Tag Archives: Indiana

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A Dream come True

The river home where Leslie Lewis-Sheets and Tommy Sheets reside in Rose Hill 

BY JANICE CARTER LEVITCH | PHOTOS BY CHRISTIAN WATSON

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

LESLIE LEWIS-SHEETS and her husband Tommy Sheets always dreamt of living on the river. Leslie shared the dream with her mother, Patty McManus, and her husband, Don McManus. Together, the four were able to purchase a special piece of property overlooking the Ohio River that had been an empty lot since the 1970s. _mg_0621

Originally zoned for multi-family purposes, they were able to have it re-zoned for single-family homes. This enabled the property to be split, and each of the two couples purchased their own lots to design and create their homes. With the idea of two homes sharing a common courtyard between them in the historic Rose Hill district in Jeffersonville, their dream soon became a reality._mg_0894

“We created our own plans for the exterior and interior. Then, we acted as our own general contractors and all of us played a very active role,” Leslie explained. “Don took our project from dirt to the drywall stage. I handled it from that point to completion. Patty acted as our (Chief Financial Officer) and Tommy now acts as our (Chief of Facilities).”_mg_0879-hdr

When the quartet purchased the lot, “the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge had just begun its fabulous renovation, and we feel so fortunate to be where we are. We absolutely love it,” Leslie said.

LL&A Interior Design is Leslie’s interior design business, and to add more magic to her personal fairy tale, it is only one block away — located at 247 Spring St. _mg_0549


“the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge had just begun its fabulous renovation, and we feel so fortunate to be where we are. We absolutely love it,” -Leslie Lewis Sheets


“This is the fifth property we have owned and renovated within downtown Jeffersonville area,” Leslie stated.
_mg_0645-hdrThe breathtaking view of the river has been the focus of the design intent from the beginning of the project. Season to season and sun up to sun down, the ever-changing view is captivating and changes daily. A soothing, neutral color palette was crucial and refrains from competing with the view of the outdoors. Complementing what the homeowners can see from the interior to the exterior bucolic view of the river, the neutral palette also has a pop of color to provide an energizing, positive vibe.

_mg_0775-hdrThe kitchen is washed in soft shades of white, and the countertops are Danby marble, which add a touch of sparkle as the sunshine reflects from the windows that allow an abundance of natural light to enter the room. Wood floors have a warm driftwood finish that adds texture against the polished chrome accents. 

“Our windows act as our art,” Leslie said._mg_0663-hdr

A master bathroom filled with natural light offers an invitation for relaxation and a spa retreat. Adjacent is the master bedroom that has been carefully curated with quality furnishings that provide a tranquil atmosphere. Touches of gray, ivory and a splash of azul — which means blue in Spanish and Portuguese — make the master suite perfect for a restful place to read a favorite novel or nap during the lazy days of summer._mg_0702


“Our windows act as our art,” -Leslie Lewis Sheets


_mg_0534-hdrThe perfect home for entertaining, the residence also includes an outdoor living space that opens up to a bar and patio area. A large covered balcony is the absolute ‘piece de resistance’ and commands a masterful view of the mighty Ohio River.


Leslie Lewis Sheets

LL&A Interior Design

247 Spring St.

Jeffersonville

812.282.6606 

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Rising and Render

An update on LouCity’s stadium progress 

 

Louisville City FC soccer stadium is rising and will be ready to host the first game in March 2020. 

Located near Louisville’s Waterfront Park, the $65 million stadium will seat 11,300 and include 18 luxury suites, numerous bars and a massive 40-by-72-foot video board. 

Keep up with the pro soccer club by visiting louisvillecityfc.com.

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‘STUPID EASY’ SABOTAGE

By Angie Fenton 

 

A little over a month ago, I made a decision to invest in my health by signing up with a local wellness and weight loss program. I’d recently received had my cholesterol tested, and for the first time in my life, it was high. Too high. And that scared me.

