Where Are the Best Places for Pie in Indy?

Some folks will tell you that the best part of Thanksgiving is the turkey. Others will say it’s the stuffing. If you have a sweet tooth, however, you know that the absolute best part of the holiday dinner is dessert.

Apple pie, pecan pie, chocolate pie, blackberry pie and pumpkin! This is the season to indulge in all your favorites. The best part is that you aren’t even required to do any baking.

You can take a trip to one of the best places in or around Indianapolis when you want good, homemade pie for your feast:

Pots and Pans — Indianapolis

Pots and Pans is an artisan bakery with some of the most delectable creations you’ll ever find. You can pick up all the traditional holiday favorites here, including Apple Crumble, Maple Pecan and Sweet Potato. Their Caramel Pumpkin is highly recommend and only available during this season. Pots and Pans also has savory pies — including one they call “Thanksgiving Dinner.”

Shapiro’s — Indianapolis

Shapiro’s has been serving up kosher-style sandwiches and thick, hearty soups for more than 110 years — long enough to be considered an Indy institution by locals. They also have some amazing desserts, like their Devil’s Food Cheesecake and their traditional German Chocolate Cake. They have all the varieties of pies that your family may want for Thanksgiving, including Cherry, Rhubarb and Chocolate Cream.

Jazzy Doris’ Pies — Indianapolis

Known as “The Pie Lady of City Market,” you have to catch Jazzy Dorris on Wednesdays when she’s there with her newest batch, but her made-from-scratch confections are a must-have. The Kentucky Bourbon Pecan pie she makes has a rich, boozy flavor that’s compelling, but her sugar cream and blueberry pies are also amazing.

The Cake Bake Shop — Indianapolis, Carmel

The Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers found fame and fortune several years ago — even making an appearance in Oprah’s “O Magazine.” It recently opened a second location in Carmel, but you can find all the cakes, cookies and pies you dream about at either shop. The Peanut Butter Mousse pie or the French Cherry Lattice pie are great options — but you can’t go wrong with Key Lime or Georgia Pecan, either.

Tuttle’s Cafe & Sweet Shop — Greenfield

Okay, it’s a bit of a trip to get there, but no list of great places for pie would be complete without mention of Tuttle’s Cafe & Sweet Shop. Many of their pies are made with produce that’s taken right off the farm, including their famous Honeycrisp Apple, Blueberry Lemon and others.

Taylor’s Bakery — Fishers & Indianapolis

For more than a century, the family that owns Taylor’s Bakery has been crafting baked goods of all kinds to delight area residents. The selection of fresh-baked pies available varies daily, but you can always order Apple, Cherry, Pumpkin and Pecan ahead of time for your Thanksgiving table. You probably should also check out the array of bread products and cookies they have available, all of which would make a graceful addition to your table.

Locally Grown Gardens — Indianapolis

You may be tempted to think that Locally Grown Gardens is a mere produce stand, but you’d be sorely mistaken — and you’d miss out on a great cup of coffee and pie. Chef Ron’s Sugar Cream pie is a local sensation, but you also can’t go wrong with any of their custard varieties. (While you’re there, you may want to ask about their pre-made dinners. That could get you out of cooking entirely!)

Gray Brothers Cafeteria — Mooresville

Since 1944, Gray Brothers Cafeteria has been serving up homestyle food that’s well worth the ride. At this time of year, however, they focus heavily on pie. Roughly 8,500 fresh-baked delights head out their doors right before Thanksgiving. Some perennial favorites include Pumpkin, Blackberry, Banana Cream and Lemon Meringue. Just remember that you probably should plan ahead to get the best selection.

My Sugar Pie — Zionsville, Greenwood

When it comes to pie, there’s almost nothing you can’t find at My Sugar Pie — but you might want to call ahead to place your order so that you don’t run into problems. They’re incredibly popular, and they will happily ship anything that isn’t cream-filled or topped with meringue. You can get traditional favorites, like Dutch Apple or Mixed Berry pies, or go with something a little more exotic, like their Butterscotch Cream.

