Findlay Market Opens Third Neighborhood Farm Stand To Combat Food Deserts

Access to fresh, healthy foods has become an increasingly hot topic for discussion over recent years due to a rise in consumer interest.

The topic has become even more important for inner-city neighborhoods around the country, including in Cincinnati, that have been largely abandoned by traditional grocers and now lack easy access to these food options – even sparking official government programs meant to tackle such problems.

In line with this trend and in an effort to help address the situation, Findlay Market has been working to grow their reach and spread their product throughout the city over the past three years through the opening of seasonal farm stands in Walnut Hills, open every Wednesday from 4pm to 7pm, and East Price Hill, open every Tuesday from 3pm to 6pm.

And earlier this month, Findlay Market, in partnership with Dirt: A Modern Market, opened their third Farmstand in Evanston at 1614 Hewitt Avenue.

Kelly Lanser, Communications Manager for Findlay Market, says that the stand and will be open every Thursday, from 3pm to 6pm, until the end of October; and will be stocked with products from Dirt, Taste of Belgium, Mama Made It, and Em’s Sourdough Bread.

“We have been working closely with the Evanston Community Council, Xavier University, the Port Authority, and the City of Cincinnati to find the best location in the appropriate neighborhood,” Lanser told UrbanCincy.

The Farmstands are essentially miniature farmer’s markets that serve as an extension of Findlay Market by bringing products from the vendors at the historic market in Over-the-Rhine to other locations throughout the city.

Organizers of the Farmstand program see it as being a critical component for providing access to fresh, healthy foods to neighborhoods that might otherwise not have such options. An added benefit is that fact that the program also supports buying locally produced goods that ensures the consumer’s money will stay within the community.

To help make sure the fruits, vegetables and other products being sold at the farm stand are available for all members of the community, each location accepts the Ohio Direction Card/Electronic Benefits Transfer card; and to make it more affordable, Findlay Market is offering 2-for-1 incentive tokens to customers who use an Ohio Direction Card to purchase food.

“We are always open to launching Farmstands in new communities,” Lanser explained. “While we don’t have any definite new locations at this moment, we are always happy to speak with any neighborhood that is interested in opening one up.”

Cincy Stories Returns to MOTR, Launches New ‘Story Gallery’ In Walnut Hills

Cincy Stories began as a bimonthly event series with members of the community coming together to share stories from their lives. Now, the organizers are expanding into new territory with more neighborhood-specific storytelling events and a “story gallery” in Walnut Hills.

The new Cincy Stories Story Gallery is located in the Trevarren Flats development in Walnut Hills, in a retail space provided by the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation. In the space, visitors will be able to watch videos of previous storytellers and even step into the “story booth” and record one of their own. Although the space opened last week, an official opening party is being held this Friday from 6-10 p.m. Food and refreshments from Fireside Pizza and Woodburn Brewery will be provided.

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Cincy Stories’ main event also will return to MOTR Pub this evening. Starting at 7 p.m., visitors will hear stories from Nina Wells, Brandon Black, Megan Trischler, Joi M. Sears, Kathy Holwadel, and Reginald Harris, as well as music from Asylum.

You can also hear several of the speakers from past Cincy Stories events on The UrbanCincy Podcast and on Cincy Stories’ own podcast.

WHRF Announces Plans To Redevelop Historic Paramount Building

Last week the Paramount Building at Peebles Corner in Walnut Hills was open to the public for the first time in decades, and UrbanCincy was invited to participate.

The Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, which recently purchased the structure for $750,000 from the Morris Investment Group, allowed several dozen local residents and historic preservation enthusiasts to tour the second and third floor office spaces before the monthly meeting of the Cincinnati Preservation Collective’s monthly meeting.

The WHRF plans to renovate the office floors, as well as the street-level commercial spaces, so the building may return to use as an anchor for the business district.

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However, the tour revealed that the foundation has a significant task ahead in order to make the plan a reality. While it appears that the interior of the building has been secure and not subject to vandalism, there is significant deterioration due to water leaks and open windows. Some rooms were even off limits to the tour due to concerns about structural integrity of floors and ceilings.

Not all was bad though. In fact, a number of attractive original elements remain in place. This includes wooden partitions and glass doors, some of which still retain the stenciled names of the former office occupants.

The Paramount Building, which was built in 1931, originally had a theater attached at the east end along E. McMillan Street, where the CVS Pharmacy now stands. The drug store is part of the property, and provides some cash flow to the WHRF as they undertake renovations.

