“We get a lot of customers who come to our booth specifically to get honey for Rosh Hashanah,” said Andrew Kartal. “It’s a wholesome, natural, high quality product that people enjoy—and they come back.”
Kartal is a beekeeper and the owner of Pure Honey, a local raw honey producer that sells his products at farmers markets and grocery stores around Cincinnati. His honey has never been processed—heated, boiled, or pressure filtered—and sells so well, his only advertising is word of mouth from return customers.
He is one of the vendors at the Mayerson JCC Fall Market, happening this year on Sunday, August 29. Everyone is Cincinnati is welcome to the free event, where they can browse a variety of produce and handcrafted goods from Kartal and other local vendors. Dozens of booths will feature everything from challah and honey cake to flowers and spices.
“The event is timed to come right before the High Holidays,” said Anne Goldstein, who is the Director of Aquatics, Camp, and Sports & Rec for the JCC and organizes the market. “Many people come to support us—and to get their apples, honey, and challah for their celebrations at home. This is the eighth year for the market, and people really look forward to it.”
Each year, the event comes at the close of summer and is sort of a social re-gathering of the Jewish community after so many have been away traveling or at camp all summer.
“The event has a certain buzz to it,” said Holly Wolfson, Director of Programs. “There’s a feeling of excitement and energy in the air, and it is in keeping with our mission of connecting people so they can live happier and fuller lives, creating a more vibrant Jewish community.
“You see people from across the wide spectrum of our community: babies with their parents, older adults, and people from a wide span of religious denominations, plus people in the broader community who live near the J—all contributing to the vibe.”
The JCC Fall Market is unique not only because it offers goods to help families observe the Jewish New Year, but it offers a variety of kosher products, including 80 Acres, one of this year’s sponsors. 80 Acres brings the next generation of fresh kosher produce—grown 100% pesticide free at an eco-friendly indoor farm near you.
Noah Zelkind, Director of Business Development and Expansion Execution, said it is important to him and his family to be engaged in the Jewish community. “We appreciate the work the J does throughout the year and enjoy connecting with people at the Fall Market. We also thought it was quite important to get kosher certification. It puts us in a unique place to share something new and special with the community.”
Some of their top selling products are salad buds, basil, tomatoes, and cucumbers. But despite the variety of produce people enjoy, Zelkind knows that people want it grown locally and in an eco-friendly manner.
“People want to be more acquainted with the food that they eat,” he said. “Health is wealth, and we believe in trying to continue to help our community grow, and promoting a healthier society.”
Pure Honey and 80 Acres are just two of the more than 30 vendors that will set up shop at the JCC Fall Market. The event is free to attend. Shoppers should bring a reusable bag to carry their items and be prepared for a variety of modes of payments. Some vendors only accept cash, while others only accept credit cards. Coffee and Marx Bagels, as well as kosher grilled items from the J Café, will be available for purchase as well.
“It’s a great feeling to be outside and with the community,” Wolfson said. “Usually the weather is beautiful, our staff is welcoming, and everyone has a good time.”