Lisa’s Pie Shop — Atlanta

Again, heading to Lisa’s requires a bit of a drive, but it’s worth it to check out this award-winning pie shop. They have all the standard fruit and cream pies you might expect, but you should probably pick out one or two of their specialty pies, like Black Raspberry or Hershey Bar.

Rene’s Bakery — Indianapolis

There’s always something new and exciting at Rene’s, whether you’re looking for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins or toffee almond scones. And, naturally, they also have pie — lots and lots of pie. The menu changes daily, but you can call to find out what they have before you go.

If you need a little extra justification for buying your pies this year, remember: You’ll be supporting a local business — which is particularly important during the pandemic.

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist Fishers

Visiting Your Local Farmers’ Market in 2020 During the Pandemic


Visiting Your Local Farmers’ Market in 2020 During the Pandemic: A Guide

Restrictions on social activity and shopping put in place over concerns about the viral outbreak are easing in many areas, and numerous local farmers’ markets are set to open just in time for their busy season.

Farmers’ markets are inherently a social experience. They put local growers into direct contact with customers who want to know exactly where their food is produced. They are also cost-effective ways for farmers to get their products directly in the hands of consumers — without going through a retailer in the middle. That puts more profits directly in the pockets of the farmers.

The direct-to-consumer marketing also allows customers to purchase foodstuffs at a reduced cost, which could be increasingly important as consumers try to fill the gaps in what’s available at their local grocer’s or combat rising food prices. The value of farmers’ markets in that regard was made clear in Indiana, at least, when the state declared them to be essential services despite the “ Stay at Home” orders.

None of that, however, means that you can throw caution to the wind and go about business as usual. Outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus may be slowing, but they’re not over. If you’re among the many who can’t wait to browse your local farmers’ market, here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Explore No-Contact Ordering

Maybe you really want to take advantage of the offerings at your local farmers’ market, but you’re just not ready to break social distancing yet to do it. Or, maybe you have a health condition that leaves you immunocompromised or otherwise in a high-risk category and your doctor has ordered you to stay away.

What can you do? Well, farmers’ markets around the country have been getting creative in order to meet the needs of both vendors and customers while still operating responsibly. Quite a few are offering contactless pick-ups.

For example, the Bloomington Online Farmers’ Market right here in Indiana has been encouraging patrons to place their orders online and prepay. Then, they can literally drive right up to the market at the appointed time and collect their meat, eggs, fruit, vegetables, baked goods and more without ever stepping out of their vehicles. It’s a great way to allow everyone access to the items they want without endangering their health.

Shop While Practicing Social Distancing

Another route that many farmers’ markets are taking is reopening — albeit in a restricted fashion that keeps the need for social distancing in mind. If the farmers’ markets in Fishers or Broad Ripple can be held as an example, here’s what you can expect if you decide to go:

• Patrons will be required to enter and exit the markets from a fixed location, rather than milling around the way that they’re probably accustomed to doing in the past.

• The selection of items for sale may be somewhat different than what you’re used to seeing. Expect items to be limited to essential items, like prepared food, hand-made masks, soaps and produce.

• Look for “ social distancing markers” that will help guide you and keep you a respectful distance from vendors and other customers, to reduce the chance of contagion.

• There will be nowhere to consume food while on the premises and there will be no portable restrooms available for use, so it’s important to plan accordingly.

• Don’t expect to touch your food or produce before you buy. While this might disappoint some dedicated “ melon thumpers” this year, most markets will be asking customers to refrain from touching the items for sale.

• Don’t expect to get change back for your purchases. While many vendors will still accept cash, they won’t be able to make change. Take your debit card, SNAP card or a variety of small bills with you when you go.

