Page 1

MAY 2018

SERVING MERIDIAN HILLS, WILLIAMS CREEK AND NORA

MAGAZINE

atBrip.com


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FRANCHISE PUBLISHER Tom Garriott

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EDITORIAL MANAGER

NEXT DOOR: AMERICAN EATERY BRINGS FRESH, FARM-TOTABLE FOOD TO INDY Next Door American Eatery on North College Avenue is a solid example of the farmto-table movement that has gained local and national momentum in recent years — a movement that the restaurant’s owners were pushing long before it became a trend.

Josh Brown

Josh@TownePost.com

MAY WRITERS

Jon Shoulders / Matt Keating Carrie Petty / Megan Jefferson Nicole Sipe / Seth Johnson

MAY PHOTOGRAPHERS

22

28

Ron Wise / Brian Brosmer Amy Payne / Ryan Woodall

SHOP LOCAL! Help our local economy by shopping local. Advertising supporters of the Broad Ripple Magazine offset the costs of publication and mailing, keeping this publication FREE. Show your appreciation by thanking them with your business.

6

Next Door American Eatery Brings Fresh, Farm-to-Table Food to Indy

14 Through the Lens: Roberts Camera Celebrates 60 Years In Business

16 Business Spotlight: Service Plus 19 April Showers Really Do Bring May Flowers

22 Raffi's Tacos: Broad Ripple Taco

25 Spreading Out: Family-Owned B.

Happy Peanut Butter Is Becoming a Central Indiana Favorite

28 Move Your Feet: Le Danse Ballroom Is Still Dancing 40 Years Later

30 Working Up a Sweat: Broad Ripple Fit Club Owner Talks Building Community, New Renovations

Joint Satisfies Your Late-Night Cravings

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHTS ARE SPONSORED CONTENT

The Broad Ripple Magazine is published by the Towne Post Network and is written for and by local Broad Ripple area residents. Magazines are distributed via direct mail to more than 10,198 Broad Ripple area homeowners and businesses each month.

TOWNE POST NETWORK, INC.

P.O. Box 36097, Indianapolis, IN 46236 Phone / Fax: 317-810-0011

atBRip.com TownePost.com atBrip.com / MAY 2018 / BROAD RIPPLE MAGAZINE / 5


AMERICAN EATERY BRINGS FRESH, FARM-TO-TABLE FOOD TO INDY Hugo Matheson (left) and Kimbal Musk co-own Next Door American Eatery located south of Broad Ripple in a space previously occupied by Double 8 Foods. 6 / BROAD RIPPLE MAGAZINE / MAY 2018 / atBRip.com


Writer / Jon Shoulders Photographer / Amy Payne

Next Door American Eatery on North College Avenue is a solid example of the farm-to-table movement that has gained local and national momentum in recent years — a movement that the restaurant’s owners were pushing long before it became a trend.

the age-old concept of breaking bread with people around you, and that’s really what brings life together - so let's do it with friends and real food.”

Next Door patrons will find themselves in a casual atmosphere that features a spacious bar with 18 taps, as well as local artwork including a sketch of the building from more than 70 years ago when it operated as a Kroger market. The menu, chock-full of Located south of Broad Ripple in a space ingredients from Indiana farmers, includes previously occupied by Double 8 Foods, the starters like kale chips, charred cauliflower restaurant is the most recent manifestation salad and buffalo chicken bites, a selection of a large-scale passion project of chefs and of veggie and seafood bowls, as well as entrepreneurs Hugo Matheson and Kimbal burgers, sandwiches and daily specials. Most Musk, who currently run six other Next entrees are priced between $9 and $16. Door locations in Colorado and Tennessee. The duo has been banging the local food Fourteen years ago Musk and Matheson drum since back in 2004, and Musk says founded The Kitchen Restaurant Group, Indy was the perfect locale for their next the umbrella company that operates Next venture. Door as well as several other restaurants “I've always loved food for the way it connects people together,” says the Colorado-based Musk, who grew up in South Africa and graduated from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. “You have

including Hedge Row American Bistro, a casual establishment that also offers locallysourced cuisine from a wood-fired oven at a slightly higher price point than Next Door. On April 3 The Kitchen opened its third Hedge Row location on Mass Ave.

