|Fort Thomas kids at an early morning cash mob organized by some Fort Thomas business leaders.|
The campaign started after a March 27 article on WCPO was published. Co-owner of the OTR location, Katie Willing, said, "Now that we have a little bit of a reputation, we want to pick a neighborhood that wants us there."
And so Fort Thomas began to show them how badly they wanted them. Hundreds of Facebook posts and tweets. Organized cash mobs. Meetings, articles, podcasts and invites to events in town. It didn't go unnoticed.
"I think it was the overwhelming response by our residents that kept us in the game for Holtman's," said Debbie Buckley, Economic Director of Fort Thomas. "They saw how intensely the people of Fort Thomas really wanted them. We're going to continue to support them."
Willing and fiance Danny Plazarin, submitted a proposal to open a Holtman’s location at the former Root Beer Junction space in Madeira’s train depot back in March. The city of Madeira received 11 unsolicited proposals for the train depot space, including Holtman’s.
Plazarin is the grandson of Holtman's founder, Charles Holtman.
They were looking for about 2,500-3,000 square feet, double the space that the Over-The-Rhine location had and according to them, they are taking their time. They planned on getting a fourth store open in 2015, but they are getting married this September and their other stores are bursting at the seams.
Willing said there is more pressure on this next location than the Over-the-Rhine store because of its success. The proximity to the Over-The-Rhine store may have been the main factor in not coming to Fort Thomas.
Owner of the Hiland Building, Dan Gorman, said he's committed to bringing a quality retailer to Fort Thomas."The two retail spaces are key locations in the center of town and we'd like to be patient and to find great tenants that will draw people to our Central Business District. We want tenants the town will support and are prepared to make a significant investment in the space to get that done," he said.