After my consultation and training, I forked over a hefty sum and walked out the door with a new plan that was – as I like up call it – “stupid easy.” I knew exactly what to eat (lean protein, small amounts of fruit and lots of vegetables), when to eat and how much water I needed to consume. 

There was no way I could mess this up. 

In the first 10 days, I lost a little over 7 pounds and 2.2 percent of my body fat. I was ecstatic. My clothes fit better already, I woke up each morning just before my 4 a.m. alarm and felt sharper and more focused than I had in years.

Friends and colleagues noticed a new pep in my step, and my energy increased, too. The timing couldn’t have been better.

In addition to my roles as editor Extol and editor in chief of The Voice-Tribune, a monthly Louisville-based publication, I also now serve as the solo host of WHAS11’s “Great Day Live!” weekday morning show, which airs 10 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday. Like many of you, I also juggle work obligations with family, and trying to find a balance is a constant battle. But it wasn’t, at least for 10 days. 

With this new lifestyle plan in action, I slept better, felt more engaged in all aspects of my life and was on a serious roll.

And then I screwed it all up.

Instead of sticking to the “stupid easy” plan, I sabotaged my success with excuses and simply stopped following the steps I knew I needed to take despite seeing evidence that it worked – and quickly. 

What a waste of money. 

What a waste of results. 

What a waste, I told myself again and again. 

Except, the thing about failure is there’s always an option to start again. 

So, that’s what I’ve done, but with new resolve, new goals and the enlistment of supportive friends and family. 

Losing weight is nice and necessary (I’m still in the unhealthy range), but I’m now mostly focused on getting my energy back, regaining that pep, focus and ability to sleep better, and reducing my cholesterol. I also am making physical activity a priority. 

Here’s to turning a waste of time, effort and money into a success as I head into Round 2, where it’s me versus me. 

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On April 8, I began solo hosting WHAS11’s “Great Day Live!” weekday morning show, so getting fit and increasing my energy and health while focusing on decreasing my cholesterol means even more.

MY “STUPID EASY” PLAN FOR SUCCESS

Weigh myself every morning but refuse to fixate on the number. 

Prep my meals ahead of time and use measuring cups and an electric scale to ensure my portions are correct.

Write down everything I eat and drink and record calories. 

Be honest with people in my life about my goals and ask for their support. 

Stop making excuses.

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On April 8, I began solo hosting WHAS11’s “Great Day Live!” weekday morning show, so getting fit and increasing my energy and health while focusing on decreasing my cholesterol means even more.

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New Biz Know How

The Marketing Company President Vern Eswine offers up a few tips to help build business success

PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN WATSON

Each year, more than 627,000 new businesses open and around 595,000 close, according to the Small Business Association. The survival rate is tough: Just about half of all businesses will fold within five years. So, what can you do to ensure your start up has a fighting chance? Here are a few tips from marketing guru Vern Eswine.

MARKET AND DELIVER 

Probably as long as I have had a career in the marketing field I have heard clients tell me that Word of 

Mouth is the best form of advertising. This is usually in justifying why they don’t need my help or an excuse not to invest in a media buy. 

While I cannot argue with the truth in this statement, I do ask the question, “If no one knows you exist, how can they refer you?” 

It’s like arguing which is most important, the chicken or the egg. Each bring something to the table (so to speak). Each bring a value and like the chicken and the egg, there is no separating the connection they have with one another. That is true when setting out to drive a referral base or word of mouth.

Marketing is a series of elements that when planned and executed successfully can make people aware of your existence, bring people in and make the phone ring or the emails pop. But there is an equally if not more significant element in marketing that will actually perpetuate that word of mouth and that is delivering on what you promise. 

Too many businesses work with an agency, a radio, television, billboard, magazine or direct mail company with the idea that all they have to do is tell people and the money will start rolling in. The problem with this kind of thinking is that while the front end of this effort may indeed bring people in, your role as a business owner truly is on the word of mouth. That means answering the question- what will the customers think and say about their experience? 

