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New cafe and building renovation brings new life to a busy corner in the city of Franklin

Posted: 9:29 AM, Sep 24, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-24 17:03:20Z
New cafe brings life to busy corner in Franklin
New cafe brings life to busy corner in Franklin
New cafe brings life to busy corner in Franklin
New cafe brings life to busy corner in Franklin

FRANKLIN, Ind. -- A busy corner in the city of Franklin has a new facelift thanks to a local family's dreams of opening a coffee shop and cafe.

Main and Madison Market Cafe opened its doors to the public on Sept. 17 after a long renovation project of a former doctor's office. It's a project that has been on the minds of the owners for years and now all the pieces are falling into place.

"Years and years ago we always said we wanted to do something like this," co-owner Amy Richardson said.

Her new business partner is her cousin, Stephanie Northern. Between the two families, they have 10 kids who are now older, so the two feel like now is finally the time to make their business dreams come true. 

"Being a business owner in Franklin, I feel in love with the people, the vision and the economics," Richardson said. "We want to try and up the ante. People are staying open later. Things are changing."

Richardson says they did a ton of market research, including counting passersby on the corner of Main and Madison in downtown Franklin before moving forward with the project. The area is busy, boasting the Historic Artcraft Theatre and the famed restaurant, The Willard. 

But the Bavarian-style building that was a doctor's office has historic significance all its own. When Richardson made the offer on the building, she recognized the name Dr. Province from other sites in Franklin like Province Park. 

The building housed the first hospital in Johnson County, dating back to 1906. Up until now, the space was either a doctor's office or a hospital. When it functioned as a hospital, it was the only place in the area they performed surgeries until World War II. 

"We preserved a lot of great items," Richardson said. "A lot of people collaborated on this project from artistic consultants to Danny Causey with Franklin Heritage on the preservation."

When Richardson first walked into the space before the renovation, she says there was still disposable tissue paper on the exam chairs used in the doctor's office.

As the building renovations got under way, Richardson and Northern needed to find a local coffee roaster. After not finding the consistency they wanted in a local brand, they searched elsewhere and came across Lavazza coffee. It is one of the largest coffee supplies in the world and one of the most popular brands in Europe.

"It's pretty amazing stuff," Richardson said. "It sort of has a cult following."

Main and Madison Market Cafe opened quietly the Tuesday after Labor Day for a soft opening. It was a chance for their team of employees to get their feet wet before any big crowds. Their staff includes a pastry chef who makes fresh baked goods daily.

On Sept. 17, they decided to pull the trigger and post on Facebook that they are officially open to the public. The post did so well, it reached more than 16,000 people. 

"It was huge," Richardson said. "It was a sleepless night, that's for sure."

Now the cafe is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. serving up a menu of breakfast and lunch sandwiches, pastries, soups, salads, and more. They do have a liquor license and will soon be offering cocktails like mimosas, beer, and also wine. 

Richardson is also looking forward to a new restaurant opening nearby at the old post office. 

Eventually Main and Madison Market Cafe will provide outdoor seating and a meeting space upstairs that will be available for booking later in October. 

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