The Winans family has been making lives a little sweeter for more than a century. During the Great Depression, townspeople would flock to the family?s bakery in Piqua with their sugar rations. Owner Wayne Winans would take that sugar and turn it into freshly baked cookies?a small pick-me-up at a time when even small pick-me-ups were a luxury. Years later, Wayne?s sons, Max and Dick, carried the family torch into the 1960s, when the first Winans Fine Chocolates & Coffees was born.
Today, the Winans family continues to do what it does best at three Ohio locations. All of the business?s chocolates are handmade, with no preservatives or fillers, and never cryogenically frozen. The family?s emphasis on freshness carries over to their coffee, too, which has frequently been named the area's best by the readers of the Dayton Business Journal and the Dayton Daily News. The secret is in their roasting process?their small, 15-pound roaster requires them to roast the beans in small batches, which leads to a more consistent product. Once the beans are ready, coffee artisans carefully combine them with other roasts to create a vast assortment of flavors, which includes 11 house coffee blends, 12 flavored coffees, and even more seasonal selections.
True West Coffee has a drink for every type of café goer, with options ranging from traditional coffee and espresso beverages to frothy lattes flavored with fig, vanilla, and black pepper.
At both its locations, patrons find a variety of snacks to pair with café drinks, including freshly baked goods and loaded salads. At the Main Street location, cooks pile Cuban baguettes with deli-sandwich fixings. At the High Street café, they use a high-powered convection oven to create eight types of melty grilled-cheese sandwiches.
Setting up shop in a formerly run-down launderette, Lavomatic Cafe provides an opportunity to dine on hearty fare without attracting uncomfortable leers from surrounding shirt-folders. Charming exposed pipes and soft tones accentuate Lavomatic’s décor, which creates a perfect setting for sampling the establishment’s well-stocked wine bar. The menu offers a modest yet satisfying selection of comforting classics with a twist, like when grandma gets tipsy and mixes acids with bases. Start with small bites such as chicken lollipops with honey mustard, bourbon barbecue sauce, and spicy garlic sauce ($8.95) or tater tots with truffle, chive, bacon, and cheddar ($7.49). Warm up with tomato bisque and grilled cheese ($7.49) or a fish sandwich with fennel apple straw on rye ($11.49). Refresh the palate with a fusion of flavors thanks to the meatloaf cupcake with country green beans and mashed potatoes ($12.95) or a pork chop with mushroom hash and red-wine caramel ($18.95). Sharable sides such as cornbread ($3.25) and mac 'n' cheese ($6.95) are also available.
Taz’s menu of authentic Mediterranean cuisine serves up classic Middle Eastern eats in the heart of the Midwest. Start off with an order of creamy hummus, served with a warm pita ($4.95), or take a pita swimming in a sea of flavorful baba ghanoush, a smoky dip made from roasted eggplant ($4.95). After training taste buds with an appetizer, unleash them on a tender chicken kebab sandwich, served with a veggie-stuffed pita ($5.25), or the herbivore-friendly falafel sandwich ($4.25). Classic Mediterranean gyros lure diners with a siren's song of cucumber sauce, diced tomato, and herbs (7” $4.95, 8” $5.50). A wide variety of teas, such as yansoon, green, and sage ($1.50), as well as fresh juices made with guavas and mangoes ($2.50), wash down the sunny Levantine flavors and cleanse palates of freeloading genies.
Founders of Huntergreengrass Edward and Barb ousted meat from their diets more than three decades ago. Their conversion to vegetarianism launched them on a journey to wellness with many pit stops: they opened a health-food store and helmed a vegan catering company, and Edward penned a vegetarian cookbook. But the defining moment of their foray into health and understanding of compound words was when Barb began training under Dr. Ann Wigmore, a pioneer in the wheatgrass movement. As Barb learned about healthy living and the wheatgrass diet and began to adhere to it, she and Edward had their freshest idea yet: Huntergreengrass. Recently named Best Wheatgrass Fix by Cincinnati CityBeat, Huntergreengrass brings to Findlay Market a menu of juices, smoothies, soups, and vegetarian fare more health-focused than a multivitamin wrapped in kale and stuffed in a carrot. The flavorful beverages and noshes hail from Edward and Barb's organic, nutrient-fortified soil, where wheat berries flourish until they ripen to the peak of nutrition and sweetness at 6–10 inches. Then the couple snips all the stalks from one tray and stows them in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. The healthful shots brim with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and digestion-aiding enzymes. Shots can be swirled into sweet juices of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies such as carrots, apples, beets, and oranges.
The panda mascot and cartoon-bright colors of Sippy Bears' petite storefront might suggest a candy shop from afar, but the sweet stuff inside is determinedly healthy. With the pulse of a juicer, fresh fruits and veggies are transformed into hyperpigmented blends such as the Blueberry Breeze and the Green Dream, which gets its hue from wheatgrass. (You can even ingest wheatgrass's blast of chlorophyll in popsicle or lemonade form.) They all contain no added sugar and no preservatives.
Sippy Bears' juicing pros also arm customers for times when they can't make it into the shop. Juicing 101 classes impart all the basics of the art form, and the store also sells affordable Lexen hand-cranked juicers, wheatgrass seeds, and grow-your-own drinking-straw kits.