Jungle Jim's International Market
What do you get when you cross a grocery store, an amusement park, and the United Nations? Jungle Jim's, a soon-to-be four-acre international food emporium outside Cincinnati, Ohio. NPR's Susan Stone braved the jungle to send an audio postcard.
Fiberglass giraffes and monkeys protect the parking lot; a talking Robin Hood beckons shoppers to British delicacies, and a lion dressed like Elvis serenades the checkout line. And then there's Jungle Jim -- a.k.a. Jim Bonaminio -- dressed in a blue wizard's outfit.
Bonaminio started in the food business 30 years ago, selling tomatoes from the back of a truck. Then came the fruit stand, then a farmer's market, then a grocery store. Now, it's a tourist attraction.
There are plans for a culinary institute, restaurants and a hotel, all to be built next to the market. And a monorail will carry people between the attractions. By the time he's finished, Bonaminio says, he'll have created an "amusement park for food lovers."
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