Medina Strong: Choosing a local business is easy when your talent pool includes some of the best in Northeast Ohio

20220928 Medina Entrepreneurs 1005
The seven locally owned businesses featured in this special section say they share a commitment to giving back for the betterment of the Medina community. (Photography: Felicia Vargo)

By Ken McEntee

“Medina is unique because the people in the community all pitch in,” Julie McNabb, co-owner of Interior Design Studio says. “I frequently see business owners and community members working together to pull off community events and fundraisers—or even participating in the events.”

The seven locally owned businesses featured in this special section say they share a commitment to giving back for the betterment of the Medina community.

“Giving back to the community helps to keep Medina thriving,” Brian Keltz, manager of Medina Glass Co. says. “Restaurants and taverns especially need the support right now.”

The owners note that supporting locally owned business keeps consumers’ money in their own community.

“Local small businesses are usually the ones that are donating to the local charities and football or baseball teams,” Julie says. “Having small businesses in the community is a huge local benefit.”

Courtney Gruber, co-owner of Chippewa Stone adds,“Medina is wonderful place to raise your family—and a wonderful place to own a local business.”

There is strength in numbers, and these business owners continue to thrive in Medina with the unwavering support of the community. From left, Steve Walbolt, of MDG Flooring and Kiba Studios; Julie McNabb and Katie Heinz, of Interior Design Studio; Courtney and Oskar Gruber, of Chippewa Stone; Mark and Shelly Strouse,of Décor Design Construction; Brian Keltz, of Medina Glass and Matt Powers, of Medina Lighting.

Chippewa Stone
Oskar and Courtney Gruber, owners of Chippewa Stone, don’t take the Medina community “for granite.”

“We appreciate how much this community has supported us and helped build our business over the last 18 years,” Courtney says. “This area is a wonderful place to raise your family and a fantastic town to own a local business. It’s great because this community truly appreciates our core values that we set forth with each customer and every project. We really want everyone to feel well cared for throughout the entire process. We are blessed with an amazing team that shares this vision. From sales to installation, our staff is friendly, knowledgeable and highly trained.”

Chippewa Stone is a family-owned and operated company that offers a variety of products like granite, quartzite, quartz, marble, and more—not only for countertops, but also for outdoor kitchens, fireplace surrounds, ledges and tabletops.

Courtney and Oskar Gruber, of Chippewa Stone

Oskar and Courtney originally started their company in their barn as a general home remodeling business in 2004, Oskar explains.

“In 2008, we became exclusively granite,” he says. “We felt that by specializing in one area, that allowed us to really focus on just that and offer the customer not only a great product selection, but also a high-quality experience.”

Being an independent, family-operated small business, Chippewa Stone offers customers a personal touch they are unlikely to find at a big box store, Courtney says.

“We know many of our customers on a first-name basis,” she says. “I love to see somebody who comes in maybe a little nervous, looking overwhelmed and unsure about their project, and just a short while into the visit they are relaxed and smiling, feeling much better.”

Chippewa Stone carries an ample inventory of products for shoppers to peruse.

“In addition to our showroom, we have more than 100 different colors on hand to choose from,” Oskar says. “We focus on keeping a lot in stock in our indoor slab yard so you can always find something you love, any time of the year. We are currently in the process of expanding the selection area as well as building a new showroom that will assist customers in the selection process.”

The couple’s commitment to their community includes supporting other local businesses.

“We shop locally, from buying supplies to going to dinner,” Courtney says. “Personally and professionally, we believe in building a strong local network, and we are so happy to have such great options in Medina. That’s what a community is all about.”

Chippewa Stone LLC is at 4930 Chippewa Road, Unit F, in Medina. Call 330-350-0525 or visit

Décor Design Construction

Mark Strouse parlayed a carpentry program at the Medina County Career Center into his own roofing business—before graduating in 1990. Today, his company, Décor Design Construction (DDC), in Seville, offers the custom home buyer choices that many other builders will not, he says.

