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"Vine + Table" Meets Park + Vine PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 06 June 2011 10:02

"Vine + Table" Meets Park + Vine
Shopping green never tasted or looked so good. Read this Q&A with green guru Dan Korman who shares insight on the future of sustainability in the Queen City.
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It's 8:30 a.m. and Park + Vine is slammed. In the background, the phone is ringing, cash register drawers open and close and the hum of a bustling downtown community is the soundtrack of the day.

 

New tenants are moving in above and around the eco-general store (formerly Khaldi's coffee shop) located at 1202 Main Street in Over the Rhine and owner Dan Korman politely pauses our interview several times to greet his customers by name.

"It's going to be a big day, I can just tell," says Korman, "and I love when it's this way."

There is no question - vibrancy has returned to the Queen City, and Park + Vine is at the center of it all.

 

So what makes this boutique store so wonderfully chic? Well, everything. From the owner's infectious personality to the stores ever-changing selection of mostly locally sourced products, including compost kits, local bamboo cutlery, reusable diapers, local art and sustainable home goods, hemp milk, toxic-free paint, fresh pressed juice, coffee and tea bar. You name it. If it's green, you are likely to find it here.

 

Here is Cincy Chic's Q&A with Dan Korman of Park + Vine:

Q:Why Park + Vine? What sparked the idea for an eco-friendly store in downtown Cincinnati? A: The store is an extension of what excites me most about life. I lived in Chicago and New York for years. I rode a bike everywhere in the city and met local business owners in the community. There was one market in particular, a non-profit called Green city market in Chicago that really inspired me. I'd go there almost daily to meet friends; we'd shop together, drink coffee, and connect with the surrounding community. I was really hit with the entrepreneurial bug at that point. Originally from Cincinnati, I knew that I wanted to bring this experience back home.

 

Q: I'm coming to your store for the first time... what will I find?

A: We offer a wide selection of items, and that selection is constantly changing. Every product in our store is Vegan – free of any animal byproducts. You can find grocery items, bulk food station, refrigerated items and Dr. Bronner's Retail station. We have a coffee tea and fresh pressed juice bar. We have a lot of art in our store and it's all locally made. Because of the diversity downtown, and our overall economy, we are looking into accepting food stamps. Food sales represent 40% of our business and there is certainly a need.

 

Q: Park + Vine just celebrated its 4-year anniversary... how was the party?

A: The party was the best night of my life. (This is when I asked Dan if he was married. He isn't, so no apologies required for his significant other.) For me, it was a ‘wow' moment. Just a ton of people came to support us. It was the busiest final Friday ever.

 

Q: What is Kombucha? A: Kombucha is a fermented mushroom tea. We serve it at our coffee bar. The tea is good for digestion, and overall health. (A quick Google search turned up that kombucha is often referred to as the Tea of Immortality and the elixir of life. (Tsing Dynasty, China 250 BC)). Our Kombucha is made by a local company Fab Ferments, they also make fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, relish and the kombucha.

 

Q:I'm a slow adopter to the "green" movement. What can you tell me about why it is so important and how Park + Vine helps me become more green?

A: America itself has a long way to go, but in Cincinnati there is greater awareness about recycling. I read a statistic somewhere that our city has a higher recycling rate than the national average. There is also an increasing number of people shopping at farmer's markets, riding bicycles and busses. If you haven't read it; check out the CORV guide - Central Ohio Valley Food Guide. CORV is a grassroots effort to connect local community members with local farmers and fresh, healthy, local food here in the Greater Cincinnati area, according to the website. Living Green is about living more sustainable, more youthful playful and responsive to change. It's a good thing! What's most exciting about this movement is that it's bringing people together and our store is a piece of that change toward better living.

 

Q: What is your favorite item in the store?

A: I just sold four this morning – it's our to-die-for Justin's dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I'm also a big coffee drinker, and our Brazil Sao Paulo Mundo Novo coffee from La Terza (local). The coffee is an amazing light roast with fruity, citrus tastes and a chocolaty aftertaste and pairs perfect with the peanut butter cups. I'm a big fan!

 

If you want to learn more about living green, visit Park + Vine's Web site, which  has an entire page dedicated to the subject.


Last Updated on Monday, 06 June 2011 18:01
 

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