The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Authors Posts by Brittany Lee

Brittany Lee

Brittany Lee
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Editorial Intern - Brittany Lee is an editorial intern for Cincy Chic. Contact her at blee@cincychic.com.

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Learn more about the gluten-free and allergy sensitive bakery in Mainstrasse that’s bringing authentic pastries and cakes from around the world right to your sweet tooth.

The Cake Rack bakery
The Cake Rack Bakery specializes in any type of birthday cake, custom cake or pastry.
The Cake Rack Bakery, established in 1992 in Cleveland, was brought to the Cincinnati area in November 2008. However, what started as a small family-owned business focused on a small-batch, high-quality product, has grown into a limited liability company with employees.

The owner, Jeannette Werle, has had baking and decorating training throughout the U.S., Canada and England as well as learning styles including Australian, South African, American and British. “I grew up in Nicaragua, Central America, surrounded by good bakeries and a grandmother who was an excellent home baker and cook,” she says. “I always dreamt of a neighborhood bakery.”

At The Cake Rack, they specialize in a broad range of desserts with pure vanilla extract, cream, butter, fresh fruit and berries, Belgian, Swiss and French chocolates as just a few of the wholesome ingredients used. “We can produce any type of birthday cake, custom cake or pastry at high-quality right here in Cincinnati or in your neighborhood (OTR) – please just give us a three to five day notice.”

“Our mission is to provide our customers with high-quality pastries, desserts and cakes all made from scratch to order,” Werle continues. “We want to give our customers an outstanding ending to their meal by using only the finest ingredients available.”

Since moving to the Cincinnati area, Werle believes she has accomplished just that. “I believe I have been successful in introducing the people of Cincinnati to diversified pastries, cakes, cookies and tarts from around the world,” she says. “We also make sure that a lot of love, passion and care goes into the creating of all of our home style cakes because baking from scratch is not as familiar or common now a days.”

“I love the location that houses our bakery at this time – an old building inside the Findlay Market,” Werle continues. “I love the Italian architecture, the diversity of the customer base, the customers – and of course the Findlay Market staff.”

When looking to the future of The Cake Rack Bakery, Werle’s priority is growing her staff. “At this point in my life, the business is growing steadily,” she says. “I am now ready to hire a general manager for the back of the bakery.”

You can check out the bakery at 627 Main St. in Mainstrasse Village (Covington, KY) or inside Findlay Market. They are open 54 hours per week maintaining the hours of Tuesday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To learn more about Cake Rack Bakery or to place an order, call (513) 621-2500 or visit their website at www.cakerackbakery.com.

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A locally-based female chef is preparing to open her very own commercial kitchen and event space. Read on for the delicious details.

Out of Thyme Kitchen
Chef Jaime Carmondy’s newest project is Out of Thyme Kitchen Studio.

Maintaining a healthy diet is difficult, especially during the holiday season. That’s why Chef Jaime Carmody, one of only 12 Personal Certified Executive Chefs in the country (as designated by the American Culinary Federation), can help you stick to a routine through her customized meal plans that are tailored to each client’s tastes and dietary needs.

Specializing in preparing in-home meals, private catering, dinner parties and cooking classes, Carmody helps simplify the lives of busy people by providing them with a great meal. “I love helping people find the time to sit at the table with their family and have a meal,” says Carmody. “I also really enjoy teaching cooking classes and ‘tricks of the trade’ to enthusiastic home cooks.”

Carmody’s passion for food dates back to when she was merely 14 years old – finding herself an employee of the food and beverage industry before she could even drive. After studying at the Scottsdale, Az.-based Scottsdale Culinary Institute, she then went on to spend time with Arizona chefs and later entered into the hotel industry.

As the executive chef at the Hilton Garden Inn in Carlsbad Beach, California, Carmody received her greatest breadth and depth of experience with management, banquets, catering, restaurants, room service and employees. Despite her accomplishments, her heart longed for her other aspiration – to be a mom.

“I was a trained chef and had been working in the culinary world for 15 years when I moved to Cincinnati and decided I wanted to be not only a chef, but also a mom, which meant I needed my own business,” says Carmody. “I knew that with my passion for food and desire to help people, I could make a difference for those who wanted to eat well, but didn’t have the time to cook for themselves or their families.”

