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With experience as occupational therapists at a mental health facility, these two experts are now bringing what they practice into the community.

WonderWell Workshops focuses on all aspects of life.

Providing practical tools and strategies to support wellbeing, WonderWell Workshops focus on all parts of life from exploring life balance to redefining leisure interests. 

WonderWell Workshops was recently founded by Karena Skibinski and Brooke Frontiera, who met while working as licensed occupational therapists at a local psychiatric hospital. 

Skibinski says their inspiration came from how much people struggle to find the time to take care of themselves. “This lack of prioritization results in people feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and just not satisfied with where they’re at in life,” she adds. “Our workshops give people the time and tools needed to implement small, simple changes into their daily lives.”

Occupational therapy helps individuals focus on getting back to doing what they need to do, Skibinski says, for example, cooking, budgeting and stress management. Helping individuals who are struggling through these issues inspired Skibinski and Frontiera to offer therapeutic workshops to fulfill the needs of the community.

Each workshop is open to the public, both for businesses and personal use. Alongside workshops, Skibinski and Frontiera offer one-on-one sessions for those interested in a more individualized direction and guidance.

Karena Skibinski and Brooke Frontiera, Founders of WonderWell Workshops

Skibinski says what makes WonderWall Workshops unique is because both Skibinski and Frontiera both have Master’s degrees in occupational therapy. “We are experts in ‘doing’ and approach well-being holistically and with evidence. This means we take into account the whole person — the mind, body, and spirit — in addition to what type of environment each individual is operating in,” Frontiera adds. 

They also credit their individualized action plans and face-to-face services for making them unique. Skibinski says WonderWell values accountability, so they schedule follow-up sessions with each workshop to ensure each client is making themselves a priority. 

In the future, Skibinski and Fronteria look forward to launching their new website, which will be published by the end of the year.

To learn more, follow WonderWell Workshops on Instagram and Facebook or visit their website here.

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Two local ladies are hosting an upcoming female-focused empowerment session. Learn more about the event and where you can hear from of the city’s most inspiring female leaders.

Starr Hamilton and Ethel Bonner, Owners of Deatils2Decor

Cincy Chic: What is Phenomenally Woman?
Starr Hamilton and Ethel Bonner, Owners of Details2Decor: Phenomenally Woman is the the kick-off event for our new Empowerment Chat Sessions. Phenomenal women change the game. They break down barriers that some feel they cannot break down. They overcome obstacles with style and grace. They make sure their voices and opinions are heard – even if it means they stand alone. If they stand alone, they believe in the change they are standing for and they keep their vision and focus clear until the game is changed. Through obstacles and successes, a phenomenal woman described in the words of Maya Angelou: “It’s the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.”

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Hamilton and Bonner: At Details2Decor, we always knew our mission as business partners would extend beyond event planning. As we continue to celebrate our 10-year milestone, we wanted to begin hosting a series of empowerment sessions to support and inspire women professionally and personally the way we inspired each other. We wanted to come up with an event that would bring women together to share positive energy, solutions, abundance, and most of all, happiness. A Fall fireside chat was the perfect theme.

Cincy Chic: When and where is it being held?
Hamilton and Bonner: Our Phenomenally Woman Fall Fireside Chat will be held on October 18, 2018, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Terwilliger Lodge, 10530 Deerfield Road in Montgomery. Who’s behind it? Details2Decor is proud to host this event in honor of our 10 year anniversary. We give special thanks to our supporting event partners: GL Robinson Consulting Services, Griesing Law, UC Health, Just4Kids Learning Center, City of Cincinnati/Office of Tamaya Dennard, A Touch of Summer Make Up, and ChoZen 4 U Boutique.

Cincy Chic: What makes this event unique?
Hamilton and Bonner: In addition to our fireside panel discussion, the evening will also include two additional phenomenal woman game changers who will highlight a mini Fall Fashion Runway and Beauty Trend Session. Our presenters are Corless Berry, owner of ChoZen 4 U Boutique and Summer Mazion, owner of A Touch of Summer Makeup. You don’t want to miss our filling Fall Fireside appetizers, Fireside Apple Cider Mimosas and Specialty Drinks, and Fireside Smore Dessert Bar. Guests will also receive a Swag Bag, a chance to win Door Prizes, enjoy music, shopping, and much more!