atBrip.com / MAY 2018 / BROAD RIPPLE MAGAZINE / 7

Musk, who attended the French Culinary Institute in New York City back in 2001, says The Kitchen was created to bring national awareness to the importance of healthy, locally-sourced eating, and supporting local farmers and artisans. “We started working with local farmers because the food just tasted better - we didn't even think about it as a movement,” he says. "Back in those days there was no such thing as farm-to-table, and we just found industrial food didn't taste very good after it’s trucked in from thousands of miles away. So, we started working with local farmers and found the food to be delicious and interesting.” Musk began scouting the Indianapolis area two years ago and was struck by how vibrant the local food scene had become. “The warmth in this town is just amazing, and people in Indianapolis have been so welcoming and loving,” Musk says. “We’re super excited to be here.”


Musk isn’t the only innovator in his family - his brother Elon is currently the CEO of Tesla, Inc. and founder of SpaceX, a rocket and spacecraft designer and manufacturer. Kimbal sits on the boards of both companies, although these days much of his time is spent on various foodrelated projects, including his Learning Gardens, which are outdoor edible produce beds grown in underserved schools across the U.S. He’s launched 31 of them in

Indianapolis alone.

simple.

“The interesting thing for us is how much people really appreciate the difference between real food and industrial food, so that's been powerful,” Musk says. “Indy’s got a wonderful real-food scene, so we're hoping to fit in and be a part of that community.”

“We do it because the food tastes better, and it’s better for you,” he says. “It's just fantastic. Indiana farmers are great at growing what grows best here.”

Next Door is partnering with more than 20 local farmers, and for Musk the reason is

8 / BROAD RIPPLE MAGAZINE / MAY 2018 / atBRip.com

Next Door American Eatery is located at 4565 North College Avenue in Indianapolis and celebrated its grand opening in May. Visit nextdooreatery.com for more info.


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2018

MOM OF THE YEAR

PHO TO C ONT E S T E N T R I E S THANKS MOMS FOR ALL YOU DO!

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PHOTO SUBMITTED BY:

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TownePost.com / MAY 2018 / INDY METRO

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY:

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Marketing and Human Resources Director Meredith Reinker, and owner Bruce Pallman.

THROUGH THE LENS ROBERTS CAMERA CELEBRATES 60 YEARS IN BUSINESS Writer / Jon Shoulders Photographer / Brian Brosmer

Roberts Camera’s ability to thrive in the photography, lighting and electronics retail business for 60 years has involved much more than just keeping up with industry technology that seems to evolve almost daily. Meredith Reinker, marketing and human resources director, says the Indianapolisbased, family-owned company’s willingness to adapt its business model to customer habits and shopping methods has been just as important to its success as keeping up with the camera and lighting industry’s ongoing technological advancements.

“The jewelry wasn’t doing great at the time so they started to pick up additional lines – service merchandise catalogs were how people shopped back then so they basically became a catalog showroom,” Reinker says. “One of my grandfather’s employees at the time was a high schooler who was taking a photography class and told my grandfather he could sell cameras. It was good timing in the sense that film was really evolving at that point and film cameras were getting popular, and then, of course, eventually digital took us into the next era.” Since its founding, Roberts Camera has continually found effective ways to reach beyond its Indy customer base, from a thriving mail-order business through the 1970s and 1980s to a successful sales presence through its official website, which was launched back in 1997. In 2012 the Roberts staff began a buy, sell and trade sister company called UsedPhotoPro, which deals exclusively in used camera equipment primarily online.

