If Disneyland and A supermarket had a baby it would be named Jungle Jim’s International market. A Cincinnati Institution, Jungle Jim’s sells food from over 70 countries over an area so large they have maps located throughout the store. They attract over 80K visitors a month. They have so many things you won’t see anywhere else: a monorail, an animatronic band featuring the Lucky Charm leprechaun jamming with the bee from Cheerios and the Rabbit from Trix, a lagoon with life-size giraffes and elephants and even a camper van with Sonny and Cher. It’s surreal.
Starting off as just a humble roadside produce stand, the founder James Bonaminio was a dreamer who wanted more. He came upon the idea that anyone could sell groceries, but not everyone knew how to make it fun. He wanted going to buy a loaf of bread to be an event. So he worked on creating a quirky, entertaining store where people would come not just to shop but be entertained. The store has a full lounge that is designed to look like an airport waiting area. You can hear live music and even take cooking classes as well.
“Jungle Jim” Bonaminio wanted to make shopping an event. And I think he succeeded tremendously. Anyone visiting the Cincinnati area should take the time to visit. But plan ahead. There are two locations and they have almost a half a million square feet in retail space. You could easily wander around for hours. So grab the free map explore and maybe head over to the lounge and have a drink. Jungle Jim’s is quirky and fun. After all, it’s a theme park of food