“While earning a reputation for excellence by building custom homes priced from $250,000 to $10,000,000, we offer custom home building design services and remodeling of existing homes and light commercial buildings, Mark explains.

He said homes built by DDC feature many unique attributes that make each one distinct.

“Vaulted ceilings, spacious rooms, walkout basements and a variety of other features have given us a unique and respected position in today’s marketplace,” he says. “After all, our motto always has been, ‘if you can dream it, we can build it.’”

While starting as a roofer, Mark says he knew that building custom homes was his future.

Mark and Shelly Strouse, of Décor Design Construction

“There is no better satisfaction than designing something and having it come to life,” he reveals. “We offer a unique custom home building experience that allows our clients to focus on the fun aspects and selections while we handle all the permits and red tape.”

DDC, Mark emphasizes, is a true family operation. His wife, Shelly, is the design consultant and is in charge of payroll. Michael Parks, his son-in-law, is vice president of operations, and Mark’s daughter, Amanda Parks, is in charge of the company’s website and social media. Office manager Ryan Chmura and project managers Kevin Anderson and Aaron McMahan round out the leadership team.

“You’ll even see my grandkids, Ryder and Rylie, around the job sites helping out or in the office,” Mark says. “We all enjoy what we do here at DDC and look forward to building your custom dream home.”

He also enjoys being a part of the Medina community.

“We work with a lot of Medina businesses and have for many years,” he says. “We give discounts to service members and police, and working with local businesses helps with jobs. We pride ourselves on the relationships that we build with our clients while we design their dream home tailored to fit their lifestyle.”

Decor Design Construction is at 121 Greenwich Road, in Seville. Call 330-201-5760 or visit

The Interior Design Studio

As a designer, Katie Heinz, co-owner of The Interior Design Studio, loves the ever-changing experiences that each day brings.

“I love that no job is ever the same,” she reveals.

Julie McNabb, Katie’s sister and business partner who specializes in the estimating and business side of the company, disagrees.

“That’s what I dislike the most,” Julie laughs. “I guess that’s why I don’t do the designing.”

But there’s something the sisters agree on: They love to serve the Medina community.

“Because we live and work in Medina County, we really get to know the people we are serving,” Katie says. “It isn’t just a job for us. It’s a part of who we are.”

“We get to hear about people’s family celebrations and participate in local fundraisers and events alongside everyone in the community,” Julie adds.

Julie McNabb and Katie Heinz, of The Interior Design Studio

A part of Medina since Amy Douglass—Katie and Julie’s mom—started the business 24 years ago, The Interior Design Studio is a full-service residential and commercial interior design firm.

“We offer numerous products and services that allow our team to provide turnkey design packages,” Julie explains. “Our interior design consultations can range from total home remodeling and commercial build-outs to single-room updates. Each includes collaborating with contractors and vendors to implement the design specific to your taste.”

Julie says Interior Design Studio is built on creativity, collaboration and unparalleled service while offering more than 200 brands of custom upholstery, hardwood case goods and accent furniture.

“We focus on crafting the ideal environment for each client,” she insists. “We strive to develop personal relationships with our clients to ease the intimidation of interior design.”

Julie says Interior Design Studio is built on relationships that usually go beyond the four walls of its building.

“A lot of our clients say that we aren’t like other interior designers, meaning that we have fun during the design process and are easy to talk to,” Katie says.

Julie and Katie say they are both involved in the community. Both sit on the Medina City Economic Development Committee and have actively participated in the city’s strategic plan while serving with other local organizations. They’re also big on giving back to causes like the Feeding Medina County Turkey Drive, and lend sponsorship support to local events like the Main Street Medina Candlelight Walk.

“As a small business owner, I think it is very important to make sure your community is always moving forward and looking at ways to better serve,” Julie says.

The Interior Design Studio is at 207 South Court Street, in Medina. Call 330-725-7623 or visit

Medina Glass Co.

Brian Keltz, manager of Medina Glass Co., says the company’s commitment to the Medina community is clear.