Cincy Chic: Who do you have lined up for the fireside panel discussion?
Hamilton and Bonner: Details2Decor invites you to grab a girlfriend and join them for an intimate and casual evening of Cincinnati Female empowerment chats with our featured phenomenal game changer panelists:

Gwen L. Robinson, President, GL Robinson Consulting Services. Prior to her consulting services, Ms. Robinson also served as President and CEO of the Cincinnati Hamilton County Community Action Agency for 23 years.

Christie Kuhns, Esq., Chief of Staff and VP of Operations and Community Relations, UC Health. She joined UC Health in 2015 to lead the system’s community relations strategy.

Cheryl L. Borland, of Counsel, Griesing Law. Cheryl serves as counsel for closely-held companies and start-ups at every stage of their business journey including women owned business certification and strategic planning advice to set you up for success.

Crystal Harrison, CEO/Founder, Just4Kids Learning Center. Crystal established two successful locations for the Just4Kids Learning Center providing daycare services for all ages: infants, toddlers, pre-school, and school age.

Our Phenomenal Moderator for the evening will be Dominique Francisco, Director of Community Affairs, Office of Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard. Before working at City Hall, Dominique spent the past 5 years in nonprofit development, youth advocacy, and community engagement.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers purchase tickets?
Hamilton and Bonner: In honor of our 10-year anniversary, tickets for reserved seating are only $10 online through noon on the day of the event; $20 cash at the door. Advance ticket purchases are recommended as space is limited. For tickets, visit https://phenomenallyd2d.eventbrite.com or www.details2decor.com, or contact us at (513) 554-4968 or info@details2decor.com.

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Read on to see how a restored vintage horse trailer can now bring the perfect wine-lover’s experience to your next event.

Tappo Mobile Tap Trailer is a mobile wine tap that can be used for any type of event.

Running out of a restored vintage horse trailer, TappoMobile Tap Trailer is a mobile wine tap servicing the Ohio area. 

Tappo Mobile Tap Trailer is equipped with two brass towers and with three 304-grade stainless steel European taps. Each keg barrel is kept cold with a state-of-the-art cooling system. 

Tappo Mobile Tap Trailer is available for rent for any type of event and can be used for self-serve or provides certified bartender for larger events, according to Tappo Mobile Tap Trailer owner and founder Traci Hogue.

The trailer can serve any combination of six different varieties of wine and craft beer. Customers must purchase alcohol ahead of time due to liquor laws, Hogue says.

The mobile tap trailer does travel outside the state of Ohio, however, only 60 miles of travel is included in the base rental rates. Extended travel can be accommodated, Hogue explains.

Hogue says the trailer was inspired by her love of Prosecco and a recent family trip to Italy. Today, the mobile wine tap is typically used for weddings, engagement parties, charitable events, tailgates, birthdays, anniversaries, golf outings, and more. “Tappo is a small little thing and we can fit her into just about any space, even inside a barn or convention hall,” Hogue mentions.

Hogue points out the mobile tap trailer’s ability to dispense sparkling wine, sangria, nitro coffee, and beer is what makes it unique. “The trailer is outfitted with a state-of-the-art cooling system from Europe which doesn’t require kegs to be kept on ice or in a cooling unit,” she adds. 

In the future, Hogue looks forward to offering a ProseccoCart. The cart was converted from a vintage 3-wheel Cushman Truckster and pairs well with engagement parties, launch parties or accompanying the toast at weddings. 

To learn more, visit the Tappo Mobile Trailer website here or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

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For the first time ever, Women in Film is hosting its event in Cincinnati while aiming to help women achieve their highest potential in the creative industry. Read on to learn more.

Women in Film Cincinnati is hosting “Roads to Resources” on October 9 in Over-the-Rhine.

Cincy Chic: What is Women in Film?
Aymie Majerski, Executive Producer at Barking Fish: Women in Film (WIF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women achieve their highest within the global entertainment, communications and media industries. WIF Cincinnati is a community of creatives dedicated to celebrating and advancing the creative and professional development of women in the region working in film, television and digital media.

