Local women-owned businesses find home at The Portage Collective

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- A former single-family home is given new life as a space for five local businesses to grow.

In the Near Northwest Neighborhood of South Bend--The Portage Collective gives five local, female entrepreneurs, including artist Aubrey Hittle of AndAubreyWas Studio a brick-and-mortar space to sell their products.

“So, before I did this, I was just home-based. I did everything online and I did pop-up markets. This has really helped me, personally, to have somewhere I can sell throughout the year, any day, any time that we’re open,” said Hittle.

Aubrey Hittle is an artist who now has a space to sell her art year-round. The Portage Collective at 905 Portage Ave. is comprised of five businesses, in addition to Hittle’s studio, it houses Mind your Beeswax, Raw Oats and Refillery, South Bend Challah Company and Take Care South Bend. The owners of Raw Oats and Refillery and Take Care South Bend wanted to use the space for retail and thought it would not only be more affordable to find more businesses but saw it as an opportunity to support additional local business owners.

It provides plenty of options, but it’s not just another store in the neighborhood.

Neighbors can stop by for some fresh local produce from Sunchoke Farms and grab-and-go meals by local food vendors like The Beard and The Boss, Poke Hale and A Bite with Me, providing some necessary fresh options for the community.

“The Near Northwest Neighborhood is awesome. It’s kind of going through a little bit of a Renaissance, said Hittle. "All these small businesses are popping up and the neighborhood is really showing a lot of support. They’re very excited to have grab-and-go meals with the fact that the supermarket down the road closed. There’s not a lot of places right here in the neighborhood where you can walk, grab something and go.”

The store had its grand opening on Friday and offers art classes for both adults and children. You can find more information on classes, products and more here.


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