Since launching Out Of Thyme in January 2005, Carmody has established her own successful roster of clients, with most of them being weekly, long-term customers. She is also frequently invited to teach at all of the area cooking schools, including Midwest Culinary Institute and The Learning Kitchen.

Right now, Carmody’s sights are set on working really hard on her next project – opening The Out Of Thyme Kitchen Studio. Opening in late 2015, The Out Of Thyme Kitchen Studio will be a full-service, commercial kitchen and event space located on Montgomery Rd. in Symmes Twp.

The Studio will offer Carmody’s Personal Chef Services, fresh take home meals, pop-up dinners, baked goods and cooking classes for both children and adults. The space will also be available for private parties, tastings and other culinary events.

As for cost, it varies. “It’s less than eating out and it’s real food – so it’s much better for you,” says Carmody. “I’m also very personalized. My menus and parties are entirely client-driven. I like the personal touch and I believe that people remember me because of that.”

To learn more about Chef Carmody’s recipes or to view her class calendar, visit www.outofthymechef.com. For juicy updates, follow Out Of Thyme on Facebook and Instagram.

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As Ft. Thomas welcomes a new barre3 studio, learn more about the body-positive community that’s now thriving on both sides of the river.

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Currently, barre3 has 77 brick-and-mortar studios around the country including two locations in Greater Cincinnati – barre3 Ft. Thomas and barre3 Montgomery. The Ft. Thomas location, owned by Kelley Groneck, just opened on September 28 2015 and barre3 Montgomery, owned by Natalie Denka, opened in June 2015.

Barre3 is a whole body workout that is for all fitness levels using the wisdom of yoga, the strength of pilates, and the grace and balance of barre work. “We offer a low-impact, full-body workout that is for all fitness levels,” says Groneck, owner of barre3 Ft. Thomas. “We focus on working the body to not only help you during the 60 minutes that you’re in our studio, but to strengthen and energize you for the other 23 hours of your day.”

“However, barre3 is so much more than just a workout,” Groneck continues. “We are a lifestyle community (both in-studio and online via social media) that is there to support each and every client, inside and out.”

To make access easily available to clients, Groneck emphasizes that they provide online classes, studio classes and 10-minutes-and-under, do-anywhere workouts on their Mobile App. “We also have a website and blog that feature many personal stories of barre3 achievements that go way beyond fitness as well as information on how to prevent injury, original recipes that focus on delicious whole-food eating for a healthier life and make like-minded businesses and products,” she says.

Groneck decided to open barre3 Ft. Thomas after experiencing herself what barre3 had to offer. As a full-time, working mother with a high-stress job, she turned to barre3 online workouts as an outlet for personal time. “I had just had my second baby, and was in need of some ‘me time’ to bounce back,” she says. “Little did I know that it would lead me to changing career paths and finding the dream job of a lifetime.”

“I always wanted to own my own business,” Groneck continues. “I loved health and had a passion for helping people get healthy and happy, but I always wanted to have a space that created a community for EVERYONE. That is truly what barre3 is, so I knew I had to bring one to my hometown. The rest is history, and now here I am creating that community I felt and desired to show people.”

With many boutique studios out there – all with unique approaches – Groneck believes that what sets barre3 apart is what they stand for. “We want clients to feel as if this is there second home and that we, as a studio, see our client as family as well,” she says. “We want to do what we can to make them feel welcomed, to help them achieve their goals, to celebrate their wins!”

“This is not just about fitness, but personal wins such as overcoming depression or taking a risk for a new start in life – babies, weddings, etc.,” Groneck continues. “We want our community to feel connected. That’s why we have the classes online, the app to take anywhere and the recipes to make eating easy and fun. We want to create a positive place where clients can breathe in the energy and pay it forward to all those they come in contact with. We are a lifestyle, family, home and community.”

In looking to the future, Groneck wants barre3 to become a positive community that brings together people of different ages, levels, backgrounds – one that focuses on being REAL and HEALTHY. “We know a focus on fitness improves self-esteem, but incorporating the additional benefits of barre3, clients can really change their lives and have the camaraderie and relationships to help them grow,” she says.

To learn more about barre3 or to sign up for a class, visit their website at www.barre3.com, e-mail ftthomas@barre3.com or call the studio at (859) 360-7420.

