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Bracing for Winter

a bowl of fruitThe leaves are changing colors and starting to fall around Cincinnati. Even though markets display pumpkins and cornstalks, our thoughts are already shifting from Halloween to Thanksgiving and Christmas. With the constant reminders about COVID-19, no one is quite sure what winter will bring. Immediate concerns involve family gatherings and annual traditions. Who will travel for Thanksgiving? Should we plan to get together with family this year? If we offer to host dinner, how many will want to come? Is it ok to go to the Cincinnati Zoo Festival of Lights? Do we want to be in a crowd? Is there anywhere the kids can see Santa?

We know the year of the pandemic is the year to be flexible. Cincinnati Food Tours seems to be zigging and zagging every few weeks, but we’ve followed our hearts to find a way to keep our business operating. Takeaway foods, outside dining, and picnics have helped us get through the warmer months. But as it turns colder, how do we brace ourselves for winter? How do we continue to support the restaurants and market merchants that are so vital to our local economy?

We zig and we zag again. We’ll continue to offer a few in-person experiences all winter, but we have no idea how many people to expect. For some, safety is a concern. Other people are concerned about the weather. If planning is hard for Cincinnati Food Tours, we can only imagine the issues such uncertainty presents for our friends in the restaurant industry. The answer for Cincinnati Food Tours is to offer retail products and Take Home Tours to get us through the winter.

When the pandemic hit, we scurried to design our Food Tour To Go box. We continue to offer this small box of curated Findlay Market products, but we also expanded the assortment in preparation for the holidays. Our Home for the Holidays collection features ten non-perishable items from some of our favorite merchants. With one click, you can buy a gift the whole family can enjoy…and support ten local businesses. In addition, we are raising our Take Home Tour to a new level. Starting with our Big Boozy Brunch Bag in November, we will combine the best from multiple merchants. We do the running around, gather the items in one bag, and have them ready for you to pick up at Findlay Market. You can enjoy a Findlay Market brunch at home, or take a walk through Over-the-Rhine right at your own kitchen table. Imagine an appetizer from Sacred Beast, salad from Goose & Elder, main dish from Revolution Rotisserie, and dessert from Taste of Belgium, and you’ll understand the concept behind our Take Home Tour.

So what can you do to help us, our Findlay Market merchants, and our Cincinnati restaurants survive the winter?
1. Eat out and carry out.
2. Shop at Findlay Market.
3. Find creative ways to have fun. If you’re uncomfortable in groups of strangers, try our Self-Guided Tour.
4. Plan an at-home experience.
5. Think LOCAL when holiday shopping.

What is in the past are memories. Let’s live in the present and look forward to the future.