Fortville Ice Cream Shop & Cafe Is a Local Favorite
Writer: Suzanne Huntzinger
Photographer: Ron Wise
Dig into that rich, creamy, warm chocolate dripping down the sundae glass from a heaping pile of vanilla ice cream, topped with nuts, whipped cream and a cherry. Yeah, that’s right, go ahead and Indulge. Because sometimes you deserve a treat and sometimes you just have to do it.
Indulge Café, right in the heart of Fortville, is cranking out sinful treats and sandwiches and keeping a piece of Fortville’s history alive.
The café at 10 S. Main Street in Fortville has transformed into a few shops since first opening in the 1920s, but back in the day, the building was most known for Heche’s Five and Dime store. The store was owned by the Heche family until 1986, when it became Phoebe’s Corner Market House, selling similar goods like cards, home décor and accessories, school and office supplies, and, best of all, the store continued to offer old-fashioned sodas and shakes, baked goods and a deli menu.
Instrumental in keeping the building’s history alive is Fortville native and entrepreneur, Lenzy Hendrix. Hendrix bought the building in the 1980s, his first of many acquisitions of historical Fortville buildings.
“He had a love for history, and a great love for the town of Fortville,” says Crystal Hendrix, Lenzy’s daughter-in-law and Indulge manager. The store continued to offer merchandise until just six years ago when Lenzy was ready to retire. All the pieces fell into place when Lenzy’s son and wife, Crystal, were preparing to move from McCordsville to the Fortville area in 2012. That’s when Crystal took over as manager, and the store became Indulge.
Though the store no longer continued to offer merchandise as it morphed into Indulge, the Hendrixes have taken care to preserve the memories held so dear by customers in the area. The original old-fashioned soda fountain remains, and old-fashioned candy cases handmade for Heche’s remain, proudly featuring delectable candies from Good’s candies in Anderson.
Indulge features a whole array of irresistible treats, like sundaes, shakes, banana splits and old-fashioned sodas. Among the favorites that keep packing in the people are the Pink Elephant (a nod to the iconic creature along Pendleton Pike reminding guests to stop in and stock up on beer, wine and other spirits) and the Wooly Mammoth. Both treats are built in a giant martini glass. The Pink Elephant starts with strawberry ice cream, then it’s topped with strawberry topping, Sprite, whipped cream and finally rock candy. The Wooly Mammoth instead is chocolate based, with chocolate ice cream and hot fudge.
No matter which treat you choose, you’d better come with a big appetite, because their scoops of ice cream are softball sized (for the regular) and baseball sized (for the kid-sized).
“What can we say? It’s called Indulge, it has to be big,” Crystal says.
The café spreads its fun beyond occasional visits for a sweet treat. The back half of the shop can be rented for birthday parties, bridal or baby showers, reunions or even company functions. You can choose between having just sweet treats or just food or both for your party.
Indulge participates in community events too. The café joins in Fourth of July fun for Fortville’s Fourth of July Festival, sidewalk sales, special events in the park, and they offer indulgent specials for Halloween to kids dressed in costume. During the summer, Indulge is host to an antique car hang out on Wednesday nights.
“Some regular customers who are antique car buffs asked us one night if they could gather around and show off their cars,” Crystal says. “We said yes, and once a week, they come, bring their cars here, hang out and socialize.”
Stop in for a treat today at Indulge, 10 South Main Street, Fortville. To reserve a party, call them at 317-660-4460. Check out their Facebook page for specials at facebook.com/indulgeu or visit them online at indulgecafe.us.