“We actively support the [Northern Medina County] chamber of commerce, the United Way, the Rotary Club, the battered women’s shelter, the children’s center, St. Francis Xavier Church, local youth sports teams and many other charitable organizations and community events,” Brian says. “If you take from your community you should give back in kind. It helps to keep Medina thriving.”

Medina Glass began in 1963 when Ralph Jones, founder of Wooster Glass Co., decided he wanted to start a branch office in the Medina area, Brian explains. The company began in an old Sinclair gas station on Pearl Road and immediately thrived in the growing community.

“As Medina Glass grew and prospered, it soon became apparent that larger quarters were needed, so in 1982 the company moved to a newly built facility at our present location on Pearl Road,” Brian says. “Ralph’s business philosophy of customer service and community involvement is still very much in place today as it was back then.”

Brian Keltz, of Medina Glass Co.

Medina Glass offers mobile and in-house auto glass repair and replacement, glass replacement for residential windows, storm window repair, window screen repair and fabrication, commercial storefront doors and windows in addition to shower doors, fireplace doors, custom mirror work and glass tabletops.

“Our primary goal is to provide superior customer service coupled with a high-quality product,” Brian insists. “Our market includes both new and existing construction. Medina, Summit, Cuyahoga, and Lorain counties serve as the base of our residential service area, while our commercial services are available throughout the Northeast Ohio community.”

Along with Brian, Medina Glass is led by Kathryn Long, president, and Patrick Neyhart, vice president.

“The best part of coming to work every day is interacting with, and helping, people,” Brian says. “Serving the Medina community gives us a feeling of belonging and giving back. That’s why we’ve been around for so long—and that’s not easy these days.”

Medina Glass Co., A Division of Wooster Glass Co., is at 3643 Pearl Road, in Medina. Call 330-725-4605 or visit

Medina Lighting
Lisa Powers and her son, Matt Powers, are committed to lighting up the Medina community and Northeast Ohio, says Lisa, who, with Matt, owns Medina Lighting, a family-operated retail showroom that features more than 75 manufacturers and distributors of residential and commercial lighting along with ceiling fans, mirrors and lamps.

The Powers family has been in the lighting and building industry since 1987, Lisa explains.

“Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is happy to assist in selections for your new construction or remodeling project,” she says. “Medina Lighting is known for its diversity of products available in the showroom and on our terrific website. Our pricing is always competitive with internet stores as well.”

The family originally operated a lighting showroom in Strongsville and moved to Medina in 1996. After selling the business in 1999, the Powers later started “Round 2,” with a reopening of the current store.

Matt Powers, of Medina Lighting

“We became one of the busiest stores in Northeast Ohio,” Matt says. “The lighting industry has afforded us to work in an industry affiliated with design, which can be challenging yet so rewarding when a client notes how happy he or she is with the selection, direction and finished product. It makes going to work fun.”

Lisa adds that it also is rewarding to be a part of the Medina community.

“We’ve been involved in many community projects in the past, including food drives, fundraisers and creating helmet lamps for the senior football players, as well as other activities,” she says. “We also supply numerous builders with fixtures in Medina County and the surrounding areas with the projects located in Cuyahoga, Lorain and Summit counties, in addition to out-of-state projects on the East Coast and Florida. We belong to two local home building associations and support them as well.”

Lisa believes that it’s important to support local small business in order to maintain a feeling of community.

“Small stores provide specialty information that isn’t available in large box stores or online and offer shoppers the ability to see, feel and touch products. Without the in-person guidance and direction of a showroom, many people can’t tell whether a fan or fixture is sized appropriately or what the quality is. We offer that guidance at no additional charge, which we think is invaluable.”

Medina Lighting Inc. is at 3983 Pearl Road, in Medina. Call 330-721-1441 or visit

MDG Flooring America
The MDG Flooring America experience begins in the company’s showroom, says Scott Powers, vice president of sales of the family-owned business.

