Fountain Square will soon welcome a new neighborhood grocery focused on bringing residents locally and regionally grown produce, meats, dairy, and dry goods. Wildwood Market, owned and operated by Craig Sanders, will bring seasonal produce to Fountain Square, an area he believes is lacking in nutrient dense options.
Craig has always had an appreciation for great local products. He grew up on a small farm in Putnam County, where his family grew sweet corn, pumpkins, livestock, and enjoyed the bounty of a plentiful garden. For nearly a decade, he worked for Traders Point Creamery in Zionsville, where he helped develop the local dairy into a nationally recognized producer of yogurt now enjoyed across the country.
After getting married and moving to Fountain Square in 2012, he and his wife, Emily, immediately identified a need for a neighborhood grocery that offered convenience and truly healthful, interesting foods. Two years after moving to Fountain Square, the couple has found themselves on the cusp of not only filling a need in their neighborhood, but realizing their dream: helping to support local farms and the local economy while providing unique and quality groceries to their neighbors.
Craig and Emily are currently working with their landlord to transform a garage space into their dream store. They will begin installing equipment and stocking the space, which will feature regional cheeses and cut-to-order charcuterie, along with locally procured products such as dairy, coffee, condiments and flowers. Plans also include offering prepared foods and sandwiches, as well as offering online ordering and bicycle delivery.
Craig is quick to credit the Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) program with helping him hone his business plan and find financial resources to fund his dream. Through BOI’s free one-on-one, personalized business coaching he finalized a successful business plan and worked on his cash management skills. He took advantage of several workshops to gain a better understanding of the challenging concepts new business owners face. Most importantly, he discovered the microlending program, which has made Wildwood Market a reality.
“Simply put, the BOI microloan is the primary reason we are going to be able to open this business,” explains Craig. “We are a young couple who were saving to buy a house, not open a business. When we started exploring the idea, our biggest hurdle was getting help with funding. Because of the loan we are able to purchase the equipment and inventory we need to get the business off the ground.”
This once “small town, small farmer” will soon be a big time hit!
The primary focus of Wildwood Market is to bring reasonably priced, local, and seasonal produce and fresh foods to a community that currently doesn’t have many grocery options. The couple plans to partner with neighborhood organizations and food shelters to donate excess inventory and provide educational opportunities to the community to encourage healthful and seasonal eating.
“To us, our primary goal is to supplement meals at home, shared around a table with family and friends,” shares Craig. “We want our neighbors to feel at home, ask questions, and share the food they discover in our store with those they love.”
For more information on the Indy Chamber’s small business services, including its microlending program which offers startups as well as existing businesses loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, visit www.businessownership.org.