Moving into Bender Meats’s old spot last month, Harmony Plant Fare serves flavorful vegan deli options at Findlay Market. The plant-based-foods vendor sits across from Mackie Quality Meats, sandwiched between a butcher and seafood counter.
Co-owner Alex Nager’s take on the irony of landing on Findlay Market’s “meat boulevard?” “It’s a sign of the changing times!” he laughs.
Nager and Bridget Gunsiorowski opened Harmony Plant Fare as a mobile pop-up in 2017, serving vegan takes on deli favorites at farmers markets and tents outside of Findlay.
“It’s pretty nice to be able to lock the door to your place and know that it’s gonna be there the next day,” Nager says about setting up their permanent stall inside Findlay, adding that the new location is only phase one for the purveyor, with the potential for a storefront down the road.
The shop offers hot and cold vegan sandwiches, including a chickpea “Tu-No Salad,” an Italian sub, and gyros, plus classic sides like potato salads, broccoli coleslaw, and kale cashew pesto, with baked desserts provided by Hamilton’s Chubby Bunny Bakery. Looking ahead, menu additions will see soups, vegan meatball subs, and grab-and-go dinners.
“You won’t feel like you’re getting a one-flavor thing, which can sometimes happen with vegan food,” says Nager. “It’s nice to provide different textures and flavors.”
Although Nager is excited by Cincinnati’s increase of vegan options in recent years, he believes there’s more opportunity in the city.
“From traveling and seeing [cities]—even like Columbus and Louisville—having more options, it’s like, Come on Cincinnati, it’s time to do it,” he says.
The spot also provides grocery staples for at-home cooking, like tomato paste, dried beans, and apple cider vinegar, plus harder-to-find ingredients like vegan pesto. Nager would eventually like to host cooking classes to make vegan eating even more accessible.
“Food has always been a passion—creating delicious and creative things,” he says. “When I started to change my diet, I realized how much cooking goes into that, so we want to share that with people and make it easier.”
Harmony Plant Fare, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 665-4839