The company, which offers a full range of new and used photography, audio, video and lighting gear and currently operates two brick-and-mortar locations in Carmel and downtown Indianapolis, was founded by Reinker’s grandfather Robert Pallman as a modest jewelry business on South Capitol Avenue in August of 1957. Almost Reinker says her father Bruce, who has immediately, Pallman began adjusting his run the company for the past 45 years, business concept to meet customer demand. has brought an open-minded approach to INDY METRO / MAY 2018 / TownePost.com

sales and customer service that has helped Roberts Camera stay in business in a time where many camera shops have closed their doors due to dwindling sales. “Over the past 10 years, the evolution has been going fast with how people shop,” Reinker says. “Retail has changed so much as it’s gone from people having to walk into a retail store to shopping online – our sales now are about 60 percent online and 40 percent retail. So again, it’s that combination of staying with the technology and then how people actually approach retail.” To commemorate 60 years of service in Indianapolis, Reinker and her 64 full-time and part-time Roberts co-employees – many of whom have been with the company for 20-plus years – held an in-store celebration in August with special deals and promotions as well as free photography classes and camera cleanings. “Twice a year we also do a spring and fall photo expo where we bring in our manufacturer representatives, and tech reps from Nikon, Canon, Panasonic and all those types of brands,” Reinker adds.


“We offer free classes all day long, which helps to promote the classes that we offer regularly. We usually have anywhere from 10 to 12 classes a month for every level of photographer from fundamentals of photography up to specialty lighting and that kind of stuff.” Reinker adds that the explosion in iPhone camera use has had a twopronged effect on her industry, phasing out less expensive, pointand-shoot cameras while at the same time increasing interest in higher-end equipment and accessories. “The iPhone has gotten a lot of people interested in photography that otherwise might not have been, especially with social media where everybody is a photographer now,” she says. “So, we have people coming in now that have been using their iPhone for a long time but want to take that next step and get better images with better equipment.” Reinker believes the company is primed for another 60 years of success as long as it remains adaptive and flexible in the face of an ever-changing marketplace. “As Indianapolis has grown we’ve received a ton of support. Indianapolis has a very strong and vibrant community of photographers,” Reinker says. “In a time where photography has changed drastically, I think our customer base and the support we get from Indiana as a whole is awesome. Indy is a great place to be.”

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SERVICE PLUS HEATING, COOLING, & PLUMBING 7520 E 88th Place Indianapolis, IN 46256 317-218-7929 ServicePlusNow.com

Writer / Seth Johnson Photographer / Ron Wise

Chris and Emily Cunningham truly value quality customer service. In fact, it’s why they started their own customer-service focused heating, cooling and plumbing company, Service Plus, in the first place. “Before we started Service Plus, we were a couple of kids, fresh out of college and at our first real jobs,” Emily says. “We owned our first home and needed to have some repairs done, and I was appalled at how incredibly hard it was for me to find a company to do the repairs, show up when they said they would, and get the work done properly. I said to Chris, ‘Honey, don't you know how to do a lot of this stuff? I think we could really make a difference in the home repairs industry.’”