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This local blogger and mother of two aims to not only provide healthy meals, but to teach life skills for how to practice and maintain that lifestyle through tasty food and meaningful choices. Keep reading for the delicious details.

A Healthy Life For Me
A Healthy Life For Me focuses on healthy recipes that are gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly, refined sugar-free and soy-free.

Looking for healthy recipes that are simple enough for the home cook, but delicious enough that you will want to make them time and time again? Look no further.

On A Healthy Life For Me, a blog created by Amy Stafford, you can expect to find recipes that are gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly, refined sugar-free and soy-free.

“A Healthy Life For Me is a site I created to share my favorite recipes – no fuss recipes made with the freshest ingredients available,” says Stafford. “I also sprinkle in some how-to’s about organic gardening and some kick-butt fitness workouts that you can do at home. All of my inspiration stems from things I desire in my own life.”

Not only does Stafford share original, healthy recipes that she develops and photographs herself, but she also shares tips on how to grow your own organic produce. “I have a large organic garden, as well as backyard chickens and honeybees that allow me to create my recipes around what is the freshest and in-season ingredients,” she says.

“I try to encourage readers to grow their own produce, even if it is just a pot of herbs,” Stafford continues. “Connecting to the earth by growing your own food helps us all to understand better what we all put into our bodies. I also encourage readers to shop local and in-season, not only to be healthy but to save money as well.”

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Amy Stafford, Founder of the blog A Healthy Life For Me.

Since launching the blog in 2012, her readership has more than doubled just this past year alone with many of her recipes highlighted on Self, well + Good, Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, Women’s Health, Men’s Fitness and Huffington Post.

As for the future of A Healthy Life For Me, Stafford wants to continue creating recipes that inspire people to eat healthy and make daily changes to live a longer, fuller life. To make this easier, Stafford is currently working on a new blog design that will allow her readers to search for recipes not only by special diet needs, but by ingredient as well.

“I love when my readers make a recipe request – then I have the opportunity to transform one of their favorite recipes into a healthier version or recreate a delicious meal they had at one of their favorite restaurants,” says Stafford. “There is nothing more rewarding than when a reader lets me know how much they enjoyed my recipe or that a workout is helping them become stronger and more confident.”

“Having this blog has been an outlet for me to express how I live my life day to day – growing food and preparing it as healthy as possible all while keeping it delicious,” Stafford continues. “Through A Healthy Life For Me, I hope to encourage women and men to realize that the human body is a remarkable creation, but that it needs to be cared for with proper nutrition, movement and rest.”

To contact Stafford regarding A Healthy Life For Me, visit http://ahealthylifeforme.com or send her an e-mail directly at ahealthylifeforme@gmail.com. You can also find her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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Follow along with 8-year-old Lauryn’s fun-filled imagination, as she describes how to put her friendly little hands to work and make life easier in My 100 Hands.

My 100 Hands is a children's book written by Lauryn Marie Burks.
My 100 Hands is a children’s book written by Lauryn Marie Burks.

What if you had so much to do that two hands simply were not enough? Well, Lauryn Marie Burks knows – she would have 100 Hands do it for her.

The story behind My 100 Hands, a product of Lauryn’s vivid imagination, all began one morning when she was just 5 years old. “We were in a hurry and I was barking out orders for Lauryn to get dressed,” says Lauryn’s father, Robert Burks, Jr. “I could see that she was in ‘la-la’ land – then she suddenly blurted out ‘daddy, I wish I had 100 hands.’”

“The next time we were getting ready, I recalled her comment and I asked her, ‘what would you do if you had 100 hands?” Burks continues. “She looked at me, almost a-matter-of-fact like, and said, ‘well, I could get dressed easier if I had 100 hands.’”

In this moment, Burks knew he had the making for a children’s book, however, he had no idea where to begin. As a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, he decided to call down to the DAAP program and ask an art professor if there were any students who would be willing to do some illustrations for a children’s book.

“We had a lot of resumes and proposals, but we chose Alexandra Hananel, 2011 graduate, who perfectly denoted the colorful images of a young child’s universe,” says Burks. “As for content, I left the words just as Lauryn said them so I could protect the integrity of it being her book.”

