Lorain County Community College has joined up with local clothing company Fresh Brewed Tees to bring its Cleveland-focused T-shirts to the college bookstore, Commodore Books & More. The specialty clothing focuses on Cleveland sports teams and celebrates the local community.
Lorain native Tony Madalone, owner of Fresh Brewed Tees, said, “It’s exciting to partner with a college near my hometown.” Growing up, he played in a basketball camp in the field house at LCCC, he said. Today, as an entrepreneur who has owned the business for eight years, he’s proud to keep it local, he said.
The bookstore is the only place in Lorain County where customers can buy his products, he said. Madalone said he is happy to see “local support local.” His products are showcased as part of a new section in the bookstore.
“We are creating a whole new ‘Locally Focused’ section celebrating locally made items,” said Patty Clark, general manager at Commodore Books & More. “In the future, we plan to collaborate with NEO LaunchNET to bring even more items from local vendors.”
The initiative ties into LCCC’s mission to empower the local economy to grow through innovation, Clark said. “After the Cleveland Indians won the conference, we started researching local vendors that sell Indians apparel to ask if they would allow us to carry their brand in the store,” she added. Fresh Brewed Tees is the first company in the new initiative.
Next year the bookstore will partner with NEO LaunchNet in helping build local business by showcasing student entrepreneurs’ products in the bookstore. “We want to tie this new strategic direction into LCCC’s Vision 2020’s goal to empower a thriving community where all students achieve academic and career success,” Clark said.
The bookstore will also soon carry GV & Arts T-shirts from another Cleveland-based company, in the “Locally Focused” section.
In addition to Cleveland-centric goods, the bookstore is proud to offer many products including clothing featuring the Ohio four-year colleges it has established partnerships with through LCCC’s University Partnership, Clark said.
“These items also make great graduation and holiday gifts,” she added.