• Leave the reusable bags at home. If you do take a reusable bag, you’ll likely be asked to put your purchases inside the bag yourself.

It’s also smart to understand that a lot of farmers’ markets are still adjusting and adapting to their new realities — and everything is still in flux. The Original Farmers’ Market at City Market, for example, will only offer prepackaged food items and has eliminated home-based vendors. Rules may shift and change quite a bit as the various markets learn what works (and what doesn’t) for their new setups.

Use Personal Safety Measures

Finally, you need to also take a few steps to help reduce the chances that you’ll either spread the virus or contract it. A farmers’ market is no more dangerous than shopping at a grocery store if you remember these rules:

• Wear a mask. While cloth face masks don’t offer 100% protection from the virus, the CDC recommends them in public to help prevent people from unknowingly transmitting the virus to others when they’re asymptomatic. Indeed, you’re likely to be required to wear one in order to attend just about any farmers’ market you can find — so go prepared.

• Take hand sanitizer or cleaning wipes with you. If you have Clorox wipes or hand sanitizer, put some in your car so that you can wipe your hands, car door handle, steering wheel and debit card down after you are done shopping.

• Don’t take anybody unnecessary with you on the trip. Most farmers’ markets won’t be allowing dogs inside this year, so leave your pet at home. It’s also smarter to limit the number of people from your household who make the trip, just like you do at retail stores.

• Remember not to touch your face until you can wash your hands. Wash all of your produce when you get home and discard your bags (or wash the reusable ones).

The need for social distancing won’t last forever. While it does, we can all make things operate a little smoother — and keep each other a little safer — by remembering the truly cooperative spirit that farmers’ markets embody. We’re all in this together.

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist Fishers
The Tumbarello Group

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Weekend Getaways in Indiana


Weekend Getaways in Indiana

In these fast paced, modern-day times it’s easy to become stressed by everyday life and its routine. It can happen to the best of us. So when you’re ready for that much needed getaway but find time or budget to be a constraint, these Indiana getaways could be the perfect match for you.

Santa Claus Indiana

This town is known for its Christmas spirit. Whether you’re in the mood for some holiday fun or a theme park experience, this place has it covered. Even if you’re not visiting around Christmas, you’ll still get to see the man the town is named after. That’s right, Santa Claus! Here are some things to do while visiting Santa Claus Indiana.


Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg Indiana

When people think of Indiana, most don’t think about skiing. But at the Perfect North Slopes that’s just what you’ll find and more. Spend the day out on the slopes and then curl up by the fire with a warm drink afterwards at their ski lodge. Located in Lawrenceburg Indiana, this is the perfect place to rid yourself of those winter blues.


Big Splash Adventure in French Lick Indiana

Who doesn’t love swimming anytime of the year? Treat yourself and the kids to a fun indoor experience at Big Splash Adventure indoor water park. But that’s not all, cosmic miniature golf and Shotz lazer tag also await you. Located in French Lick Indiana, bring your suits and dive in, the water’s great!


Brown County/Nashville Indiana

Known as the Artist Colony, this small tourist town knows how to do weekend getaways. Whether you are in the mood for shopping and dining in Nashville or just exploring the great outdoors in Brown County, there’s lots to do and see in and around little Nashville. Here are just a few things you can do while visiting Nashville Indiana.



Madison Indiana

Located on the scenic Ohio river, this historic town offers a variety of art, shopping, festivals and historic sites year round. Whether you take a tour through the Lanier Mansion, explore Clifty Falls or visit some of the town’s quaint shops and galleries, this is the perfect place to leave the fast paced world behind. Come and enjoy. Here are a few things to do in Madison Indiana.


Elkhart Indiana

There are many fun adventures waiting for you in Elkhart Indiana. Numerous parks offer wild landscapes for hiking and even skiing in the snowy winter months. Located amid Amish country, there’s plenty of history to be found here. You can also check out the hidden northern gem that is Bonneyville Mill, where you can step back in time and visit the oldest operating grist mill in the state. Click the links to check out all Elkhart has to offer.