After seeing her first story come to life, Lauryn couldn’t stop there. In the first book, we are introduced to three characters: Happy Hand, Pretty Hand and Helpful Hand. In her second book, My 100 Hands Go To School, we get to know an additional five hands. The third book she created, Pretty Hand Goes to Paris, hones in on adventure to Paris where Lauryn and Pretty Hand take up some art classes while helping a little girl along the way.

Lauryn Marie Burks, author of My 100 Hands
Lauryn Marie Burks, author of My 100 Hands

“These hands set the stage for parents, teachers and adults in general to teach kids life lessons,” says Burks. “For example, Helpful Hand is about teaching manners and Happy Hand is all about having a positive outlook, while Pretty Hand helps talk to kids about self-esteem and charisma.”

For Lauryn, her passion for writing is simple. “I love seeing my stories come to life and all of the colors on my books!” she says. As for Burks, the most rewarding part of it all is seeing Lauryn get excited about her stories. “I’m proud that she’s imaginative and creative,” he says. “As adults, we limit ourselves to what’s possible, but Lauryn’s dreams are coming out through these books – and I find that to be wonderful.”

Although children are at the forefront, Burks stresses that he hopes there is something parents can get out of these stories, too. “I almost missed the opportunity to bring Lauryn’s stories to life because I was in a hurry,” he says. “We, as adults, get caught up in the daily life cycles, causing us to miss some of the magical moments that our children have. We want to inspire parents to pay attention to their children while also inspiring children to be creative and imaginative.”

“My goal is for my stories to become more popular, because I would really like to be an actor someday,” says Lauryn. “I also want to show kids that there are some life lessons to learn before they start their own big life of becoming whatever it is that they want to be.”

For more information about the book, visit www.my100hands.com. Books are also available for purchase on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Books A Million and as an eBook on Kindle or Apple iBooks.

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See how supporting one local organization can help people and pets who desperately need your help, one meal at a time.

Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry
Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry provides pet food assistance to qualifying low-income pet owners in Greater Cincinnati.

Running a local rescue program, a greater need was realized. The Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry (CPFP) is just that—a food pantry intended to provide pet food assistance to qualifying low-income pet owners in the Greater Cincinnati area. Launched in March 2010 by the folks behind Recycled Doggies rescue, Shannon DeBra and Shera Keeton, CPFP aims to slow the intake of dogs and cats at area shelters.

“We knew that our rescue and other rescues in the area couldn’t save all the dogs and cats once they got into the shelters, so we wanted to keep them out of shelters in the first place,” says DeBra. “There are lots of reasons why dogs and cats are turned loose and surrendered to shelters (medical, behavioral, landlord and financial issues) and we knew we couldn’t address them all, but if helping with pet food expenses could help, we wanted to try.”

Since launching, CPFP has helped thousands of pets eat on a regular basis and currently provides pet food assistance to up to 150 qualifying pet owners per month. To qualify, pet owners must prove that their income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Their pets must also be sprayed/neutered, which CPFP can assist with if necessary. As for prices, there are none—food distribution is free. However, regardless of the number of pets a pet owner has, there is a limit on what can be received from the Pantry (35 pounds of dry cat food and 100 pounds of dry dog food).

“Our intent is to provide two weeks worth of pet food assistance per month, but we know some of our clients rely on us for their only source of pet food—which is why we are in desperate need of monetary and dry dog food donations at this time,” says DeBra. “We do not have corporate sponsor and rely on the community to donate at one of our donation drop-off sites around the city.”

According to DeBra, the amazing volunteers she has met through the program is what she has found most rewarding. “They’re people we might never have crossed paths with, and yet, somehow they found out about the CPFP,” she says. “The stories, the conversations with our clients, the hugs and thanks we get—that is what I love most and what keeps us motivated to keep the Pantry shelves stocked.”

As for future goals, DeBra says they have one: to exist. “Our continued existence is in jeopardy right now as it has been a very long time since we got a large donation of dry dog food,” says DeBra. “One semi-load of food can last us up to a year, but we haven’t been able to get even that size of donation. We are not self-supporting and rely solely on generosity and donations to keep the Pantry shelves stocked.”