Service Plus owners Chris and Emily Cunningham

they even have their 9-year-old daughter and so well that our customers become raving 12-year-old son help around the business fans,” Emily says. when possible. As for providing fulfilling careers for their “Our family is totally involved in this employees, Service Plus ensures that all its business — we love it,” Emily says. workers are adequately prepared to do their Ultimately, anyone who interacts with job with confidence. Service Plus becomes a part of the company’s family too. “We want to have the best trained and Through this realization, Service Plus was qualified employees, so our strategy is to born. Although running the company “We love the customers we serve,” Emily consistently offer technical training and was certainly a learning experience in adds. “We love the team we work with, customer service training to make sure the beginning, Chris and Emily quickly and that's what it all boils down to — the repairs are done properly the first time and picked up on the ins and outs of the home people.” that the excellent customer experience maintenance world, all the while keeping carries through from beginning to the end customer service at the heart of everything.   At the heart of Service Plus are two core of your repair,” Emily says.  values: Providing excellent service from “Once we were both working for Service the best trained and qualified technicians Having recently moved to a new location Plus full time, which was within four and staff members, and providing fulfilling just south of 96th Street on I-69, Service months of when we took our first service careers that employees joyfully embrace.  Plus will now be able to serve both its call, we were 100 percent committed and customers and employees even better. we knew it was sink or swim,” Chris says. To inquire about heating, cooling and “We were determined to make it work and When it comes to excellent service, the company has a standard they’ve set for plumbing needs, be sure to give them a be the best at what we do, and we still feel themselves. call at 317-434-2627, or visit them online that way today.” at ServicePlusNow.com. The Service Plus “We define ‘excellent service’ pretty simply: team would love to help with any heating, Now 15 years and three kids later, Service cooling and plumbing needs you may have. Plus is still proudly a family business. In fact, we do what we say we will, and we do it INDY METRO / MAY 2018 / TownePost.com


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APRIL SHOWERS REALLY DO BRING MAY FLOWERS Writer / Carrie Petty

Oh May, your glorious month. Time to get busy! If April is the time when the garden is emerging from sleep, then May is the time in the garden when she has had two full cups of coffee and ready for high gear, time to bloom! Where to begin. Let’s talk lawns first. Make sure that mower blade is sharp people, and do not ever mow when it is wet. This is the first step to preventing diseased lawns. Also, to prevent moles set out multiple traps along the moles trail. An old American Indian trick — it is said that the moles move to the surface on a warm, sunny day at high noon. You can get them with a garden spade if you have the constitution to do so. I call the hubby for that trick.

Saturday worth of mulching and gardening chores, make sure you give the old body a good stretch and warm up a bit. Your back will thank me in the morning. At the age of 54, I have settled for one of those seat thingies that you can flip over and kneel on too. It has saved my gardeners back from strain. Visit all your local gardening centers and pick up something new. I suggest every year adding a new tree or bush to the landscape and at least a couple of new perennials to the flower garden. Always, always, try new veritable varieties. So many cool ones come out each year. If you have not tried Purple Kohlrabi, then you need to.

When planting any newly purchased pot grown specimen, a good tip is to scrape off the top half inch of soil out of the pot If you did not get your crab grass and toss it in the trash, not the compost preventative down in April, do it as soon as bin! This is where the weed seeds reside. possible. And make sure you cut your lawn Taking that soil off the top of the pot will to the highest setting on the mower, this way help prevent the introduction of new weeds you are shading out weed seeds in the soil in your garden. Particularly, the hard to and will have a much healthier lawn. The eradicate Thistle-It is a monster. taller the blade, the deeper the root! Many Indiana landscapes now have Hostas Now, when it comes to general gardening peeking up through the soil, their tall green chores for the month of May, first things spikes curled into a cone format, this is the first, stretch. Before you head out for a full perfect time to divide them and make more TownePost.com / MAY 2018 / INDY METRO

plants. Place your spade two inches away from the growth and dig down deep, tip your spade back to unearth the root ball to loosen. Do this all the way around the plant base and pull the entire thing out of the ground. Then divide each green spire into a new plant, making sure you capture a good rootstock as you go. This is the easiest and cheapest way to increase the size of one’s garden. This is the very act of ‘gardening’ itself! If you do this, I give you permission to call yourself a gardener. Bravo! Dividing Daffodil bulbs is a great chore to do now, and your garden will reemerge in the spring with a fresh facelift of yellow blooms. Just dig up a clump of foliage left behind after the blooms fade, and pull apart the bulbs with your hands. Again, be sure to capture a good rootstock with each bulb if you can. If not, they will survive. Replant one-by-one in a new hole elsewhere about six inches deep. This is also a great time to use a granulated fertilizer on your Tulips and bulbs to strengthen their roots for next year’s bloom. Gardening is always about looking forward. It is the most optimistic duty. So get going my friends. And as always, I hope I have helped you “Grow a More Beautiful Life!” Cheers.


