If there is an ingredient you can't find at the grocery store, or a delicacy from another country you're craving, it's almost guaranteed Jungle Jim's International Market will have exactly what you're looking for.
On Tuesday, Jungle Jim's has opened a bigger location even closer to the city.
Thousands were expected to come through the festively decorated doors of Jungle Jim's at Eastgate Mall. Jungle Jim was there in the flesh to welcome shoppers and make each customer's experience as unique as his store.
"It makes me feel good," said Jim Bonaminio, founder of Jungle Jim's. "I didn't expect this many people. I mean there must be 10,000 people in this place."
Sharing hugs and taking pictures with customers, Jungle Jim welcomed each shopper into his second establishment. Why take on the challenge of a second store?
"Why? You want to know why? What really happened?" Bonaminio questioned. "It's like dating a girl. It kept on showing up, kept on showing up and before you knew it, I was going with her."
Customers couldn't be happier the new location is finally open after two years of waiting and making special trips to the Fairfield store.
"Oh my gosh, I'm so excited," smiled Shawntae Caskey, who used to travel 40 minutes to get to Jungle Jim's. "I just can't believe it's here, you know? Now I don't have to just go for the weekend, I can just go whenever I want whenever I'm bored."
The variety of foods offered make for great cooking, but also a walk down memory lane.
"My grandma used to clean this lady's house who lived in Germany," Caskey explained. "She would always bring back these chocolate eggs that had toys in them and I've actually found them at Jungle Jim's in Fairfield."
Aside from the food, a large part of the draw is the unique décor Bonaminio outfits his stores with.
"Everything you see here is from something else," Bonaminio said.
For more than 30 years, Bonaminio's focus has always been making customers happy.
"I hope this store brings enjoyment to the people," Bonaminio added.
Bonaminio uses old park rides and recycled guard rails to create some of his food displays. He said the website will soon feature the different pieces and where they came from.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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