This is why DeBra urges the community to get involved. “We hope to raise awareness and inspire Cincinnatians to look for ways to help—volunteer (come to a distribution day or organize a pet food drive) or make a donation!” she says. “We are a woman-centered, woman-founded, woman-operated, woman-strong organization and we hope to motivate more people to step out of their comfort zones. It’s amazing what you can accomplish!”

For more information about the CPFP or to view drop-off sites, visit www.cincinnatipetfoodpantry.org. “We desperately need donations in order to keep our shelves stocked and our doors open,” says DeBra. “We also can always use volunteers, both for food drives and to help at distribution day once a month.”

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Caught up in life’s stress and struggles? See how bringing it to a yoga mat at Four Directions Yoga Studio can make a difference.

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Yoga can benefit everyone. At Four Directions Studio, this is their philosophy.

Located in the heart of the Westwood Historic Business District, Four Directions Studio is a yoga studio owned and operated by Rob Jefferson and Michelle Red Elk. “We opened this location in June 2014 as an expansion of our home yoga studio, Side Porch Yoga, which hosted semi-private classes for several years,” says Red Elk.

“Since launching, we have a wonderful community of yogis that come to our studio each day to share yoga with us,” Red Elk continues. “We realize that people come to the practice of yoga for various reasons so we honor students where they are right now and promote and environment of acceptance. We are inspired to share the practices of yoga with all who are interested.”

For Red Elk, her connections made with students are what she finds most rewarding. “We have instructors from a variety of training and practice backgrounds that share their long-term study and knowledge so generously – and we are inspired by this open exchange,” she says. “It’s very rewarding to see students come into class feeling stressed or weary and leave feeling lighter and happier. That is a true gift.”

Currently, Four Directions Studio offers yoga classes each day of the week, ranging in style from very gentle to more rigorous forms of yoga. “We have several membership options, class pass packages or drop-in classes available,” says Red Elk. “Drop-in classes are $13, five class passes are $58 and 10 class passes re $108.”

Red Elk also emphasizes that they have just opened registration for their Yoga Study Circles that are expected to begin in January 2016. “We are happy to host these in-depth courses on the deeper and more subtle aspects of yoga and meditation,” she says. “Our Yoga Teacher Training Program is in the works for late 2016 to early 2017.”

In looking to the future, Red Elk’s goal is to continue growing their circle of students and further sharing practices that calm and ease yogis within the community. “Our intention is to offer a space where people can find ease and harmony throughout the busy week,” she says. “We know this is so valuable for those who have their attention take in many directions with work, family, school and other important commitments,” Red Elk continues. “The community of fellow yogis is very supportive and great connections are made between those who share yoga with one another in our studio.”

To find Four Direction Yoga’s schedule, class styles and more information regarding the studio, visit www.TheFourDirectionsStudio.com or check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FourDirectionsYogaStudio.

“You can find us at 3030 Harrison Avenue, at the intersection of Harrison and Montana Avenues,” says Red Elk. “Our studio is directly across from the Westwood Town Hall and adjacent to the beautifully restored Westwood School, with the Cincinnati Bass Cellar to the south of our studio. We welcome new students at any time.”

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Fashion while benefitting a great cause – can you think of a better way to spend a Monday night? See how a local salon is taking the fight against breast cancer to the runway.

The runway at last year's Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser, hosted by Valenti Salon
The runway at last year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser, hosted by Valenti Salon

Dealing with sickness or significant loss can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. Vanessa Pilger, Marketing Manager at Valenti Salon, knows this first-hand.

“I lost my dad to chronic lung disease two days before Christmas back in 2011 and I was only 29 years old,” says Pilger. “He was my cheerleader in life and always told me I could do anything I put my mind to. Watching his health get worse and knowing there was nothing I could do to fix it was a heartbreaking experience.”

Having worked for Valenti Salon & Spa for 12 years, Pilger has found more than just a place to work, but a family as well. “The owners of Valenti, Vince and Anna Fischer, lost their mom years ago to breast cancer. Having lost a parent certainly puts that experience into a new perspective,” she says. “I had this idea to raise money for such an important cause while also honoring those directly affected by it.”

Today, Pilger’s idea has now become a reality. “It’s something that I hold very close and dear to my heart,” she says. “To be able to raise money and find a cure for a disease that takes so many ‘parents’ away from their children is something I can smile about. Working in a business with primarily women, we have seen so many clients directly affected by breast cancer.”

