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.

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