YLNI Farmers Market In Full Swing
Jun12

YLNI Farmers Market In Full Swing

Downtown Fort Wayne has the PERFECT place to grab a morning cup of coffee, a bite for breakfast, some groceries and a little something extra for yourself too! The YLNI Farmer’s Market on the corner of Berry and Barr is a HUGE gathering of local farmers, entrepreneurs, bakers and craftsmen that set up shop from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays in the summer. My best advice is to arrive right at 9. On my visit to the farmer’s market I left around 9:45 and the street was packed! Some vendors even had items crossed off their menus because they had ALREADY sold out. Like the saying goes, the early bird…well, you know…the early bird gets the last fresh snickerdoodle! Here are some finds from my most recent trip to the YLNI Farmer’s Market: I made off with a bath bomb from Redmaster Fusion that, no joke, smells like Fruit Loops . The owner, Kerry Redmaster, started her shop 8 years ago making soy candles and expanded from there. One of the coolest things I have seen is her creation of a bath bomb/soap bar. Just throw the whole thing in the tub and when the bath bomb fizzes out, you are left with soap- Genius! Visit her shop at https://www.redmasterfusionllc.com/ or in person at 537 W. Jefferson Blvd. Did I mention there is a surprise in the middle of her bath bombs? For my kitchen table I purchased some pea shoots and pine berries. Pea shoots taste just like peas, and are loaded with even more nutrition than the full grown plant. These and other “micro greens” are available at the market, and taste delicious on a salad or in a sandwich! I ate my pea shoots tossed with some mozzarella and parmesan cheese, served over lemon and herb spaghetti. Pineberries are white “strawberries” with red seeds and have the faint taste of pineapple in each bite.  Tea drinkers- visit Teajutsu. Actually, you non-tea drinkers go too, just to enjoy the catchy names! With teas called “I Am Froot” (Guardians of the Galaxy) and “Winter at Hogsmeade” (Harry Potter), it’s hard to resist geeking out with a cup. I purchased the Strawberry Shortcake tea, it tastes as bold as it smells and saves calories. This tea tastes just like the real thing! Your taste buds will thank you for visiting the online shop- http://www.teajutsu.net/. You can even place an order online and they will bring it to the market for you to pick up. (Editor’s note – the Teajutsu is a part of the nearby Fort Wayne Farmers Market, also on Barr Street). The YLNI Market is truly a...

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Crossroads Kombucha – Entrepreneurship Spotlight
Oct24

Crossroads Kombucha – Entrepreneurship Spotlight

  It started with a creative spark after trying kombucha tea. Robert Johnson has always been creative with a few Amazon best-selling books already under his belt. After trying to shake a soda habit, Johnson found this bubbly drink and decided to start-up something new in northeast Indiana. We caught up with Johnson to ask him all about this beverage and his growing business, Crossroads Kombucha, which is expanding in the coming months into a new space in Fort Wayne. So…what exactly is kombucha? Kombucha is non-alcoholic, fermented tea. That fermentation process makes it a health beverage. Within each bottle is about two billion probiotics, so a lot of people drink it for health reasons. What made you decide to open a business in northeast Indiana? Back when I was just a consumer of kombucha, I’d go to the store to find new brands and flavors I hadn’t tried yet. It didn’t take long for me to realize almost every brand was imported from either California or Oregon. I thought it was a shame, as Fort Wayne has such a great appreciation for local products, farmers and businesses. The idea to create Crossroads Kombucha – a great tasting, locally produced fermented tea company – hit me in early 2016, and I tried really hard to get it up and running before anyone else latched onto the idea, which would have happened sooner or later. If someone is trying kombucha for the first time, what flavors do you recommend? Newcomers tend to gravitate towards the fruity flavors – mango + strawberry is a good one – strawberry + basil is another good first choice. What would you say is the most unique flavor Crossroads Kombucha offers? We do cinnamon peach, which really literally tastes like peach pie. It has that very unique flavor for a drink. That’s one of my favorites. We’re about to launch lavender grape, which is also a unique combination of two flavors in one. Could you describe who is on your team? There’s really three of us – myself, my wife Yvonne and then our operations manager, Tom Brookshire. He’s really the business mind behind Crossroads. I’m the functional mind behind it. What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business? The greatest challenge by far has been meeting demand. We bypassed the standard farmers market route and went straight to retail in April 2016. Demand was so strong that we added 6 locations within the first two months as a business. Then, as word of mouth began to spread, we realized we had bitten off a bit more than we...

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