This year, WIF Cincinnati is hosting the event: Roads to Resources on October 9 at the Woodward Theatre in Over-the-Rhine.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Majerski: One of the most difficult aspects of a creative project is often how to fund it. This event was inspired by the desire to provide local filmmakers with resource options when looking to fund a project.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Majerski: WIF board member, Laure Quinlivan, had the idea for this event and has worked tirelessly along with other members of WIF to make it a reality.

Cincy Chic: When and where is the event being held?
Majerski: October 9th at the Woodward Theatre in OTR. Doors open at 6pm and the event starts at 7pm.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to purchase tickets?
Majerski: Visit WIFCincinnati.org ($10 advance tickets and $15 at the door).

Cincy Chic: What can attendees expect at this year’s event?
Majerski: Panelists include representatives from Film Cincinnati, ArtWorks, Frisch’s, and more. Film Funding stories told by filmmakers including:  Tara Jayn, Natalie Lynch, Allyson West, Aymie Majerski and more. There will be a talk back with the Panelists and Filmmakers. There will be food, live music (Wonky Tony and DJ Think$avy)!

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more about the event, Women in Film, and to purchase tickets?
Majerski: Readers can visit WIFCincinnati.org.

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A local digital marketing specialist runs a lifestyle blog with tips on travel, wellness, saving money, and more. Read on for the high-flyin’ details!

Casey La Vie is a lifestyle blog launched by Casey Smith.

Cincy Chic: What is Casey La Vie?
Casey Smith, Founder of Casey La Vie: Casey La Vie is where I share my travel tips and about life in between travel. For those who are looking to make the most of their vacation days I offer in-depth travel guides with details on active, unique and exciting things to do and tips on what to skip. Outside of travel, I like sharing my tips on wellness, saving money and more. The name Casey La Vie is a play on words from the phase “c’est la vie.”

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Smith: As Mindy Kaling said, “Why not me?” I have tried to take that to heart and after working & interning for websites in the past I decided “why shouldn’t I have my own!?” I wanted the space to be where I could share useful tips for travel and everyday life and it’s made me so happy to see comments and views on the blog that proved I’ve achieved that goal. Even if I help just one person discover a new place on their trip or make them smile with anything I’ve written then it’s all worth it.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the blog?
Smith: Casey Smith; Outside of the blog, I work in digital marketing.

Casey Smith, Founder of the blog Casey La Vie.

Cincy Chic: When did you launch the blog?
Smith: December of 2015. If you want to start blogging, just do it! I started with a small investment in WordPress and committed to one post per month. I’ve nearly always kept that commitment, except for times when my day job has been incredibly busy. I find it so satisfying to have a project that’s all my own outside of my day job.

Cincy Chic: What types of topics do you cover on the blog?
Smith: Casey La Vie falls under the lifestyle category, so the topics have a broad range, but I focus mostly on travel, fashion & beauty, as well as tips on saving money.

Cincy Chic: What have been some of your favorite posts thus far?
Smith: My New Orleans Travel Guide because I absolutely love that city!

Tips for a No-Spend Challenge because I love finding ways to save so I can book more travel.

And this article on Tips to Stay Motivated & Productive because all the comments keep me motivated to create even more useful content.

Cincy Chic: What makes your blog unique?
Smith: I do my best to “keep it real.” For example, I know not everyone has unlimited budgets and vacation days so I try to keep my travel tips and guides concise for those of us who want to make the most of every long weekend or short trip away.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for your blog?
Smith: I’d like to start “micro-blogging” on my Instagram and sharing more local Cincinnati finds because while I love traveling to other states and abroad, I also want to share all the amazing things we can do in our own backyard here in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Smith: Visit http://www.caseylavie.com/ or follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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There’s a new palette-pleaser in OTR that aims to offer an elevated wine and food experience. Keep reading for more. 

LouVino is adding Southern flavors to their menu as a part of their new wine and small plates concept.

Putting a southern twist on small plates, LouVino is adding flavors of Georgia, South Carolina, and Kentucky to their menu as a part of their new wine and small plates concept.

Owner Chad Coulter describes a party of two could expect to order around five dishes with a variety of flavors, followed by their choice of wine. 