In today’s world of social media and internet, word of mouth spreads faster than anyone can even imagine and that means if there has been no thought put into how to handle and deliver what you promise, the positive word of mouth will not be generated. In fact, word of mouth can be incredibly negative and now you are forced to defend the experience. 

So, while it is true that word of mouth is the best form of advertising, it is also true that most business owners place the importance of this word of mouth on customers telling their friends and neighbors about their business when in fact, they tell them about their experience. They tell them if you were nice, friendly and accommodating. They tell them if the food was good, the atmosphere to loud or the price too high and in today’s world this all happens instantly and overnight. 

Marketing, as we have said since we began, is an internal and external effort. The consumer is receiving thousands of communications a day and you, as a business, need to plan a way to be heard and become known as an option for people to consider in your field or industry. You also, as a business owner, play a crucial role in your marketing investment and that is to make sure you, your staff, your service, your price and any offers you make can deliver. That’s on you! 


“ IT’S LIKE ARGUING WHICH IS MOST IMPORTANT, THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG. EACH BRING SOMETHING TO THE TABLE (SO TO SPEAK).” 


MARKETING 1, 2, 3 

Marketing any business it is crucial to know and understand three important things: 

• Who is your competition? 

• What makes you different? 

• Who are your customers and where are they? 

These three questions will ultimately drive you to plan what modes of communication and what increments of your investment will be used in telling people you exist and inviting them to come. 

For many people today, they have embarked on a path that has decided to drop all forms of media and to embrace social media because, in their minds, anyone can do, it’s easy and it’s free. However, much like anything in marketing, perceptions like this can end up costing you money in lack of customers, lack of proper communications and most importantly knowing how to follow-up. 

Any media buy should be driven by the top there elements mentioned above. While there are other important factors that also need to be considered, these three are crucial in beginning any marketing effort. In regards to your audience, if your customers are primarily 55 and above (an age group that is expected to double in the next 10) years) deciding to place all your efforts on Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter may be misplaced. Dropping efforts in using media such as print media, radio and television could also be a mistake when it comes to placing your assumptions that traditional mediums are no longer relevant. 

PLAN FOR TOMORROW TODAY 

Let’s face it: Today’s world is filled with a great deal of expectations. We have a passion for doing something, so we start a business and expect others to share in that passion. We rent or buy a place on a busy street and we expect people to stop in, shop and buy what we have. We develop a website, establish a Facebook page and maybe an Instagram account, and we expect potential customers to start following us in droves. 

However, the expectations do not always relate directly to positive results. 

Unless you have an unlimited bank account that will cover your mistakes, most small businesses do not have the luxury to just wing it. And they don’t have to. 

Do a little legwork to find free small business resources, including SBDC, SCORE and some chambers of commerce. Seek out entrepreneur hubs and working spaces you can use at little or no charge as you develop and perfect— plan — your concept. 

Planning ahead forces you to address your competition and makes you answer questions about how you are going to be unique or stand out from others whether in product, services or price. 

The planning process also makes you look at something many business owners never think about – sustainability. It’s a great feeling to get a place, decorate it, have the ribbon cutting and open the business you dreamed about opening, but what will it take to keep your business thriving? 

Hope is nice and meaningful, but it has never been a worthwhile strategy. When it comes to investing your time and money, give yourself the best chance to succeed by thinking through and planning for that success. 

Vern Eswine is president of The Marketing Company in New Albany. The brand marketing firm has been in business since 1982. For more information go to marketingcompany.com or call 812.944.7728. 

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On the Sunny Side…with Wild Eggs

Popular mainstay continues ‘eggs-ellence’ at breakfast and lunch, offers catering, too 

BY LAURA ROSS | COURTESY PHOTOS

“If you build it, they will come.” 

 

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As the classic film Field of Dreams melted that phrase into our collective consciousness, so too, have entrepreneurs taken that command to heart. 

When J.D. Rothberg and Shane Hall entered the “breakfast biz” 10 years ago in Louisville with their Wild Eggs restaurant, the idea of an upscale restaurant focused on the first meal of the day was a newer concept — but it worked. 

