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Good Neighbors – Andie Hines

Posted by on January 16, 2019 | 0 comments

Good Neighbors – Andie Hines

Andie Hines – Supporting Women Entrepreneurs, Supporting Fort Wayne “The number one thing that makes businesses thrive is a strong peer community.” In Fort Wayne, there is an entire network of women entrepreneurs who are killin’ it in their field and making invaluable contributions to our community. Andie Hines is one of those people—she started Red Tree Pro in 2014 as a print brokerage, but soon realized that she had much more to offer her clients. Now, Red Tree Pro provides services in event planning, brand development, and marketing consulting. Her client list includes a wide range of organizations and businesses, including Tolon, University of Saint Francis, and Berne Apparel, to name a few. On top of this, Andie is the founder of Own Your Success, a non-profit dedicated to empowering and supporting female entrepreneurs in the area. Recently, I had an opportunity to sit down with Andie to talk about her journey through entrepreneurship in Fort Wayne, and her contributions to the community through both her business and non-profit. What were some of the first jobs you had that led you to start Red Tree? I sold paper for the first 10 years of my career, very much like in “The Office.” My job was to work with graphic designers in the community to help them find the best paper for their project, more of the fine art aspect of paper. That was a sales and marketing role—I did that for ten years and I loved it. Part of the sales aspect was that I would do ‘Paper’ lunches and invite graphic designers in the community to come learn about new products or new print techniques. That was really the launch into all of this. I was on the board for the Advertising Federation for around eight years and did programming most of that time. I planned the ADDY awards two years in a row and was president for two terms in a row. So, I was really active in that and that was all sales, marketing, and events. I worked for a couple ad agencies, but in early 2014 I found out I had cervical cancer. That was a big wake-up call that I didn’t want to keep doing what I was doing. As soon as I was well I wanted to start my own company. When I started, I was just a print broker, but I quickly found that my clients wanted more from me and just continued to shift from that. Now, Red Tree is essentially a full-service marketing firm, plus events. Tell me about your non-profit—how did it come to fruition? About six months after I started Red Tree, I started Own Your Success. It started out as lunch with girlfriends who also owned their own businesses. I wanted to get them all together so they could meet and maybe do business together. I invited 16, and 30 women showed up. It was fun and everybody got to meet and network, and it was fabulous. So, a few weeks later I planned another one and 60 women showed up, and so, Own Your Success was born. I never set out for it to be an entity with a name and a mission statement. Now, four years later, we’re at over 430 members. We have...

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The past and present of the historic Strauss Building

Posted by on December 13, 2018 | Comments Off on The past and present of the historic Strauss Building

The past and present of the historic Strauss Building

A Local Icon Most Fort Wayne residents are familiar with Fortezza Coffee—the local business has quickly risen to become a favorite coffee spot, restaurant, work space, and meeting place for the community since it opened in 2014. Its iconic location compliments the specialty drinks and eclectic menu for which the shop is known, the stylized red brick exterior standing out vibrantly against the surrounding businesses. But do you know the full history behind the building Fortezza calls home? Constructed in 1890, the Strauss Building (located at 821 S. Calhoun St.) is one of downtown Fort Wayne’s oldest and most recognizable structures. The building has served myriad purposes, housing a wide variety of businesses and institutions for the past 128 years. Fort Wayne’s Downtown Improvement District describes the Strauss Building as having “a rich history spanning an era of many inventions, entrepreneurs, and visionaries.” Then Sandra Lahrman, the Strauss Building’s current property manager, is knowledgeable about the structure’s past as well as its present. But the building’s longevity also lends itself to mystery. According to Lahrman, the original purpose for the Strauss Building when it was first constructed is unknown. “We don’t have the exact purpose of the building immediately after it was built, other than it was generally commercial use. But around the turn of the century it hosted a Western Union and various financial institutions,” says Lahrman. During its initial years, the Strauss Building was ahead of its time. It was one of the first locations in Fort Wayne to have early telegraph lines, the conduits for which can still be seen in the building’s basement. The Strauss Building went on to serve as the first office for Lincoln Financial Group, a Fortune 250 company that still has a large office location and prominent community presence in Fort Wayne. Later on in the twentieth century, it hosted several different business including boutique retail shores, a chiropractic practice, and general office space. Now When Fortezza Coffee owner Sean Wang was searching for a location to establish his business, he knew the Strauss Building’s historic charm and location in the heart of downtown were the right fit. “The landlords were able to save a lot of the original uniqueness, such as the ceiling and the brick walls, but also keep up with the updated safety code and functionality,” said Wang. In spite of its age and varied uses, the Strauss Building has fared incredibly well over time. Lahrman shares that some some long-forgotten signs of wear were discovered when the current management acquired the property. “There were signs of small fires when we began sanding and renovating the wood floors that were hidden by years of carpet,” recalls Lahrman. Its only major renovation in recent years happened in 2013-2015, when Lahrman’s company renovated the building into mixed residential and retail use. In addition to Fortezza Coffee on the first floor, the Strauss Building currently has four renovated apartments available to be rented on its second and third floors. Like Wang’s appreciation of the building’s elegant design, residents of these units are attracted to the space’s classic features alongside modern updates such as private laundry, upgraded kitchens and bathrooms, and walk-in closets. While some may be hesitant to take on the age-related challenges of a 128-year-old building for their place of...

