“I was sitting around one night with my parents drinking wine and shooting the breeze when this idea emerged to open a neighborhood food and wine market,” says Jon Sadler. “The next morning, we looked at each other and asked, ‘Wait. Were we serious or was that the alcohol talking?’”
They took the leap and have been hopping ever since.
“When we started seven years ago, we sold a little bit of everything, but we’ve slowly expanded while consolidating, meaning that now we offer items our customers tell us they want,” Sadler says.
This includes mostly Indiana products and especially local vendors, such as Best Chocolate in Town, Just Pop in Popcorn, Salt Sister Rubs, B.Happy Peanut Butter, Best Boy & Co., Capriole Goat Cheese and Tulip Tree Creamery, to name a few.
“We try to puff up local businesses,” says Sadler, noting that they carry more than 500 types of wine as well as craft beer selection centered around local breweries. In addition, they’ve expanded their accessory collection.
“We have Moscow mule mugs, which are really popular,” Sadler says. “So are picnic stix, which folks use to keep their glassware secure when they go to Symphony on the Prairie and other outdoor venues.”
One of their most popular sellers are the gourmet gift baskets, which attract both individual and corporate customers.
“We work with realtors, home builders and lending companies who ask us to assemble unique food or wine baskets for clients at closings,” Sadler says. “We also get, for instance, chiropractors who run VIP specials and want us to create baskets to distribute to their top customers.”
They deliver within a 10-mile radius and also offer discounts for corporate accounts who do repeated business throughout the year.
The company sells a lot of “open and consume” baskets with snack items, such as chocolates, trail mix, beef jerky and chips & salsa, as well as breakfast baskets that include pancake mix, syrups and jellies. High-end wine baskets are also popular. Prices vary widely, depending on the consumer’s needs and budget, though the average cost of a basket is $50-$100.
“It’s not unusual for a customer to call and say, ‘I want to send an Italian-themed basket. My budget is $100,’ or ‘I want to include two bottles of wine and keep it at $75,’” Sadler says. “We then build custom baskets based on their vision and finances.”
Our neighborhood needs more focused businesses such as Tasteful Times
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My wife and I have not yet visited Tasteful Times. It is now on our list after reading this article and following the link to the website. My hope is that more entrepreneurs like Jon Sadler take the risk, do the research and open businesses like Tasteful Times. I believe that smaller shops which are easily within walking/biking distance of neighborhoods will become popular as a destination, especially if food venues are near that destination. After all, our communities have numerous storefronts available in great locations.
"The" place to buy wine
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I’ve been a member of their wine club for years, a neighbor clued me in. Since then, I make it a point to visit at least once a month to pick up my 2 bottles of wine and shop for the charcuterie items to go along with them. Their service and knowledge is excellent, and they go above and beyond to deliver a great experience. Worth the stop, highly recommend.