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Findlay Market has rare openings for small businesses

Bee Haven owner credits market for helping grow his
Posted: 6:13 PM, Jan 08, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-08 18:48:49-05
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CINCINNATI — There’s a rare opportunity for a small business – or a couple of them – like Scott Gordon's at Findlay Market.

"It is very unusual that we have full-time spaces at the market open,” said spokesperson Kelly Lanser.

“ … We have a very vibrant outdoor market, so that's how a lot of people start at the market, but having three spaces available is very rare."

Gordon, part owner of Bee Haven, vouches for how Findlay Market helped launch his successful business. Gordon’s business bloomed so quickly it had to expand and move across Elm Street.

"We really had a thriving business and we had a good following with a small space," Gordon said.

That was 11 years ago.

"It got to the point where we could barely keep up with demand and we needed a production place," he said.

Gordon and his wife are beekeepers. Their business sells honey, candles, lip balm and everything in between.

“We were home schooling our kids and thought that would be a good thing to be involved in,” Gordon said. “We started selling honey at farm markets and developed this path to have this small business."

Once they moved to Findlay Market, "it really took off," he said.

With Findlay Market getting 1.2 million visitors a year, it's a beehive of activity.

"We had a lot of great traffic at Findlay Market," he said. "It feels like thousands of people every weekend come through."

Gordon likes having more space now but he misses the atmosphere.

“What I miss about Findlay are the vendors and the frenetic energy. It feels like a carnival on weekends," Gordon said.

Now three roll-up door spaces just like the one Bee Haven lived in for more than a decade are available for the right businesses.

"We value entrepreneurship so we're looking for people making things with their hands,” Lanser said. “We're looking for diversity, business-owners that are looking for a chance to get their business out there.

We're open to anything that makes sense food related, artisan products."

Lanser said the market has 60 full-time independent local businesses and doesn’t want chain stores.

"We typically don't have a lot of turnover, so available full-time spaces are very rare at Findlay Market,” Linser said. “This is a rare opportunity for startup businesses (or) businesses who have only been around for a few years to come to a location where they have a ton of foot traffic already, to be part of the Findlay Market community."

Lanser said each spot is affordable at less than $300 a month.

The priority deadline is this Friday, Jan. 10, and final deadline for submission is Friday, Jan. 17.

If you’re interested, go to findlaymarket.org. There’s a Request for Proposal with a map of the location and a list all of requirements.