Jungle Jim’s celebrates 40 years in business


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What: Jungle Jim's Birthday Bash

When: Aug. 17 - 22

Where: Jungle Jim's International Market Fairfield and Eastgate locations

5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield

4450 Eastgate South Drive, Cincinnati

Admission: Free

More information: junglejims.com/40th or 513-674-6000

Be sure to look for: The edible bugs. Jungle Jim's has everything from water bugs to crickets and chocolate covered ants and that's not the strangest stuff. Get ready for some of the most entertaining shopping on the planet.

About the two locations: The Eastgate location is approaching it's third anniversary and although very cool, nothing beats the Fairfield location for our money.

If you love food and haven’t yet been to Jungle Jim’s International Market in Fairfield, then you need to add that to the top of your list of things to do. Right now. Seriously. Do it.

Growing up in Cincinnati, my mom shopped at the Fairfield location with some frequency, and I always looked forward to our visits. Even back then — many expansions and upgrades ago — it was an adventure beyond my wildest dreams.

Aisle after aisle of exotic items that I had never seen or heard of brought in from more than 70 countries, many that I filed away in my head to read up on later.

It’s hard to believe that this beloved grocery store of my youth will be celebrating 40 years in business since its founding by owner Jim Bonaminio in 1975 as a 4,200-square-foot store.

In honor of the big 4-0 Jungle Jim’s is hosting a week long celebration from Aug. 17-22 and some of the events they are planning are worthy of a trip down, including a food truck festival, fireworks, pint nights, more than 130 food demonstrations and entertainment for kids including face painting, stilt walkers, mimes and caricature artists.

With more than 300,000 square feet of shopping space (more than six acres) and more than 180,000 products to choose from, this megastore — a self-described “theme park for foodies” — there is already plenty to see and do and it will be exponentially greater when the store embarks on this major celebration.

The week will culminate with a free Rozzi fireworks show, at each store, on Aug. 22 at 10 p.m.

“A lot of people say if you can’t find it at Jungle Jim’s, then you don’t need it or won’t find it. We are known for our wide variety of products. Not only will you find 1,400 different hot sauces, but you’ll also find a life-size fire truck in that section,” said Stephanie Adams, marketing associate. “Many people dread going to the store, but we want people to enjoy grocery shopping. Not only will people have fun but they will find something new and/or unique each time they visit. That’s the beauty of Jungle Jim’s.”

The store estimates that around 80,000 customers visit each week — it’s sure to be a lot more on Aug. 17-22 with customers looking to celebrate and enjoy this wonderful foodie paradise.

Here’s the schedule of what they have planned:

Daily events happening Aug. 17-22:

8-10 a.m.: Birthday cookies in the bakery — both locations

9 a.m.-Noon: Face painting — Eastgate

2-5 p.m.: Face painting — Fairfield

11 a.m. - 2 p.m.: Food trucks — both locations with over 10 food trucks planned for Saturday from 4-10 p.m.

5-9 p.m.: Pint Nights featuring $3 Pints with commemorative glasses with a special Pint Night happening on Saturday from 5-10 p.m.

10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m.: special tours — Eastgate location only

8 a.m.-8 p.m.: Prize magic air machine — Eastgate only

Watch for more announcements and details on the Jungle Jim’s Facebook page including wine tastings from the more than 14,000 different wines the store features.

Special events happing throughout the week

Monday 9 a.m.-Noon: Stilt Walkers, Mimes and Caricatures — Eastgate

Monday 2-5 p.m.: Stilt Walkers, Mimes and Caricatures — Fairfield

Monday 1-2 p.m.: Tomato Day with Jungle Jim — Eastgate

Tuesday 1-2 p.m.: Tomato Day with Jungle Jim — Fairfield

Tuesday 8 a.m.: Free Bobblehead Day — both locations until gone

Wednesday 1 p.m.: Cake Cutting — Eastgate

Wednesday 1:30 p.m.: Jungle Jim T-shirt signing — Eastgate

Thursday 1 p.m.: Cake Cutting — Fairfield

Thursday 1:30 p.m.: Jungle Jim T-shirt signing — Fairfield

Thursday 5-9 p.m.: Cigar tasting — Fairfield

Friday 5-9 p.m.: Cigar tasting — Eastgate

Friday 6 p.m.: Cruise-In with all makes and models welcome — both locations

Saturday 6:30-9:30 p.m.: Shake it Up Festival — Fairfield

Saturday 10 p.m.: Fireworks show by Rozzi’s — both locations

Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water. Share your menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look at? E-mail Alexis Larsen at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com with the information, and we will work to include it in future coverage.

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