#HomeGrownStories – Heather Dorsten

Heather Dorsten has served as the Director of Downtown Tipp City for the past three years. She organizes a variety of downtown events with local business owners. Heather has lived in Miami County for ten years. She and her husband live at Angry Hippie Farms with their son. They raise chickens, ducks, and bees. Their honey is available at Bodega Wine and Specialty Foods Market in downtown Tipp City. 

On living in Miami County:
This is my 10th year living in Miami County. My family is from Vandalia. My husband and I lived in Troy for about six years and we lived in Tipp for four. When we moved to Troy we were pretty young–in our early 20’s–we weren’t married yet. We were living in downtown Dayton at the time. We were looking to move to a historic area that was safe. We happened to see this house in the Southwest historic district in Troy. We were just blown away by this beautiful historic neighborhood. It looked like a nice, well-kept area and all the houses all around it were nice. That’s how we kind of fell into Miami County. From there on out everything just sort of stuck in place and we never left. Now we live right outside of Tipp City in Monroe Township on a farm called Angry Hippie Farms. On our farm, we have chickens, goats, honey bees, and we recently brought home baby ducks. Our honey is what we are known for; we sell it at Bodega Wine and Specialty Foods Market in Tipp.

On working for Downtown Tipp City:
I’ve been the director of Downtown Tipp City since May of 2014. I work with local business owners and the community. The people here in Miami County and specifically those in Tipp City are incredibly caring and supportive. That’s something that you don’t always get in other places. Anytime I need something I can ask. The people here are community minded and they will jump up and figure out how to get things done. They will stand behind you and make sure that everything goes well. They’re all extremely energetic and supportive.

We’ve had so much support for our events. Last year we started First Fridays and I can’t believe how many of the businesses owners were happy to take part. They were like “Sure we’ll stay open later! What do you need us to do? Do you need chocolate? We’ll put out chocolate for the chocolate walk!” That was something I was nervous about asking for. We needed them to provide seventy-five pieces of chocolate at every location. The business owners were like “Oh, sure — that’s not a big deal.” It’s been it really nice being able to work with them. I’ve been able to see their businesses benefit as well as our organization.

What she loves most about Miami County:
Miami County is an area that is safe, family-oriented, and supportive. We have that small town, quaint feel, but we still have everything we need here. As a community organizer, I’m working to combat the idea that “there’s no nightlife in small towns.” That’s something we spend a lot of time working on. Miami County is a good family-friendly area with wonderful, well-supported schools. We have these beautiful small towns where you know everybody. We also have beautiful historic architecture and a great nightlife. We have events in the evenings, restaurants that stay open late and wine tastings. We have a great mix of culture and the small-town feel. That is something that is unique to Miami County. I don’t think all small towns have that.

Her Miami County recommendations for out of town visitors:
I tend to take people to Coldwater Café. It’s my favorite place if you’re looking for an upscale restaurant to have a nice lunch. But, if you want an awesome burger you go to Sam & Ethel’s — it’s so good! It’s hard to choose one. My son will say Sweet by Kristy because as soon as we drive into town he’s talking about ice cream before we even park. I’m like, “how do you know this?” I bring my friends downtown, especially if they’re from out of town. I tell them what I do but they don’t always get it. So when I bring them to the district they’re so impressed just by the shopping and dining. It’s wonderful to be able to walk around, Tipp City is extremely walkable. Charleston Falls is a great place for a walk and is gorgeous and it’s close to home so it’s my favorite. I love Lost Creek also.

Downtown Tipp City’s most popular events:
Our First Fridays are one of my favorite events right now. I haven’t actually gotten to go on them because I am at check-in but I’ve had so much fun getting to see the people that come! We recently did a Beer Crawl. The Beer Crawl brought in a different crowd of people — we actually had guys having “guys nights” downtown. I was so excited because it’s not only “ladies nights” in Tipp City! The Wine Vine brings out the ladies and so does the Chocolate Walk — though couples come for the Chocolate Walk too. The Beer Crawl was super cool! It had a different feel to it. That might be my new favorite event!

Many people are surprised by how wonderful it is when I bring them to Tipp City or Miami County. They often say “why didn’t I move here to begin with? or, “I never knew it was like this here!” The community organizers around here create a sense of destination. They create a sense of home. All the communities here in Miami County create memorable experiences. When out-of-towners visit they’re surprised because it feels so comfortable here. It feels like they are arriving somewhere.

Downtown Tipp City
6 South 3rd Street Tipp City, OH 45371
Facebook: @DowntownTippCity
Instagram: @downtowntippcity
Twitter: @DowntownTipp

Angry Hippie Farms
6615 Peters Rd Tipp City, OH
Facebook: @AngryHippieFarms

Follow our storyteller and interviewer, Courtney Denning, at ThisOhioLife.com.