Gary Wahlers and Ted Dyrdek have been residents of Olde Towne East for nearly ten years. They have enjoyed being a part of the diversity and eclectic mix of people that call Olde Towne East home. Gary has been an independent salon owner for about eighteen years, and has had his current salon Voda at 81 Parsons Avenue for seven years. When they had the chance to expand into the rest of the building they were excited to offer another concept they felt was lacking in the neighborhood, a general store. Hence, Voda Emporium was born. At Voda Emporium, they are striving to carry as many locally made products as they can.
Voda Emporium has been open since May. On my visit, I noticed aprons and clothing by AmyD, CaJohns salsas, jewelry, notecards and soy candles. The soy candles are made by Ted. They offer over twenty scents that burn over sixty-five hours. They also have hardware items, pottery, home decor, gifts and Blue Buffalo dog food. The shop opens at 7am and sells Stauf’s coffee. They are hoping to soon offer boutique wines and Ben Heggy Chocolates.
Gary and Ted have been part of the catalyst behind making the Parsons Avenue strip an art district. The third Saturday of every month is “Art & Olde Towne,” a show to display work by local artists. The storefront just south of Voda became available recently and the couple is planning to open a deli/full-service florist there called “The Portico.”
Ted Dyrdek and Gary Wahlers
If you go, Voda and Voda Emporium are located at 81 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215. Phone: 614.22.1515. Visit them on the web at VodaEmporium.com.