Findlay Market is a mainstay in Cincinnati life, connecting farmers, producers, sellers and customers in the same iron-framed building since 1855. It’s a historic monument and a destination for local food and artisan products. Southwest Ohio Parent talked to Kelly Lanser, director of communications and strategic initiatives, about this culinary pillar of Cincy history.
In what ways is Findlay Market involved in the community?
The Corporation for Findlay Market (CFFM) is a 501c3 private non-profit organization that manages and operates Findlay Market. Our team keeps the market safe, clean and beautiful, supports market merchants, and attracts a diverse group of new businesses to Findlay Market and the surrounding Market District. CFFM preserves and expands the connection with the OTR neighborhood, the Cincinnati community, and its shoppers by supporting cultural and income diversity at Findlay Market, and ensuring that the market serves a diverse population. We host more than a dozen community events each year, and have launched the Findlay Culinary Training Program and workforce development restaurant, Mighty Good: Meat n’ Three.
Can you share some of your entrepreneurial success stories?
Findlay Market is home to more than 50 full-time businesses, more than 75 outdoor market vendors and the region’s largest farmers market. We have seen businesses, like Taste of Belgium and Maverick Chocolate Co., start here and grow to additional locations. We have seen businesses, like The Arepa Place, come to Findlay Kitchen with a great idea and delicious food, and grow to an outdoor market vendor and open up a full-time business at the market. More than 200 businesses have been supported since Findlay Kitchen opened, with an average of 75 businesses operating at any given time and more than 80% being women, immigrant or minority-owned.
What programs do you have coming up?
The market is celebrating 170 years this year! We are having a birthday bash on July 23, with programming all day, a fun cake cutting (and free cake for the community!), amazing food and drinks, and a special night market.
We have our Music at the Market program on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for the rest of the year, offering a free and wonderful way to spend time with friends and family next to our outdoor bars. Our calendar of events is full for the remainder of 2022, with fan favorites like National Farmers Market Week, Fall Food Fest, Trick-or-Treat at the Market and Holiday Market.
What do you hope to bring to the community in the future?
We continue to expand our community events and programming so that every person in Cincinnati feels welcome at Findlay Market. Our Findlay Culinary Training Program supports individuals with high barriers to employment and provides them a career path in the culinary industry. Our Findlay Market shopping app relaunches this summer, which supports our low-income shoppers by providing fresh food access and doorstep delivery.
How can people help Findlay Market and get involved?
We are always looking for volunteers. You can join the Friends of Findlay Market program, or you can donate monetarily to support our initiatives. And, always, we encourage you to shop local and support the incredible small businesses at Findlay Market.
Findlay Market is located at 1801 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
Findlay Market Hours:
Tuesday-Friday: 9am – 6pm
Saturday: 8am – 6pm
Sunday: 10am – 4pm