, she officially opened her new shop, and so far things have been going well, she said.

“We’re closer to our Akron customers and getting to know all the new customers,” she said. “Wadsworth has been wonderful. We love being here.”

Varga said she welcomes browsers who may be curious about what the store offers. For the holidays, she said she has jams and jellies already wrapped and tied with a ribbon, in addition to unique offerings like an herb vinaigrette made of lavender and blueberry in a champagne vinegar.

Also featured are muffin and pancake mixes, gift soaps, teas and herb blends for cooking. Varga is also happy to offer a line of healing herbal products.

She notes that she always has samples available for tasting, and all items can be assembled into gift baskets.

Through Dec. 23, Crooked River Herb Farm is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shop will be closed in January but will reopen on weekends from February through April. For more information, call 330-604-0932 or go to www.crookedriv erherbfarm.net.


Editor’s note: Advertiser features appearing in the West Side Leader are provided as a service to the advertiser and our readers. They do not serve as an endorsement of any company, person, product or service. All information contained in these features comes directly from interviews with company owners or their representatives and from additional materials provided by them.

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