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Rafael Mendoza, owner of Raffi’s Mexican Tacos in Broad Ripple.

Raffi’s Tacos

BROAD RIPPLE TACO JOINT SATISFIES YOUR LATE-NIGHT CRAVINGS Writer / Matt Keating Photographer / Ron Wise

Rafael Mendoza, owner of Raffi’s Mexican Tacos, 801 Broad Ripple Avenue, is similar to a late night talk show host. He welcomes his guests with open arms, a positive attitude, some entertaining stories, and his own special brand of humor. He’s even been around several Hollywood stars. The personable and funny Mendoza, and his delicious tacos are popular weekend fixtures in Broad Ripple. He stays open late on weekends to welcome the bar hoppers and late-shift workers, chatting them up and making great food. Mendoza has had a colorful past. He previously worked as a caterer on several

movie sets with stars Anne Hathaway, Tom Cruise, Christian Bale, and Sylvester Stallone. He’s been the personal chef for Indy 500 Race Car Owner Chip Ganassi. And he’s also known hard times.

country and world.

“I worked as a chef on the sets of ‘3:10 to Yuma,’ ‘Rocky 6,’ ‘Lions for Lambs,’ ‘Spider Man,’ and ‘Princess Diaries 2.’ It was a lot of fun, and I was able to travel to a lot of sets,” When he was in his younger years, Mendoza he says. was homeless. Mendoza later went to work as a personal chef for Ganassi for several years. “I was living in California and had no money, and nowhere to live,” Mendoza says. “Over the years, I worked in several places, He started his taco restaurant in 2013, including body shops and fish markets, (which was previously George’s Mexican before I later became a cook, and then later Tacos), and hasn’t looked back. A new a chef, at different restaurants. I had to work restaurant name and some minor menu my way up, but each job was better than the changes have kept things fresh. last one.” “I love Indianapolis, and I love Broad He eventually started working as a chef for a Ripple,” Mendoza says. “This location in catering company, “For Stars Catering,” that good for the weekends, which is when we would provide food at movie sets across the did the majority of our business. People like 22 / BROAD RIPPLE MAGAZINE / MAY 2018 / atBRip.com


to come in here late at night and get their favorites. Our tacos are our number one seller.” The tacos come with meat or shrimp, with two topping choices, including cilantro, onion, lettuce, cheese, tomato, or sour cream. The meat choices include steak, grilled chicken, ground beef, chicken chipotle, or chorizo. The sides are rice, chips or refried bean soup. Queso is also offered.

The burritos at Raffi’s Mexican Tacos include the Custom Burrito, a choice of one meat, refried beans, rice and shredded cheese. There is also a Veggie Burrito with broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, and onions. “You have to try our nachos too, which come with a choice of ground beef, or chicken chipotle, or you can get steak or grilled chicken,” Mendoza says. “They are great anytime, but again, the late-night guests really love them.”

Raffi’s Mexican Tacos is closed on Sundays and Mondays. It’s open from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and from 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s open from 6 p.m.3 or 4 a.m. “I like the late night atmosphere,” Mendoza says. “This is a good spot to get something to eat when you get those cravings for great food.”

Raffi’s Mexican Tacos is located at 811 “The burritos are a big hit,” Mendoza Broad Ripple Avenue or give them a call at says.”Customers love them and keep coming Quesadillas are also offered, with a meat choice of steak, grilled chicken, ground beef, 317-672-9816. back for more.” or chicken chipotle.

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Jon Weed and his wife Kathy, along with their children Julia, Jackson and Sawyer, officially started B. Happy Peanut Butter in 2013.

SPREADING OUT FAMILY-OWNED B. HAPPY PEANUT BUTTER IS BECOMING A CENTRAL INDIANA FAVORITE

Writer / Nicole Sipe Photographer / Ryan Woodall

There is a jar of B. Happy’s Go Lucky sitting on one of the uppermost shelves in my kitchen. I put it up there so it would be out of sight, and hopefully, out of mind. Otherwise, I would not be able to stop myself from devouring spoonful after spoonful of the smooth yet crunchy peanut butter studded with bits of milk chocolate, toffee and rice crispies. Yeah, it’s that good. Apparently, lots of other people agree, because the popularity of B. Happy has exploded since Jon Weed and his family

(wife Kathy, and children Julia, Jackson and Sawyer) officially started their peanut butter business in 2013. Now, you can find jars of B. Happy in shops big and small around Central Indiana (everywhere from Goose the Market in Fall Creek, to Target in Avon, to Fresh Thyme in Broad Ripple), as well as Market District grocery stores throughout the Midwest. But B. Happy has humble beginnings. The idea started when Weed couldn’t buy one of the brands of peanut butter his family liked anymore. So, he decided to make peanut butter himself. “Through a lot of trial and error, and some really bad attempts, I finally came up with atBrip.com / MAY 2018 / BROAD RIPPLE MAGAZINE / 25

some flavors that worked well,” Weed says. He didn’t have a culinary background, but he did have a computer. “I had to look on the Internet just to see how this whole peanut-butter-making thing worked,” he says. At first, Weed made peanut butter for himself and his family and would occasionally give jars to friends. “Our friends really liked it, and so when a friend offered to let us use their commercial kitchen, we decided it would be a fun family project to sell it at the Zionsville Farmers Market that summer,” Weed says. “Really, that was about all we committed to - every


other week at the farmers market. We didn't have some grand plan for the business that evolved.” Even though he didn’t have a business plan for the company, in the beginning, Weed knew from the start that he wanted to involve his family in the business. To Weed, B. Happy was a way to teach his children about all aspects of small-business owners and the nitty-gritty details that come with it. “[B. Happy] was and is a true family business,” Weed says. “Our kids helped from the start. I do quarterly and annual financial meetings with the whole family, so the kids have learned a lot about business through these meetings. They are still involved in making and jarring, but we now have employees that help since we have grown so much.” B. Happy has grown significantly in these past few years. What was once a hobby has now grown into a full-fledged company that employs people outside the family. “B. Happy has grown into a semi-full-time job for Kathy and a few of our friends who are now employees,” Weed says. “For the first nine months of the year, most of the

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work can be done in three or four days a week.” During this time of the year, they usually produce about 1,000 jars per week. Once the holidays hit it’s all hands on deck though as that number triples to about 3,000 jars per week. “Come the holiday season, it is a five- to six-day-a-week job for most of us,” Weed says.

the jar with a big spoon. Weed credits B. Happy’s success to the legion of family and friends who have given their time and effort to the company.

do it all without them. We didn't know that five years ago we would become ‘The Peanut Butter Family’ but it has been a great experience, and we feel lucky and blessed that it has become much more than we ever expected.”

“Our employees are good friends who have invested a lot of time and pride into the Visit the B. Happy website to find retail locations or to order online: bhappy-peanutbusiness, which makes them awesome to butter.myshopify.com. work with,” Weed says. “We literally couldn't Job #: 33147-22 Color(s): 4C Size: 4.75" x 7.125" Branch: 240

The secret to B. Happy’s popularity can be attributed, in part, by the quality of ingredients used to make their nine signature flavors.

