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Scratch Entrepreneur The Inkwell

Do you love the town you live in or do you long to move somewhere else? Have you ever thought about why you feel whatever way you do?

I’ve lived in Bloomington Indiana for most of the last 25 years and the more people I meet, the more stories build the thread of this town in my mind, the deeper connection I have with this place. I’ve always seen Bloomington as an oasis. The college town in beautiful southern Indiana. People of all colors, shapes, and creeds, living in the conservative Midwest. As a teenager in the big flat city of Indianapolis, all I wanted was to get out of the Midwest, wanted to go back to San Diego, surf, get a tan. Instead, after a failed round of the local college, my parents talked me into the college town 50 miles away in the rolling hills of Southern Indiana. I sort of begrudgingly gave in.

But it didn’t take long to fall in love with Bloomington and like any good relationship, my love for this town has grown over time.

One thing I love about this town is the scattered nods to the big city. Walking through downtown there’s the bars with 100 year old grease on the walls from 100, upstairs pool halls with the same door guy as 30 years ago, Opera & Ballet. There’s a whole two block section of town with a restaurant from every nation you can think of. It’s not hard to get small tastes of the big city in Bloomington. Just enough some might say.
The InkwellOur guest on today’s show added to that list when she opened a new Café and Coffee bar called the Inkwell. The place is located dead in the heart of town. Across from the limestone courthouse building in the center square. The Inkwell is just the right kind of hole in the wall. It’s a long skinny place like you’d see in Brooklyn. Old brick walls show the wear of a hundred years and exposed metal heat vents bringing modern comforts through an aged plaster ceiling. But the interior design is crisp and modern. It’s understated and quiet. The food and the coffee do all of the talking. Tracy Gates had been planning the Inkwell for years. When a staple café closed she saw an opening. when she met Wally Ouedraogo, a local bicycle barista and coffee master, the stars aligned. It was time to go.
We’re glad you joined us!


Tracy & Wally share about their fortuitous meeting, the motivation behind The Inkwell, and why simple is always better.

Special thanks to Tracy Gates & Wally Ouedraogo for taking the time to share the Inkwell story with us.

Music for this episode is by Mark Vinten and the show is produced and edited by Jeremy Goodrich.


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