A Strong Foundation
Foundation Coffee Company Serves Up Coffee With a Purpose in SoBro
Photographer / Michael Durr
Foundation Coffee Company is serving the local community in a few different ways.
As you’d probably expect from the name, Foundation Coffee, which officially opened on November 25, serves up a full coffee and tea menu for patrons, as well as pastries, sandwiches, soups and sandwiches. In addition, the shop also helps to feed underserved kids throughout the Indianapolis public school system.
Along with Public Greens, another eatery under the umbrella of Indy-based Patachou, Inc., Foundation Coffee Company allocates its profits towards the Patachou Foundation, founded in 2013. The Foundation was started by Patachou, Inc. owner Martha Hoover to prepare and deliver made-from-scratch, after-school meals for food-insecure children attending Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). Store Supervisor Korie Pickett says all Foundation Coffee Company funds aside from staff payroll costs go directly toward the Patachou Foundation’s operations.
“The Patachou foundation has served so many kids in the city, and I think the coffee shop is just another great step in that mission,” Pickett says. “It’s a win-win because we serve great coffee and food, and the people that come here are getting a great product and then serving a good cause just by buying a cup of coffee or a pastry.”
According to statistics provided on the Patachou Foundation website, more than 80% of children enrolled in IPS qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. Since its inception in 2013, the Patachou Foundation has provided more than 100,000 after-school and school-break meals to food-insecure kids throughout Indy’s public schools.
“The Patachou Foundation has tried to feed kids that need a hand of course but also teach healthy eating habits to kids for the long term,” Pickett adds.
This summer Patachou Foundation leaders will begin a food fellowship program, through which six high school students will work for six-weeks in various capacities including the coffee shop and Patachou Inc.’s kitchen headquarters space, where the Patachou Foundation’s after-school meals are made for IPS kids. The 4,000-square-foot kitchen space opened in the summer of 2019, and Pickett says Patachou Foundation officials hope that having the dedicated space, combined with additional funds coming in from the coffee business, will increase after-school meal production.
“In the fellowship program we’ll be teaching the kids customer service and barista skills, and they’ll also be working at our kitchen and our onsite farm,” Pickett explains, adding that a micro-farm at Foundation Coffee is projected to be complete by late spring and will include leafy greens and root vegetables. “It’s really teaching them all kinds of skills, including cooking skills, and helping them to be more food literate.”
Foundation’s coffee selection comes from Hubbard & Cravens, featuring a special house blend called the Foundation Blend as well as espressos, cortados, macchiatos, cappuccinos and lattes. Iced and hot teas, hot chocolate, kombucha and sodas round out the beverage menu.
Foundation Coffee Company’s food is prepared in Patachou Inc.’s production kitchen, and its locally-sourced menu currently features sweet and savory danishes, pumpkin bread, pound cake and cinnamon rolls as well as paninis, a vegan salad, a grilled cheese and more. The shop’s modestly-scaled interior consists of five tables and three individual study areas.
“It’s been really steady so far and there’s been great support for the coffee shop,” Pickett says, adding that the shop currently has a staff of five. “We have a lot of foot traffic from Marcy Village (apartments). The whole concept is very community-driven. From using locally-sourced food and then making everything in house, and then also the mission of the business itself — it’s all happening with a focus on community and enables us to be in close touch with everyone around us.”
Foundation Coffee Company is located at 4565 Marcy Lane in Indianapolis (at the intersection of 46th Street and Marcy Lane). Hours of operation are Mon. through Fri. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sat. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, including full food and beverage menus, call 317-932-3737 or visit foundationcoffeecompany.org.
For more on the Patachou Foundation, including details on upcoming events, a shop and a donation page, explore thepatachoufoundation.org.