Bleed?: N Pub: Townepost

“We start with really high-quality, honeyroasted peanuts that we get by the ton and grind ourselves,” Weed says. “We then mix in the various ingredients.” Those ingredients can be anything from white chocolate and pretzel pieces in the Dream Big flavor, or dark chocolate, coconut and almonds in Don’t Worry.  Each flavor is made in small batches to ensure that every jar is of superior quality. “When we say, ‘made in small batches,’ we are not kidding,” Weed says. “The peanut butter is made in ridiculously small batches, but that is needed to give each jar the unique texture of B. Happy.” Weed says he likes all of B. Happy’s flavors, but if he had to pick, his favorite is Count Your Blessings, which includes dried cherries and milk chocolate. “Kathy loves Dream Big with white chocolate with pretzels, Sawyer and Jackson like Go Lucky with chocolate and toffee, and Julia is a fan of Pay It Forward with apple and cinnamon,” Weed says. “Our best seller is the Dream Big white chocolate with pretzels. There is something about the combo that people are addicted to and the pretzels stay super crunchy.” Although you can eat B. Happy on a sandwich, Weed says that it’s not really made to just go on a sandwich. The B. Happy website suggests to try using it as a dip with apple slices or pretzels, stirred into yogurt or slathered on pancakes. But really, the best way to eat B. Happy is straight from

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Owner and Director Jean Nichols (middle) opened Le Danse Ballroom Club in 1978.

Move Your Feet

Le Danse Ballroom Is Still Dancing 40 Years Later Writer / Megan Jefferson Photographer / Ron Wise

Dance always had that attraction to me,” she says.

Jean Nichols opened Le Danse Ballroom Club, off of 62nd and Allisonville Rd. in 1978. It is still grooving strong today.

When Nichols was 20 years old, she finally started dance lessons. She took a training program to learn to teach dance and then seamlessly went on to take the franchise As a young girl, Nichols was always involved program and then opened the Le Danse in sports and loved moving her body Studio. through gymnastics, but never pursued dance. She grew up watching Fred Estare Over the past 40 years, the studio has movies and admired his elegance and the taught thousands of people to dance. From way he made dancing look so fun. brides, grooms, fathers, daughters, sons, “I think when most people see something they like it becomes part of their desires.

mothers and singles – they have programs for everyone.

Owners Shannon Stone and Ted Miller

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At Le Danse, they use the interrelated award system to teach dance. This method teaches the relationship between several dances, patterns and dance concepts. Nichols believes this is the fastest way to teach someone to become a great and versatile social dancer. However, they are also flexible teachers. “We are a constantly evolving studio,” Nichols says. “We are continuously searching for the best way to explain ourselves to help people enjoy the process of learning dance.” Le Danse has four instructors who have


all completed a 300 lesson dance training program before they begin teaching. They offer Private Lessons that help couples find their unique style and help them learn at their own pace. Semi-Private classes are for groups of people all at the same skill level. In these classes, 4-6 couples or 10-12 singles work with each other and solidify their dance and technique. “When a couple walks off the dance floor, the best reward is other people telling them, ‘You’re great dancers.’” Nichols says. “We teach our students to simply say ‘thank you,’ knowing they had fun and looked good too.” In keeping current with dancing and dance trends, they have a National Dance Board. This consists of a select group of former and current dance champions and some of the best dancers and teachers in the country. Their job is to help keep the studio current on all the latest dance techniques and trends. The studio also hosts weekly dances for club members. They serve snacks and participants

dress up. “Students can learn dance here, use it here and enjoy it here,” Nichols says. Nichols has seen 20 year-olds ask 70 yearolds to dance at these weekly get togethers. She believes that dance and music blur the generation gap. People expand their social worlds, gain confidence and have so much fun. When asked if she has a favorite dance, Nichols says that was like asking a mother if they had a favorite child. “They all have different personalities, and are all beautiful and unique,” she adds. Nichols wants to encourage everyone to get out and learn these different dances – samba, tango, salsa, swing, rhumba and more. She is fascinated by the studies that show the positive effects dance has on seniors. Both dance and music make you think and these experiences help ward off dementia and have obvious positive health benefits.

