Collyn Floyd gives her local picks

A blog post about local restaurants is what led Collyn Floyd to the dream marketing job she didn’t know she wanted. Floyd, a Missouri native who came to Stark County in 1999, had been co-authoring a lifestyle blog about all of her favorite places for food, fun and funky finds when a representative from Team NEO, a regional business development organization, asked her to write a post for its regional tourism site.

A blog post about local restaurants is what led Collyn Floyd to the dream marketing job she didn’t know she wanted.

Floyd, a Missouri native who came to Stark County in 1999, had been co-authoring a lifestyle blog about all of her favorite places for food, fun and funky finds when a representative from Team NEO, a regional business development organization, asked her to write a post for its regional tourism site. That blog post about the Akron-Canton food scene caught the attention of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s president who just happened to be looking for a new marketing director.

“That was a cool turn of events,” said Floyd, who had been honing her marketing skills as a content strategist at The Karcher Group for nearly nine years. “Once I heard about the details of the job, I was definitely intrigued.”

Floyd became the chamber’s director of marketing and public relations in 2013. Her duties include overseeing all of the chamber’s communications, which include promoting the ever-
growing list of chamber events. Last year, the chamber held roughly 100 events, ranging from membership-only gatherings to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival’s many offerings that bring spectators from across the country.

“I love how involved the chamber is in our community, both in the business community and the broader community with the events that we do,” Floyd said.

Even with full-time jobs and three boys—Will, 16, Sam, 13 and Wesley, 7—Floyd and her husband, Shawn, a philosophy professor at Malone University, still are trying new local spots during their monthly date nights.

The North Canton couple’s latest adventure (pre-coronavirus pandemic) took them to Francisco’s Cantina, where Collyn says the jalapeño margarita delivers a delicious kick.

“I’m married to a native Texan, so finding authentic Mexican food and margaritas is of the highest priority,” she said.

Collyn Floyd’s local favorites:

Most unique or unusual product:
“Through my role at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, I’ve met many Stark County business owners whose products are used around the world! For instance, Whitacre Greer’s bricks are used at the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. Speaking of bricks, I also love bragging to my family in my hometown of St. Louis that Busch Stadium (where the St. Louis Cardinals play) is made of Belden Brick Co. bricks!”

Most admired CEO or business owner:
Ramona Hood, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Custom Critical. “She began as their receptionist in 1991, then worked her way to the executive level of their organization by gaining experience and leading key projects in various areas of the company. She did it all while raising her daughters and earning a business degree at Walsh and Executive MBA at Case Western. When I think I can’t, her story inspires me that I can.”

Most memorable spot:
Taggart’s. “When we moved here 20-plus years ago, our very first Canton experience, after a very long day of ripping out orange carpet from our fixer-upper, was our neighbors treating us to a couple of Bittners. We were like—OK—we don’t know much about Canton, but it has fantastic ice cream.”

Favorite place to shop:
“Whenever I want something super-stylish and unique, I head to The District Boutique in Green. We’ve been privileged to have them in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Fashion Show Luncheon for the past several years, and they always bring stunning head-to-toe looks. For a cheerful pick-me-up, Bloom Hill Farm has gorgeous locally grown flowers at its roadside stand near Uniontown and via flower subscription.”

Favorite indoor activity:
“Our family takes full advantage of our North Canton YMCA membership. From the workout rooms to group classes to winter basketball leagues, we’re there almost every day. It’s a great community asset, and I love that it has something to offer for the whole family.”

Favorite lunch spot:
“One of my favorites for a super-casual lunch is Conestoga Grill on Fridays; that’s the only day of the week they serve lobster bisque. My friend and I order the same thing every time—a cup of the bisque with a small Greek salad.”

Favorite entertainment spot:
“There’s no prettier place (or place with better stage and ceiling views) than the Canton Palace Theatre. We love their Academy Awards film series each winter.”

Favorite local coffee shop:
“Walkie Talkie Coffee makes a rosemary latte that’s downright amazing. I asked them their secret, and they said it’s top-notch ingredients, from the coffee to the local milk to the homemade syrups. Carpe Diem and Muggswigz are also fantastic, and I love having them by the chamber.”

Favorite local spot to exercise:
“When it’s nice out, we hit the Hoover Trail, which is literally out our back door. Our family enjoys walking or biking to Washington Square, then grabbing Handel’s before heading back. Stark Parks has been our saving grace during quarantine.”

Favorite local event:
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Balloon Classic & Fireworks. “I love seeing the colorful balloons dotting the sky and the buzz of activity on the ground. I was lucky enough to go up in a balloon a few years ago as part of my job at the chamber. It was so smooth and quiet, then 20 minutes later, we landed in a pasture. Total bucket list item!”

Favorite local volunteer opportunity:
“Volunteering with Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health is incredibly rewarding, and you won’t meet a more dedicated staff and volunteers. C&A offers full-service emotional and behavioral health services to children and adolescents across Stark County.”

Favorite theater performance group:
“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the outstanding theater program at St. Paul School in North Canton (K-8). It gets bigger and better each year! The North Canton Playhouse also sparked a love for theater in my son, and now he’s gone on to be in multiple performances at the Playhouse and Hoover High School. To borrow from ArtsinStark, ‘art changes lives!’ ”

Favorite place to shop for gifts:
“When I want a special gift, I head to the Marketplace at Gervasi Vineyard. From trendy jewelry to high-end olive oils to seasonal décor, I always find something that’s just right.”

Favorite local restaurant:
“It’s hard to pick just one, but Table Six never disappoints. Whether it’s a girls’ happy hour, dinner with my husband or entertaining out-of-town family, it’s always a hit. We love sharing items off the “For the Table” menu; the Maple Pecan Bacon and Garlic Shrimp are among our favorites, with a drink from their cocktail menu, of course. … Also, Sparta Steakhouse. In addition to their steaks and famous blueberry martinis, the Greek cauliflower is amazing (and their throwback vibe is fun, too).”

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass