CINCINNATI - If the sales before Thanksgiving Day are any indication, a number of local merchants have major reasons to be very optimistic the holiday shopping season will bring them good tidings.
A steady flow of crowds and brisk business were evident at Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine the day before Thanksgiving.
Sisters Ann Baumbach and Jennie Greiser picked up fresh, local turkeys from Luken's Poultry and Fish Shop to set the table for a 16-guest Thanksgiving dinner.
"The food is wonderful. The people are wonderful." Greiser said. "It's a very nice place to come, very family oriented. I like the freshness of the turkeys."
"It's always a blast," Baumbach added. "I pick her up from work and we shoot up here, grab lunch and do shopping. It's really good. We got a little turkey rub for the turkeys and vegetables."
Luken's Poultry says it's seen its holiday poultry and fish sales rise as much as 20 percent every year for the past few years.
"As of Friday morning, we didn't have a turkey in the house," shop owner Michael Luken said. "We've gone through a thousand of them probably just since Saturday morning."
The sisters say locally grown items and other specialties are what keep bringing them back to Findlay Market.
"Different days, different things," Baumbach said. "The rubs and the vegetables and a couple of the oils, avocados on another day."
The owners of Ted's Toy Shop in Madeira also feel early indicators suggest they're headed for a good holiday season.
"I'm seeing an uptick in sales already, so that's very nice," toy shop owner Ted Garner said.
This toy store deals in specialty toy items that other larger stores rarely sell. It features old fashioned Slinky toys and traditional family favorites like wooden toy trains, dress-up kits and unique dolls.
There is another reason Garner feels he's seeing his business increase.
"People are realizing that when you shop locally, the money stays in the community," Garner said. "You shop at a big box, it generally doesn't stay in the community."
Unlike larger chain stores, both Ted's Toy Store and Findlay Market will be closed all day on Thanksgiving.
But when they reopen for Black Friday, both retailers expect to see the crowds back and ready to buy what they have to sell.