There’s a New Positive Spirit, Energy and Momentum Growing in South Muncie

The Rosebud Coffee House located at 1805 S. Hoyt Avenue in Muncie. Photo by Mike RhodesThe Rosebud Coffee House located at 1805 S. Hoyt Avenue in Muncie. Photo by Mike Rhodes

By Jena Ashby—

MUNCIE, IN—There is an energy building in South Muncie that, if you haven’t visited us in a while, I want you to know about. Come on over.

When I was growing up my great grandma lived just a few blocks from Ross Corner. She walked to the store every day; she never had a car. Grandma Martha’s is where you went if you needed to stay home from school because you were sick, which meant you had to walk to Ross’s for sherbert and Sprite.

My maternal grandparents owned a home on South Mulberry where my mom and her sisters grew up. Many of my family members, including me, called this house home at some point in our lives.

Today, there are new anchors in South Muncie. There’s the Common Market, a gathering place for food, friends and fellowship at the corner of Hoyt Avenue and Eighth Street. There’s Rosebud Coffee House just down from there, which opened just before the pandemic and is thriving today largely because of the vision of one woman – Tiara Hicks.

The Common Market is located at 900 W 8th Street (8th and Hoyt Ave.) Photo by Mike Rhodes

The Common Market is located at 900 W 8th Street (8th and Hoyt Ave.) Photo by Mike Rhodes

Brian Carless who, as a student participated in a Ball State University immersive learning project, learned about community gardens. After graduation, returned to his hometown in Lafayette, Indiana but it wasn’t long before the pull of that neighborhood he worked in as a student was too much to ignore. He returned to Muncie, bought a home in the neighborhood to live out what he sees as his calling: Making accessible good, affordable food to everyone.

Today, he co-owns Sparky’s Corner Greenhouse with business partner, Jeff Brubaker.

The legends are still here, too. Tom Cherry Muffler and Versatile Metal Works, which helped fabricate the new Memory Spiral in Heekin Park.

The neighborhood is different – more challenging in some ways than it was when I was growing up – but more energized in other ways.

Come on over and see for yourself.

In fact, we believe in it so much we’re leaning into that slogan and message. Because yeah, we want you to come on over the tracks and see South Muncie from a new perspective.

As Director of 8twelve Coalition, whose mission is to bring together residents and organizations to improve quality of life, I’ve watched us reach this moment. One of the components is a thriving local business district.

Every other month, the Coalition Business Action Team gathers at Rosebud Coffee House to network, build relationships and learn valuable insights for small businesses. Our next meeting is 7 a.m. Tuesday, April 9.

These discussions have included longtime businesses, with a rich heritage in the neighborhood, as well as newcomers who have a fresh passion for South Muncie.

You’ll be seeing our call to action on billboards and hearing more about us on the radio. I hope you’ll heed the call and “Come on Over.”


Jena Ashby is Director of the 8twelve Coalition, working with residents to develop a vision and improve quality of life in the neighborhood.