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Environmental engineer to vet plans for Newtown park Jeanne Houck

easy to get,’” she said. Two of the store’s biggest selections are in chocolate and cheese. However, the business has a wide variety of items ranging from olives and gourmet cherries to healthy snacks and gluten-free items. Customers will often come in with a menu of what they’re looking for, which could range from a truffle oil to a unique type of seasoning. However, it’s not only the product that is important to Ignatow and Levine. It’s also having a personal rapport with the customer who walks in, whether it is a long-established one or one who is trying a specific type of wine for the first time. “People coming here are greeted,” Levine said. “It’s a friendly staff.” Ignatow said she considers Hyde Park Gourmet “a happy place.” “It’s all about the customer,” she said. Gloria Moran, a 20-year employee at Hyde Park Gourmet, agreed. “I enjoy the interaction with the customers,” she said, adding that it’s not unusual for her to help a customer she may have gone to grade school with. Moran also has a fondness for preparing food. “I’m from an Italian family where everyone cooks,” she said. Lisa Marcus, owner of the Hyde Park Salon, said she will frequently stop by to pick up a baguette and a bottle of wine. “I feel at home here,” she said. That sense of home is exactly the type of atmosphere Ignatow and Levine have tried to establish. “I don’t look at this as a job,” Levine

Newtown has hired an environmental engineer to help review Miami Valley Christian Academy’s plans to develop sports amenities at Short Park, which is built on a capped landfill. Newtown Village Council unanimously voted to hire Diversified Environmental Consulting of Maineville for an amount not to exceed $6,000. “This action was taken on the advice of our village engineer, Brandstetter Carroll Inc. (which has one of its offices in downtown Cincinnati), to ensure that we have the appropriate expertise to evaluate Miami Valley Christian Academy’s plans,” Newtown Village Councilman Joe Harten said. “Miami Valley Christian Academy has been working with an environmenHarten tal engineer for some time and we have no reason to doubt the qualifications of that firm, but now that we are getting to the point of reviewing and approving plans, Brandstetter Carroll and the village believe that engaging our own environmental engineer would be prudent.” Newtown entered into a joint-venture agreement with Miami Valley Christian Academy involving Short Park in 2015 after Newtown residents said in an advisory vote in 2014 that they supported such an agreement. The park at 3623 Church St. is owned by Newtown and located next to Miami Valley Christian Academy, a private, non-denominational Christian school at 6830 School St. Miami Valley Christian Academy wants to build and pay for amenities at Short Park that include an all-purpose athletic field, a baseball diamond and a track that would be open to Newtown residents and to other groups approved by the village and the academy when not in use by the academy. Tom Rhodenbaugh, a member of Miami Valley Christian Academy’s board of directors, said an independent environmental company recommended the academy follow up on records of methane gas levels at Short Park and test its soil for arsenic that may have been in any pesticides sprayed in an orchard that used to be in the area. “We followed up on both matters and after concluding neither of these issues was in fact a safety issue, the environmental company we used concluded the ground was likely safe for the intended use and recommended no further testing,” Rhodenbaugh said. Rhodenbaugh said Newtown citizens can rest assured that the Short Park project is on track and that planned amenities for the project —

See GOURMET, Page 2A

See NEWTOWN, Page 2A


Sisters Sylvia Levine, left, and Evelyn Ignatow are the owners of Hyde Park Gourmet Food and Wine. The foundation of their business is a passion for cooking and a desire to share their knowledge of unique wine and food with others.

Gourmet with a dash of luck in Hyde Park Forrest Sellers

Hyde Park business owner Evelyn Ignatow wanted to share her joy of preparing food with others. She and her sister, Sylvia Levine, have tried to achieve that through their store, Hyde Park Gourmet Food and Wine. “We come from a family that has always had a passion for cooking, food and wine,” Ignatow said. “Family gatherings were centered around a great food experience whether (it was) a holiday or family get together.” Ignatow said her whole family took part in preparing meals. This enthusiasm in the kitchen has been brought to the store at 2707 Erie Ave. on Hyde Park Square. Ignatow partnered with her sister to open Hyde Park Gourmet in 1996. Each of them brought a different skill set to the table. Ignatow’s background is in education and business, while Levine has extensive experience in retail and merchandising. With those complementary skills and a shared passion for cooking and fine wine, it was a matter of taking the next step, Ignatow said. This next step was building a familyowned and operated establishment that caters to the individual needs of its customers by knowing their personal tastes. “We know many of our customers by name,” Ignatow said. Education is also an essential ingredient to their success. Ignatow is a certified sommelier, while Levine has won national honors in gift basket preparation.

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Hyde Park Gourmet Food and Wine has offered a unique selection of items at 2707 Erie Ave. for more than 20 years.

“When people come to our events, they learn about the wines and food,” Ignatow said. “We’re constantly learning about new trends and flavors” Lori Wellinghoff, president of the Hyde Park Square Business Association, said she considers Hyde Park Gourmet “one of the finest food and wine shops in the region.” She said the personal approach to gourmet food and wine is evident. “They’re not just selling me something,” Wellinghoff said. “They’re actually helping me by giving recommendations.” Levine said in their business it is essential to stay on top of current trends. “We are constantly reading and educating ourselves,” she said. Ignatow didn’t specify the number of wines the store carries, but she said the selection is extensive. “My tagline is ‘where hard-to-find is

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Vol. 57 No. 16 © 2017 The Community Press ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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