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Celebrate New Year’s at the Philmore!

Posted by on December 12, 2018 | Comments Off on Celebrate New Year’s at the Philmore!

Celebrate New Year’s at the Philmore!

Bring your friends and ring in 2019, Philmore Style! Spectacular local artists: APQ-harmonic and Will Certain will be ushering in the New Year at The Philmore on Broadway on December 31st, from 7 p.m. – 1:30 am. Tickets also include a heavy hors d’oeurve buffet, NYE party favors, a champaigne toast at midnight, and a breakfast “fourth meal” at 12:30 am. Food and Beverage services will be supplied by Don Hall’s Catering, whose management team services the Philmore on Broadway. This event is in partnership with Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana. “2019 Year of the Pig” MENU: Chips & Guacamole Candied Bacon Shrimp Cocktail Martinis Applewood Smoked Salmon Canapes Vegetable & Noodle Pagodas Beef Tenderloin & Mushroom Brochettes Mesquite Pork Tenderloin on Garlic Naan Dessert Bar: German Chocolate Tartlets Tea Cookies Midnight Champagne Toast “Fourth Meal” served at 12:30am: Mini Quiche Assortment Rosemary Roasted Redskin Cheesy Potatoes Smoked Sausage Fresh Fruit Mini Danishes Coffee Bar Bloody Mary Bar Tickets will sell fast, so purchase yours on Eventbrite (CLICK HERE) today! (Tickets may also be purchased at Don Hall’s Guesthouse, 1313 W. Washington Center Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46825.) Questions? Call us at (260)...

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Thank you, Bill! – Bill’s Smokehouse

Posted by on December 3, 2018 | Comments Off on Thank you, Bill! – Bill’s Smokehouse

Thank you, Bill! – Bill’s Smokehouse

My husband and I have a lot of trouble eating out. Over the last ten years or so, we’ve become what I would call “at home chefs.” Between Food Network (with a heavy lean towards Alton Brown), ChefSteps (YouTube) and Bon Appetit’s YouTube channel, we’ve learned how to make phenomenal meals at home. We invested in an immersion circulator several years back and it’s changed our meat game like nothing else. We can pretty much make a restaurant quality meals at home, for a fraction of the cost, and have it cooked to perfection. Now, that’s kind of a double-edged sword . . . one, we don’t get the feeling of getting all gussied up and ‘going out’. Two, we don’t get to sit and relax and be waited on. Finally, the restaurants we might splurge on have disappointed us. Steaks aren’t cooked to the right temp. Asparagus is fibrous. Dishes were just lacking proper seasoning. I sound like a huge food snob, I’m sure, but when you can make food to a certain standard, you expect a restaurant to be able to hit the same standard, especially when paying so much. So, this brings us to Bill’s Smokehouse. Naturally, we were leary. We hold a special place in our hearts for barbecue. It’s smokey, succulent and just plain delicious. Also, it’s something we can’t do at home . . . yet. 😉 So we have our favorite place in town to get it and hold all others to that standard. As we walked into Bill’s on a cool, dark evening, we could smell the smokers from the back. The restaurant was quiet as there were only a couple other tables with guests. The room was moderately lit and looked nice with a classic, high-end look with a lean towards the a western theme. Booths and tables are both available and our booth was comfortable. Soon, we were the only table. Considering the menu is full of local, organic meats, it’s kind of hard to make a choice.We had a nice basket of corn bread while we made our decisions. While the inside was tender and sweet, the sides were dry. I went with the 28-day wet aged USDA choice tenderloin filet, six oz, a ⅓ rack of ribs, a side of apple slaw and fried Brussell sprouts. My husband got the pulled pork and brisket with sides of collard greens and green beans with bacon and onion. We also tried the sausage sampler as an appetizer. The sampler came with a smoked pork sausage, a chicken sausage, a couple cheeses and two mustards, as well as plain and wheat crackers. The smoked pork sausage was great as the skin was tight and had a good snap. The meat was well seasoned, smokey and had background hints of anise. (Side note: Neither of us are anise or licorice people, but we both agreed this sausage was great.) I had described this in my notes as “almost like eating pepperoni but special.”  The chicken sausage was dry and pretty tough but the flavor was okay. There were two mustards one being a thicker brown mustard that was really good. The other was a honey mustard that seemed artificial. The cheeses and crackers were pretty standard but good. Then . ....

