Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Whispering Beard Festival

Shhhhhhh...... Quiet...........I think I hear a whispering beard!

Madisono's will be offering gelato and sorbet at the Whispering Beard Fesival.

Matt Williams a buddy of mine, he is the produce manager at Whole Foods Rookwood, is one of the founders of the Whispering Beard Folk Festival. Madisono's is excited to offer our all natural vanilla and chocolate gelato along with the lime cilantro sorbet and lemon basil sorbet. Both of which are vegan. I will be there Friday Saturday and Sunday. It is a three day event with camping, a lake and much more. Please check out the website for more information. I am sure this is going to be a big festival in years to come. This is the first year it is open to the public so come on down to the farm and say you were at the first ever Whispering Beard Folk Festival and had some of Cincinnati's First Gelato Company, Madisono's while taking in the sounds of Peter Rowan, Rumke Mtn. Boys and many more.

Cool Nights

I have been enjoying the cool nights. On Sunday my family enjoyed a fire pit in our back yard. the temperature and breeze was just perfect. Over the summer Madisono's has been using local basil for my lemon basil sorbet. These cooler nights and shorter days are beginning to show on the basil that is coming in. The leaves are no longer big, bold and meaty. There are more flowers on the tops, which have to be dicarded, the leaves are 1/1o the size of the early pickings. I farmed for my parents 5 years in West Union Ohio. The farm was certified organic through OEFFA and basil was one of my crops. We sold to several restaurants and to QueensGate Foods. At the peak of the season we would harvest 100 pounds a day. Observing the basil now it brings back fond memories of those days and also anxiety for my local basil farmer. I know and she knows that the first frost day is just around the corner. These cool nights are a tease for that and when it hits the basil is the first to go. It will not take even a nip. When that happens the harvest and cash flow stops. I tried covering with remay cloth but we had so much it was next to impossible.
When the basil stops I will seek out basil from the south and at some point it will be coming from California. We are all connected to these cycles some more than others. Many have lost their jobs from the current depression but farmers always lose their jobs when Jack Frost rolls around. I hope that you have had a chance to enjoy my lemon basil this summer. I expect the outlying areas will see one sometime late September or early Ocotober if we are lucky.

Friday, August 14, 2009

College Hill Coffee Company

College Hill Coffee Company is going strong. It may be that Tina is charged with espresso or maybe she just likes to share good things with her customers. We placed a freezer there about 4 weeks ago and she is doing a great job. They have a great lunch/ dinner menu and have some great music on Fridays and Saturday's. Chris Collier is playing tonight. Please see the link for more information.
If you have not been to the shop it is located at the corner of Hamilton and Northbend.

Room For Gelato

Congratulations to all of the gelato businesses featured in Polly Cambell's article on Wednesday! I was not aware of the location in Dayton KY. I can not wait to go for a gelato there. I have included the link for you to visit the site and read the article. Click here to go. This week has been a busy one. I will be delivering 3 new flavors to Oxford Ohio on Monday. 45 East and Tonic Sushi Bar will be serving Madisono's. The new flavors are Ginger Gelato, Bourbon Vanilla with Cherries and Tea with Lemon Sorbet. This one is really good. It tastes just like sweet tea with lemon but creamy and smooth. We brew the tea, add the lemon and use Madisono's sorbet science to create a remarkable textured sorbet. They are going to use it at the bar. I would like to thank Chef Paul Sturkey for helping out with this. He has been consulting and contacted me about flavor development for 45 East. I have always respected Paula and Pam for their contributions to our great city. I used to sell him mushrooms from the farm as well as blackberries when they were in Wyoming. That was a few years ago and we are still connected through food. Some bonds are hard to break. I will be doing a demo at Findlay Market on Saturday and one at Bigg's Hyde Park on Sunday. If you are in the neigborhood stop buy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Whole Foods and Local