Ten years and 16 Wild Eggs restaurants later, people still line up every day for their carefully crafted eggs, bacon, potatoes and more. 

The restaurant’s Jeffersonville — 1450 Veterans Parkway — is one of Wild Eggs’ newest and growing locations.

“So many people from Indiana went to our downtown Louisville location, we decided to bring the eggs to them,” said Meredith Smith, marketing manager for Wild Eggs. “Jeffersonville and Southern Indiana in general are growing so much with the walking bridge and development throughout the area, we knew it was the right move for us to open a restaurant there three years ago.” 

The popular Jeffersonville location is growing with the addition of patio seating for about 20 guests coming in July. 

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Wild Eggs restaurants are now located in five spots in Louisville and Jeffersonville, three in Indianapolis, three in Cincinnati, one in Bowling Green, Kentucky, two in Lexington, Kentucky, and two restaurants in Nashville. 

Breakfast was important throughout Rothberg’s life. A native of Colorado, his great grandfather was a potato and produce farmer. “His family would often gather at his grandparent’s house for a huge breakfast, where they’d sit around and connect over eggs and potatoes,” said Smith. “He wanted to bring that connection of having a moment with your family, coupled with great service, to the restaurant.”

Rothberg came to Louisville to work with the legendary Grisanti’s restaurant group. He worked his way through the ranks to management, and later, ventured out on his own to launch the fine dining Napa River Grill in Louisville. Shane Hall eventually joined the Napa River Grill team and together, the pair sold the restaurant and focused on breakfast.


The popular Jeffersonville location is growing with the addition of patio seating for about 20 guests coming in July. 


“At the time, breakfast wasn’t as big as it is now,” explained Smith. “They wanted breakfast with a dinner feel, in an upscale, yet affordable approach. That includes fresh, creative dishes with white cloth napkins, coffee and water service at your table, fresh ground pepper and other local products, and service you’d expect from a dinner restaurant.”

Those elements set Wild Eggs apart from other breakfast restaurants now crowding the market. “We focus on the overall experience and service you receive,” she said. “There are a lot of good breakfast restaurants out there right now, but we add special touches. Our kitchen team comes in early and makes things from scratch, like our muffins, every day.”

“We also source as much food as we can locally in every market,” Smith added. “In this area, we work with Creation Gardens, Paul’s Fruit Market and Bourbon Barrel Foods, among others. We believe in keeping our fresh ingredients in the community.”

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While guests pack Wild Eggs restaurants daily, an unintended specialty of sorts arose also. “When we opened 10 years ago, there was a push for spending more quality time with your family,” said Smith. “The message was don’t have your work meetings in the evening — go home to your family. People started holding breakfast meetings here so they could accomplish that during the workday. We’re now the spot for many breakfast and lunch meetings.”

Wild Eggs also offers catering for on site meetings and events. Casual catering, as Smith explained, can feed from five to 500 people, and offers items from the core menu and other special dishes. Customers can also customize their order. The Wild Eggs team delivers and sets up the food and helps with serving suggestions and display. “We bring all the goodness of Wild Eggs right to your door,” said Smith. 

Whether it’s catering or dining in the restaurant, the quality of the food is paramount. Wild Eggs takes the basic and obvious first ingredient — eggs — and builds upon the traditional bacon ’n‘ eggs menu. “Some restaurants go crazy with cool or over-the-top recipes, but we keep consistent with things people like. You can have a really inventive recipe, but if people don’t like it, it’s not going to do anything for your menu,” said Smith. “We keep the items people love and mix it up with creative specials through the year, like our fall pumpkin pancakes, which people start asking for as early as August.”

Top sellers at all the Wild Eggs locations include the Mr. Potato Head casserole, Zax I Am Fried Eggs And…, house-made cinnamon rolls, and the spicy Kalamity Katie’s Border Benedict. Traditional omelets, pancakes, waffles, and lunch sandwiches round out the expansive menu.

