Gallery: BuskerFest celebrates street performances, music and art
Jun30

Gallery: BuskerFest celebrates street performances, music and art

Each summer, Fort Wayne gathers downtown to celebrate busking (or street performing) with a lineup of performers from across the country. This is event is hosted by Fort Wayne’s Downtown Improvement District. Check out this gallery of this year’s successful event! Juggling, poetry, stilt walkers and more take up Calhoun Street in downtown Fort Wayne. A living statue performs at BuskerFest 2019 much to the delight of kids and adults of all ages. Allez-OOPS! featuring Rob and Miss Jane performed at BuskerFest 2019 with an eclectic blend of comedy, circus, and tricks! The popular fire spinners from Pyroscope closed another successful BuskerFest event in downtown Fort Wayne. For more information on this and other exciting downtown events, visit...

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Gallery: Trolley tour highlights Vincent Village initiatives
Jun28

Gallery: Trolley tour highlights Vincent Village initiatives

A few members of Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana joined Vincent Village‘s neighborhood trolley tour on Thursday night. This tour highlighted Vincent Village projects and initiatives and gave an overview of additional investments in the Oxford Community and Renaissance Pointe neighborhoods in Fort Wayne. According to its mission, Vincent Village Inc. serves homeless families with children. It is the only transitional shelter in Allen County serving two-parent families and single-male headed families. Tour participants enter the Vincent House Transitional Center, which provides shelter and supportive services for homeless families with children. Denise Andorfer, the executive director of Vincent Village, gives an overview of neighborhood projects and initiatives in and around Vincent Village. Vinnie’s Empowerment Store where clients can acquire clothing and other goods to help them during their transitions. Children’s art dries on the rack after an early evening painting activity for kids at the transitional shelter. Tour participants also visited the former fire station number 9. This community asset outside of Vincent Village was renovated into the Johnnie Mae Farm. Inside of the renovated former fire station at the Johnnie Mae Farm. City residents can participate in healthy cooking class in Our HEALing Kitchen, which is sponsored by the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and Parkview Health. The Johnnie Mae Farm is a partnership between the City of Fort Wayne’s Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services and the Purdue Extension – Allen County Office. For more information on Vincent Village, visit their website at vincentvillage.org. For more information on the Johnnie Mae Farm, visit...

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What’s next for Living Fort Wayne?
May09

What’s next for Living Fort Wayne?

Readers, As you may have noticed, Living Fort Wayne’s blog has been a little quiet recently! Since 2012, Living Fort Wayne has been your go-to source for all that is great in northeast Indiana! Recently, we decided perhaps there is a better way to share our region’s story! Today we are regrouping and focusing in our strengths – our strong social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. In addition to this, we are in the process of developing some new high impact, interactive content ideas for telling the story of our region better! Keep an eye out in the coming months as we usher in the next generation of Living Fort Wayne! Also, be sure to check out our annual Living Fort Wayne Concert Series again this...

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Good Neighbors – Olivia Lehman
Mar05

Good Neighbors – Olivia Lehman

Fort Wayne is continually being described as “the city that saved itself”, and a place with exciting growth. The growth we see in Fort Wayne is because of the great people that live here, call it home, and want to see Fort Wayne embrace itself as a city worth loving. People like Olivia Lehman. A new event called CreativeMornings has been brought to the community thanks to Olivia and she, along with the CreativeMornings Fort Wayne team, want to see people connect and embrace the creative nature that is within all of us. Olivia is the associate director of development for the nonprofit Water for Good, and is the host of CreativeMornings Fort Wayne. I spoke with Olivia about what inspired her and her team to take on this event, and how it’s making an impact in our community. What is CreativeMornings (CM)? CreativeMornings (CM) is literally a breakfast lecture series for the creative community where people can come together with no agenda or boundaries, share ideas, and be inspired. The goal is for it to be a safe, sacred place for people to just be together. How did you get started with CM? I lived in Indianapolis for six years and volunteered at the CM events in Indianapolis. When I moved back to Fort Wayne I saw the potential. I had experience with event planning, and bringing people together so it felt natural. When I moved back to Fort Wayne, I had to jump out of my comfort zone and start meeting new people. I went out for drinks, started having conversations, and when I asked people to join me, a lot of people were interested. A big influencer for me was Matt Kelley, the owner of One Lucky Guitar. When he heard about what I was planning to do, he was all in and asked how he could help me make it happen. What has inspired you throughout this process? I was actually inspired by the book “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. To sum it up, she describes that if you have a dream, it may pass you by and someone else will pick it up instead. You could miss out, but if you take it and run with it, great things could come of it. What type of people attend CM? All kinds of people! People from ad agencies, banks, schools, people who are creative but you may not expect them to be. The CreativeMornings manifesto starts out with “everyone is creative” and I think that sums it up. All are welcome. Talk to me about the guest speakers. How do you find them? We have...

