Sunday, June 29, 2014

Small World

It's tough to get away on a vacation when you own your own business. It's a lot of work to get ready to leave for a few days, and it's always a lot of work catching up when you return. Yet this past weekend, we proved again that the rewards far outshine the efforts when you finally squeeze in a little time to unwind.
We headed to Hocking Hills for a quick camping getaway to reconnect with some of our best friends. After getting settled at the site, we briefly introduced ourselves to our neighbors at the adjoining campsite, admired their Airstream motorhome, and got acquainted with their dogs. We didn't see much of them for the next day or so as we were all off exploring the area and hiking the beautiful trails.
On Saturday, though, our neighbors were out walking the dogs. The first thing I noticed was that one of them wore a familiar t-shirt. "Over-the-Rhine?" I asked as I recognized the design as one that is popular in our Cincinnati Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. "Yep," he replied and smiled...It seemed we had formed an immediate bond. I mentioned that we owned Daisy Mae's at Findlay Market. He said they shop there regularly and love it. Next thing you know, he's telling us that they were about to make dinner with fresh local zucchini they bought at our stand!
What an unusual encounter! More than 100 miles from home, recognizing a clothing brand that connected us with our common neighborhood seemed coincidental enough. But what are the odds that our newfound friends might be enjoying the same fresh produce that we had just displayed at Daisy Mae's at Findlay Market? It truly is a small world.

Monday, June 23, 2014

What Do You Think About GMOs?

"Is this produce organic?" A few years ago, that was the most common question that I was asked at Daisy Mae's. More recently, the common question has become, "Is this produce 'local?'" In the last few weeks, however, I've noticed a new question has started to pop up: "What do you think about GMOs?"
The first two inquiries are fairly easy to answer. The organic question can be answered by explaining some basic economics and "what-the-market-will-bear" pricing. The local question is more of a geography question and is understood best in context of the growing season in Ohio. The GMO question, on the other hand, is a science question on the edge of philosophy, and so naturally it comes wrapped in controversy.
GMOs (Genetically modified organisms) are organisms whose genetic material has been altered due to genetic engineering. A television commercial ran in the 1970's in which we were reminded, "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature," yet entire industries of biotechnology and genetic engineering have sprung up that do just that. GMOs are used in medical research, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture. With regard to farming, advances in science have allowed genetic modifications to crops that enhance pest resistance, add nutritional value, and help crops thrive in extreme conditions.
Many people have no problem with genetically modified foods. Most of our corn and soybeans are genetically modified for the reasons mentioned above. There is broad scientific evidence that genetically modified foods cause no more risks than conventional foods. Yet, some people object to GMOs, claiming the risks have not been adequately explored. Others complain of a lack of regulation regarding labeling. The jury is still out, and the discussion will continue. Like it or not, genetic modification seems to be the latest food controversy.
What do you think? Are GMOs something you think about when shopping?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

And Now A Word About Us...

I've spent the last few posts writing about our staff so I guess it's only fair that I tell you a little bit about us. Barry was born in Ft. Knox, KY and raised in Cincinnati. He worked with his dad in the homebuilding business before starting a career at Cincinnati Milacron. At the same time, he completed his degree in Business from the University of Cincinnati.
I was born and raised in Granite City, Illinois. I attended Miami University, got my degree in Elementary Education, took a teaching job in Mt. Healthy, met Barry, and the rest is history.
When the entrepreneurial bug hit us, we started our own homebuilding company and built and remodeled homes for about 25 years. When the building industry took a downturn, another opportunity knocked and we switched gears to start Daisy Mae's at Findlay Market. We've determined we're the only homebuilder turned tomato seller in the Cincinnati area!
The last five years have been a time of learning, organizing, sweating, cooperating, and imagining. We're determined to make fresh produce easily accessible so look for us to continue to innovate, experiment, and fine-tune our fresh produce market until we have removed all obstacles. For a small business, the work never ends, and at times, the monetary rewards are minimal. We've realized, however, that the relationships you develop when running a small business are what you value over time. We know it's not about the houses...or about the tomatoes...It's about the people.
Thanks for shopping local and thanks for supporting us at Findlay Market!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Getting to Know Clay

We've known Clay for many years, but he just joined us as a staff member at Daisy Mae's this year. In addition to being great at stocking and displaying our fresh produce, we've discovered that he has a natural ability to interact with the customers. Clay has lived his whole life in Milford, Ohio, and he's a proud member of the Milford High School football team. In addition to football and working at Daisy Mae's, he spends his time on schoolwork and hanging out with friends. He enjoys the diversity and the many friendly people he meets at Findlay Market. If you're looking for a good treat, Clay suggests our Windy Acres snacks and nuts. He's partial to the lemon drops, but he'll be happy to help you find a variety that works for you.