Less than an hour away from Dayton there is a jungle of food goodness, international rarities and fresh produce that makes the thriftiest shopper surrender in awe. Jungle Jim’s International Market is located in Fairfield, OH and could easily be one of the few wonders left in our area. It’s a place where you would have to work very hard in order to not be able to find something to buy.
The market was started by James O. Bonaminio, a seller of purses and carper in 1971 when he setup a produce stand on the side of the road, selling potatoes rejected by a potato chip factory. Working 21 hours a day and sleeping at his stand, he would shower using a hose behind a neighboring building.
Soon after, Jim bought land in Fairfield, Ohio to setup a permanent produce market and in 1975 a 4,200 square feet Jungle Jim’s International Market was born. Today Jungle Jim’s store is a 6 and a half acres complex selling more than 150,000 items from all over the world. With 350 employees, the store offers an amazing shopping experience that will take you (almost literally) to other corners of the world, as some aisles are labeled with names of other countries featuring food and items from that region.
Jungle Jim’s has a large produce area featuring fresh quality produce, both local and also from the far corners of the planet. You can even buy Durian if you are so inclined and if you can stomach the smell and texture of the fruit.
According to the store’s management, about 50,000 shoppers visit the store every week, as it features thousands of specialty products that cannot be found anywhere else in the area. They sell 1,200 different brews of beer, and 12,000 wine labels from all over the world. They even feature a walk-in humidor full of premium cigars.
If you like olives, you can visit the Olive Pit, and the Sushi stand can make you fresh Sushi on the spot. A Fifth Third branch can help you with your banking needs and you can also visit a US Post Office branch inside the store if you need to send mail or buy stamps. The fresh meat departments can give you custom cuts of meat and the seafood department offers live fish and lobster, plus ocean-caught fish from all over the world.
Jungle Jim’s may not be a Greene County business, but it is a place that one should visit at least a few times a year to stock up on rare items which are difficult to find elsewhere.
Best times to visit Jungle Jim’s are during a week day or late in the evening; the market is very crowded and difficult to navigate on weekends, potentially making shopping frustrating and slow.
You can visit Jungle Jim's online at http://www.junglejims.com