LEAD Cincinnati shamelessly followed around Jeff and Natalie Hastings as they perused Jungle Jim’s vast wares of goodies. Follow along!
Produce, produce and more produce.
“The primary driver for us at Jungle Jim’s Eastgate is the international products because through accumulating years of international travel there are certain favorites that we’ve found,” says Natalie, director of strategic communications at Cincinnati Museum Center and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
“I love South African tea, such as Five Roses black tea. So that’s what I drink in the morning and then at night I drink Rooibos tea. Those are two brands that we specifically come here for.”
The Anderson Township couple was recently featured on an episode of “House Hunters International,” a popular program on HGTV. The episode focused on the couple’s search for the perfect beach house near Leon, Nicaragua. “We’ve done a lot of international travel and we went there (Nicaragua) seven years ago and really fell in love with it,” Natalie says. “And then we started taking our kids there and decided, hey, you know, we really want this to be a part of our family’s experience. So about two years ago we started looking and we bought a house a little over a year ago on the Pacific Coast.”
Did someone say Charcuterie?
Yeah, that's the stuff...
Gotta be honest, we don't know what these things are.
We do, however, know what these things are.
Beer? Yep, that's beer. We know how you think, Cincinnati.
“When Jungle Jim’s was just up in Fairfield we would go there, but it would be a destination trip. And so, you know, we would make a night of it; we would be known to get a babysitter, go have dinner at Taqueria Mercado, and then go to Jungle Jim’s for our groceries,” says Natalie. “It was like a date night and now we can involve our kids and they can come with us. There’s a lot for them to do and see. It can be hard to tear them away from the candy section. We’re able to make it more of our regular food routine. And it’s fun with all the produce signs. They tell you what you can use it for and they tell you how to tell if it’s ripe. So it’s an educational experience.”
Jeff, a vice president at Fifth Third Bank adds, “The produce selection, both domestic and international, is really impressive. Being able to see some of the exotic stuff is really cool – some of which you know what to do with and some of which you don’t, and that’s just fun.” Jeff enjoys knowing that Jungle Jim’s always has unique items, ripe and in stock. “It’s always good to know there are plantains in stock, things like that,” he says.