At the CPC event, WHRF Executive Director Kevin Wright stated that an application was made on the day of the purchase for state historic preservation tax credits. Such tax credits would be instrumental in advancing the project and bringing the prominent structure back to life.

Originally, the building featured a tall spire atop the tower at the corner of Gilbert Avenue and McMillan Street. During World War II, the spire was removed so that the structural metal could be donated to the war effort. Wright announced that he hopes to have the spire rebuilt as part of the renovations.

Angst Coffeehouse & Pub To Have Grand Opening in Walnut Hills on October 21

After some unexpected delays, Angst Coffeehouse & Pub is set to have a grand opening in Walnut Hills on Wednesday, October 21.

The owners started welcoming some initial customers a few weeks back as part of a soft opening, but now they are prepared to welcome the public with a grand opening celebration.

“We wanted to open ASAP after being delayed by contractor and inspection issues for about a year,” said owner Ron Ordoñez Reblando. Angst 2.0, as he refers to it, is the next generation for the establishment which first opened back in the 1990’s.

The opening comes after Angst became the first recipient of the THRIVE Grant, which was established to help spur new business investments in the Peeble’s Corner business district.

A board member of the Greater Cincinnati Independent Business Alliance, Ordoñez Reblando also says that the shop is representative of a larger movement to develop more locally owned, independent businesses. And he says that he is thrilled to open in the Walnut Hills neighborhood where he has been active as a volunteer for neighborhood clean-ups.

While the original Angst was located nearby in Mt. Auburn, Ordoñez Reblando says that he was impressed with everything that was happening in Walnut Hills; and, with the support of his friend Paul Meise, decided to move the operations to the historic neighborhood.

The location of Angst Coffeehouse & Pub is located within the Walnut Hills Community Entertainment District nearby Fireside Pizza, thus enabling them easier access to a liquor license. But first and foremost, he says, the goal is to create a welcoming third place – somewhere people can be comfortable that is neither their home nor workplace – in the neighborhood.

Ordoñez Reblando is originally from Los Angeles after he and his parents immigrated to the United States from the Philippines when he was only nine years old. He has been in Cincinnati since 1993 after being hired by P&G from Yale University’s business school; and is hoping to bring his travels and experience to Angst’s menu.

“Our specialties are delicious carnitas tacos,” Ordoñez Reblando said in reference to LA’s popular street taco stands. “The type that I serve at Angst represents that style. We also created a version with melted cheese that adds to the umami flavor of the pork.”

Alongside the tacos Angst has a selection of local beers to pair with them. By choosing locally brewed beer, they hope to keep the money flow within the community. In addition to that, he highly recommends their house lime pineapple punch to go with the tacos.

Prices are set at a range that is meant to be affordable for a wide range of customers, and they offer a “Beer It Forward” system where neighbors can pay for each other. The way it works is that if you forgot your wallet or are short on cash, you can claim one of the tabs that has already been prepaid.

Angst Coffeehouse & Pub is located 2437 Gilbert Avenue and will host its grand opening party on Wednesday, October 21 from 6pm to 9pm, but will remain open until midnight.

CDCAGC To Host Bike+Bus Tour of Walnut Hills Area This Friday

Urban revitalization can often be a long, challenging process that is done building-by-building and block-by-block. As Cincinnati urban neighborhoods continue to revitalize, the Community Development Corporations Association of Greater Cincinnati (CDCAGC) has worked to showcase some of these successes with an annual bus tour.

This year the CDCAGC plans to showcase the work being done in the Walnut Hills area.

With an increasing amount of attention and investment going toward the Walnut Hills area these days, it has become a showcase neighborhood for community development progress in Cincinnati.

Largely led by the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, the neighborhood has hosted numerous events and activities to help rebuild and inject new life into the neighborhood by engaging its residents. Such activities have helped attract investment and revitalization.

Unlike previous years, this year’s bus tour will also include a biking component that will be led by UrbanCincy staff and representatives from the WHRF. Those on the tour will bike from east to west throughout the historic neighborhood.

Queen City Bike will also be on-hand to provide bicycle valet parking at various tour locations.

The tour will start at the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation’s office on McMillian Street this Friday at noon, and will include a stop at Kitchen 452 for lunch. Tickets can still be purchased on the CDCAGC website. Bring your bike, we hope to see you there!


Above: Video of last year’s tour of Northside and College Hill (provided)