‘Skirtz and Johnston at 6 o’clock in the morning, set picturesquely in Cincinnati’s historic Findlay Market, is all gold and sweet scents. The pale peach walls resound with music as the bakers pull aromatic trays of pastries from racks, laying them out on white platters for displaying in the window. Some of them are sprinkled with crystalline sugars or drizzled with ribbons of white icing.
“Store opens 15 minutes!” someone calls. Display boxes are wiped down, blackboards for setting outside of the shop adorned with tempting advertisements: “meyer lemonade and peach tea,” “fresh breads,” “cool off with a lemon bar.” There is very little being said, but rather a sense of confidence and devotion fills everyone’s movements. When the doors are unlocked for customers at 7, everything is turned out dazzlingly: the counters and tables clean, the lights bright, the pastries, breads, and chocolates glowing—it is as if a curtain has been pulled back to reveal a sumptuously decorated stage.
Outside, the market is still quiet. The sun is still climbing over the Cincinnati hills and steeples, slowly turning the dim street outside into one gleaming, streaked with sun and shadows. Perhaps it is coincidental, but as I bite into my fresh apricot Danish, as I sip my steaming, dark coffee, the world wakes up—the sun crowns the last hill, the morning’s first customer strolls in, and Skirtz and Johnston have ushered in another day.’
Written by Avery Olund-Smith, Summer Intern, Smith Bites