“We ask a lot of questions so we can give customers the best recommendations that make sense for them,” Scott explains. “Every decision we make as a company has to pass the test of our core values. If the answer is no, we don’t make that choice. That’s why I have our Values Statement and Core Values posted right next to my desk.”

“Family” is at the top of the document.

“That’s because we care for our team members and treat them like family,” Scott explains.

Next comes “legacy.”

“That refers to our commitment to giving back and making a difference in the community,” Scott says. “We’ve been doing since the business started more than 21 years ago.”

Scott Powers, VP of Sales, MDG Flooring America

Founder Michael David Green, whose initials provides the name of the company, worked his way up from warehouses to installation and eventually into management of flooring stores before launching MDG Flooring. Today, Mike’s son, Donny, and his nephew, Steve Walbolt, lead a team of knowledgeable and helpful flooring experts who insist on giving back to the community that has supported them for more than two decades, Scott says.

“That’s why we get involved in projects like collecting coats for kids who need them and collecting pet supplies for the Medina County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,” he reveals. “Currently we’re collecting for Feeding Medina County, an organization that works to fight hunger.”

The company also has raised funding for the H20 Foundation and the accessible playground project in Brunswick, he adds.

The key to MDG’s success over the years is the way its team takes care of its customers, Steve emphasizes.

“Our family has always taken pride in doing things right and providing superior quality service,” he says. “There’s a lot more to the flooring business than many people realize. Maybe anybody can measure a room, but not everybody is able to anticipate obstacles and understand technical issues like when you might need to build up a sub floor. That’s why we employ our own in-house installers instead of using sub-contractors. It’s important that we can compete with anybody on price, but it’s more important that our customers are satisfied throughout the sales and installation process. When you buy from us, we’re with you every step of the way until the job is finished.”

MDG Flooring America is at 3812 Pearl Road, Suite C, in Medina. Call 330-725-5252 or visit

Kiba Studios
As president of Kiba Studios kitchen and bath showroom, in Medina, Steve Walbolt says he gets satisfaction from helping his customers reach their goals.

“A lot of people wait and save up for years to be able to do big projects like kitchen remodeling,” Steve says. “Once they get to that point when they’re ready to take on such a project, it’s empowering to be able to help them make their dream come true.”

Kiba Studios, located inside the MDG Flooring America showroom in Medina, offers a one-stop shop for everything needed to upgrade kitchens and bathrooms, with everything from quality cabinets, countertops, plumbing accessories and organizing systems to flooring—in which MDG has specialized for more than 21 years. The showroom-within-a-showroom offers popular brands like:

  • Kemper
  • Fieldstone
  • Europa
  • James Martin
  • Wolf
  • Cambria
  • Hanstone
  • Moen

“We make it convenient for people to plan their new kitchen or bath project,” Steve assures. “Instead of having to go one place to pick out cabinets and countertops, then go somewhere else for flooring, we can do it all right here in one place.”

Steve Walbolt, president of MDG Flooring America and Kiba Studios

Like MDG Flooring, Kiba Studios is affiliated with a national buying cooperative that allows independent local businesses to offer prices and benefits that compete with the corporate home improvement retailers—but with the helpful and knowledgeable customer service shoppers may find lacking at the big box stores.

As a local business, Steve says, Kiba is committed to serving the Medina community.

“People in Medina seem friendlier than in other communities,” he observes. “I’ve worked a lot of other places. People here just seem to be more respectful and nice.”

Participating in local charities and fundraising helps to build a more cohesive community, he says.

“The people and other businesses in our community are so supportive,” he says. “They help us; we help them. It just makes sense.”

It also makes sense to support local businesses, he emphasizes, because the money you spend with them stays in the community—unlike a dollar spent with a national retailer.

“That dollar spent locally helps out with all those charities,” he says. “It supports local jobs and local sources. Shopping local provides more of a personal touch and a relationship rather than just an aisle with products stacked up to the ceiling.”

Kiba Studios is at 3812 Pearl Road, Suite C, in Medina. Call 330-725-5252 or visit