“Our goal is to serve our loyal following,” said Smith, “Our warmth, friendliness and the relationships we build with our customers sets us apart and keeps guests coming back again and again. Everything these days is so fast paced and grab and go that we have that comfortable feel of servers you know who have the personal touch and will have the perfect meal for you.” 

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Interested in Wild Eggs catering your next event or gathering — no matter how large or small? Visit wildeggs.com for more information. 

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Spirits of French Lick

COURTESY INFORMATION | PHOTOS BY CHRISTIAN WATSON

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Gamblers and gangsters, artists and architects, frontiersmen and businessmen, heroes of sport and especially the wayward backwoods distillers that kept the social castes, well, sociable, these ethereal inhabitants of French Lick’s past were truly a restless bunch. The legends alone would be enough to guarantee a place in any history book, but the final paragraphs have yet to be written for this rediscovered bastion of Americana. 

Spirits of French Lick is leading the way for Indiana distillers by bringing the artisan distilling industry and its inseparable history back to the Southern region of Indiana. The goal is to represent both the quality and the history of Hoosier distillation, presenting an untold and ever-unfolding story about the nature of distillation in the state while exemplifying and expanding upon what that industry has evolved into. 

Spirits of French Lick is precise in the way they represent who they are and what they produce, playing the part of both distiller and historian. 

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This approach gives a very unique place in the industry, not just in terms of the story of Spirits of French Lick, but also the methodologies of double pot still distillation, retention and concentration of flavors. They rely on both time-tested practices and new innovations in our distilling program. 

Through these processes, they craft a spirit that has defined character, equally driven by grain, barrel, yeast and experience and following Spirits of French Lick’s only rule: “Respect the Grain.” 


Spirits of French Lick 

8145 Sinclair St. 

West Baden 

812.936.2293 

spiritsoffrenchlick.com 

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Faces of Southern Indiana

Q&A and photos by JD Dotson 

Editor’s Note: Some comments have been edited to include the question asked for clarity 

Our quest to meet a wide array of people in Southern Indiana took us shopping in New Albany, enjoying lunch in downtown Jeffersonville, hanging out in coffee shops in historic Madison and attending a car show and art show along the Ohio River. We talked to numerous folks to find what they care about most right now and how they define themselves.


 

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What makes me happy and why? People is the short answer. Connecting with other people is the most important thing. It gets me through life, and I think making those connections and experiencing things with other people is what we are made to do. 

Ethan Jobe 

Corydon 


extolmag_27-1_page_048_image_0002What makes me happiest is my family and friends. 

Melanie Morrison Louisville, KY 


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What’s most important to me right now is my family, my cat and my house. Is that superficial? I worked really hard for it. 

Laura Starnes 

Taylor Mill, KY 

The 


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The thing that makes me happy right now is learning some about the community I’ve grown up in all my life. Getting to know a new tidbit of history or meeting someone new, it’s like a familiar place but I get to discover these things every day. 

Morgan Paul Floyds Knobs 


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What makes me happy? My customers, and I am getting ready to retire (from German American Bank), so it’s kind of bittersweet. Forty-three years of banking, and I’m getting ready to leave in December. It’s bittersweet, I will miss my people. 

Jeanine Little 

Madison 


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I’m a mother of two and I’m just trying to better myself for my family and hopefully make it into heaven one day. 

Diana Louise Finch 

Sellersburg 


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We’re happy because life is good and once we lean on the Lord, we find out it gets better each day. 

Alvin and Annie White 

Jeffersonville 


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Who I am is a person that makes people feel that they are important and matter. 

Susan Strange 

Clarksville 


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What’s most important to me right now is getting my finances together, getting money saved back so I can eventually not have to rent an apartment (and) get everything paid off. 

Tori Wiggam 

New Washington 


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Who am I? I am a muscle car enthusiast. 

Rick Roberts 

Morefield


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The most important thing is world peace right now. 

Samantha Perry and Bella 

Madison 


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The most important thing to me right now is continuing to grow my business, Sweets by Morgan, my relationships with friends and family, and trying to keep it all together. 