“Dance is nothing more than beautiful movement to math,” Nichols says. Le Danse offers a new member special. Get four, 40-minute sessions (2 private, 1 group mechanic and 1 group practice session) for $90. These are taught in 3 visits, 2 private and 1 double group session. Nichols is humbled by the beauty and power of dance and is passionate about sharing dance with everyone. She just wants everyone to try it and expand their horizons. “Watch the videos on my website, those women love to be held in their husband’s arms,” she says. “Dance has given these people confidence because they have a skill that everyone admires.” Le Danse Ballroom Club is located at 2640 E. 62nd St, Indianapolis, IN 46220. You can visit ledanseballroom.com to get involved.

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Working Up a Sweat Writer / Jon Shoulders Photographer / Ron Wise

Take a stroll down the Monon Trail, and once you get north of 64th Street you might begin to hear the clanging of barbells, bouncing of medicine balls, and grunts of athletic strain coming from Broad Ripple Fit Club (BRFC). For nearly 10 years now, owner Jeff Edwards and his staff have been helping dedicated individuals reach their fitness goals, and Edwards says the best is yet to come at the facility.

BROAD RIPPLE FIT CLUB OWNER TALKS BUILDING COMMUNITY, NEW RENOVATIONS

through structured physical exercise. “I thought rather than being a doctor and helping people to be healthy that way, I’d try to help people prevent the onset of metabolic disease, and try to mitigate those problems ahead of time with prevention rather than cure,” says Edwards, a certified NSCA Strength and Conditioning Specialist who has competed in multiple National CrossFit Games.

Three years after opening in 2008 under the name Forged Fit at 71st Street and Binford As a biology major at Indiana University, Avenue, Edwards found a space in Broad Edwards was inspired by his exercise science Ripple owned by Howald Heating, Air classes, and by the benefits he saw from his Conditioning & Plumbing to relocate his own rigorous fitness routine, to launch a operation, which was one of the first in Indy career promoting health in his community to offer group CrossFit – a program that 30 / BROAD RIPPLE MAGAZINE / MAY 2018 / atBRip.com

focuses on functional body movement at a high intensity level. “I originally wanted to open up in Broad Ripple but warehouse space is difficult to find there,” Edwards says. “The space we finally found was a little rough but with a little loving care we were able to make it into a fantastic fitness space.” Today BRFC (formerly CrossFit Broad Ripple), offers not only CrossFit classes, which remain the club’s most popular offering, but also BRX, a high-energy, circuit-based group class, and individual training sessions. The club’s growing popularity stems in large part, according to Edwards, from a widespread desire for diversified workout experience.


“People have started to realize that the type of exercise that we do – functional exercise, guided by expert coaches and a lot of personal interaction – has a lot of benefits,” he says. “It’s different than going to a gym where you kind of put your blinders on, and do your thing and get out.” Edwards recently renovated his facility to include a members area, which has storage cubbies, seating with coffee tables and snacks for sale, as well as a new front desk and office space. In 2015 he added 3,000 square feet to his existing building for increased workout space and says that

as demand for both group classes and individual training sessions continues to grow, it’s the personal attention to each member that separates BRFC as a unique training facility.

perceived physical limitations.

“It’s totally normal to feel intimidated at first,” Edwards says. “Doing anything that’s new and outside your routine is going to seem like a dramatic step to take. We’re here “We’re still a fairly small gym, and we don’t to help people get the most out of their exercise. After you take a deep breath and have thousands of members,” he says. “We make that first step, you’ll be surprised that know everybody by name and greet them when they come in. It’s much more personal it’s not as scary as you think it was.” than your average gym.” Broad Ripple Fit Club is located at 6542 Westfield Blvd. For more information on Member ages range from 16 to 67, and programs and class times, call 317-695-3175 Edwards says what he enjoys most about or visit brfitclub.com. being a gym owner is seeing individuals of all ages and fitness levels overcome their

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Broad Ripple Magazine May 2018  

Next Door American Eatery on North College Avenue is a solid example of the farm-to-table movement that has gained local and national moment...

Broad Ripple Magazine May 2018  

Next Door American Eatery on North College Avenue is a solid example of the farm-to-table movement that has gained local and national moment...