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The Story Of Clifton Market Begins And Ends With The Community It Serves

Clifton Market opened last month in the site of the former Keller’s IGA. And just like its predecessor, the Market hopes to be an economic engine for the surrounding community.

That community — Clifton’s Ludlow neighborhood — is where this grocery store’s story begins and ends. When Keller’s IGA closed in 2011, Ludlow’s businesses lost more than a convenient place to get food. They lost foot traffic and customers.

Support for a new grocery store at the location soon crystallized around a co-op model, one where the community the store served would share in its ownership and help guide its direction. Sale of shares in the store began in 2014. A few bank loans, one city tax abatement, 1.4K share sales, and nearly $6 million later, Clifton Market opened.

Now it looks a lot like a Whole Foods. But like a really cool Whole Foods, with a community feel, an open and inviting atmosphere, and energy-efficient lights and refrigerators. More importantly, its shelves are as crowded as those at large supermarket chains (including the Kroger that’ll soon be open in Corryville).

There’s also:

  • a salad bar
  • a cheese bar
  • a juice bar
  • a sushi counter
  • a deli
  • a cafe
  • a bakery
  • organic produce
  • craft beer
  • frozen foods
  • cleaning products
  • beauty products
  • pet supplies…

…And pretty much everything else you’d expect in an “uptrend” grocery store.

But what most distinguishes Clifton Market from its competitors is its sourcing of local ingredients, which is quite enough to tip the scales in its favor for Cincy lovers like myself.

Still, in the end, it all comes back to the community. The grocery store’s 15K weekly customers have the potential to catalyze significant activity on Ludlow, activity that lapsed when Keller’s IGA closed. Now that Clifton Market is there to take its place, the Ludlow community looks to be on the upswing again.

And whether you own shares in the market or just stop in for the occasional kombucha, you can be part of it, too.

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Clifton Market is located at 319 Ludlow Avenue. Find out more on its website.

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