Morgan Coomer 

Jeffersonville 


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What makes me happy is spending quality time with people and getting to know their heart. 

Michelle Ralph 

Clarksville 


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What is most important to me right now is my son because he is autistic and he’s having some issues with another condition called misophonia, and it’s disrupting his daily life, so I am pretty much all consumed with that. 

Michelle Campbell 

New Albany 


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What makes me happy is feeling fit, feeling good, making sure that the people I surround myself with are people that I admire. 

Emilio Vallecillo 

Louisville


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It makes me happy that I have an occupation and career that I enjoy, and I can help people in that career. I can be a positive influence on the people I come in contact with. I do have a small business in Southern Indiana, a shoe store (Pacers and Racers), but it’s more than that because I’m part of people’s daily lives. 

Derek Ingersoll 

Bedford 


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I’m a lot of things: I’m a momma, I’m a nurse and I am just trying to be the best I can be today. 

Darci Richards Branham 

Georgetown 


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The most important thing to me right now is to help as many people in the community as I can whether by fitting shoes or coaching kids in track. I just like to do my part. 

Cat Patton 

Jeffersonville 


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The thing that makes me most happy is being around family and friends and people that love me and I love them. And also delicious foods and ice creams and pizzas and enjoying them on a beautiful day with my grandmother. 

Amber Applegate 

New Albany 


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I am a 24-year-old college graduate who is really in love with her coffee shop job. 

Azia Watts 

Madison 


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What makes me happy? My dog and being close to achieving my goal, which I’ve set up for the past eight years. Just started my tattoo apprenticeship in January – just one step closer to having my dream job. 

Brandon Lejman 

Jeffersonville 


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Who am I? I’m a firefighter. 

Becky Oesterritter 

New Albany 


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Who am I? I’m just an evolving human, day to day, hour to hour, and trying to learn. 

Ben Slein 

New Albany 


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FROM CAGE TO STAGE

DAN FARMER AND THE JUICE BOX HEROES ROCK SOUTHERN INDIANA

BY LAURA ROSS

PHOTOS BY TONY BENNETT OF TONYBENNETTSTUDIO.COM AND CHRISTIAN WATSON FOR EXTOL MAGAZINE

In this season of graduations and new beginnings, lots of high school seniors eagerly scoop up college scholarships. It’s a rite of passage for many – but that wasn’t the case for Dan Farmer in 2006. His story winds around like the lyrics of an epic ballad. 

“I was a basketball player and loved musical theatre at Jeffersonville High School,” said Farmer, now 31, and the founder and lead singer of The Juice Box Heroes, one of Southern Indiana’s most sought after cover bands. group1

“Not a lot of people have that combination of athletics and theatre,” Farmer continued, “but I was friends with everyone – from the jocks to the artistic kids. I had several scholarships for theatre, and I had the opportunity to play basketball at a few schools as well. I turned them all down.” 

But why? 

Farmer chuckled. “I was in love with the sport of mixed martial arts and had every intention of becoming a professional cage fighter.” 

Following a heartbreaking loss in the basketball regional his senior year, Farmer said goodbye to basketball, and days later, started training in mixed martial arts with New Albany police officer Craig Pumphrey and Ivan Dale, who trained other New Albany police officers in martial arts. Later that summer, Farmer added a boxing coach, Rock Cruz, and was on his way to his dream. 

It might not have been his parents’ first choice for launching his post-high school life, but Farmer had a vision. He enrolled at Indiana University/Bloomington, earning a degree in fitness specialism-kinesiology, but trained night and day to be a professional cage fighter, with the goal of eventually opening his own gym. “I trained six days a week in Jiu-jitsu for hours a day,” said Farmer. By the end of his first year at IU, he was ready for his first cage fight. “I was 19 and I fought a 29-year-old,” he said. “The fight lasted just under two minutes, and he (Farmer’s opponent) got 47 stitches in his face. It was the first physical altercation I’d had in my entire life. I was never rough, I never fought anyone. I saw this as a sport I loved and wanted to master.” The adrenalin was the lure for Farmer. “If you’re going to beat someone in sports, a fight is the ultimate physical competition,” he explained. “It’s not who is the toughest, it’s who is the most skilled in martial arts. I dedicated myself and worked so hard on my skills, my cardio, and my strength. I loved every second.” 

danWhile his parents grudgingly supported his fighting, they insisted he remain in school. “It was really hard for them to watch it,” said Farmer. “My dad would lose sleep all week worrying about my well-being before a fight.” 