These are just a few of the places you could visit on a weekend getaway in Indiana. Where do you and your family like to go for weekend getaways?

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist
The Tumbarello Group


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The Best Farm-to-Table Restaurants in Indiana


The Best Farm-to-Table Restaurants in Indiana

If you didn’t notice yet, Indiana is mostly made up of cornfields. While that means that we have awesome corn mazes in the fall, it also means that we have fantastic farm-to-table restaurants throughout the year. With so many delicious farm-to-table restaurants in Indiana, we thought we would highlight three from each region.


Artisan (Elkhart) – This Northern Indiana gem is rooted in farm-fresh Midwestern cuisine. Its menu is filled with delicious dishes inspired by Indiana like its pork chop, a, “roasted four spiced pork chop, stone ground cheddar grits, mustard greens, honey-bourbon jus.” Artisan even has a AAA Four Diamond Award for excellence.

Corndance Tavern (Mishawaka) – Corndance Tavern brands itself as, “a true farm to fork experience.” It is most well-known for its char-grilled steaks with 8 and 12oz. filet mignon, 12 oz. New York strip, and 16 oz. Ribeye options. Corndance also sells its dry aged beef Monday through Saturday at its sister store, Bourbon & Butcher.

Farmhouse Restaurant at Fair Oaks (Fair Oaks) – First, if you have never been to the magical world that is Fair Oaks Farms, do yourself a favor and check out their website:http://fofarms.com/. Secondly, Fair Oaks Farms has a fantastic farm-to-table restaurant called The Farmhouse, with many of its ingredients sourced from the Farm.


Bluebeard Indy (Indianapolis) – With so many fantastic locally-sourced restaurants in downtown Indianapolis, it was hard to narrow it down. Ultimately, we chose Bluebeard because it lists its partner farms on the first page of its website and it is absolutely delicious. Who would not want peach ricotta butter with a bread basket?

The Loft at Traders Point Creamery (Zionsville) – We could not write an article about farm-to-table restaurants in Indiana without including THE farm-to-table restaurant, the Loft at Traders point Creamery. The Loft Restaurant features many dishes sourced from the creamery, Indiana’s only organic dairy farm.

Locally Grown Gardens (Indianapolis) – If you have ever driven past Locally Grown Gardens, it may strike you as a market or a unique gift store. In fact, it is all those things and more. It brands itself as, “a year-round farm market chef owned and operated” with a seasonal menu. This is certainly a foodie experience that you do not want to miss!


FARM (Bloomington) – If you are a foodie from Indiana, you will likely have heard of FARM. Headed by Chef Daniel Orr, FARM is known for providing what it calls, “real food.” Everything is seasonal and local with memorable dishes such as its, “World Famous 4th Generation Buttermilk Biscuits and Apple Butter.”

Jefferson Street BBQ (Converse) – Owner Lindsay Dingman Sheffield has made it a goal to, “focus on ‘local’ being a mindset and not a tag line.” Sheffield’s restaurant exemplifies this mindset, with numerous local partners. For example, Sheffield’s family farm, Double Deuce Produce, supplies the Hickory wood to smoke the BBQ.

Payne’s Restaurant (Gas City) – Perhaps the most unusual restaurant on this list, Payne’s Café and Restaurant is known for its British fare. Owner, Stephen Payne, grew up in England but then moved to Fairmont because it was the birthplace of James Dean. The menu is filled with delicious locally-sourced dishes with British flair.

What have we learned in this article? Not all farm-to-table looks the same and there are a plethora of fantastic options right here in Indiana. Here is to delicious local eating!

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist
The Tumbarello Group


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Home is Where the Heart Is: Spending Valentine’s Day at Home


Valentine’s Day is recognized and celebrated by approximately 54 percent of Americans.  According to the National Retail Federation U.S. Consumers will spend nearly 19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day ($143.56 per person) on gifts, candy, cards, an evening out, flowers and jewelry.

