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INSIDE DISH: Goose the Market laying golden eggs

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Inside Dish

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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  • Care
    Regardless of whether this area is referred to as downtown, midtown, uptown, yourtown, mytown, naptown, kudos to the Eley's for bringing such a wonderful shop to the neighborhood. Hope to be in the basement soon for a brew. And, I hope others will start to realize how wonderful and successful of an area it is.
  • Gotta agree...
    with Ace on this one. Fall creek Place is downtown as far as I'm concerned. Regardless, me thinketh that you overreacteth just a tad, Yes. And I think that you may be the mentally challenged one unless, perhaps, you ure under the impression that you live in NYC where there truly IS a Midtown.
  • No
    I've lived in Indianapolis for decades and I've never heard any part of this city referred to as midtown. If you think that everyone else in town is suffering from mental problems then perhaps the problem lies with you.
  • Uh
    Fall Creek Place is NOT DOWNTOWN! Fall Creek Place is NOT DOWNTOWN! Fall Creek Place is NOT DOWNTOWN! That is Midtown. Is everyone in this city geographically retarded?

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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