Who We Are
Artichoke is a carefully curated collection of cookware located in the Findlay Market Square of Over the Rhine, Cincinnati. It was lovingly designed and created by passionate home cooks, who share a love of the Findlay Market area, great food & quality products. Today, Artichoke is a 51% Woman-owned Small Business that just celebrated 7 amazing years in business.
- We believe in Quality Products that are made to last. Artichoke features a 100 sq ft test kitchen, where we test products before they are approved for sale. We do our best to carry items that are well designed, innovative and truly work!
- We believe in responsibly sourced Products. We do our best to feature brands that are not made in China, including many French, German, Japanese & of course USA-made products.
- We believe in supporting local Farmers, Makers and Small Business. We have several local maker’s products featured in the store, and try to compliment our neighboring business at the market rather than compete with them. These farmers and artisans are what make Findlay Market the amazing place it is today!
- We believe Induction is the future! As a small cookware shop we specialize in Induction and every pot or pan is tested on our induction cooktop in store before it can be approved for us to sell.
- We believe hands-on experience is important. Which is why we have many demo products and knives for customers to test out before buying. We want to ensure that as a customer you are going home happy with the right item for you.
- We believe anyone can cook! As home chefs ourselves, we are happy to help in any way with your culinary adventures. The proper tool or gadget can inspire any cook to expand their tastes and try something new! The opportunities are endless when it comes to food.
Our Test Kitchen
A Fully equipped Test kitchen has been built into the model of our business. We only have room for products that are worth their weight, so we put new items to the test & make sure regular staples can hold up against time.
We keep sample knives of all the lines we regularly carry so that customers can get some hands on experience with them before making a purchase. The same goes for many gadgets, tools and pieces of cookware in our test kitchen. Do you want to see how this item holds up after years of use? Just let our staff know if there is anything you’d like to try or feel before buying – If we are able to do so we absolutely will!
We also regularly have demonstration-only style classes in our test kitchen, usually on Thursday Evenings from 6:30 – 7:30 PM. Click here to check the upcoming class schedule, or sign up at the bottom of any page for our Email newsletter for the next round of classes. We also offer Private Events for groups of 6 or more!
The Artichoke Story
Brad and Karen Hughes decided to do something unusual when they retired from their first professions in 2014/2015. Instead of traveling or taking time to themselves they decided to leave an impression on the City of Cincinnati – specifically the amazing area of Over the Rhine & Findlay Market Square. Karen and Brad decided the only place they wanted to be was Findlay Market, Ohio’s oldest continuously operating public market. While you can find all the meats, produce, spices, and specialty foods you could ever want here, there was nothing to cook it with. And so the idea for Artichoke was born.
Brad and Karen Hughes
Having no retail experience (She taught and was Associate Dean at the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP Program & He was an engineer specializing in Pharmaceutical Compliance) the Hughes’ embarked on this new challenge together! Other than being at the market, the Hughes have always been big supporters of the Cincinnati Streetcar and wanted to ensure that Artichoke would be on the Streetcar line.
With that goal, they set out to find a building – It took over a year, but they eventually found Artichoke’s new home at 1824 Elm Street, a building they christened The Nieman Building, after it’s most recent tenant (approximately 1940-1978), the Nieman Awning Company. After over a year of renovations and preparation, Artichoke opened it’s doors on April 2nd of 2016.
Before & After Renovations
Within that first year, Brad and Karen realized that while they were learning the Retail business (and quickly!) they could use some insight from someone with a background in retail. They hired on Hannah (then Luken) Bender in February of 2017, after she left Luken’s Poultry Fish and Seafood – Her family’s butcher stand where she had worked full-time for 7 years. The Hughes’ were regular customers at Luken’s and Hannah was known through the market as a hard worker with excellent Customer Service skills. Hannah had been working to complete her Business Management Degree at Cincinnati State Technical & Community College and with the support and encouragement of Brad, Karen and the Artichoke Staff she completed that degree in 2018.
After the Pandemic Hit in 2020, Brad and Karen began to work on an escape plan – true retirement was calling. After 3 years of working full time and learning the business from the bottom up, Hannah and her husband began discussing possibly buying the business as Brad and Karen had made their intentions clear to the staff. After much discussion and almost a year of preparation, Hannah and Tom Bender purchased Artichoke from Brad and Karen in October of 2021.
Hannah & Tom Bender
Today Hannah is Owner/Operator, continuing to carry on the vision that Brad and Karen had upon founding. In May of 2022 the Artichoke Annex at 1830 Elm St opened, adding a curated collection of Tabletop items to Artichoke’s Selection. (2 doors down from our Flagship Location) This expansion encapsulates all the serving items that couldn’t fit in the main space when it was designed – dishes, glasses, serve ware, table linens, expanded barware, locally crafted & gift items. This assortment is continuing to grow and build as we gather feedback from customers in terms of items we may be missing in this new space. If you haven’t stopped by – Come check it out!