“We’re opening on Tuesday, September 25....then, we’ll see what happens,” said the affable “Jungle” Jim Bonaminio, owner of Jungle Jim’s International Market in Eastgate.
Bonaminio said the new store’s proximity to I-275 will be a big draw for tens of thousands of visits by so-called “foodies” each week. In addition to current tenants at the former Bigg’s complex, Bonaminio said lots of others will be opening soon including Caribou Coffee, Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt, Smoothie- licious, and Colonel De Spices. “We pass out maps at the store, but people have gotten lost,” he said. “We found one guy wondering around lost at 10 at night. We actually have tour guides to help you navigate until you get used to where things are.”
The Eastgate store will have lots of interesting displays to hold the thousands of varieties of hot sauce, vintages of wine, and international cheeses. “I am a junker,” said Bonaminio who often finds parts of his displays while engaged in his favorite hobby, looking for interesting junk. The Eastgate store exterior features a giant tram from Kings Island and inside, there are bumper cars from Old Coney that have new life as display stands.
Before heading out on his next expedition, Jungle Jim had time for one more question. What do you want people to say about their shopping experience? “I want them to smile. I want them to have a good time and put healthy good food in their mouth,” said Bonaminio.