Before I jump into telling you about what may be considered the “greatest grocery store” in the world, I need to give you a little background.
I’ve always liked grocery stores due to the snacks, candy, and fun packaging, with many having mascots. I don’t think that is what led me to go into marketing, but to be able to discuss new products and promotions sure didn’t hurt. I had a class in college on new product development, which cemented my love of going for groceries. Dr. Corey would pick a new product off the shelf and bring it into class. We would discuss the packaging and the placement on shelves and even sample them from time to time.
My trips to the grocery stores became as much about market research and exploration as it was about my shopping list. I always check for new products and bring home something fun to try. John grew up in Rochester, NY, and worked at Wegmans, so he introduced me to the store when I first went home with him. I was in love. Whenever we visited his parents, I had to go to the store to pick up some things. The day the Wegmans opened in Frederick, we stood in line. It’s my go-to grocery store.
When we travel, we often look for a local grocery store to check out the different foods they may have and usually leave with a bag full of goodies. When our daughter decided on the University of Cincinnati, I began researching places and things to do. I kept seeing videos about Jungle Jim’s International Market and knew we had to check it out.
This place did not disappoint. There are two locations in Cincinnati, the original in Fairfield and the second in Eastgate. The two times we visited were both at the Eastgate store. When you pull up and see a monorail coming out of the store, you know you are in for something unique. To sum it up, Jungle Jim’s is the Disneyland of grocery stores.
The store has international products from over 70 countries across Asia, Europe, South America, and Central America. So many products to peruse and decipher the language on the labels. If you have traveled internationally, you will probably find some of your favorites on the shelves.
Jungle Jim’s is not just about specialty shopping; it has everything you need for daily shopping with a wide variety of products. All the departments you are used to shopping at your local store are on steroids at Jungle Jim’s. The bakery, deli, and meat departments are like nothing I have ever seen in a single store.
As you wander around looking at all the departments and fantastic food choices, you will encounter displays that make you feel like you are in an amusement park. From the entrance on, there is something to look at or interact with. The bathrooms at the entrance look like port-a-johns, but they are just port-a-john doors that lead to very nice and clean bathrooms. The store does not take itself seriously; I love that the most.
On our first trip, we wandered all around, and when we thought we were near the end, we were surprised by the beer and wine section with a bar and sitting area. We tried a few local beers and grabbed a bite to eat before checking out and heading on our way.
I know I may have a weird love of grocery stores, but if you are in Cincinnati, you must stop at Jungle Jim’s. The nostalgia of displays and the variety of products will put you in a good mood, and I guarantee you will find a lot of road trip goodies. If you do, let me know what you liked because you know I am always on the lookout for something new to try.