The Leaf

The Leaf


(330) 804-0126 |

203 W Liberty St. Wooster, OH 44691

Born and raised in Wooster, Sam Stine has a deep love for her community. She has always been drawn to creative endeavors and dreaming about her next project. Between working at her family’s gym and keeping up with her husband’s family restaurant, Sam and her husband, Jason, would frequent The Parlor in downtown Wooster on their days off. Sam often found herself looking around the restaurant and seeing not what was right in front of her, but what could be.

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Sam & Jason Stine opened The Leaf in downtown Wooster in December of 2020.

When the coronavirus pandemic brought our society to a halt, Jason’s restaurant was carry-out only and the family gym was forced to temporarily close its doors. Not knowing how long the lock down would last, Sam was looking for inspiration. She remembered all the mornings she and Jason had brunch at The Parlor and how she couldn’t help but envision the space in a completely new way. Unlike Sam, Jason couldn’t see Sam’s vision initially. She remembers, “when we first started talking about the idea, Jason was a firm no, telling me one restaurant is enough. Even with his hesitation, he knows how determined I can be. When I set my mind to something, there is nothing that can deter me; not even a pandemic. I started to help him visualize different ideas and once he began to see the bigger picture, he came around.” Sam and Jason approached Mike (the owner of The Parlor at the time) with the idea of purchasing the space from him. As luck would have it, Mike was considering selling to semi-retire and when he heard Sam’s vision, he knew it was the right fit.

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After getting the keys in June of 2020, Sam worked tirelessly on a complete renovation of the space.

The Stines got the keys in June of 2020 when the pandemic was still in full swing. At a time when everything was closed and the future was uncertain, Sam and Jason clung to optimism and faith as they faced an uphill battle. They were starting from scratch--bringing the interior down to the studs and giving the restaurant a complete redesign. They stripped the existing kitchen, added square footage, and changed the layout to truly make the space their own. Sam took the reigns on the project, adding touches that reflect her personality in all areas of the design.

The renovations and acquiring the right permits and liquor licenses were made even more difficult by COVID. There were material shortages, new requirements, and delays with paperwork, but the biggest challenge might have been the inspection of the hood in the kitchen. Sam explains, “we had all of our permits and were on schedule, but during an inspection we learned we had an issue with the hood.

We were told we’d have at least a six month delay, but that wasn’t an option for me. We made call after call and finally found a contractor, had the engineer redesign it, rebuilt and reinforced it. It was all hands on deck and what should have taken six months, only held us up two weeks. Our family and community rallied behind us. Without their support, we never would have been up and running when we did.”

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Executive Chef Gina Bertelli highlights local and seasonal ingredients with upscale takes on classic dishes and new favorites.

All of Sam’s hard work and determination came to fruition when The Leaf opened on December 11, 2020. Only six months after getting the keys, the space was completely renovated, the new staff was trained, and an entirely new menu was introduced. Executive Chef Gina took a spin on classic staples, adding an upscale twist and rotating the menu to highlight local and seasonal ingredients. Everything from the decor to the menu was chosen with a purpose, to create an innovative and enjoyable experience for any occasion.

“Dining at The Leaf is an experience. We aim to provide the level of comfort you have when dining at home without having to cook or clean. Whether its date night, a family get-together, business dinner, or anything in between, we want to help you create memories.”

Sam Stine

In addition to offering brunch, lunch, and dinner services, The Leaf is now proudly offering private rentals for company parties, showers, small wedding receptions or rehearsal dinners, family functions, or anything else. Sam and the team at The Leaf all have a desire to enrich the Wooster community. Stop in at 203 W Liberty St, Wooster, OH 44691 for a memorable meal or find them on facebook for new menu items, events, and more.

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Host your next family function, rehearsal dinner, small wedding reception, or event at The Leaf.

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