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Solbird Kitchen and Tap – a Powerful Duo

Posted by on November 20, 2018 | Comments Off on Solbird Kitchen and Tap – a Powerful Duo

Solbird Kitchen and Tap – a Powerful Duo

Some couples were just meant to be together. Batman and Robin, Han Solo and Chewbacca, Bert and Ernie, and the newest collaboration on the Fort Wayne food scene – Sol Kitchen and Birdboy Brewing. Sol Kitchen was one of Fort Wayne’s founding food trucks boasting an elevated version of Tex-Mex fare. Inspired by the Bravas hot dog stand, owner Jerry Perez knew that Fort Wayne was ready to embrace the mobile food concept and embarked on a menu including Latin inspired tacos and quesadillas. Perez named his food truck after The Doors’ “Soul Kitchen”, where Jim Morrison crooned the lines “let me sleep all night, in your soul kitchen”. Just as Morrison was a huge fan of soul food, Sol Kitchen soon had a just as devoted fan base including yours truly who would never be deterred by a long line at the food truck, knowing the deliciousness that awaited you. After five years of serving amazing food on the truck at venues all around Fort Wayne and even in Roanoke, Perez set his eyes on higher sites. A stand along brick and mortar restaurant so he could expand his menu and fan base. Birdboy Brewing is a local brewery created by Ben Thompson who combined his love for planes and craft beer into brewing his own unique creations that can be found at over 60 high-end bars and restaurants such as Joseph Decuis. Birdboy was founded in 2015 and has a taproom located in Roanoke. With names like ‘Wit’s a Bird, Wits a Plane’ and ‘Redturn of the JedIPA’ you can see the creativity that goes into Birdboy’s European style beers. Loyal fans of both Birdboy Brewing and Sol Kitchen were ecstatic to learn of their partnership in the form of Solbird Kitchen and Tap located at 1824 W. Dupont Road in Fort Wayne.  Perez and Thompson have created a kitchen and tap concept that is destined for great success. The Solbird menu boasts food of many cultures, not just traditional Mexican flare. Next to the shrimp ceviche (which was a perfectly portioned bite on crisp tortilla chips and served with fresh pico de gallo and avocado crema) were Korean pork sliders and further down on the menu was a Thai shrimp burrito. Utilizing fresh local ingredients, strong influence from his Mexican roots, and some Latin flare, Perez does not shy away from flavorful profiles, which takes the Solbird menu to a whole new level. For the drink part of the equation, Birdboy Brewing has both flights and growlers available with everything ranging from a Belgian pale ale, a full-bodied Belgian Imperial Stout and, of course, a classic Oktoberfest. They also serve 22 ounce bombers with fun names like ‘Old Stolen Bicycle’ and ‘Canine Cosmonaut’. For those who prefer wine with their meal, the drink menu boasts wines from local Roanoke winery Two EE’s among its California, Spain, and Argentinian blends. I was lucky to be invited to Solbird’s soft open and shared the Albóndigas Sopa with my friend Gina. Perez described it as a “Mexican Pho” and that description was spot on! It’s a tomato-based broth with beef meatballs, carrot, potato, avocado and is served with serrano, habanero, and cilantro on the side so you can flavor it as much as you would like. It seriously blew...

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Festival of Trains to return to Science Central

Posted by on November 5, 2018 | Comments Off on Festival of Trains to return to Science Central

Festival of Trains to return to Science Central

Release from Science Central Looking for a family-friendly activity for you and your child in November? Spend Thanksgiving weekend doing something different at Science Central’s 22nd Festival of Trains! Starting the day after Thanksgiving, explore the world of model trains at this annual festival in Fort Wayne’s Science Central museum. Hours are: Friday, Nov. 23: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. All train enthusiasts and their families are welcome to join us during this fun weekend event. Admission is $9 for ages 3 and up, and free for 2 and under. Science Central Members get in free. For more information about Festival of Trains, contact Elyse Faulkner, school and public programs manager, at efaulkner@sciencecentral.org. Visit Science Central’s website...

