Ethan Snider has had a love affair with food for nearly a quarter of a century. Raised on Cincinnati’s west side, he worked up through the ranks at
, and eventually became an executive chef. In short, it was a dream come true.
Until he hated it.
“The corporate stuff just did not appeal to me,” Snider says. “I was there for less than six months.” He ended up at the Culinary Institute of America
in Hyde Park, N.Y., where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2004. After that, Snider moved around a lot. He worked at a tiny Batesville, Ind., restaurant that was run out of a three-car garage and after that, at a fine-dining restaurant in Boca Grande, Fla.
Moving around was great for a while, but Snider eventually grew homesick. “I liked it a lot, but I started to miss being here; I always wanted to make a name for myself in Cincinnati because this is where I’m from,” he says.
After moving back to Cinicnnati, Snider got started with his own food venture at local farmers’ markets because they have low overhead and a home-grown touch. With an eye toward the need for more locally sourced vegetarian and vegan options, Snider launched Summuh
(pronounced “SOU-mah”), a specialty hummus shop, first at a farmer’s market in Madeira and, then in Northside and Hyde Park. Most recently, he joined Findlay Market
, where he plans to weather the winter months.
Snider calls his wares “the Ben & Jerry’s of hummus,” and promises that “you’ve never had hummus like this.” Two of his core flavors are a chickpea hummus with lemon and rosemary and one spiced with cumin, coriander and cilantro and topped with red onions. There are also 12-15 seasonal flavors, including “Squashbuckler,” which features a butternut squash and navy bean base with ancho chili powder, garlic and a spicy black bean relish on top.
Though his hummus is organic and local, Snider says he’s no food evangelist. “I’m not trying to convert anyone to what I believe in or change the world." he says. "I just feel that if I believe in something, other people will start to believe in what I’m doing, too.”
By Robin Donovan