After operating a single store in Fairfield, OH, near Cincinnati, for over 35 years, Jungle Jim's International Market plans to open its first branch in about a year, in Union Township, Ohio, according to press reports.
After operating a single store in Fairfield, OH, near Cincinnati, for over 35 years, Jungle Jim's International Market plans to open its first branch in about a year, in Union Township, Ohio, according to press reports. This unique retailer has been the subject of various articles in The Food Institute Report as well as numerous trade publications over the past three and a half decades.
The current store in Butler County draws customers from throughout the region with an array of staples, ethnic foods and beverages from around the world and employs about 350 people. The new store that could open in Union Township in about a year is expected to do likewise, reported The Cincinnati Enquirer.
A bevy of new jobs could be created after Jungle Jim's opens in the space once occupied by a bigg's supermarket, said Timothy M. Donnellon, chairman of the Union Township Board of Trustees.
Jungle Jim's declined to comment to the press, but Mr. Donnellon said the store would be an anchor for additional economic development in the area.
It could draw shoppers from throughout Clermont County, Hamilton County and Northern Kentucky, Mr. Donnellon said. "I think we might be able to get folks from northern Tennessee," he said. "They've got a huge draw."
Often described as an adventure in grocery shopping, the current store boasts 300,000-square-feet and offers 150,000 different items from over 75 countries around the globe. “Little did owner and store namesake, Jim Bonaminio know when he started his market that he would take grocery shopping to a new level,“ notes the company’s website. Approximately 50,000 shoppers visit the current location each week.
A wholesale division that features over 500 produce items was opened by the independent grocer last year. The company added the division “to give it more buying power,” stated Curt Rhodus, co-manager of the wholesale division. “We are wholesaling a full line of fresh produce and everything else the store stocks with the exception of alcohol and tobacco.”
The 40,000-sq. ft. wholesale warehouse is equipped with new coolers, dry space and loading docks and “demand…has been outstanding,” stated Mr. Rhodus. The division does not charge monthly or annual fees and offers delivery to Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. The division also sells dairy items and fresh baked goods. The company is looking to offer seafood and meat items as it expands, according to Doug Caminiti, co-manager of the wholesale division.
So despite the poor economy, this independent grocer sees potential in expansion for this unique shopping experience.