“We want to make wine approachable and affordable and can do this with our robust glass pour program,” Coulter says. “Our customers also love our wine flights so they can try several different varieties and styles in the same sitting without having to commit to a bottle. In addition, we have a plethora of bourbons, craft beer, and cocktails,” he adds.

LouVino’s atmosphere parallels their dishes, as the interior is chic and industrial to represent an upbeat vibe. The main dining room can host up to 100 people and two private dining rooms are available and are able to host 14-40 people. 

The inspiration behind the new wine and small plates concept came from owners Chad and Lauren Coulter seeing a need in Lousiville for a good wine bar. “The ‘southern flare’ on our food menu is derived from our home state of Georgia and our Culinary Director’s passion for comfort food,” Coulter mentions.

LouVino has a seasonal menu, which alternates dishes twice a year, in an effort to keep food as fresh as possible. The most popular items on the menu include a brussel sprouts salad with pickled cherry peppers and a cilantro-lime vinaigrette, their fried chicken tacos, and their loaded tater tots. 

The wine list at LouVino features over 60 wines by the glass in addition to 17 wine flights, which are pre-selected. LouVino prides themselves in having one of the most wines poured by the glass in the city. 

In the future, LouVino is looking forward to their fifth location opening. This restaurant will be located in downtown Indianapolis in February 2019. 

To learn more, visit the LouVino website here and follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

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Learn about a local event that’s one part educational forum and another part fundraiser aiming to help food insecure families in the Tri-State.

WASTEd and The City with La Soupe will be held Oct. 9.

Cincy Chic: What is WASTEd and The City with La Soupe?
Mimi Dyer, Board President of La Soupe: WASTEd And the City with La Soupe, presented by Kroger and SugarCreek, is one part fundraiser and one part educational forum about food waste—with both aspects of this event benefiting food insecure families and the non profit organizations that serve them. La Soupe has joined forces with 26 Cincinnati area restaurants to create a progressive dining experience, with a focus on using food ingredients that would have otherwise been wasted. Each restaurant will be creating tapas and a cocktail, using rescued food provided by La Soupe.

This Tuesday, October 9th event begins at 6pm at The First Lutheran Church at 1208 Race Street. Attendees follow the map provided and can use the streetcar route to visit participating Downtown and OTR restaurants. Several suburban restaurants are joining us with pop up restaurants at select streetcar stops. GEST electric cars will also be available to help with transportation.

The event ends at Japp’s at 1136 Main Street, where the organizers will announce the winner from a raffle to win a Mercedes Benz weekend package. The lucky winner will have access to a beautiful Benz for a weekend road trip.

Participating restaurants include OTR favorites like A TAVOLA, Anchor, The Mercer, and PLEASE, as well as downtown restaurants including Jean-Robert’s Table, Via Vite, Orchids and Boca. The lineup of restaurants continues to grow daily and now includes suburban restaurants La Petite Pierre, The Farmstand, National Exemplar and The Birch.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Dyer: According to a recent study by the United States Department of Agriculture, each person in our country wastes about a pound of food per day, which culminates into enough wasted food that could potentially feed 2 billion extra people each year. Here in Cincinnati, La Soupe rescues 5,000 pounds of food per week that would otherwise be thrown away and transforms it into nutritious food items. Weekly, 2,000 servings are distributed to food insecure families via area non-profit groups. Since opening its doors in 2014, La Soupe has rescued 602,570 pounds of “ugly,” imperfect or over ordered food from grocery stores, farmers markets and restaurants and has created 343,564 servings of delicious food. La Soupe also partners with chefs at area restaurants, who have produced 5,770 gallons of soups from food that would have otherwise been wasted, and then donates it to La Soupe. 100% of this is distributed to the food insecure community.

WASTEd And The City works to educate our community about food waste and how aesthetically imperfect food can still create a delicious and nutritious meal. The organizers also want to draw attention to the issues faced by food insecure families in our area, and the many non profit organizations, like La Soupe, that work to support them. This event also highlights the creativity and talent of chefs in our community. Attendees of WASTEd And the City should prepare to be amazed!