Thus far, Valenti Salon has been able to raise $11,000 and Pilger hopes to keep that number growing. “We honored over 100 survivors last year – and giving them a night to remember while showing off the skills of our talented stylists is what the night is really all about,” she says. “My personal goals for the event are to continue raising more and more money for these two, GREAT foundations, and to grow the audience of survivors we honor.”

This year’s event will be held on Monday October 19th at 7:00 p.m. at the Newport Syndicate. “It has a theme every year and this year its “The World of Beauty” showcasing what beauty looks like in different cities around the world,” says Pilger. “Proceeds will benefit The Karen Wellington Foundation and American Cancer Society Making Strides.”

“By adding The Karen Wellington Foundation to the fundraiser last year and getting to meet her family and friends, it made everything that much more special,” Pilger continues. “I have also visited and participated in some of the local programs that the Making Strides campaign offers, and seeing how much better these women feel after receiving their free wig as well as all of the research that is being done here locally keeps it here in Cincinnati.”

The event is just for a few hours and includes a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, split the pot, Survivor Tribute with slideshow and a song written just for them (available on iTunes), and the hair and fashion show. Tickets are $25 pre-sale and $35 at the door, or you can reserve a table of 10 for $250, which gets preferred seating near the stage.

“My favorite part about the evening is by far the Survivor Tribute,” says Pilger. Some of them have been survivors for many years and some are currently undergoing treatment – so honoring them to remind them how strong they truly are is always touching. We seat the survivors together (if they wish) and it’s neat to see the relationships that form, and hopefully, further support for the future.”

If you’re a survivor or you want to honor someone else that is a survivor or someone you have lost, contact Pilger directly at vpilger@valentisalon.com with the persons name and photograph. “We want to honor as many survivors as possible – and they receive a free ticket of course – so it’s open to the public,” she says.

For tickets to this year’s fundraiser, call or stop into Valenti Salon. Pilger says there will be an online ticket version up and running within the next few days, and to stay tuned to their Facebook page for the link.

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Would your kids eat veggies if they tasted like pizza? Of course! Learn about a local start-up with a new line of all-natural dipping sauces that’s getting kids to eat more veggies.

Veggie Vida offers a unique way to get kids to eat their vegetables.
Veggie Vida offers a unique way to get kids to eat their vegetables.

According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 93 percent of children do not eat enough veggies. Vegy Vida® is focused on reversing this trend with sauces that kids can dip, spread or squeeze on their vegetables.

“It’s no secret that creating healthier eaters starts at a young age,” says Heather Young, co-founder and creator of Vegy Vida®. “Parents have tried everything to get their kids to eat more vegetables. From grinding up veggies and ‘hiding them’ in other foods, covering them in high fat salad dressings with artificial ingredients, to using ketchup, which is high in sugar.”

Based in Cincinnati, Vegy Vida® has developed a line of all natural, low-fat, low-calorie, non-GMO, gluten-free and diabetic friendly sauces, combining a patent-pending bitter blocking formula with natural flavors to make vegetables taste like kids favorite foods. Flavors include: Mac N’ Cheese, Pepperoni Pizza, Garlic Bread, Taco, Ranch and Bacon.

“We have uncovered the science behind why kids don’t like to eat their vegetables,” says Young. “Kids have three times the amount of taste buds as adults do, which makes bitter foods such as vegetables, taste much more bitter to a child. Using our bitter blocking formulation, we have reduced that bitterness so all you taste is delicious-ness!”

Josh and Heather Young created the concept of Vegy Vida® out of their passion for health, nutrition and their desire to create a product that would encourage kids (and adults) to enjoy their veggies. “It’s a common struggle we can all relate to,” says Young. “Getting kids to eat their veggies can be a daunting task—so we knew this product had to be healthy and natural, but most importantly, delicious!”

After nearly two years, the two have completed the development of the product you see today. “It’s been a challenging journey to bring this to market,” says Young. “Through the tough times, we have kept our focus on the children that would one day be healthier because of this product and all the happy parents that result from their kids eating their veggies!”

