Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Community of Findlay Market

Sometimes I think Findlay Market should have its own zip code. It's a small town within itself. Merchants are there when the sun comes up, and many of them are still there as the sun sets. They share common concerns. When a merchant is ill or has a family issue, everyone cares. When someone has a new grandchild, everyone celebrates. Dating, marriage, divorce, agreements, arguments, partnerships, and contracts have all occurred within and among the merchants. And you can be sure, just as in any community, gossip has been known to be exchanged.
The definition of community also includes "sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals." The merchants of Findlay Market definitely share the goal of sustaining the market as the focal point of Over-the-Rhine. They relish the tradition and share the passion generated by over 160 years of Findlay Market history. Change comes slowly, after careful consideration, but it does occur as everyone adjusts to new shopping habits, preferences, and procedures.
In addition to emotional support, merchants support each other financially. Did you know that several of Daisy Mae's best customers are actually other Findlay Market merchants? It's not uncommon for other merchants to purchase fresh produce from Daisy Mae's, rice from Saigon Market, beef from Eckerlin's Meats, or spices from Colonel De to use in dishes prepared to sell at Findlay Market. More than once, I've heard one merchant yell across the aisle, "Toss me a pound of bacon!" Why go to a wholesale restaurant supplier when everything you need is available from your neighbor?
Findlay Market merchants take the "Shop Local" message to heart. They support each other and all benefit from their cooperative efforts. More than 35 individual businesses all work together to survive not only individually, but also as a community.

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