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Dyer: Suzy DeYoung, the founder of La Soupe, attended Dine-N-Dash, a Washington D.C.-based fundraiser for World Central Kitchen, a non-profit that encourages collaboration amongst chefs to help communities in need through food. This event inspired her to tap into the creativity and talent of Cincinnati-area chefs to create a similar program as the very first fundraiser for La Soupe.

Cincy Chic: Can you tell us more about La Soupe?
Dyer: La Soupe is the brainchild of Suzy DeYoung, who comes from a long line of chefs. Her legacy includes her father, Pierre Adrian was the head chef at The Maisonette, the city’s first Mobile 5 star rated restaurant. Her maternal grandfather, Albert Schmidt, was the chef of The Union Club in New York City. Theo Kieffer, her other grandfather, was the chef of the Sherry Netherland, also in NYC. Suzy followed in their footsteps, working in several Cincinnati restaurants, as well as abroad at the Michelin 3 star La Gavroche and L’Auberge d’Ill in Alsace. Upon her return to our area, she opened up La Petite Pierre, in homage to her father.

In her 25 years working in restaurants and catering, Suzy became increasingly aware of the amount of food waste. She sold La Petite Pierre to her sister and opened a small soup shack, where she cooked for people in need, rescuing about 100 pounds of produce a week. She soon learned about a dire need for food for students at Oyler School in Lower Price Hill. She immediately headed to Oyler and made sure that every child had a healthy meal to take home that day. She considers this event the true starting point for La Soupe. Cincinnati has one of the highest childhood poverty rates in the country. About 40% of all food produced in the world is either lost or wasted each year. It is Suzy DeYoung’s mission to bridge that gap.

Suzy maintains a “teach a man to fish” philosophy throughout all of her efforts. One of her hallmark programs is the “Cincinnati Gives A Crock” program, a workshop for food insecure families.  She learned that many poor families did not have access to typical kitchen equipment, like an oven, instead depending on a hot plate to make meals. La Soupe gives each attendee a crock pot and instructions on how to use it to create slow cooked meals and soup. Soup is a meal that can be stretched far to feed many and can be easily prepared in a crock pot.

Cincy Chic: What makes WASTEd and The City with La Soupe unique?
Dyer: This event is the first of its kind in Cincinnati, focusing on a collaboration with La Soupe and area chefs to use food that would be otherwise wasted to create a “garbage to gourmet” meal.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for La Soupe?
Dyer: Yes! La Soupe was just awarded a $104,000 grant through Impact 100, an organization that has awarded more than $4.1 million to nonprofit groups committed to improving their communities since their 2001 inception. La Soupe will use this grant to add 5 pieces of commercial-grade kitchen equipment to their facility, which will allow them to rescue, transform, and share their creations with the food insecure on the very same day!

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Dyer: Visit the La Soupe website at lasoupecincinnati.com to learn more and to purchase a ticket.

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Looking for a place to socialize your pet? Read about a local pet resort that gives your pet the luxury treatment!

Animal Ark Pet Resort offers boarding, grooming, and daycare for your pets.

Cincy Chic: What is Animals Ark Pet Resort?
David Gump, Vice President of Animals Ark Pet Resort: We offer grooming, boarding, and daycare for your pets, and ensure that they have a comfortable stay at Animal Ark Pet Resort. We have a capacity of over 200 dogs and 20 cats. We have expert groomers and our counselors are there to make sure your dog is in good hands and stimulated throughout the day with playtime and social interaction.

Cincy Chic: What types of services do you provide?
Gump: We offer boarding for all of your family’s pets, grooming for dogs and cats, and daycare.

Cincy Chic: Can you tell us more about Camp Animal Ark and Tiny Paws?
Gump: Camp Animal Ark is our daycare for dogs of all sizes that are at least 30 pounds. You can bring your dog in for full days or half days. Tiny Paws is daycare for dogs that are 30 pounds or less.

Cincy Chic: What makes Animal Ark unique?
Gump: Not only do we take great care of all the animals that come to Animal Ark Pet Resort, we are the largest facility in Greater Cincinnati, allowing us to take on many last-minute reservations.

Cincy Chic: Where is Animal Ark located?
Gump: We’re at 2150 Struble Road in Cincinnati.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Gump: Readers can visit our website or visit our Facebook page.