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Planting Wholesome Roots with Cooking

Posted by on October 1, 2018 | Comments Off on Planting Wholesome Roots with Cooking

Planting Wholesome Roots with Cooking

  When I was growing up, (we won’t say how long ago that was), we only had a few cooking shows. From The Frugal Gourmet to Yan Can Cook and, of course, Julia Child, we sat and watched them make one delicious meal after another. I remember one particular episode of The Frugal Gourmet where Jeff Smith had characters from Sesame Street on. They cooked kid-friendly meals and played around a little. Fast forward to the late ‘90’s and we get an entire tv channel dedicated to cooking and baking. Shows like Great Chefs showed us the professional side of cooking and baking in restaurants, hotels, and theme parks. Emeril came on prime time with a Bam! The Two Fat Ladies taught us that no amount butter was too much. Then there was Iron Chef. The Chairman chose a high-qualified chef who, in return, got to pick an Iron Chef to challenge.   I believe that having family that cooked from scratch and access to these shows helped to grow my love of food and cooking. I love trying new foods, cooking in new styles, with new tools and creating my own recipes for my family to pass down. My kids love to cook, too! They’re interested in what dad and I are doing in the kitchen and often want to help. Sometimes, though, life gets busy. I don’t always have time to let the kids cut veg or help flip the pancakes. It gets hard to teach them everything I want to pass down. Also, I believe in having other influences to teach them. That’s where Wholesome Roots Cooking comes in. Wholesome Roots Cooking has cooking classes for kids. Meghan Hauser, owner and certified Healthy Hands cooking instructor, teaches kids hands-on cooking skills and that eating healthy can be simple! Her goal is to “plant wholesome roots for a healthy lifestyle.” “One of the best parts about my job is to watch students become inspired to create new food and feel proud of their accomplishments!” says Hauser. Wholesome Roots offers kids cooking classes publicly and also privately in schools, birthday parties and co-ops. They also offer a Homeschool Cooking Club where homeschoolers have a monthly class during the day on Tuesdays. Do you want to take a cooking class? Well, Wholesome Roots offers classes for adults, too! Just contact them via their website at www.wholesomerootscooking.com. While you’re there, you’ll find their class schedule as well as the types of classes they offer. Getting your kids involved in healthy cooking as young as possible will set them up for a healthy life so check out some Wholesome Roots Cooking classes...

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LFW Member Spotlight – Rob Hines

Posted by on September 28, 2018 | Comments Off on LFW Member Spotlight – Rob Hines

LFW Member Spotlight – Rob Hines

Have you ever wondered who the people behind Living Fort Wayne are? Or maybe you’re curious about the different things our team does every day that make Living Fort Wayne the go-to destination for all the great things happening in our city. In this new spotlight series, we’ll be featuring a few of our amazing volunteers who will share a bit about their contributions to Living Fort Wayne and what they do outside of their volunteer work with us. Today we are spotlighting Living Fort Wayne’s Contributing Writer, Rob Hines! What is your role with Living Fort Wayne and why did you decide to volunteer for our blog? I am a feature writer for Living Fort Wayne and I reached out to LFW after learning about the blog because I have lived here for…several years and I think this city has so much to offer that most people here don’t realize. I hope I can help increase awareness of our awesomeness. Tell us one thing about your life outside of Living Fort Wayne? In my spare time (which, as the father of a seven-year-old, may be a myth), I enjoy writing comic book scripts. However, my gross lack of artistic skill prevents these scripts from becoming actual things. If there’s an artist out there interested in drawing my books in exchange for Hot Wheels cars, let me know. We have plenty. If you could live any other place in the world, besides Fort Wayne, where would you live and why? Our dream is to buy a home on Mackinac Island overlooking the water. If you had a friend coming in from out of town, what is the one can’t miss thing you would show them or do with them in Fort Wayne? The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo after a few Coney Island hot dogs, of course. If you were going to karaoke tonight, what song would you sing? Sweet Caroline Keep your eyes peeled for the next Spotlight with another one of Living Fort Wayne’s volunteers. If you’d like to learn more about opportunities to help out with our blog, send us an email at info@livingfortwayne.com or reach out to us on Twitter and Facebook. We’re always interested in meeting with other folks who are passionate about sharing all that’s great about living, working and playing right here in Fort...

