Passion For Produce
Annabelle’s Garden to the City opens in south Broad Ripple
Writer / Jon Shoulders
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Don’t let its modest size fool you – Annabelle’s Garden to the City at 52nd Street and College Avenue has a lot going on inside.
Part juice bar, part produce purveyor and part eatery featuring cocktails and local beers, the establishment represents the next step in owner Josh Horrigan’s evolution as a champion of fresh, quality produce for the Indy community.
Horrigan began Annabelle’s Garden – named after the daughter who first helped him plant his garden – in 2012 as a way to sell his own tomatoes and cucumbers exclusively to local restaurants and farmers market patrons.
“I lived near Recess restaurant in Broad Ripple at the time, and started trading them my heirloom tomatoes for gift cards,” Horrigan recalls. “Regina Mehallick from R Bistro and R2GO also contacted me and wanted to buy tomatoes after eating at Recess, and that’s when a light bulb went off and I thought, ‘Why don’t I start selling these?’ The next year I started working with other farmers and selling some of the stuff they grew at the Broad Ripple Farmers Market.”
Horrigan also began striking up supplier relationships with several restaurants and hotels throughout Indy, and Annabelle’s Garden was off to a rousing start. To stay busy through the winter, he even began making annual trips with his daughters to buy produce from a few small family growers in Florida and sell their products here in Indiana.
After the Broad Ripple Winter Farmers Market at Bent Rail Brewery implemented a policy last year requiring all vendors to sell only Indiana-grown products, Horrigan began pondering the benefits of having his own year-round storefront.
“I realized that with a store, I could sell all of our stuff even during the winter, which includes produce from the Florida vendors and the 11 farms we work with around Indiana that grow for us, as well what we grow on the 68-acre plot that I lease in Fowler, Indiana,” he says.
In the fall of 2017, Horrigan struck a deal with Diedra Henry and Marc Urwand, owners of Taste Café and Marketplace, and found himself with his very own brick and mortar establishment next door.
“Marc and I are old friends and used to work at Oceanaire together,” says Horrigan, who grew up in Broad Ripple. “They asked if I’d be interested in putting a concept in the old Eat + Drink spot and partnering with them.”
That concept is, in a word, diverse. Nestled between Taste and the Red Key Tavern, Annabelle’s Garden to the City offers fresh produce, fruit juices and smoothies, as well as a seasonal hot plates menu prepared in the Taste kitchen with Horrigan’s own ingredients.
“I send Diedra a seasonal product list of what we’re going to have for the following four to six weeks, and then she comes up with a menu,” Horrigan says. “It’s a nice arrangement.”
Annabelle’s Garden to the City officially opened on November 30, and in addition to its food menu and juices, it now offers local and regional beers including Bell’s and Taxman on tap. Squash, mushrooms, herbs, tomatoes, cabbage and apples comprise just some of the produce that typically lines the shelves inside, and customers can choose from a preset list of juices or build their own.
“I don’t think there are any stores in the community that are quite like us,” Horrigan says. “Along with the beer we’re also going to have kombucha on tap, and cocktails infused with our own ingredients. We’re doing some things that a lot of people aren’t doing.”
Horrigan plans to further diversify Annabelle’s in 2018 by offering pre-made meals in disposable packaging using locally sourced meats and veggies, and implementing cooking, gardening and healthy eating seminars onsite. He also expects to launch a podcast this year on cooking and nutrition with one of his mentors, long-time chef and WISH-TV contributor Wendell Fowler.
“Knowing where food comes from is really important to people nowadays, so I think that’s advantageous for us because with everything we sell, you know where it was grown and harvested, the variety of the vegetable and all that stuff,” Horrigan adds. “Everything we sell, including the produce from our family farms in Florida, is fresh and chemical free, and I think people are seeing the value in that.”
Annabelle’s Garden to the City is located at 5168 North College Avenue. For more info, visit facebook.com/annabellesgardentothecity.