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Learn about an upcoming exhibition of contemporary art, which emphasizes the importance of questioning knowledge and belief. 

Truth or Dare: A Reality Show is a new exhibit at the 21c Museum Hotel on Walnut Street in downtown Cincinnati.

Put on by 21c Museum, Truth or Dare: A Reality Show is an exhibition of contemporary art, which emphasizes the importance of questioning knowledge and belief. 

21c Museum is a multi-venue museum located in eight cities across America and is one of the largest contemporary art museums in the U.S. Each museum’s exhibitions are open to the public and free of charge. 

Chief Curator and Museum Director Alice Gray Stites explains the inspiration behind this exhibit is the discussion about alternative facts that arose over the past few years. “The exhibition title’s reference to a game is present in works that utilize the imagery associated with toys or recreation, such as Pedro Reyes’s Lady Liberty (as Trojan Horse), the camouflage-clad soldiers in Adonis Flores’s Weeds and Trong Gia Nguyen’s Win-Win offering a ping-pong game of one on one with oneself, while Federico Solmi employs the aesthetics and technology of video games to critique political power,” Stites adds. 

The artwork in Truth or Dare: A Reality Show walks the line between reality and fantasy, as each piece plays with the concept of fact versus fiction. 

The exhibition will feature multi-media sculptures, photography, videos, computer aided-animations, and interactive, projected, and immersive installations. 

When asked about what makes this exhibit unique, Stites says, “This exhibition directly addresses one of the most currently compelling topics, the notion, and definition of truth-telling, through artworks that are both playful and provocative.”

In the future, 21c Museum is looking forward to working with ForFreedom and the Fifty State Billboard initiative. Through this, 21c will install artist-designed billboards in each city where 21c is located and will host a ForFreedoms Town Hall on October 4th. This town hall will feature Kurt Reiber, CEO and President of the FreeStore Food Bank, and Julia Elmer, Director of Operations for the Child Poverty Collaborative to discuss food insecurity and its connection to poverty.

The exhibit’s opening celebration takes place Friday, October 19th at 21c Museum located at 609 Walnut St. Cincinnati. To learn more, follow the 21c Museum on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter or visit their website here.

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Get all the delicious details about a new artisanal cheese company that pairs locally-sourced cheeses, fine wines, and lots of fun in an urban oasis.

Urban Stead Cheese is the city’s first urban artisanal cheese company.

Cincy Chic: Tell us more about Urban Stead Cheese!
Andrea Robbins, Owner of Urban Stead Cheese: Urban Stead Cheese is Cincinnati’s first urban artisanal cheese company; we opened our doors on February 23, 2018. We make a variety of cheeses using local jersey milk that we pick up each week from Bohls Jerseys, located in Mowrystown, Ohio. We also age all of our cheese on-site, and have viewing windows into both the production room as well as the aging rooms. We have a Tasting Room where we serve a variety of cheese-related menu items as well as a full selection of beer, wine and cocktails. Urban Stead Cheese also retails all of its cheese and other locally-sourced products, in addition to beer and wine, from the Tasting Room.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Robbins: Scott and I have a passion for travel, for food (especially locally-sourced food), entertaining and of course for cheese. We visited a handful of cheesemakers in our travels, and really fell in love with the idea that we could bring the typical farmstead cheesemaking to the city. It’s also important to note that both of our grandparents were dairy farmers; we’re really thrilled to have the opportunity to honor our family heritage.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Robbins: Scott and Andrea Robbins are the husband and wife team behind Urban Stead Cheese. Scott is the Cheesemaker, while Andrea runs the operations of the business; both of them can frequently be found in the Tasting Room working behind the bar and chatting about all things cheese! Scott has been in the food and wine business for nearly 30 years; he is a Certified Sommelier and has spent the last four years studying cheesemaking and leading the conversion of the building into the cheesemaking facility. Andrea has an Accounting Degree and an MBA from the University of Dayton and worked in the accounting industry for nearly 15 years prior to joining Urban Stead Cheese full time in December 2017. She now oversees the operations of the business as well as community outreach. Where are you located? Urban Stead Cheese is located at 3036 Woodburn Avenue, which is in the East Walnut Hills/Evanston neighborhood. The owners revitalized the former East Walnut Hills Medical Clinic, which sat vacant for nearly 10 years prior to their purchase of the building in 2016.

