"We really just wanted to open a used bookstore but we decided we wanted to bake bread while we were at it and it all just kind of snowballed from there until we came up with the café," said Will Worley, owner of Porter Books and Bread.
Will Worley opened Porter Books and Bread one year ago at Fort Harrison in Lawrence.
"We had actually never heard of Fort Harrison before we came up here about 2 years ago when we were looking for spots, but we came into the building and saw the old structure and all the old brick and wood and instantly fell in love. The Fort Harrison area is just kind of completely different than the rest of the city and this building in particular, we knew would have a lot of opportunity to get that comfortable, charming, relaxing feel that we were looking for," said Will.
Will says they're not very picky about the books they buy and sell, they have a little bit of everything, but they do try to carry as many Hoosier authors as possible. While you enjoy coffee and a good book, Will is busy baking bread and crafting other delicious pastries and sandwiches.
"For sure the first thing that makes it different is that we made it ourselves. Rest assured everything on our menu is crafted by, if not us, then someone in Indianapolis, someone here in the city made it themselves, so that shows in the quality we like to think," said Will.
Porter Books and Bread is open every day for breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack.
"I think the biggest draw is the park. So many people come from different areas and we get a lot of customers from all over. They come to play golf and they come to the state park for camping or walking or horseback riding. Many people stay at the Inn which is very historic and beautiful," said Tammy Jones, owner of Cafe Audrey.
And visitors enjoy breakfast or lunch at Cafe Audrey at Fort Harrison. Not only is the food delicious, customers love the atmosphere and history!
"Originally it's one of the buildings that was part of the original Fort. It was built in approximately 1903 and it served a number of different uses, originally it was the blacksmith shop," said Tammy.
As the Fort evolved, Cafe Audrey owner Tammy Jones says she believes the building was used as a uniform distribution center and officers club. Eventually a woman bought the building and opened Cafe Audrey. Tammy took over 2 years ago, changed a few things and expanded the menu.
"Just about everything we do is from scratch, not everything, but most things we do is from scratch and it’s like home style Indiana cooking, a lot of people claim to do that, but if you don’t do things from scratch, it's not really home cooking. I think the other thing is just the building itself, it's charm, and the coffee bar is very popular, just being able to serve yourself to the coffee. I think the other thing people like is that we have a lot of locally produced products. Our coffee is locally roasted, a lot of the produce is from Piazza Produce and it's locally grown produce. Our desserts are purchased from local bakeries either Lawrence Bakery or Simply Divine Cupcakes, so we try to do local as much as we possibly can," said Tammy.
The omelets are also a huge hit! Cafe Audrey features a build your own omelet with an extensive list of meats, cheeses, vegetables, sauces and seasonings you can choose from.
Cafe Audrey has a dog friendly patio and Tammy plans to add a bike parking stand outside very soon!