FutureHeights staffer highlights unique Heights businesses

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  • Belle Espinal is the business outreach manager for FutureHeights.

  • Franklin Myles, with wife Tanya, is owner of Franklin Myles Insurance Agency and the building in which it and several other businesses are located, the Jamm Strip Mall. Myles offers an umbrella of insurance and financial services, including auto, home, life, and health insurance, investments, and mortgages. Myles grew up in the Heights, and said he is committed to doing his part for the city: “We are a service-first business. We are attentive to customer service and very knowledgeable of the insurance business in general. We operate with integrity, honesty and trust. We want the customer to be what drives us.” Myles renovated his building, located at 3970 Mayfield Road, in the Center Mayfield Business District, through the Cleveland Heights Storefront Rehabilitation Program.

  • Owner Paul Morrison (at left) with designer Domonike Golphin at The BluePrint, 1627 Lee Road in the Mayfield Lee Business District. The shop offers quality custom apparel, including T-shirts and sweatshirts. “We have a little bit of everything, and if we do not have it—we will find it for you. I live in the Heights, my kids go to school in the Heights and I like the traffic here,” said Morrison. The retail store also sells its customized apparel online.

  • Robert Craig, along with his wife, Allison, has owned and operated The Sweet Fix Bakery, located at 2307 Lee Road in the Cedar Lee Business District, for five years. “I make it a point to make sure my desserts are on point,” he said. While the couple loves Cleveland Heights, they also have opened a satellite location in Cincinnati, managed by their son.  

  • Teaspot Tutoring, owned by Iteisha Bankston, offers daytime, in-person support for students who are learning virtually, one-on-one tutoring, STEM workshops, etiquette and personal representation classes for girls, socio-emotional mentoring for young men, and professional development for teachers. “Teaspot Tutoring loves catering to families and students,” said Bankston. “We mean that wholeheartedly. We are serious about education and standards-based learning. We love teaching people how to learn.” The business is located at 2065 Lee Road, near the Cedar Lee Business District. Bankston, a former school principal, said, “This community embraces diversity and does the best it can for its kids. There are good things happening in Cleveland Heights schools.”

  • Zeleke Belete’s Zoma, located at 2240 Lee Road in the Cedar Lee Business District, offers Ethiopian food for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. A Heights resident, Belete recommends the restaurant to those who want to be adventurous and try something new. “People’s eating habits are changing. More people are eating healthy foods, and we are taking advantage of that,” he said. Belete appreciates the city’s diversity, and sees it as a place where people can appreciate Ethiopian culture and the unique offerings of locally owned businesses. “People should support not only our business but all small businesses. Small business owners suffered a lot during the pandemic,” he said.

  • The Fresh Fix of Heights, located at 2234 Lee Road in the Cedar Lee Business District, offers healthy foods with vegan and vegetarian options, including soups, salads and smoothies. “We love to help people on their health journey,” said owner Joyce McAlpine. “Our customers include pregnant mothers and people who are fasting. We want people to enjoy their food as they try to eat healthy.” McAlpine lived in the Heights for a long time, and believes the Cedar Lee neighborhood is a vibrant place where people want healthy options.

  • Jasmine Rene owns a fashion studio, co-working space and event space that bears her name. Jasmine Rene Studio and Design Suite, 3982 Mayfield Road in the Center Mayfield Business District, offers “classy clothing with a luxury vibe,” and alterations, specializing in prom, bridal and formal occasions. “I want people to look and feel good,” said Rene, who lives in Cleveland Heights. Each year, the studio offers a sponsored prom-dress giveaway for two girls.

  • Urban City Codes, a nonprofit founded by Tondi and Terrance Allen, offers technology classes to anyone over the age of 18. The training site is located at 3096 Mayfield Road in the Mayfield Lee Business District. Courses, which are offered on topics such as coding, drones, IT support, cyber-support and digital literacy, are designed as a career path pipeline, offering state-recognized certifications and industry credentials. Graduates are then connected to jobs. The Allens say there is no place like Cleveland Heights and no place they would rather be: “All our teachers, mentors and coaches are Black. We know how important representation is for receiving guidance and help. We want our people to feel comfortable.”

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