Sunday, June 29, 2003

Wing gets off the ground

By Nicole Hamilton
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Shoppers filled the east wing of the Market House Saturday.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
Madison's Produce at Findlay Market began as a roadside table-and-tent operation where customers picked up fruits and vegetables grown in the family's Adams County farm.

Things are a lot different today. Operating out of a rented storefront at Findlay Market, the Madisons on Saturdays sell everything from arugula to black raspberries to about 500 customers.

And after this weekend's reopening of the part of the historic Market House, Carolyn Madison says things will only get better.

"The vendors are happy to have moved in," she said Saturday, as crowds checked out the polished Market House.

"It has a totally new feel - people (visiting the new market place) can look out the windows while they shop."

The new east wing at the 151-year-old market was designed to provide room for more vendors and small businesses - both on the interior and exterior.

"It has radically increased business opportunities," said Matt Madison of Madison's Produce.

The Market House renovation and expansion is part of a $12.5 million Findlay Market master business plan. The effort will be complete at a yet-to-be-determined date when the rehabbed west wing is opened and other aesthetic improvements are finished.

The west wing will open later because, Matt Madison said, working on both sides of the Market House at the same time would have displaced too many merchants.

She predicted that the market's revitalization will be key to getting more people to visit Over-the-Rhine and downtown.

"We've seen quite a few people," she said. "People should really come down and see this."

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