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United Coffee – Bringing Europe to Fort Wayne
Feb11

United Coffee – Bringing Europe to Fort Wayne

Coffee is the quintessential universal language. No matter where you go, no matter what country you are in, a coffee shop is the place you go to meet friends, study, and hang out. It can be the home to new beginnings and chance encounters and it was certainly by chance that I stumbled upon Fort Wayne’s newest local coffee shop, United Coffee. Tucked away in a shopping plaza at 6447 W. Jefferson Blvd. that houses Buffalo Wings & Ribs, Pak Mail, and Chops Steak & Seafood, is the cutest coffee shop on the corner lot where a credit union used to stand. Owners Tony and Marina Horani greet their customers by name as they enter the cozy shop with its cheerful yellow chairs and twinkling fairy lights. Their goal is for people to feel welcome – like they have invited them into their home for a cup of coffee. Marina, a native of Kaliningrad (which was German until the end of WWII and is now a part of Russia), laughed as she told me she feels like she knows more people in Fort Wayne than in her homeland. Tony, a native of Fort Wayne, had told her how welcoming his hometown was  and that was one of the things that drew them back. Tony is a graduate of IU’s Kelley School of Business and armed with a degree in accounting moved to the nation’s capital to work in real estate investment. Marina was studying at a university in Russia that had an exchange program for English immersion which she was taking in DC, which is how the two met and fell in love. The two loved traveling and had a love for coffee and local businesses. “I’ve always wanted to own a family business and we have such a great economic environment in Fort Wayne.” Tony explained. “Fort Wayne is the NYC of small businesses…but with training wheels. People want to see you succeed. The competition isn’t as stiff and the city is willing to let you figure things out.” United Coffee is a culmination of products that the Horanis explored in their travels. “We wanted to build something we would enjoy,” Marina noted. One year ago while they were on a layover in Amsterdam, they tried their now signature waffles, the Liège waffle. These waffles come from a local baker in Brussels, Belgium. Waffles are one of Belgium’s most famous exports, yet they do not have what we consider a Belgian waffle. Instead they have two categories of waffles that have existed for hundreds of years: the Brussels waffle (which is similar to our American version of a Belgian...

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Pop-up coffee shop opens in the ’05 – Rowe Coffee Co.
Feb07

Pop-up coffee shop opens in the ’05 – Rowe Coffee Co.

What makes a good cup of coffee? Is it the taste? Is it the experience? Or is it something greater? California transplant Andrew Rowe was 23 when he started Rowe Coffee Co. as a pop-up bar with a few friends. After years of offering pop-ups at events, Rowe is starting the next chapter in its expansion in Fort Wayne. This month Rowe Coffee Co. is now offering a pop-up coffee shop experience inside the Urban Attic Pop-up Shop in the East State Neighborhood (2329 Crescent Ave.). The pop-up is taking place throughout the month of February from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Saturday. Thinking ethically “Our slogan – ‘doing good coffee for the greater good’ – that was kind of what we base all of our decisions on,” Rowe said. “From hiring somebody or from choosing the pour-overs to how we’re sourcing the beans.” After immersing himself in literature, classes and video tutorials, Rowe has continued to research ways to make beverages better. “I started looking at ways to source coffee more responsibility, more ethically, more consciously,” Rowe said. As a result, Rowe explored topics like human trafficking and slavery in coffee’s supply chains. “We want make sure everything is ethically sourced,” Rowe said. “Before I chose Yellow Cup [Coffee Roasters] as our primary roaster, I had asked him to give me some details on how he knows that child labor and slave labor is not used.” Rowe worked with Yellow Cup to develop the Rowe Coffee Co. blend. The blend, which is 50 percent Ethiopian and 50 percent Colombian, pairs well with milk. Rowe performed numerous taste tests to find his signature blend. Rowe estimates he went through five-to-six Ethiopian samples before he found the perfect blend. In addition to seeking out ethically-sourced products, Rowe Coffee Co. also donates ten percent of profits to Charity Water, a non-profit organization with a mission to bring clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries. In 2018, Rowe Coffee Co. helped 18 individuals get access to water. Community matters After this month’s pop-up, Rowe hopes to eventually develop a full-scale coffee shop by 2020. In this space, customers will be able to experience interactive coffee culture right in the ’05. “I’d love to see a community built around Rowe Coffee Co. and this space specifically,” Rowe said. “I really want to be bringing together the coffee community, as well.” Rowe envisions activities like latte art throwdowns and coffee competitions. With interactive events, local coffee shops and baristas can learn and grow together in this field. Rowe also has been surprised by how much support he sees in Fort Wayne after coming...

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