Bill Hricovec’s voice is filled with pride as he describes how Tom’s Country Place came to be.
His grandparents, Tom and Mary Hricovec, were farmers looking for a new opportunity when they decided to build a party center on Stoney Ridge Road, a street that was considered to be practically in the middle of nowhere back in 1959.
“People told them they were nuts,” Hricovec says, “and that no one would come all the way out here to host special events. But my grandparents had the foresight to predict what this area would become.”
Now, 63 years later, Tom’s Country Place has become the iconic center for generations of celebrations that range from wedding receptions to baby showers and special anniversaries to occasions commemorating the memory of a life that had been well lived.
Tom’s grandson, Bill, now the third-generation owner and president of Tom’s Country Place, has seen the business blossom from hosting on-site events to providing off-site catering services.
Much of that success is due to the networking opportunities the North Coast Chamber of Commerce provides.
“The chamber is a great way to connect with people who can help spread the word about your business,” he says.
Hricovec, a member of the North Coast Chamber of Commerce board of directors, helps select the trio of scholarships awarded to graduating seniors in the Avon, Avon Lake and Sheffield-Sheffield Lake school systems who display positive character, leadership skills, academic excellence, community involvement, past or present work experience and future aspiration. To be eligible, students must also be pursuing a full-time course of study at a college, university or vocational or technical school.
“We’re always looking for students who have an entrepreneurial spirit, but maybe had some bad luck along the way and need a bit of help,” he says. “That’s what we’re all about.”
Tom’s Country Place
3442 Stoney Ridge Road, Avon