Findlay Market is a great place to start a food business. The market is a microcosm of the Greater Cincinnati community with shoppers eager to explore new foods, taste samples of old favorites, and talk about their family recipes. Many of our Taste the World partners first put their roots in the ground at Findlay Market, and some, like Taste of Belgium have grown to add other locations.
It is difficult to imagine that it has only been eight short years since Jean-Francois Flechet brought a waffle iron from his native Belgium and began tempting Findlay Market shoppers with his Liege-style waffle. Since then, Taste of Belgium has expanded to three full-service bistros, a market location at both Findlay Market in Cincinnati and North Market in Columbus, OH, and has been named the official waffle of the Cincinnati Reds. I tease that Jean-Francois is taking over the world one waffle at a time. In reply, his tagline reminds us all to “Respect the Waffle.”
We’ve worked with Taste of Belgium at Findlay Market since the start of our tours in 2012. Recently, we’ve added their bistro at 1133 Vine Street to our Over-the-Rhine tour. Last Friday afternoon, we were fortunate to be seated at the Chef’s Table for some behind-the-scenes action. As the prep team cranked out waffles and the bartender poured Belgian beer, we could watch the action as the servers hustled back and forth. By the time we finished, I think everyone had a better picture of the hard work, attention to detail, and fine customer service it takes to run a restaurant business. How could we not respect the waffle