He participated in cage fighting for five years and wound up with a 7-1 record. As he finished college and hit his 23rd birthday, he realized that it was time to move on. He was well-known regionally, and still loved mixed martial arts as a sport, but he knew hitting the elite – and most profitable – level of the sport was probably not in his future. 

Farmer emerged from the sport relatively unscathed, “Other than the fact I can’t breathe out of my left nostril now. I’m otherwise OK,” he laughed. He graduated and worked for Jasper Engines and Transmissions, running their wellness programs initially, and later, moving into a supervisory role on the factory floor. He currently works for Cintas as a sales representative. 

But Farmer knew he had to follow another lingering passion. Music and theatre had always been a part of his narrative, with stage appearances as early as 10 years old. He sang in the choir. College karaoke was great fun. He loved people, he loved music and he loved to entertain. 

A fateful evening out with friends to see the Louisville Crashers band in 2010 led to a conversation with his friend, Jordan Rajchel, and the birth of The Juice Box Heroes. 

“We were having a great time, and I said, ‘Man, we could do this better than anyone,’” said Rajchel, who was the band’s drummer until 2016. “I’ve loved seeing this thing we built grow into something pretty amazing.” 

group2“We said, let’s do it,” added Farmer. “We put together five friends, and we were terrible.” 

They practiced in a garage, though, and soon landed a few gigs in early 2011. Then, an opportunity arose to play at Louisville’s Hard Rock Café, and the band with no name faced a conundrum. 

“We didn’t have a name,” Farmer laughed. “Everyone brought a list of names to rehearsal, and everyone hated each other’s suggestions. In desperation, our lead guitarist, Kyle Reagan, threw out the name Juice Box Heroes and it stuck. I thought we might change the name later, but we never have, and now everyone in Southern Indiana and beyond knows us.” 

Word began to spread, and The Juice Box Heroes quickly established a popular following in the area. Weddings, corporate events, fundraisers and bars began booking the band, and their popularity soared. Farmer equates that to their varied and ever-changing selection of music, from the 1960s through today’s hits, covering all genres of music. 

“All of our shows this year have been sold out, and this year is nearly filled with shows,” said Farmer. “We average about 30 weddings a year, lots of events like Harvest Homecoming, and we travel regionally. We have even played the Fourth of July celebration for Pinehurst Golf Resort in North Carolina for the past two years.”

group3The Juice Box Heroes currently number six members, including Farmer and guitarist Kyle Reagan. Drummer Josh Howe, bassist Josh Inzer, keyboardist Dexter Neal and singer Sydney Magers round out the band. Rick Day runs all sound and light and heavy lifting for the band. 

Everyone has day jobs as varied as school bus driver (Inzer), sales rep (Farmer), Humana employee (Neal), music teacher and choir director (Reagan), medical assistant (Magers) and theme park set designer (Howe). 

For any locals keeping count, there are three New Albany High School and three Jeffersonville High School alums.


“ THERE AREN’T MANY THINGS THAT FEEL BETTER THAN TO BRING JOY TO PEOPLE AND THIS BAND IS DEFINITELY IN THE BUSINESS OF DOING JUST THAT.” 

– Sydney Magers 


Female vocalist Magers joined The Juice Box Heroes in 2015. “It’s like having five brothers I never knew I needed, but I can’t imagine life without them now,” she said. “We have an absolute blast performing together. There aren’t many things that feel better than to bring joy to people and this band is definitely in the business of doing just that.”

