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Three Sisters, All UC Alumnae, Start Local Food Magazine

Jennifer, Joy and Julie Kramer are the creators of Edible Ohio Valley, a Cincinnati magazine that celebrates local food and produce.

Date: 2/4/2011
By: Kim Burdett
Phone: (513) 556-8577
Photos By: Julie Kramer
When the Kramer sisters decided they wanted to create a family business, it didn’t take long for the focus to land on food.

“We grew up in a household that was really food-oriented,” says Joy Kramer (A&S, Political Science, ’06). “Every time we sit down for breakfast, we start talking about what we want to have for dinner.”

The Kramer sisters (from left to right: Joy Kramer, Jennifer Kramer-Wine and Julie Kramer) are the founders of Edible Ohio Valley.
The Kramer sisters (from left to right: Joy Kramer, Jennifer Kramer-Wine and Julie Kramer) are the founders of Edible Ohio Valley.

Edible Ohio Valley is a quarterly publication that focuses on the local people that grow, raise and produce our food.
Edible Ohio Valley is a quarterly publication that focuses on the local people that grow, raise and produce our food.

When sister Julie (DAAP, Fine Arts, ’98) started noticing local food magazines in various New York neighborhoods, she thought it would be a great idea to set up a similar publication in Cincinnati. With support from sisters Joy and Jennifer (A&S, History, ’95), the three created Edible Ohio Valley, a quarterly publication that focuses on the local people that grow, raise and produce our food.

Edible Communities, Inc. is a national organization that gives networking support to locals wanting to start up a regional publication. So far more than 60 locations in the U.S. and Canada have Edible magazines. To the Milford, Ohio natives, Cincinnati and the tri-state region were an obvious choice.

Joy says, “One goal we have is to keep exploring Cincinnati. I’ve lived here 27 years now but I’m still finding things I’ve never seen before or known about.  It’s exciting to explore the seasonal foods Ohio has to offer.”

“Our goal is to raise awareness about who our farmers are, where we get our foods,” Jennifer adds. “It really pushes us to think about our nation’s food policies. For example, the price of gas is going up. How does that trickle down to food prices, like getting our strawberries from Chile? If you wait until they’re in season, though, you can get them at pick-your-own-fruit farm here in June. So you could say our goals aren’t just local, but national as well.”

Issues feature spotlights on local farms, seasonal foods, recipes and food history like how to make your own apple cider or the fermentation process of sauerkraut.

It helps that the three sisters have diverse skills that help run Edible Ohio Valley. Julie has worked as a photographer for more than a decade, and now handles the design of the magazine. Joy handles the content—writing, editing and assigning freelance work—and Jennifer helps with the business side. With a background in strategic planning for nonprofits, she is working to get her sisters’ creativity noticed.

So far they have been successful. Advertisers and partners include Findlay Market, Whole Foods and Farm Fresh Delivery. Edible Ohio Valley is available for free at all their partners’ locations, as well as by subscription. The content is also available online at http://www.edibleohiovalley.com/.

“We’re noticing that there’s a lot simmering under the surface in Cincinnati when it comes to the local food movement,” Julie says. “We find it really exciting, but notice that not a lot of consumers are actively participating in it yet. We’re really trying to educate people as to why it’s important to support businesses that are providing quality products in their own community.”

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