Yesterday I had the oppertunity to smile for the camera. No one asked me to "work it" but Joe and I had a great time. Did you know tha Whole Foods has person that goes around and interviews their local vendors and takes pictures of them for display in the store. In about a month or so pictures and a brief bio will be displayed in the Whole Foods locations that serve Madisono's. Kate was a joy to work with. The two hours she was here went by very fast. I know she also met with Kinkaid Ridge Wines, Five Star Foodies and Snowville Creamery. It means alot to a small company that they are taking the time to do this at their cost and on their time. When people buy local products they are buying someone's passion and dream. Not to say that large brands do not have a place but local food products serve the local market. I buy from a local label company. I use local milk from a local dairy and so on. This helps to support other small businesses here in Cincinnati and in the surrounding area.
I am always impressed with Whole Foods at every level. I thought you might want to know that.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

City Beat and Madison's @ Findlay

A quick announcement. Please go to the link at this City Beat link for a great interview with Bryan Madison, my dad, on local foods available at their store. Check out the article in this week's City Beat on the use of the "local" link big business is trying to use on consumers. As a side note many of you may or may not know but in 2003 I came up with the Madison's Ridgeview Farm slogan. It was "Madison's Your Source for Local Flavor" I even had T-shirts made up. I had a nice quote from Ghandi on the back "To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves" That was done when I ran the certified organic farm in Adams County.
It was not long after we started wearing and selling those shirts at Findlay Market that Cincinnati Magazine ran a cover story called Local Flavor. They have been on the cutting edge of promoting local for years and so has City Beat. Keep supporting local products, local music and shopping in places where the owner is also working in the store. It makes a difference.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Madisono's is now being sold in pints at SilverGlades on 8ths St. I will get the flavors on this blog early next week. Stop in and tell Craig thanks for supporting local.

Madisons at Findlay Market

My parents shop, Madison's at Findlay Market, 110 W. Elder St. continues to be our number one selling retail independent location. Madison's Shoppers buy more gelato and sorbet than any other retail location! As a big thank you to all of you Madisono's is providing a discount price to my parents so they can offer all of our flavors at $5.00. This is a $0.50 savings! I will be doing two demos this month and durring those demos we will be offering double stamps on our Pint Passport program. If you are not familiar with this program here it is. Buy a pint of gelat and get a stamp on your card. As soon as you buy 12 pints the 13th one is Free when you redeem your card!!!!!! I have some other extras for you that you will just have to see when you come down to Findlay Market. I hope to see you there. I will twee you all for the dates of the demos. If you are not following Madisono's on Twitter please consider it. I will only send you information that is important. Have great day. Also, my children are growing some great tomatoes in our back yard which my parents are selling for them. We are harvesting each week so ask for them.

Fleet Feet Lady Distance Classic

I do not know about many of you, but as an independant business owner long hours are just part of the gig. Today my alarm was set for 5:30 am and as usual I always spontaneously awaken a few minutes before it goes off. My wife is greatful. Saturdays are still an early to rise day for me but today was the Lady Distance Classic 5K and 10K race in Blue Ash sponsored by Fleet Feet. Vendors were to be set up by 6:45. Last year I had a summer time employee do it for me as I was out of town. I can say that I will not pass that job on to anyone else as long as I am in town. I had a great time! The morning was beautiful, the walkers and their families were a delight to serve. I have can not express how excited I was to be there. The energy just kept getting better and better as more people came to the tent to sample my gelato and sorbet. I started with Lime Cilantro Sorbet, Maple Wanut, Strawberry, Lemon Basil, Chocolate P-nut Butter Chunk, Lemon Sorbet, and finished with Banana Caramel Praline.
There were at least 75 other booths at the festival, food, fashion and information. The festival was held at the Blue Ash Civic Center on Cooper Rd. The walk raises money for womens health and fitness. Please consider stopping in to Fleet Feet for some great gear. Thanks to all of you who stopped by today. I hope you will consider purchasing a pint or two of Madisono's gelato and sorbet at a location near you. I will see you next year!