Noblesville is blessed with a town square and merchants that draw in visitors from around the county. But as beautiful a city as Noblesville is, what completes the draw for those who live in the area is the small-town community feel that locals love. Despite the downturn in the economy over the last few years, Noblesville is thriving in part because of some passionate, creative and dedicated young entrepreneurs who represent the heart of the city.
Leading the charge are sisters Monica Peck, in charge of service, and Courtney Cole, in charge of sales, co-owners of Hare Chevrolet. The two have taken over running a company that was started by their family 164 years ago as a carriage and wagon making business. Over the years, Hare Chevrolet has continued to thrive, and Peck and Cole are getting ready to lead their 160 employees through their ninth expansion in just 12 years.
Both of them attribute their success to the support of their dedicated customers. Neither Monica nor Courtney are content to hole up in their offices, but are out in the showroom everyday having coffee and talking with customers. As Monica explained, “We treat people right. We have customers for life, not customers for the day.”
Hare Chevrolet is highly involved in giving back to their community. Monica will be the 2012 president of the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce and has been on the Boys and Girls Club board for 9 years. Their love of community is evident in their commitment to and support of local organizations such as the Noblesville schools, Riverview Hospital, youth sports, Relay for Life, and Prevail, just to name a few.
Although Monica worked at Hare Chevrolet through her childhood and teen years, neither she nor Courtney envisioned themselves taking over the family business. Both had successful careers in other fields, but Monica found herself missing Noblesville.
“I realized that I could work hard and build someone else’s business or my family’s business,” she said. Courtney has rediscovered the jewel that Noblesville is. “I value the fact that Noblesville is an incredible place to raise a family … it’s affordable, there’s plenty to do, the people are nice, and it’s safe!” she said. Neither have looked back, and Noblesville is the better for it.
2001 Stony Creek Road
Noblesville, IN 46060
Open Mon-Thu 7:30am-8pm; Fri-Sat 8am-6pm
Indiana Kitchen Company
As a Huntington, Indiana native, Jon Oliver, owner of Indiana Kitchen Company, found it was easy to feel lost in the bigger city of Indianapolis when he moved there for business 8 years ago. As he was looking for a place to open his own design business, he hit upon Noblesville.
“Noblesville gives that small town atmosphere I grew up in,” he said. “ I like the old historic downtown, and that’s certainly a draw for me, and a good fit for the business as well.”
As a full service design and remodeling company, Indiana Kitchen Company has helped many Noblesville homeowners transform their kitchens and baths into functional, beautiful spaces. With integrity and honesty as the backbone of their business, Jon and his employees have made good communication with their customers a key to successful home improvements. That and providing a good value. His pricing is competitive with the big-box stores, yet Jon also provides design knowledge and skill as
Supporting the community that he works in is important to Jon. He is active with the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce and Noblesville Main Street, participating in projects that benefit the community. Indiana Kitchen Company also gives back to the community-at-large by supporting organizations like Gleaners Food Bank and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Ultimately, Jon has found that his “customers feel good because they’re supporting the local economy. We feel good because we like to work with them on a local basis. We can relate to them. We know our clients really well by the end of a project.”
Indiana Kitchen Company
925 Conner Street
Noblesville, IN 46060-2622
Open Weekdays 10am-6pm; Sat 8am-12pm
Kristie Whitesell, owner of Uptown Cafe a breakfast and lunch cafe and bakery, went into business with a desire to provide her customers with a “great cup of coffee and a place for people to feel comfortable enough in to come in, sit down and get cozy.” Judging by her slew of regular customers, she’s succeeded on both parts. Uptown Cafe has its own blend of coffee roasted just for them by Harvest Cafe Coffee Roasters in Broad Ripple.
After graduating from culinary school, Kristie worked evenings as a chef for a Carmel restaurant. She tired of working every evening, and when the opportunity presented itself in 2008 to buy the cafe, established originally as Lowther’s Shoe Store in 1883, she went for it.
As she grew into her role of entrepreneur, Kristie realized the value of having her business in Noblesville. “The Noblesville community is very important to Uptown Cafe. The amount of successful businesses on the square correlates to how well we do,” she said. As a member of Main Street, Kristie meets with the other shop owners to plan and participate in events. “It’s amazing how everyone sticks together,”she said.
What Kristie did not expect about being a business owner was how attached she would become to her Noblesville customers. “I have loyal, amazing customers. We know their names, we know their families, we know how they’re doing, they ask how we’re doing; there are a few I go out to dinner with as well. It’s amazing to have their support,” she added.
Kristie in turn supports the community by providing gift cards for fundraising auctions. She also provides all the cookies from her own in-house bakery for Riverview Hospital’s Valentines Day fundraiser.
809 Conner Street
Noblesville, IN 46060-2613
Open Tue-Fri 7am-3pm; Sat 7am-2pm; Sun 8am-2pm
Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano
Another successful entrepreneur in Noblesville is husband and wife team Matteo and Emily DiRosa of Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano. Matteo is no stranger to the restaurant business. He has worked in the business with family in his native country of Italy and in Indianapolis. While working in Indy, he met his wife Emily. They left Indianapolis to open their restaurant in Noblesville, and right away noticed the difference. “I feel a lot of support from the Noblesville community,” said Matteo. Success is not just one person. It’s the team, the employees and the customers — about 80% from the community. If I didn’t have a good community, it wouldn’t happen.”
Authenticity of product and service is what Matt and Emily strive for. All their entrees are made individually from scratch, and they use traditional, Italian recipes, some of which come form Matteo’s mother, focusing on fresh, natural, high-quality ingredients. They seek out employees who take pride in their work and take care with the customers.
Matteo and Emily work to constantly improve their business and the atmosphere for their customers, which for them is really a labor of love. “This is not my job. It’s not my business. It’s my life,” Matteo said.
Indeed the DiRosas are highly involved in the community. Emily is on the board of both the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce and Noblesville Main Street and active in community projects. They frequently give away donations for silent auctions and do large food donations for groups such as the Noblesville high school football team and Prevail events.
Always looking for ways to connect with their customers, Matteo and Emily are again leading a trip to Italy (Rome and the Amalfi Coast) in March of 2012. “It’s about staying fresh and doing new things for our customers,”said Emily.
Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano
40 North 9th Street
Noblesville, IN 46060-2203
Open Weekdays 11am-2pm, 5pm-10:30pm; Sat 5pm-10:30pm; Sun 4pm-9pm
Go ahead and take a stroll through Noblesville and stop in to see these entrepreneurs and others like them. Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Noblesville.