A Cincinnati Restaurant Powerhouse Focuses on Community
Photography by Wes Battoclette
Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment is known in Cincinnati for its high-end steakhouses, but the company is expanding to other markets in the Midwest. As it continues to grow it’s bringing Cincinnati-based small businesses with them.
Jason Rose, corporate chef, and Dave Taylor, director of culinary development, are playing an integral role in developing relationships with local vendors to improve the experience of their guests. Rose and Taylor share a passion for great food and this shows as they continue to bring in the freshest, finest local food and beverages to guests.
“One of the things Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment does as a company is pride itself on sourcing the best and that’s probably the most important part of our job collectively,” says Rose. “We have a finger on the pulse of sourcing responsibly – it’s all about quality and extending that to our guests. The community element comes in when we can buy the best quality ingredients from people we work with in our community.”
The Cincinnati metropolitan area’s economy continues to quickly grow and Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment is contributing by working with local small companies and giving back to the community.
More than two years ago, Rose developed a relationship with Ryan Morgan, owner of Sixteen Bricks Artisan Bakehouse. Rose worked with Morgan for six months to perfect the consistency of the rye and sourdough breads that can only be found at Jeff Ruby restaurants.
“Ryan is exceptionally talented at what he does,” says Taylor. “As much as what he does for us, we support him and the product he produces for us. He is constantly working on ways to maximize efficiency and better his product. In turn, we better our brand. It’s a great working relationship.”
Morgan’s sourdough bread is also served at all Jeff Ruby restaurants. “Albeit a small part, we are part of his success just like the other businesses that buy his product,” says Rose.
For micro greens and herbs, Rose and Taylor turn to Waterfields, a social mission-driven year-round grower of micro greens, edible flowers and specialty products. Waterfields products can be found at all four Jeff Ruby restaurants in Cincinnati and Louisville and is in the process of supplying the new Nashville location.
“The great thing about the volume we produce and them being a local company is that we have consistent volume to support their growth,” says Taylor. “We walk side by side trying to expand into new markets. It’s a great part of working with companies in the Cincinnati area.”
While Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment has a talented group of people dedicated to the research and development of business relationships, sometimes those relationships happen serendipitously.
Britney Ruby Miller was casually perusing products at the Anderson Farmers Market one morning when she stumbled upon Carabello Coffee. Carabello Coffee offers the very best in quality through fair trade, organic and direct relationship coffees. She loved the coffee so much she invited owners Justin and Emily Carabello to bring various blends for the corporate team to sample.
“We have a great working relationship with them,” says Taylor. “They prepare a proprietary blend specifically for us that suits our flavor profiles and what our guests are interested in.
Carabello Coffee continues to grow and explore new markets. Currently their Frank Sumatra coffee blend is available at all four Jeff Ruby restaurants in Cincinnati and the Louisville location.
By supporting Carabello Coffee, Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment is in turn supporting Carabello Coffee’s mission, “To artisan roast exceptional coffees and then use our profits to fund what we like to call ‘works of compassion.’ ” The company supports its mission both in Cincinnati and in Nicaragua. In Nicaragua the company is using part of its profits to support Kids of Cascabel Orphanage.
“By partnering with businesses that are local here in the community and by providing experiences to our guests that are remarkable, we have the opportunity to develop relationships with both our guests and our local purveyors, most importantly supporting our community,” says Rose.
Taylor adds, “The great part of partnering with local businesses is we feed off of and grow with one another. No matter who has a great idea, we bring the ideas to the table and expand off of those ideas. That’s how our company keeps growing.
“It’s a family owned and operated company, which is one thing that is sometimes forgotten because Jeff Ruby is a powerhouse in a community with a number of beautiful, successful restaurants.”
Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment continues to experience years of consecutive growth. Over the past 35 years Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment has operated numerous successful restaurants and is in the process of opening a new location in Nashville. The company’s continual investment in the latest technology, best talent and finest products is what has perpetuated the company’s success.
Through the company’s success The Jeff Ruby Foundation was established. The Jeff Ruby Foundation provides ongoing, meaningful support to individuals and organizations that may be challenged by circumstance, injustice, health or other obstacles. The Jeff Ruby Foundation hosted a fundraiser at The Precinct benefitting the family of Sonny Kim, the Cincinnati Police Officer killed in the line of duty, and raised nearly $40,000 thanks in large part to the charitable spirit of the community – this is one of many examples of the foundations work. Through the foundation the company hopes to better the communities that have supported them over the years.
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse – Cincinnati is located at 700 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. You can reach them at 513.784.1200.
Carlo & Johnny is located at 9769 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, OH 45242. You can reach them at 513.936.8600.
Precinct is located at 311 Delta Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45226. You can reach them at 513.321.5454.
For more information about Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment, visit www.jeffruby.com.