You hear the word “community” thrown around a lot in the coffee industry. Coffee shops have always served as a place where people gather to talk about the days events, discuss new ideas, foster relationships, and support their communities. While many Indianapolis shops do an exceptional job serving their patrons and neighborhoods in this way, there may be no better example of a coffee shop supporting and reflecting their community than Rabble Coffee on East 10th Street.
Established in August of 2015 by Josie Hunckler, her sister Kindra Hunckler and Kindra’s husband Jon Nolen, Rabble has served as a welcoming gathering place for the community from the day they opened their doors. I sat down with Josie recently to discuss her philosophies on life, coffee, and everything in between to help paint a picture of just how special her shop has become.
Josie started her coffee career at Vienna Espresso Bar & Bakery in West Lafayette while she was in high school, and continued working in coffee during her undergraduate years at The Pourhouse Cafe in Bloomington. It was during her time at Pourhouse where Josie says she really developed her organizational, managerial, and communication skills. Josie mentioned that The Pourhouse took “full responsibility for the development of each employee” and as a result produced a dedicated and knowledgable staff ready to offer both exceptional hospitality and quality coffee. It’s clear that Josie has transferred that experience to her own shop.
After making the decision to open Rabble Coffee, Josie says her goal was to build a shop that was “equal parts welcoming and consistent” by offering “quality essentials” to her customers. Josie built her coffee menu around three pillars: dialed-in espresso, solid cold brew, and batch brew that offers both complexity and approachability. As a “DIY coffee shop,” Josie didn’t start with a big renovation budget for her shop, instead, she and Jon took it upon themselves to build the decor and functional space from scratch. The aesthetic of the shop matches Josie’s personality: high standards paired with an ability and desire to build something from the ground up.
As the popularity of Rabble Coffee grew, so did Josie’s aspirations as a dedicated community partner. Josie says that one of the best things about Rabble is that her community is “progressive, supportive, and downright loving.” This community connection is immediately apparent when you learn more about Rabble's partnership with Trade School, an organization that facilitates classes at Rabble after hours. Trade School provides an opportunity for skilled teachers to connect with students (of all ages) on an almost daily basis. The premise of Trade School is simple: the teacher requests something to trade (this could be something as simple as canned goods to support a food drive or original works of art) in exchange for a lesson to build skills in the community. A recent Trade School event featured a cover letter, resume, and interview skills workshop hosted by a local businesswoman in exchange for items like fresh flowers or locally/homemade bread and hummus. Rabble hosts these events nearly every single day of the year, and there’s little doubt that they’ve had a huge impact on the lives of many in Indianapolis.
By creating a truly meaningful relationship between Rabble Coffee and her community, Josie has built a business that not only supports the lives of those working in her shop but also the citizens of Indianapolis at large. Her commitment to enriching lives through coffee is truly inspirational, and we’re proud to be a partner in her journey.
Stop by Rabble Coffee at 2119 E 10th Street for a delicious cup of coffee and make a point to connect with someone while you’re there. With all the exciting changes and growth we’ve experienced here in Indianapolis, it’s comforting to know that places still exist with a genuine desire to connect with a diverse and welcoming community.