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Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest coming to Headwaters Park

Posted by on September 26, 2018 | Comments Off on Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest coming to Headwaters Park

Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest coming to Headwaters Park

Release from Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest The first Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest is set to take place at Headwaters Park on Saturday, October 6, 2018. The city will join others from Los Angeles to London in hosting this type of festival. Through the Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest, attendees will be able to experience a plant-only diet and vegan lifestyle firsthand and learn more about local and regional offerings. Festival-goers will have the opportunity to: Sample plant-based (even gluten-free) foods including pizza, burgers, guacamole and chips, noodle bowls, sloppy joes, cheese, chili cheese fries, burritos, pastries and baked goods, ice cream shakes and more Tease the palate with complimentary tastings of vegan food Visit vegan, fair trade and eco-friendly vendors Meet adoptable dogs available through the Allen County SPCA Listen to speakers discuss how to help the environment by adopting a zero-waste lifestyle Enjoy live music from Alyssa Enright, Kelsie Cotie and Be Colony Participate in kids’ activities – yoga, trivia, vegetable gardening, and more Listen to children’s book readings from local author Heather Leughmyer Learn how to cook plant-based foods through a cooking demonstration by a Fort Wayne plant-based instructor Participate in a 30-minute all-levels yoga class taught by Dani McGuire of Pranayoga Get questions answered by a panel of local vegans and plant-based activists, including Dr. Kristen Gerhardstein and Black Seed Vegans Sip a beer from four local breweries, including Hop River, Junk Ditch, Trubble and Chapman’s Try kombucha, tea or Mexican coffee “We’re excited to invite the public to learn how a plant-based lifestyle can improve their health, lessen their impact on the environment and reduce animal suffering,” said Heather Dahman, festival chair and founder of the Fort Wayne & NE Indiana Vegans & Vegetarians Group, in a prepared release. The Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest is open to all ages and free to the public (however, fees will apply to beer and foods and goods being sold by vendors) from noon to 6 p.m. A special VIP hour will run from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., which will allow early access to all of the food and vendors for one hour before opening to the public. Tickets are $15, and only a few are still available. At the event, attendees will have a chance to complete a “bingo” card with visits to select vendors and be entered to win a grand-prize package, including plant-based meals from the popular delivery service Sprinly and cookbooks from Ben Bella Vegan Publishers. The Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest is made possible by generous sponsors who include Mitchell’s Sports Bar, Young Urban Homesteaders, Kaya Organics, the Health Food Shoppe, Foods Alive, the Allen County SPCA, Pembroke Bakery & Cafe, Three Rivers Food Co-Op Natural Grocery& Deli, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Plant Based University, HD Marketing & Design, 800 Degrees Three Fires, Sweetwater Sound and Granville Insurance. For more information about the Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest, including a detailed schedule of the day’s events and place to purchase VIP tickets, visit www.fwvegfest.com. Register there, too, to be eligible for a free goodie bag — only a certain amount will be handed out that day — stuffed with products and...

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Wet Paint: Stain and Stencil

Posted by on September 24, 2018 | Comments Off on Wet Paint: Stain and Stencil

Wet Paint: Stain and Stencil

One of the hottest trends in home decor is signage. Whether it’s a quote, a simple word or a personalized motto, signs are what people are looking for to tell their guests more about them and maybe as a reminder to themselves. Another trend is the DIY movement. People are trying all sorts of new crafts and having a great time. Whether it’s an evening with their friends or family or even alone, trying something new and getting creative is fun and relaxing. Stain and Stencil combines both of those trends into one. Their DIY sign workshops are perfect for new and pro crafters alike! You walk in and owner, Rachelle Harkenrider, and staff take care of you every step of the way. They’ll transform you from newbie to pro in just one sign! Once you’re in the shop, you’ll get to pick all of your color and stain options. The staff will teach you how to apply stain or paint and distress your board. Then, you’ll apply your stencil. The staff has lots of tips and guides for making sure you get it on just right. Then, you’ll paint in the stencil with the colors of your choice. Depending on your piece, you may or may not have a few more steps to finish. Rachelle and her team work hard to make sure you’re happy with your piece. To sign up for a workshop, simply go to their website (www.stainandstencil.com) look through their gallery and find a sign you’d like to create. Then find their calendar and an open workshop. If you’d like any customization, you can let them know in the registration process.  Have an event or a group you want to create with? Stain and Stencil will set up a private event with your group. As a unique small business owner in town, Rachelle has been eager to help and collaborate with other small businesses wherever possible. From sign projects, to cupcakes for customers, to the wine slushees she includes in your workshop, Rachelle is sharing the business wealth and helping other businesses grow along with hers. You can find Stain and Stencil on Facebook, Instagram and at their website, www.stainandstencil.com. Check out their social media what others have done with their signs, for specials, and upcoming...

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