The Exchange, a soon-to-be social gathering space located in the old Farmers Exchange grain elevator in Pleasant Hill.

Community-focused The Exchange to open in Pleasant Hill

PLEASANT HILL—When a community comes together, anything is possible.

A prime example of this is The Exchange, a soon-to-be social gathering space located in the old Farmers Exchange grain elevator in Pleasant Hill.

With the help of Newton high school students and community members, husband and wife, Matt and Kristen Gray, took on the restoration project after working with the kids previously on converting a Pleasant Hill church into their home.

“We just have a love for old structures,” Kristen said. “After converting the church last year, after that entire process, we just fell in love with the entire community more than we already were. It was so fun to get to do the entire church journey with the kids, that we kind of just thought let’s take on The Exchange project.”

Kristen said the entire venture is focused solely on community.

“We want this to be for the community,” Kristen said. “Our entire focus for this is community. Community togetherness. We’re making it into a social gathering space.”

Inside The Exchange, the Gray’s teamed up with Tricia Bowser and Tonia Schauer, who will  open up Local Coffee & Cream which will have coffee, ice cream, pastries and more.

In addition to coffee and sweet treats, the community center will also offer a community garden, ax throwing, sand volleyball, yard games, kayaking, outdoor seating and much more.

Kristen added that there will also be a plant shop at The Exchange, as well as a few spaces available for businesses to rent.

There will also be rock climbing on the silos, though not in time for the grand opening, but shortly after.

They’ve also teamed up with nonprofit Pink Ribbon Girls, of Clayton, which supports patients in the fight against breast cancer.

“One of the silos is going pink,” Kriston said. “That will allow us to host events and fundraisers out there for the Pink Ribbon Girls, and then that pink silo will actually become an Airbnb, and part of those profits from that rental will go directly to the Pink Ribbon Girls.”

Kristen added they plan to do regular community dinners and gatherings, host DIY sessions and that they even have their first wedding booked for next year.

Kristen reiterated that near or far, their goal is to bring people together.

“Whether that is people within our own community, or people coming into our community, or people who are just traveling cross country stopping through,” she said. “We don’t care where they come from. We just want them to come, and know that they are welcome.”

While there is no specific date yet, Kristen said the goal is to be open by in Aug. 2022.

For more information on The Exchange, go to The Exchange Instagram, Local Coffee & Cream Instagram or Kristen Gray’s Instagram.

They’ve also teamed up with nonprofit Pink Ribbon Girls, of Clayton, which supports patients in the fight against breast cancer.
With the help of Newton high school students and community members, Husband and wife, Matt and Kristen Gray, took on the restoration project.
The Exchange will feature a community garden among many other things.

Abigail Miller / Editor

Abigail Miller is a Greenville native, Kent State graduate, writer, crocheter, shopaholic and friend. Contact Darke County Now Reporter Abigail Miller at amiller@darkecountynow.com.

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