Farmhouse Coffee, Culver’s, Taco Bell, Anytime


Farmhouse Coffee Co. is now pouring java at 223 Center St. in downtown Hobart.

Charlie and Crystal Gabbard started the coffee shop, which is filled with furniture Charlie made himself as a showroom for the neighboring Farmhouse Furnishings.

“It’s a family-oriented business,” he said. “We make a big push to have a culture where families can come in and spend time with each other. We want to make an investment back into the surrounding communities.”

Farmhouse Coffee is, for instance, donating 100% of the proceeds from one of its blends to The H-Life, a charity that funds pediatric brain cancer treatment and research. The business recently gave nearly $2,000 to the charity.

“The founder lost her daughter to pediatric cancer,” Gabbard said. “It was her last hope and wish she would start a foundation to help other people.”

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Farmhouse also recently donated to the Hobart High School football team.

“We’re just trying to figure out ways and avenues to give back,” he said. “That’s truly our heart with this business. We don’t want to just be another coffee shop on the corner of another town. We want to be able to make a difference.”

Farmhouse Coffee Co. is planning family events like a Monday evening “Mommy and Me” time in which an area of the cafe is blocked off for mothers to gather together and talk.

“They can meet and have conversations and have nice drinks,” he said. “We’re looking at other outreaches in the community and other family events.”

Farmhouse Coffee serves a variety of coffee drinks, lattes, frappes, smoothies, refreshers and frozen drinks.

“All our coffee is organic. We roast all of our own coffee locally,” Gabbard said. “It’s all our blend of coffee, which is only available at Farmhouse. We were initially going to sell our coffee online on Amazon to create passive income and get a place when we got comfortable but that changed when we were shown a storefront. We walked into that storefront and thought how can we make it possible.”

There’s no kitchen but Farmhouse does offer light food like bagels, muffins, chips and fresh fruit.

The Gabbards started the business without taking out a loan in order to avoid debt in the hope of leaving as much as possible to their two children.

“We didn’t reach out to investors or banks. We’re firm believers in striving to be as debt free as possible,” he said. “We did this with our own money and our own hands. Everything inside is hand-built. It feels like a modern farmhouse, like walking into somebody’s home. There’s a fireplace and lounge chairs. I handmade the chairs, tables, sliding barn door and counter, which we built to look like a kitchen island. I want it to be a taste of home away from home.”

That sense of family extends to the company culture.

“We’re big proponents of family. We won’t ever become bosses. We see ourselves as family leaders and our employees as people who work with us, not for us,” he said. “It really is our culture.”

The Gabbards hope to open more locations in the future.

“We want to create a place to build a community and connect and try to inspire,” he said. “Whenever the big man upstairs takes me home, I want a legacy to leave behind of serving people. I want to leave everything on the table. I want to leave life empty with nothing to give.”

He’s an entrepreneur who runs three businesses. 

“This is about creating the brand and producing effective income but it’s also my way of serving people,” he said. “I don’t do this to get rich quick. I look at it as service. If I’m a good leader they’ll keep me around. The coffee industry is a perfect way to get involved in the community. It’s a place you can build relationships. It’s a place where we can give back and make the biggest impact on humanity and culture. The product sells itself though we advertise heavily on social media. It’s somewhere people can come to relax and do life with other people.”

He’s studied Chick-fil-A’s operations and strives to emulate them, such as by hiring service-minded people.

“They have a lot of character and integrity with the way they serve their community with a smile on their face. That’s the culture we want to create here. It’s not a facade. We want to be generous,” he said. “First it’s the people. Second it’s the product. And third it’s the cleanliness and being comfortable.”

Farmhouse Coffee Co. is open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday for its extended summer hours until Sept. 1, when it will revert to 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. all week long.

For more information, call 219-940-9684 or find Farmhouse Coffee Co. on Facebook.

Charlie and Crystal Gabbard opened Farmhouse Furnishings next to their new Farmhouse Coffee Co. in downtown Hobart.

It custom-makes furniture and other home furnishings with dark walnut, maple, oak and hard woods. Open by appointment only, it makes tables, chairs, benches, coffee tables, bed frames, floating shelves and electrical fireplaces.

It specializes in the trendy farmhouse style.

“It’s very popular. A lot of newer subdivisions are incorporating it into their builds,” he said. “We specializes in quality. This is not a low-end build. The truth is this is not the least expensive but it’s going to last you for years. It’s hardwood furniture you can hand down to your children.”

People can place customer orders and come to the storefront to see a rendering and secure the piece with a deposit. It typically takes seven to 14 days, depending on the size of the order.

For more information, call 219-940-9684 or find Farmhouse Furnishings on Facebook.

Culver’s is building a new restaurant in Cedar Lake.

The Wisconsin-based chain, known for its butter burgers, demolished the former Chase bank building on 133rd Avenue and is constructing a new restaurant there in front of the Rise & Roll bakery.

“Culver’s is being built in Summer Winds Commercial off of 133rd Avenue,” Town Manager Chris Salatas said.

Culver’s serves butter-slathered smashburgers, cheese curds, custard, a pot roast sandwich and a North Atlantic Cod sandwich. The elevated burger chain, which makes its never-frozen food fresh to order, has been growing widely across Northwest Indiana in recent years. It now has locations in Highland, Hammond, St. John, Munster, Schererville, Crown Point, Chesterton, Portage, Valparaiso, LaPorte and Michigan City.

Taco Bell is also coming to Cedar Lake. The Tex Mex chain known for slogans like “Live Mas” and “Run for the Border” is building a new restaurant next to the CVS at 133rd and U.S. 41, Salatas said.

A late night favorite, the fast food chain’s menu includes crunchy tacos, chalupas, beefy 5-layer burritos, quesadillas, cinnamon twists and similar fare. Owned by Louisville-based Yum Brands, it often rolls out special menu items that reconfigure different variations of the same five or six ingredients. 

In recent years, it’s expanded its breakfast offerings like a cruchwrap that has a hash brown inside to make breakfast on the go even more handheld.

Anytime Fitness is planning a new gym on 101st Avenue in Dyer.

The gym chain is open 24/7 as the name implies. It offers cardio and weightlifting at anytime as members get key cards that grant them access even in the wee hours of the morn. It already has a Dyer location at 262 W. 81st Ave. but is opening on the rapidly developing commercial strip on Dyer’s south side, near the explosion of new subdivisions in neighboring St. John.

True BBQ and Whiskey Bar has closed after a brief run in downtown Crown Point, just north of the old Lake County Courthouse square.

It’s a small barbecue restaurant chain that’s been established for years in Munster in the former Charley Horse Restaurant space that was originally planned to be Savard’s Hall of Fame Restaurant until former Blackhawks player Denis Savard backed out. It recently expanded to Crown Point and Griffith, also nearly opening in Merrillville, going so far as to put signage out in a storefront that ultimately was taken over by Riviera Maya.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the closing of True BBQ Crown Point at 116 N Main St. We want to thank all of our wonderful guests for supporting us over these years,” True BBQ said in an announcement on its website.  “We also wish to thank every member — past and present — of our incredible team, for helping make True BBQ Crown Point a truly special place. Please visit our Munster & Griffith locations to satisfy your BBQ & whiskey cravings.”

True BBQ is owned by Progressive Dining Group, which also owns Bullpen Luxury Bar & Grill, Gino’s Steakhouse and The Links in Schererville.

T-Mobile closed its retail store in downtown Whiting.

The store at 1418 119th St. sold phones, data plans and accessories. It opened in Whiting a few years ago.

If you would like your business to be included in a future column, email joseph.pete@nwi.com.

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