Good Neighbors – Andie Hines
Jan16

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...

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The past and present of the historic Strauss Building
Dec13

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...

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Proximo – the Future of Downtown Dining is “Next”
Jun12

Proximo – the Future of Downtown Dining is “Next”

Downtown Fort Wayne has been growing exponentially and the restaurant scene is no exception. When The Golden closed its doors last November, rumors started flying as to who would come into the new space. I was incredibly excited to hear it would be none other than restaurant entrepreneurs James Khan, Pete Shuey, Lysa Pelkington and their amazing culinary team. You may know them from Baker Street, Hoppy Gnome, and Gnometown Brewing. Proximo means ‘next’ in Spanish and this is the next endeavor in the team’s growing restaurant empire. The restaurant is Latin inspired and will be open at 6 AM seven days a week, which will step up Fort Wayne’s brunch game. Having been an avid fan of its predecessors, I was thrilled to be invited to Proximo’s soft open this past weekend. The dinner menu was extensive and filled with so many items that I wanted to try that I was very glad I brought reinforcements that were willing to share. From five different ceviches, a variety of salad options, tantalizing appetizers, and entrees like street corn filet, my advice is to come hungry! I quizzed the group I brought and hands down our favorite appetizer that we tried was the Sope. Made with shrimp, Spanish chorizo, I’m pretty certain there may have been a fight over the last piece. The Tuna Tiradito was a close second. The combination of firm sliced tuna, fresh avocado, sweet pineapple and spicy jalapenos was truly a delight on the palate. I may have lightly stabbed someone in an attempt to steal all the jalapenos. I asked Khan what he recommended for our entrée choice and he said the Seafood Paella had been a huge hit so far. Initially he was not planning on having a paella option on the menu, but his wife Erika insisted that the menu wasn’t complete without it. Unfortunately, the paella was so popular that night that they sold out before I could sink my teeth into it. We did, however try the Salmon Succotash, Street Corn Filet, Pork al Pastor, and Ribeye a la Parrilla entrees all of which were flavorful and unique. The Patatas Bravas were divine and I could most certainly live on a diet solely comprised of it. You may think at this point that we couldn’t possibly have room for dessert, but if there is anything my dad has taught me, dinner is not complete without dessert! I was so full that I didn’t take a picture of the dessert menu, but I have included pictures of the actual desserts for your viewing/drooling pleasure. There was a hotly contested debate between which...

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How to Celebrate National Wine Day
May23

How to Celebrate National Wine Day

Merlot? Wine not. We all know that Memorial Day weekend is around the corner, but did you know that Friday, May 25th is National Wine day? What better way to kick off the start of the summer season than with a full glass of wine? Well, I have a few ideas to help you celebrate this delightful occasion right here in northeast Indiana. Satek Winery View this post on Instagram If April showers bring May flowers, what do frozen showers bring, cacti? #OhMy #CaseOfTheMondays #🌧💐❄️🌵 A post shared by Satek Winery (@satekwinery) on Apr 9, 2018 at 6:47am PDT This winery is located in Fremont, Indiana and offers over 40 varieties of wine. If you can’t celebrate on Friday, stop in on Saturday for a tour and a tasting. Tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m.   Two EE’s Winery View this post on Instagram Happy Daylight Savings! Savor that extra hour of sunshine on our patio with a glass of your favorite ☀️#daylightsavings A post shared by Two-EE's Winery (@twoeeswinery) on Mar 11, 2018 at 9:36am PDT Located less than 20 miles from downtown Fort Wayne in Huntington, Indiana, Two EE’s offers a variety of fruity wines with a beautiful scenery. On Friday, you can enjoy your wine while listening to The Colin Boyd Trio live, and grab a bite from one of the food trucks on-site. Check out their Facebook Event for more details.   Country Heritage Winery View this post on Instagram It’s a great day for a CH Wine Slushie! #wineslushies #chwinery A post shared by Country Heritage Winery (@countryheritagewinery) on May 16, 2018 at 11:05am PDT   Also under 20 miles from downtown Fort Wayne, Country Heritage is located in Laotto, Indiana. Taste some of their award-winning wine on Friday from 6-9 p.m., enjoy live music from Acme Blues Band and satisfy your hunger with food from Sol Kitchen.   Wine Down   If you’re feeling the downtown vibe, try Wine Down located in the heart of Fort Wayne off of Jefferson Boulevard. Split some tapas with your friends while enjoying a glass of chardonnay.   Nick’s Wine & Martini Bar View this post on Instagram It's a beautiful day to come enjoy our patio! Not to mention we have karaoke starting now!! #nofilter #patiolife #beautifulweather #nicksmwbar #liveinthe05 #dtfw #winebar #sunshine #martinibar A post shared by Nick's Martini & Wine Bar (@nicksmwbar) on May 19, 2016 at 5:04pm PDT   Nick’s Wine & Martini Bar is a great spot to grab a glass of wine (or a martini), hang out with friends and share some appetizers. Its convenient location on...

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Discover Northeast Indiana This Summer
May04

Discover Northeast Indiana This Summer

It’s finally starting to get warm in northeast Indiana after the first “real” winter we’ve had in the past few years. Flowers are blooming, trees are budding and new businesses are opening all around the area. And even though it’s only May, it’s close enough to summer to get out and enjoy the area. Grab your camera (or your darn smart phone) and take in all this region has to offer! Our Living Fort Wayne team will be right there you documenting what’s great about living, working and playing in Fort Wayne (and the surrounding area, too)! If you have great photos to share about your life in northeast Indiana this spring and summer, tag us on Facebook and Instagram and use the hashtag #LivingFortWayne. Here’s some of what we’ll be documenting this year: Your Favorite Familiar Sites How many different ways can a community photograph the Allen County Courthouse? It seems like every year photographers from the area put their own twist on capturing one of Fort Wayne’s most beautiful buildings. I’m sure we’ll have our own spin on this community landmark again this year! New Places, Too! From new places to grab a quick lunch to fine dining establishments in the heart of the city, Fort Wayne is seeing its share of new food and drink options all around town. Neighborhood Character We love downtown, and we love our neighborhoods, too. Fort Wayne has more than 110 square miles of land. Let’s see how much of it we can see! The Area’s Many Festivals It’s great to follow along online with all of the happenings going on in our city, but it’s even better to get out with the community to experience everything our city has to offer. From old family favorites like the Three Rivers Festival and Johnny Appleseed Festival to newer features like Middle Waves Music Festival and Hobnobben Film Festival, northeast Indiana seems like it has a festival going on almost every weekend. Country Life Don’t forget to leave the city limits! As the old familiar Indiana Beach commercial says, “there’s more than corn in Indiana.” Go out and take a look for yourself! Enjoy the farmland or take in one of the area’s county and state parks and land trusts. And Our Surrounding Communities Northeast Indiana wouldn’t be northeast Indiana without all of the small-to-mid-size communities located across our region. Head out to Huntington or Garrett for a drive-in movie or visit one of the automobile museums just up the road in Auburn. There’s plenty to do in an hour’s drive right here in northeast Indiana. Stay in touch for more from Living...

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