Cincy Chic: What products do you offer in store?
Robbins: We offer a full selection of our cheeses in the Tasting Room; we make beautiful cheese boards that feature a selection of our house-made cheeses. We currently have a bandaged cheddar (Street Ched), an aged gouda, our Alpine-style Tomme, fresh cheddar curds, quark (a German farm-style soft cheese) and our Misty River Camembert. We also have several soft spreadable cheeses that we make using our quark; these include our Ohio Valley Pimento, Beer Cheese and a Sun-Dried Tomato Basil spread. We also work with our baker, Natalie Butcher of Hungry Noodle, to serve a traditional Quark Kasekuchen as well a Quark Cake that is topped with local fruit and honey. We’re really excited to be working with several great local producers that make their products in either the Findlay Market Incubator Kitchen or the Newport Incubator Kitchen. We serve Tuba Baking Co.’s soft pretzels alongside our beer cheese; these pretzels are really amazing and showcase a traditional German Swabian-style pretzel. Queen City Shrub fruit mixers are the foundation of our cocktail program; we also sell shrubs for retail from our shop. We source our bread from Allez Bakery on Main Street; Tom McKenna – the owner and baker at Allez – has been a fantastic partner for us.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon?
Robbins: Our newest item is our beautiful selection of catering cheese boards; customers can call the shop and we can help you customize a cheese board for your party. We also offer a variety of gift baskets, in addition to gift cards. Keep your eyes open for a fun holiday gift baskets that feature some a variety of local cheeses. We’ll also be debuting a reserve wine list this week; Scott’s picked some really fun wines that can be enjoyed in the Tasting Room, but can also purchased for retail. We’re always working to evolve; our goal is to get better every day. We’re thrilled with the cheese that we’re making; we’ve found a wonderful partner in our milk supplier and its enabling us to make really good cheese. As we’ve just passed our six month mark, we’re going to start seeing these cheeses come into their own as they get a little age on them; we’re super excited to see these cheeses develop their own unique personalities. We also continue to expand our partnerships with local restaurants; currently, our cheese is served at Bauer Farm Kitchen, Metropole, Nine Giant Brewing and can often be found at Madison’s at Findlay Market; we’re in discussion with quite a few other restaurants to offer our products in their establishments. We’re also working on several publicity pieces that should be in print by the end of the year.

Cincy Chic: What makes Urban Stead Cheese unique?
Robbins: We have “Cheddar for the Better” painted in huge letters behind our bar in the Tasting Room. Cheddar for the Better is of course about making world-class cheddar, as well as other cheeses; however, it’s about so much more than making good cheese. It’s our litmus test for the decisions we make in this business. We feel very strongly about making an investment and a positive impact in the City of Cincinnati and in the Evanston and East Walnut Hills neighborhoods. From the get-go, we knew we wanted to use a vacant building and we wanted to be in the city limits; we want to be a part of the neighborhood momentum that is going on across the city, and we want to bring better cheese to the people of Cincinnati while doing so. We make every effort possible to minimize our footprint during the process. One of the by-products of cheesemaking is whey; most of us know whey as a powder product that we put in our smoothies, but we produce about 500-600 gallons of liquid whey each week when we make cheese. We work with the Shinkle family, who owns TS Farms, to give them our whey; it’s a positive both for us and for them. Tiffany Shinkle comes into farmers markets several days a week; she brings totes and picks up our whey and takes it back to her farm to supplement the feed for her pigs, cows, sheep and goats. This partnership is something you often see in the farmstead cheesemaking world, and it was important to us to continue the completion of this circle in our urban cheesemaking venture. We’re always looking for opportunities to create meaningful partnerships and relationships.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Robbins: Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news and for new product offerings. You can also find more details on our website at www.urbansteadcheese.com, where we have links to all of the great publicity we’ve received. Edible Ohio Valley recently wrote a beautiful piece that really tells the full story of Urban Stead Cheese; the Fall 2018 edition is available on newsstands and in local shops starting this week.