How the Muffin Man and the Akron Marathon Came to Be
Oct 20, 2021 7:30 AM
Steve Marks, founder Main Street Muffins
How the Muffin Man and the Akron Marathon Came to Be

Main Street Muffins (now known as Main Street Gourmet) was founded in 1987 by Steve Marks and his partner, Harvey Nelson.  Main Street Gourmet is a manufacturer of gourmet frozen bakery products with sales throughout the United States.  

Main Street Gourmet was selected to the 1992 and 1993 “Inc. 500,” a listing of the fastest growing companies in the United States.  In 1993, Steve and Harvey were chosen by Inc. Magazine and Ernst & Young as the “1993 Entrepreneurs of the Year Award for Northeastern Ohio.”  In 1994 and 2011 the U.S. Small Business Administration selected Steve and Harvey as the “Small Business Person(s) of the Year.”  In 2000, Main Street Gourmet was chosen as the Number One Fastest Growing Company in the Weatherhead 100, a listing of the fastest growing companies in Northeastern Ohio.  Steve and Harvey received the 2004 “Entrepreneurial Achievement Award” from Sales & Marketing Executives International.  Main Street Gourmet has also received the Pillar Award from SBN Magazine in 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2013 for their commitment to Community Service.  In 2006, The Greater Akron Chamber recognized Steve and Harvey with the “Entrepreneur(s) of the Year” Award.  In 2009, Main Street Gourmet was presented with the Richard Shatten Civic Distinction Award from Crain’s Leading EDGE Awards.  In 2012, the Greater Akron Chamber selected Steve to be the eighth recipient of the H. Peter Burg Business Leadership Award.  Main Street Gourmet has consistently been honored with the North Coast 99 award from ERC for being one of the top places to work in Northeast Ohio.  

Senator John Glenn selected Steve as his sole choice to be a Delegate for the 1995 White House Conference on Small Business.  Steve is a 1993 graduate of Leadership Akron, and The Leadership Akron Alumni Association has recognized him with their “2004 Distinguished Leadership Award.”  The University of Akron has also recognized Steve with the “1999 Simonetti Distinguished Business Alumni Award,” the “2000 Outstanding Beta Alpha Psi Alumnus Award” and the “2006 University of Akron Alumni Honor Award.”

Steve is also the founder and President of the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation, launched in 2003 by a family foundation he started.  The mission of the marathon is to promote health and fitness and bring national attention to this region.   In 2005, the Akron Marathon was recognized as one of the “50 Greatest US Marathons” and is currently the largest Marathon Relay in the United States.  

Main Street Gourmet founded an award-winning program with Cleveland Clinic/Akron General Medical Center called “Muffins for Mammograms,” designed to raise money for women who can not afford breast cancer screening costs.  Main Street Gourmet is also the founder of the “No Muffin Left Behind” concept that benefits the Akron Canton Regional Foodbank.

Community involvement currently includes participating as a board member of the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation and Curated Storefront.  Past participation includes a Trustee for the All American Soap Box Derby, the Summit County American Red Cross, the Akron Civic Theatre, the Akron Community Foundation, Greater Akron Chamber, and many others.

In 2021, Steve published a book “The Muffin Man Chronicles, Recipes for Entrepreneurial Success”.

Steve is a graduate of The University of Akron with a BS in Accounting.  He began his career with Coopers and Lybrand as a CPA before becoming a “Muffin Man.”