But what if one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to “go out” less and/or spend less in 2019?  You can still recognize and celebrate Valentine’s Day with Loved Ones and Friends without breaking the bank.

Here are some ideas on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day at HOME with friends and loved ones:

If you’re in a relationship:

  • Camp out on the living room floor.  Set up the air mattress, roast marshmallows in the fireplace and have a picnic dinner on the floor.  (If you have kids, they will love this). Incorporate a movie night together with Netflix or a Redbox rental.
  • Make lists together:  Write down your lifelong bucket list and think big, as if money were no option.  Make a list of wants in your dream home and draw a blueprint of what it looks like. Write a gratitude list together.

If you’re single:

  • Invite friends over to make dinner together.  Choose a menu and purchase the ingredients ahead of time then have fun cooking and eating together.  Afterwards, have a game night playing cards or board games.
  • Turn your living room into the dance room.  Move all the furniture out of the way, make a playlist and boogie down.  Do you know someone with a Karaoke machine? Take turns singing your favorites or if not, what about a lip sync battle?

If you’re home with kids:

  • Lay out an Ice Cream Bar for dessert after dinner.  After each person makes their sundaes, top them off with red hearts, chocolate kisses, and valentine’s day inspired sprinkles.
  • Make your own Cards or love notes for your family members.  Have each family member write down something they love about each person participating and read them out loud.

Lastly, you could make the evening not about you at all. Make something to leave on a neighbor’s porch or choose somewhere you can volunteer in your community.  

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist
The Tumbarello Group

Best Sledding Hills in Indy

With several inches of snow on the ground and more coming this weekend, you may be on the lookout for a great place to go sledding. Here are some of the best in the Indy area.

Paul Ruster Park
11300 E. Prospect St., Indianapolis
Located just off the parking lot, the hill at Paul Ruster Park is long and not too steep—perfect for sledding. There’s plenty of room and no dangerous trees—perhaps the best sledding location in the metro area.

Ft. Harrison State Park
6000 N. Post Road, Indianapolis
Since this is a state park, there is an admission fee, but the sledding hill here is one of the largest in the city so it’s worth it. Cross country skiing is another popular winter sport in the park.

Koteewi Run Seasonal Slopes
11800 Koteewi Dr., Noblesville
Part of Hamilton County’s Strawtown Koteewi Park development, Koteewi Run is actually a tubing run, not a sledding hill. There’s a fee (starting at $20). Tubes are supplied, so this is a good option if you don’t have a sled, and there’s a tow line so you don’t have to walk to the top.

Simon Moon Park
2710 E 171st St., Westfield
There are two designated sledding areas on one hill: the east slope and the south slope.

Rhodius Park
1001 S. Belmont Ave., Indianapolis
The hill is in the southwest corner of the park and is on the list of approved sledding sites from Indy Parks and Recreation.

Hummel Park
1500 S. Center St., Plainfield
The sledding hill is situated near the parking lot, so it’s easy to warm up in your car between runs.

Southeastway Park
5624 South Carroll Road, New Palestine
The tree line at the top of the hill makes things a little crowded, but the sledding is good so it’s worth the extra wait time

Freedom Park
850 Stop 18 Road, Greenwood
The biggest perk at Freedom Park in Greenwood is the stairs that get you to the top of the sledding hill.

If you have small children, you need small hills and smaller crowds. Consider these two parks for the little ones:

Ellenberger Park
5301 St. Clair, Indianapolis
Multiple small slopes allow sledding enthusiasts to spread out.

Holliday Park
6363 Spring Mill Rd., Indianapolis
The slopes at Holliday Park are near the Nature Center. Like Ellenberger Park, it has multiple small hills suitable for sledding with small children.

Original source: talktotucker.com/blog

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist
The Tumbarello Group