Resident Profile – Benjamin Walters, 29
By Mary Martineau
Benjamin Walters is a busy man. Named after Benjamin Franklin, Ben, like his namesake, has many interests and occupations. He works for Experience Columbus, is proprietor of one of the newer businesses in the North Market and recently purchased a house in Harrison West, which he shares with two friends (so we can add “landlord” to his enterprises). In his spare time, he likes to ride his bike, listen to local bands and exercise his cooking skills.
Having grown up in Upper Arlington, Ben is no stranger to Columbus. He moved out west to earn a degree in tourism from Arizona State before returning home to Columbus. He puts that degree to apt use as the director of Experience Columbus’ Visitor Center, a position that was posted just as he was moving back into town three-plus years ago. He enjoys alerting visitors and residents alike to the interesting attractions and activities around the city. He puts in another 20-plus hours each week at his fledgling stand, North Market Spices. A regular shopper for fresh items from North Market who had to go elsewhere for accompanying spices, Ben recognized a need and put in an application for the spice business. He is especially fond of creating new spice blends to share with customers.
Ben has been living in Harrison West for a few years. He came to the neighborhood by way of a friend who lived in Village West. Ben liked the apartment complex and its proximity to the things he wanted to do, so he moved in there, too. After a couple years, though, his rent started to go up, and Ben realized that it would make economic sense to buy a house. When house hunting, Ben wanted to stay in Harrison West, and with the help of a local realtor, he found the perfect place at West Third and Pennsylvania. In October 2010, Ben became the proud owner of one half of a side by side. Ben even scored the side with three stories and now resides on the third floor of the 2,000 SF, three bedroom, three bath home that he shares with a couple of friends. He has not completed any renovations on the space, but he has plans to remodel the third floor bathroom as well one of the second floor bathrooms.
Ben likes Harrison West because it is close enough to High Street yet removed from the noise and traffic of Columbus’ main thoroughfare. He is super close to the bike path, which makes it convenient for him to hit the trail and ride “until he can’t ride anymore.” He also likes that Harrison West is close to OSU and within walking distance of both of his jobs. And of course, it’s an all-around great and friendly community. When he wants to go out for a drink or a bite to eat, Caffe’ Apropos, Katalina’s Café Corner and Zeno’s are literally a hop, skip and a jump from his place.
When he’s not working, you might find Ben on the bike trail by day or out catching local music by night. He’s a fan of local bands Deadsea, Hell’s Fire Sinners and the Salty Caramels, so you can often spot him at hangouts like Ruby Tuesdays, the Shrunken Head or Woodlands Tavern. When he’s spending time at home, Ben enjoys cooking and utilizing some of the spice blends and rubs he concocts for North Market Spices. Since barbeque season is coming, you can expect to find him grilling up ribs and chicken with his custom barbeque blend or out smoking meat in his backyard.