“We can’t wait for you to try this amazing product!” Young continues. “We thing you will agree—this will become a ‘family favorite’ in no time. Kids LOVE the taste and moms love that their kids are finally eating something healthy without a fight. We all know healthy kids mean a happy mom!”

In looking to the future, the mission at Vegy Vida® is simple. “We want to create products that you can be proud to buy for your family and products you can trust,” explains Young. “We don’t just say we’re healthy, we truly are.” “Every ingredient in Vegy Vida® was thoughtfully selected to ensure a final product we are proud of,” Young continues. “We create products with integrity and honesty, because that is what you deserve. No marketing spin, just delicious wholesome products your family will love.”

“Not only do we want to create a healthier Cincinnati, we are also committed to giving back to our communities through outreach initiatives that will enable all families access to fresh vegetables as well as many other programs that encourage a healthier way of life,” says Young.

Vegy Vida® will be launching regionally in October and nationally in January—and will be sold in a 7 oz. bottle, with single serve cups on the horizon. To learn more about Vegy Vida® and to keep up with their latest news, visit www.vegyvida.com or check out their Facebook.

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Learn about the new store at Findlay Market that’s establishing a year-round marketplace with the purpose of connecting consumers and producers of locally grown foods and other agricultural products.

DIRT: A Modern Market
DIRT: A Modern Market is a full-time retail store at Findlay Market.

A growing number of people understand that our current food system is neither environmentally nor economically sustainable. More people are also coming to understand that if the food you’re about to eat is made in a science lab, and not grown on a farm, it’s probably not going to be good for you.

“Expanding healthy food access and awareness is a leading strategy for reducing critically high personal, community and economic costs of diet-related chronic diseases,” says Karen Kahle, Communications and Program Director at the Corporation for Findlay Market.

“CFFM is working to improve and expand our local food economy and healthy food access through our local food program, which includes the shared use of Commercial Kitchen at Findlay Market, our weekend farmers market, our network of neighborhood farmsteads and pop-up markets, and through the opening of DIRT: A Modern Market,” Kahle continues.

DIRT: A Modern Market, located between Maverick Chocolate and Eli’s BBQ at the Findlay Market, is a full-time retail store offering only locally grown produced meats, cheeses, dairy, eggs, fruit, vegetables and cottage goods such as Grateful Grahams and Chocolats Latour.

Set up like a consignment store, growers and producers have the opportunity to rent space by the week or month, set up their individual displays, set their own prices and will be reimbursed 70-80 percent of their gross sales. “We just had our Grand Opening of DIRT on August 4th – and it was sweet!” says Kahle. “We intentionally held it during National Farmers Market Week in order to celebrate the more than 20 growers and producers already participating in DIRT.”

“DIRT markets food products that celebrate what is unique and best about a community – its local crops, ethnic traditions and creative populace – while keeping a greater percentage of food dollars circulating in the local economy,” Kahle continues. “Our goals are to encourage healthy eating, expand the market for local growers and producers, and promote community involvement as well as sustainable living.”

DIRT also serves as an informal community center, hosting meetings of local organizations and presenting classes on topics such as gardening, healthy cooking, food preservation, crafts, and issues relating to sustainability. “I love that DIRT makes the same products that are available in our popular weekend farmers market available at market every day that it is open,” says Kahle. “It provides another sales outlet for our growers and producers, while helping to meet the growing demand for locally grown and produced products.”

In looking to the future, Kahle says they are working to develop Findlay Market into a food innovation district, which is much like well-known business acceleration zones for high-tech and start-up companies. “This builds on business synergies that occur when related enterprises locate in close proximity, share resources, information and ideas, and grow investment and jobs with business development support,” she says.

“Findlay Market is already an iconic institution in our city and the informal hub of our local food culture,” Kahle continues. “DIRT will contribute to the ongoing development of Findlay Market food innovation district, which will help accelerate the market’s resurgence and establish it as the center of regional food and food-related economic activity in our region.”

If you are a grower or producer, or simply want to learn more about DIRT, contact Kahle directly at khaki@findlaymarket.org. To check out the market in person, their hours of operation are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We are also always looking for volunteers to help staff the DIRT store during its hours of operation or to staff our Education Tent on weekends when the farmers market is open,” says Kahle. To learn more, “like” DIRT on Facebook.

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