Retailers and Restaurants and Specialty stores and Retail and Real Estate & Retail and Small Business and Inside Dish

INSIDE DISH: Goose the Market laying golden eggs

June 25, 2010
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Welcome back to IBJ’s video feature “Inside Dish: The Business of Running Restaurants.”

Our subject this week is Goose the Market, an old-school butcher shop and deli that is quickly becoming a fixture in downtown's revived Fall Creek Place neighborhood. It resides on the ground floor of a distinctive three-story structure—with a banked facade that looms out over the sidewalk—on the northeast corner of Delaware and 25th streets. It had been the site of an abandoned gas station before a public-private partnership cleared the land and developed the new building, purchased by Mollie and Christopher Eley in 2007.

A chef and restaurant manager tired of working for others, Christopher liked the site as the home for his first business, an unassuming butchery specializing in smoked and cured meats supplied by Indiana producers, as well as artisanal cheeses, locally sourced produce and a boutique-sized collection of wines and craft beers.

"I've known for a long time that I've had the entrepreneurial spirit," said Christopher, 31, an underachiever and "C" student at Lawrence Central High School who found a passion for the restaurant business in his late teens.

Goose the Market (inspired by wife Mollie's childhood nickname, as well as the word's connotation of spurring change) opened in October 2007, with the Eleys residing in the second and third floors of the building. Offering gelato, sandwiches and espresso drinks helped drive foot traffic. A shout-out from Bon Appetit in 2008 as one of the nation's 10 best sandwich shops cemented its status as a hot spot for connoisseurs of smartly prepared swine, fowl and cow.

With a dedicated neighborhood following and scads of suburbanites dropping in for charcuterie on their way home from work, Goose appears to be minting golden eggs. Sales hit an impressive $850,000 in 2009 (with a profit of $83,000), and are tracking to pass $1 million this year.

"This has blown our projections out of the water," Christopher Eley said.

In the video below, he details developing the original concept for the butcher's shop and how it evolved.



 

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Goose the Market
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2503 N. Delaware St.
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(317) 924-4944
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www.goosethemarket.com
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Concept: Old-school neighborhood butcher shop and deli specializing in a wide variety of meats from Indiana producers, artisanal cheeses, European-inspired dry goods, wines and craft beers.
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Founded: October 2007
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Owners: Christopher and Mollie Eley
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Employees: 12
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Start-up costs: $114,000
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Sales/profit: $850,000 sales/$83,000 profit (2009); $586,000 sales/$2,400 profit (2008).
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Seating: 25 (15 inside; 10 outside)
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Goals: Sales are on track to pass $1 million in 2010. Christopher Eley is working on developing a USDA-inspected meat production facility in downtown Indianapolis, providing a conduit for small meat producers in Indiana to process meats and sell them wholesale directly to hotels, restaurants and other buyers. The facility would allow Eley to relocate meat processing operations from Goose the Market, giving the market more space to grow and employees more time to focus on customer service.
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Good to know: The Eleys purchased the three-story residential-and-retail building for $500,000 in 2007, prior to opening Goose the Market. They lease the 2,000-square-foot ground-floor retail space to an LLC ownership entity for the market and live in the top two floors with their dog, Bean.
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