Columbus consists of a tight-knit community that never passes up an opportunity to come together for a greater cause. That’s why it is no surprise to us that there are so many fantastic businesses and organizations in the area dedicated to lending a helping hand whenever they can.
We rounded up some of the businesses and organizations in Columbus that are truly making a difference in the community right now. From donating their profits to a local charity to providing essential services to those in need — these Columbus locals are proving how amazing our city is every day.
Local Small Businesses
3041 Indianola Avenue
Photo courtesy of Travis Stewart Photography via Eat, Purr, Love
If you’re a coffee and cat lover, you may never want to leave Eat, Purr, Love. When you visit this eclectic “cat café,” not only can you enjoy fantastic local coffee, baked goods and board games, but you can also play with adorable cats that are all available for adoption. By providing a comfortable space to hang out and meet new feline friends, Eat, Purr, Love has been able to send hundreds of cats to new homes. If you want to learn more about this eclectic small business, check out An Inside Look Into Eat, Purr, Love: Central Ohio’s First Cat Café!
1166 West 5th Avenue
Do you know what’s in your beauty products? More often than not, soaps, shampoos, lotions and other products are full of harmful chemicals that aren’t good for you or the environment. That’s why Glenn Avenue Soap Company uses completely natural ingredients in all of their products, which are also made using environmentally friendly practices. Either online or in person at their Craft Soaphouse, you can purchase anything from all-natural shaving cream and body butters to bath bombs and beer soaps — guilt free! Plus, they donate a portion of their proceeds to local charities. If you have an organization that you would like to be considered for a donation you can contact Glenn Avenue on their website.
Photo courtesy of Hot Chicken Takeover
In the fall of 2013, owners Joe DeLoss and his wife Lisa visited Nashville and experienced their famous hot chicken culture for the first time. After tasting the chicken and getting hooked on the community surrounding the iconic dish, they decided to bring it to Columbus. Today, Hot Chicken Takeover is one of the most successful restaurants in the city, but HCT is about more than the chicken — it’s about the people who work and eat there as well. That’s why they provide supportive jobs to anyone in the area who needs a fair chance at work, regardless of homelessness, previous incarceration or any other barrier to employment.
Even if you aren’t from Columbus you probably know about Jeni’s. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream creates some of the most famous ice creams around, and they’ve even been named one of the best ice cream shops in the country. And it all started right here in Columbus when Jeni Britton Bauer decided to open a trendy ice cream shop in 2002. We love them, not only because the ice cream is so good, but also because they care about the environment and the Columbus community. They recently switched to long-handled metal taster spoons and ditched the plastic ones and work exclusively with local growers, makers, producers and suppliers.
495 South 3rd Street | 2424 East Main Street, Bexley
Photo courtesy of Kittie’s Hand Crafted Cakes
Former professional golfers Mollie and Kelly are the brains behind Kittie’s Hand Crafted Cakes. After traveling the world for 10 years during their golf careers, the pair decided they wanted to open a new cake experience in Columbus. At both of their locations, one in Bexley and the other in German Village, you can try their incredible cupcakes that look just as amazing as they taste. But it isn’t just Kittie’s fantastic cakes that landed them on this list, they are also very dedicated to the Columbus community, donating any leftovers to local charities and getting highly involved with charity fundraising.
424 West Town Street
Land-Grant Brewing is a craft brewery located in the historic Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus. Not only is Land-Grant one of the most successful breweries in the area, but they’re also a leading pioneer in the sustainability movement in Columbus. They’ve worked tirelessly to upgrade their building to make it more eco-friendly. And it isn’t just environmental sustainability they are committed to — Land Grant also donated over $38,000 in 2018 to local area education, sustainability and community building initiatives.
777-G Dearborn Park Lane
A Kid Again has one goal: to make sure that every child in American with a life-threatening illness gets the chance to be a kid again. Using donations from the local community and with the help of volunteers, A Kid Again helps children that have been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition feel normal by taking them on fun adventures around town. A trip to Kings Island, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and Scene 75 are just some of the fun adventures A Kid Again has organized.
350 East 1st Avenue Suite 250
City Year has made headlines all over the world for the impact they are having on schools and communities throughout the United States. Their goal is to help prevent children from dropping out of school, something nearly a quarter of Columbus students do. Our local chapter has spent nearly two decades serving students all over the area, serving more than a million hours and reaching more than 75,000 students.
For over 130 years, Columbus Early Learning Centers have been providing fantastic early learning and care to Columbus area children. They provide affordable child care and education to all Columbus families, regardless of income and work to prepare children for kindergarten. If you’re interested in donating or volunteering at a Columbus Early Learning Center, you can learn more on their website.
6253 Old Avery Road, Dublin
Dublin Furniture Banc works tirelessly to ensure that the most vulnerable and at-risk groups in the Central Ohio area are safe and have their basic needs taken care of. Using generous donations from the community, they help provide those in need with furniture including mattresses, couches and dressers along with home appliances and even automobiles.
867 West Town Street
Franklinton Farms is a nonprofit urban farm dedicated to growing and sharing food, creating beauty and building community. The farm features a 12 Site Scattered Urban Farm with High Tunnels for year-round production. Among those sites they have a Paw Paw Orchard, a berry patch, a microgreens grow room, and a lot of produce growing. The Patrick Kaufman Memorial Franklinton Community Garden is home to many community events. Check them out here to get the freshest produce in Franklinton!
421 West State Street
The Idea Foundry is a place where anyone can explore their desire to make things. No matter what your passion is — video game design, welding, woodworking or public speaking — you can practice it at the Idea Foundry in one of their quiet workspaces, classrooms or workshops. And if you’re interested in learning a new artisan skill, check out their calendar and see what types of classes and events they have going on this month!
633 Parsons Avenue
In 2008, Local Matters was created to help put healthy, affordable food in the hands of Columbus residents and to educate the community on the importance of good nutrition. They work with schools to get students excited about healthy food; advocate for food education and access for all; and help families shop for, plan and cook healthy meals on a budget. Local Matters hosts several events every week, from cooking classes to gardening workshops. Visit their calendar to see what you could be learning this month.
620 East Broad Street, Suite 300
For nearly four decades, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra has been delivering a unique classical music experience to the people of Columbus through innovative programming and educational outreach. Not only does this orchestra consistently deliver stunning performances throughout the city, but they are also dedicated to providing accessible music education to everyone in Columbus. From outreach in schools and colleges to internships to free family-friendly concerts in neighborhoods and parks throughout Columbus — ProMusica is bringing a love of music to the community every way they can.
280 Reeb Avenue
Southside Roots is our city’s only Pay-What-You-Can market, offering a variety of grocery items and meals to locals, regardless of how much money they are able to spend. At their café, you’ll find a seasonal menu full of healthy and delicious ingredients, which you can pay the full price for or you are welcome to give your time in service as payment. Once a week on Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.- 7 p.m., Southside Roots hosts a free community dinner that helps bring people together and often includes dishes from all around Columbus.
Tell us about your organization!
Do you run a nonprofit or support one that we missed? Let us know in the comments!