And Farmer’s parents? “They are much more in tune with this lifestyle. In fact, they are two of Juice Box Heroes’ biggest fans. My dad even watches our videos when he works out.”

“My dad taught me a mantra a long time ago, that reads, ‘Expect to be good. Preparation builds confidence. Confidence builds greatness.’ I live by this every day,” Farmer added. “I’ve gone from an honor roll kid playing basketball to a professional cage fighter to the leader of the band and rock singer. I’ve been so lucky and blessed with so many opportunities. Every time I get on stage, I relish that feeling.” 

“Dan is one of the most motivated, passionate and competitive people you’ll ever meet,” said friend and former bandmate Rajchel. “If he does something, he’s going to do it right. There’s no in between. That feeling is priceless when you walk away from a show knowing we were a huge reason those people will remember that night forever. There’s nothing like it.” 

“I will never forget the first time we played the Jeffersonville RiverStage,” added Magers. “There were thousands of fans beyond excited to see us. As the Heroes took the stage, the crowd grew even louder, and in that moment, I knew I was home.” 

“We’re just regular people from Southern Indiana who love to perform,” Farmer said. “We’re up there, with so much energy, and we sing and dance and have a blast. We love it and that translates to the audience. They see how much fun we’re having on stage, and they want a piece of that.” 

Life continues to evolve for Farmer, who is now a father to his six-year-old son, Bas. 

“This band has been around his whole life, and I love having him at shows,” Farmer said. “Bas loves to sing at the top of his lungs and dance around the house. I think he might have some star power in him.” 

Farmer hopes to keep The Juice Box Heroes rolling into the future. “We can play 200 songs on the spot, but we are constantly working on new songs, and we are very prepared. We’re always growing and getting stronger, and we’ve become family. We just love what we do.” 


MUSIC NOTES WITH DAN FARMER 

SONG OR BAND THAT MADE YOU WANT TO SING: Seeing Coldplay in concert made me want to be in a band. The Louisville Crashers made me think it could be a reality. 

SONG YOU LOVE TO PLAY: “Bust A Move” by Young MC 

SONG YOU WISH WOULD GO AWAY: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” 

ONE HOUR. NO LIMITS. WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO TALK MUSIC WITH BACKSTAGE BEFORE A SHOW: Prince 

BIGGEST “ROCK STAR” MOMENT: Performing in front of 5,000 people at the Jeffersonville RiverStage in 2018 

WHAT’S YOUR DREAM BACKSTAGE RIDER INCLUDE: Blue M&Ms, sushi, caviar and a pedicure. 

IF THE JUICE BOX HEROES IS STILL AROUND IN 2040, WILL YOU HAVE THE “MOVES LIKE JAGGER”?: Yes! I’m already been called the Jagger of Jeffersonville, so it’s a guarantee! 

WHAT LYRICS WILL BE ON YOUR TOMBSTONE: “Here I go again on my own!” (Whitesnake) 

WILL YOU EVER PLAY THE ‘HOKEY POKEY’ OR ‘CHICKEN DANCE’ AT A WEDDING: NEVER. 

MARTIAL ARTS ON STAGE: I throw the occasional high kick and pray that my pants don’t tear. 

THE JUICE BOX HEROES REALITY SHOW TITLE: “The Definition of Weekend Warriors” 


The Juice Box Heroes 

thejuiceboxheroes.com 

@thejuiceboxheroes 

 

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SAPPHIRE BOUTIQUE PRE-DERBY PARTY

April 12 • Jeffersonville

Photos by Bailey Boyd

Sapphire Boutique held its inaugural pre-derby fashion show and party on their back patio at the 326 Spring Street location in historic downtown Jeffersonville. The head-turning affair thrilled guests with the latest in spring, summer and Derby fashions.

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BREAKAWAY DANCING

May 14 • Horseshoe Southern Indiana

Photos by Christian Watson 

The second annual BreakAway Dancing event benefited New Albany’s home for women recovering from addiction