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Broad Ripple Cafe Offers Cozy Atmosphere, German-inspired Breads & Treats

Writer /  Megan Jefferson
Photographer / Andre Jefferson

When in Broad Ripple Village, it’s hard not to want to meander through the streets and visit the cute houses that are now homes to small businesses. Perk Up Café is one of these cottages turned coffee shops that needs to be on your list of places to visit, especially if you’re fond of artisanal breads and pastries.

Alice Matsuo and Jeanette Footman are co-owners of Perk Up Café, which they bought in 2009. They came together to purchase the café after having rich life experiences in various places in the world and put their love of baking to work here in Indianapolis.

Matsuo is a third generation Brazilian-Japanese woman raised in Brazil and then lived all over the world. While living in Germany, she became fascinated with the tradition of German artisan bread baking and decided to complete a three-year apprenticeship program to become a German artisan baker. She also holds a BA in Chemistry. Her love for the art of bread baking and fascination regarding the science behind it fuels her passion to create tasty treats sold at the café and farmers markets too.

Footman was born in Germany and it was there she met her husband, who is from Indianapolis. She moved here when they got married and apart from her family, she also missed German breads and pastries the most. She started baking and sold her pastries at Perk Up Café before she became co-owner.

The community response to Perk Up Café has been overwhelmingly positive.

“People of all ages like it here, everyone gets a feeling that they’re welcome,” Footman says. “They come in, even if they don’t know anyone, they can participate in conversation and it’s like a little family.”

Every Sunday from noon-3pm you can come and experience kaffeeklatsch, German coffee time where you can enjoy coffee, cake and conversation.

The atmosphere in Perk Up is cozy, dogs are welcome and everything served is baked in house, using quality ingredients, unbleached artisan flour and no chemical products, coloring agents or preservatives are ever used. The menu is filled with Panini sandwiches, bagels, pretzels, French toast, muffins and artisan breads. The most popular items are the egg sandwich and the Dirty Hippie – a hot Chai tea with a shot of espresso.

Matsuo and Footman are proud that they are women running a successful business, which they love. They bake overnight from Friday to Saturday and even roast their own beans. Their quest is to introduce customers to the marvelous world of fresh breads. Broad Ripple is fortunate to have a little slice of Germany in the village.

Perk Up Café is located at 6536 Cornell Ave. Visit them online at perkupindy.com or give them a call at 317-251-0033.

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