Main Street Gourmet helps the community — 26.2 miles at a time


Steven Marks and Harvey Nelson
Main Street Gourmet

Baked goods have a way of brightening even the toughest of days, but for Steven Marks and Harvey Nelson, co-CEOs of Main Street Gourmet, a manufacturer of frozen bakery products, their mission over the years has been giving back to the community.

In 2003, Marks founded an event that seems quite the opposite of what most people would connect with a bakery products company — a marathon. In 2003, Marks founded and funded the event, which brings both national attention to the Akron area as well as valuable financial contributions to many local charities that benefit from the race.

The event features a full marathon, half marathon, a five-person relay, a kid’s fun run and a Health and Fitness Expo. Numerous Main Street Gourmet staff members volunteer their time during both the long preparation phase before the race and during the event on race day.

Known as the Time Warner Cable Akron Marathon, the event attracted 14,700 race participants and more than 100,000 spectators in 2012, generating about $2.5 million. The majority of the economic activity was spent in the main sectors of the economy, including hotels, gas stations, restaurants and bars. The estimated total impact of the marathon was $6 million, and each year that amount continues to climb.

These types of events are paramount to a local economy like Akron’s, and thanks to Main Street Gourmet and Marks, the Akron Marathon has become one of the premier races in Ohio. ●