Featured Local NewsSpotlight

Tall Rabbit Café Opens With A Loving Cause

Blue Jacket, Inc. kicked off the official launch of the Tall Rabbit Café + Community on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. Open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., the café is located at 2001 S. Calhoun Street, just south of downtown. The café features Utopian coffee, roasted and brewed on site, a list of espresso-based artisan drinks as well as pastries and coffee alternatives provided by local small businesses. The atmosphere connects to the mission and namesake of Blue Jacket.

The Tall Rabbit Cafe + Community is Blue Jacket, Inc.’s fourth social enterprise designed to transitionally hire its clientele desiring a chance to prove their worth, and this time, in a very public way to the Fort Wayne community. Soft-launched December 12, 2022, this coffee shop experience provides unique meeting and gathering spaces for patrons.

Tall Rabbit Café’s pseudo-private alcoves can be reserved on a first-come basis. The café’s 16-person conference room can be rented for meetings or special occasions. Discounted rates apply for Blue Jacket partner organizations and partner employers.

Tall Rabbit hosted their first Open Mic event on Saturday, January 9th from 11 a.m. until close.

The coffee shop décor is vintage and rustic, some patrons calling it a ‘warm and inviting living room experience.’ Almost all the furniture was donated by friends and family of the organization and repurposed. Larger companies like Frontier Communications, Indiana Tech, One Eleven Designs, and Michael Kinder & Sons provided furniture as well. Much of the Blue Jacket, Inc. mission has been decoupaged onto the tables throughout the cafe. A decorative bench designed by Split Cedar Studios from Crawfordsville, IN uniquely combines mission with motif on the “Second Chance Bench.” Native American artwork from a private collection lent by the Garrett Museum of Art hangs on the walls, along with artwork from the Second Chances Art exhibit, an event run by Blue Jacket, Inc. showcasing client stories.

The name Tall Rabbit is in recognition of the non-profit’s namesake, Chief Blue Jacket. The Shawnee War Chief was recognized last summer with descendants in attendance with a sculpture on Blue Jacket, Inc.’s campus just seven blocks south of the coffee shop.

“There is no way we would have launched a venture in this market without the gifted advisors God brought to us like Jeremiah Otis, Brendon Maxwell, and Jonathon Sepulveda coaching us on retailing a high-quality coffee experience and gourmet recipes. We hope it complements the landscape of high-quality, respectable independent coffee shops in our area.” said Tony Hudson, Blue Jacket’s executive director and founder.

Advisors for Blue Jacket include Jeremiah Otis, former owner of Jeremiah’s Brewed Awakenings in Auburn, IN, now Director of Development for Fortify Life, Brendon Maxwell, owner of Utopian Coffee Roasters, Jonathon Sepulveda, Director of Sales & Coffee at Utopian Coffee Roasters, and Mike Stone at Stone Consulting helped lay out the original strategic direction in 2021. This coffee shop concept manifested from trainings and brainstorms from Catalyst Kitchens in Seattle, WA, funded by an Inspire Grant from the Foellinger Foundation.

Tall Rabbit leadership is excited to be partnering with and co-located with the Utopian Coffee Roastery in the larger warehousing space off Calhoun & Williams Streets. The Tall Rabbit Café is located in the former showroom of Pella Windows, later housing the Discount Comic Book Service store.

The Waynedale News Staff
Latest posts by The Waynedale News Staff (see all)

The Waynedale News Staff

Our in-house staff works with community members and our local writers to find, write and edit the latest and most interesting news-worthy stories. We are your free community newspaper, boasting positive, family friendly and unique news. > Read More Information About Us > More Articles Written By Our Staff