Sunday, January 18, 2004

Tristate business notebook

Maineville to get Kidd Coffee cafe

MASON - Victor Kidd, minister and coffee shop purveyor here, has sold his first franchise.

The sale, which took place in late December, will result in a new Kidd Coffee store in a retail strip in Maineville. Owners Matt and Michelle Istnick expect their cafe to be open April 1.

"The Istnicks are a bright, energetic couple perfectly suited for a Kidd Coffee franchise. They have strong connections in their community and entrepreneurial instincts," Kidd said.

"We bought the franchise for the reputation that Kidd Coffee holds with the community as well as the atmosphere we've enjoyed while visiting the other Kidd Coffee locations in the Cincinnati area," Michelle Istnick said.

The cafe serves freshly roasted coffee, latte, cappuccino, fruit smoothies and teas. Edibles include bagels, muffins, biscotti and cookies. Soups and sandwiches are available at lunch.

Like all Kidd Coffee locations, the new store at the intersection of Ohio 3/US 22 and Ohio 48 will have a drive-through window. There will be free Internet service for customers and live music on Saturday nights.

Kidd said that his company is currently reviewing more than 30 franchise packets. He expects a number of those to sell within the next year.

Information: 398-0718.

French-American business toasted

DOWNTOWN - Cincinnati's French-American Trade Council is now officially the French-American Chamber of Commerce.

The change was celebrated at ceremonies Dec. 16 with local dignitaries and the French consul from Chicago in attendance.

"The FACC strives to facilitate French-American business relations within our region and with France. We organize trade missions to France and receive French businesses that come to Cincinnati," explained Brigitte Cordier, executive director of the chamber. "France is the largest export destination from Greater Cincinnati, primarily due to the aircraft engines produced here by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between General Electric Company and Snecma Moteurs of France."

The French-American Chamber of Commerce was founded in New York in 1806. There are 10 chapters in the United States and one in Paris. It provides a variety of services to the local business community and hosts educational, professional and social events.

Cordier said that 31 French companies are located in Greater Cincinnati, including the Dannon Co., automobile equipment manufacturer Valeo Climate Control, Faurecia, L'Oreal, Sodexho, Square D-Schneider Electric and the industrial cleaning group GSF.

Air France and Delta Air Lines operate two daily direct flights linking Paris and Cincinnati.

The French-American Chamber is at 2200 PNC Center, 201 E. Fifth St.

Information: 852-6510 or

Area couple opens three companies

HAMILTON - An entrepreneurial twosome decided to retire from corporate life and pursue their dreams. The result is three new companies.

Kathy and Jerry McRoberts have founded McRoberts Video Services, BRAVO! Gift Baskets and Kathy McRoberts, Classical Guitarist for Hire. The couple provides video services such as duplication of VHS and DVD, editing, photo-to-video keepsakes, film-to-video or DVD transfers, foreign format conversions. McRoberts Video is part of Home Video Studio's TAKEONE Network, based in Indianapolis, with independent member owners in 30 cities.

"Our new video services business gives me the opportunity to really help people organize, preserve, and share their precious photo and video memories," Jerry McRoberts said.

Kathy McRoberts earned a bachelor's in classical guitar from Arizona State University and is available to play for special events throughout Greater Cincinnati. She also assembles gift baskets and silk floral arrangements. Her work is on display at the Tri-County Coomer's Craft Mall.

Information: 863-1072 and 863-2115.

Findlay Market unveils Web site

OVER-THE-RHINE - Findlay Market specialties are now online.

The Corporation for Findlay Market hired Horizon Productions Inc. to design and maintain a Web site to promote the newly renovated complex.

"Features include merchant profiles and a searchable list of more than 30 product categories," said corporation spokesman Robert J. Pickford. "There are also sections for news updates, history and pictures from the market's 150 year history ... a calendar of events and feature stories."

An e-mail newsletter, also produced by Horizon, is being sent to people who want the latest news and information about Findlay Market.

Horizon Productions, founded 19 years ago and located in Corryville, provides video and interactive multi-media production, event and business meeting production, Web site design and related print materials for local and national clients.

Information: 221-5000 or

New 580 Building owner shares plans

DOWNTOWN - The new owner of the 580 Building - a 17-story office and retail complex - plans several improvements, including lobby and retail renovation and elevator and HVAC upgrades.

Philadelphia's Berwind Property Group Ltd. (BPG) announced Dec. 16 that it had bought the 580 Building, which is on the southeast corner of Sixth and Walnut streets near Fountain Square. It consists of two interconnected office towers that contain 430,000 square feet of office space and 32,500 square feet of retail space. Its space is 83 percent leased - home to such companies as Great American Insurance, Gradison McDonald Key Investments and Fifth Third Bank.

"Downtown Cincinnati has undergone a major renaissance through publicly funded projects, which are bringing people back to the city," said Joseph I. Neverauskas, senior vice president for BPG's Chicago office. "There has been an increase in amenities such as restaurants and a pent-up demand for housing in-city. The building is very well located to benefit from this trend."

BPG is a privately held real estate investment firm. Its portfolio consists of more than 30 million square feet of office, multi-family, retail, hotel and industrial properties throughout the United States.

Information: (312) 427-8740 or

E-mail or fax 564-6991 with openings, expansions and other news about businesses.

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