Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Don't Forget Your Roots

Photo from www.cincinnativiews.net

Our children have grown into twenty-somethings who have already exceeded any expectations we may have had for them. They have attended fine universities, found successful career paths, traveled, and met people from all walks of life. Consider us proud parents.
Along the way, I have occasionally reminded them (and will continue to remind them) to always remember their roots. It's important for anyone to stay connected to where they began. However, I think it may be even more important for those who are successful to remember where the seeds of success were planted.
I write about this as I think about the success of Findlay Market. Findlay Market started as an open-air market where local producers could bring their fresh produce, meat and poultry, and dairy products to market to sell. 160 years later, the market is flourishing and the vision for success continues to shine brightly.
However, I also see Findlay Market in transition. No longer is it solely a destination for grocery shopping, but the market has also become an attraction in and of itself. People visit to absorb the history, take in a special event, enjoy the music, or eat the food. Many people come just to take pictures!
We love our visitors, but we need to be cautious about the path down which we're headed. Findlay Market began as a source for local perishable goods. Over the years, the market evolved to include packaged foods and, most recently, prepared foods to eat-in or take-out. Many Findlay Market vendors offer both raw and prepared foods. Even Daisy Mae's now offers dried fruits and nuts, jams and jellies, and prepared salsas in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Currently, we have a nice balance at Findlay Market. My own observations are that about half the visitors come to shop for groceries and about half come for the experience, the event, or the attraction. Everything works great right now, but I hope we don't tip the scale too far in the direction of becoming just another place to mark off a bucket list. I hope I don't see an overwhelming number of visitors leaving without a shopping bag. Sure, make memories and take pictures. But also take something home. Don't forget our roots.
   



Monday, April 7, 2014

Be a Friend at Findlay Market

Findlay Market is a microcosm of the Cincinnati community. On a normal shopping trip, you will see people of all races, nationalities, and ethnicities. You will see young and old, rich and poor, singles and families. Amidst the discrimination that lurks in some parts of our society, we're proud to think that diversity works at Findlay Market and that we offer something special that makes everyone feel welcome.
The Friends of Findlay Market is a volunteer group that works year-round to engage and support the market and to help make everyone who comes to the market feel comfortable. They recognize the benefits of Findlay Market not only as a shopping destination, but also as a historic cultural center for our community. The Friends promote the market and celebrate its diversity by assisting with special events, shopper tours, and various other activities. They are currently expanding their Ambassador Program and are hosting an information session on Wednesday, April 23. If you believe in Findlay Market and are ready to "give back to the community," plan to attend to meet new friends and learn about upcoming opportunities. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What Are The Odds?

Maybe you've heard that we also lead the Taste the World at Findlay Market food tours. After watching people eat their way around the market for several years, we created these fun tours as a way to introduce both tourists and local visitors to some of the hidden gems at Findlay Market.
On Saturday, a very amazing thing happened during one of our tours. We stopped in Madison's at Findlay Market for a sample. Mike Madison was telling us all about the business and getting ready to serve us a sample of their homemade gelato. I noticed an older gentleman from our group wander to the rear of the store. I watched as he shook hands with Bryan Madison (Mike's dad) and soon they were laughing and patting each other on the back and acting like old friends. Believe it or not, that's exactly what they are. Old friends.
As it turns out, Mr. Madison and the gentleman from Indiana were college buddies at the University of Missouri in the 1960's. After college, they visited each other occasionally and their families became acquainted. However, they hadn't seen each other in over 20 years, and the gentleman from Indiana had no idea Mr. Madison had a store at Findlay Market.
Yes, folks, it is a small world, and at Findlay Market, we make new friends and keep the old!