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I'm the Local Gal in Richmond, Indiana, exploring my hometown and heart. I write about all thing local, sometimes global. It's a small world after all.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

What's Behind That Window? Main Street Diner

"I think poems return us to that place of mud and dirt and earth, sun and rain, and that's where food comes from, and so there's this common link." 

You might not connect poetry with food or consider them one and the same, but then perhaps you haven't had a plate of home fries alongside the western omelette at the Main Street Diner in Richmond, Indiana. (At least that's the Local Lady's Official Opinion!)

Kent and Dori Baxter co-own the Main Street Diner with their daughter Mary Baxter-Lucas. The Baxter's sons also are part of the restaurant staff. Main Street Diner is one extra fabulous, family run business. Dori was good enough to agree to a Local-Lady Interview. Thank you, Main St. Diner!

Here we go:

What about Richmond, Indiana keeps you investing and working in our community? 

"Family roots. Kent and his family moved here when he was in Jr. High. His dad was President of Friends Fellowship Community for many years. His mother still lives at FFC. His brother is now President. We have moved around many many times in our 32 years of marriage, and we always seem to land back in Richmond, near family. We have lived on a farm outside of Williamsburg for the last 14 years."

You took ownership of the Main Street Diner last year. You retained the name, but what have you done to make the Diner more your own?

"We have expanded the menu, attempting to highlight local foods (a passion of ours), become a little family friendly. We also support other local businesses and are working towards being more involved in the community."

Your restaurant sources fresh, local ingredients whenever possible. You are definitely leaders in Richmond's growing local foods movement. Where does your philosophy and inspiration come from?

"Through our efforts to become self sufficient and our time as a small farm business with Abundant Acres. Due to family obligations we have scaled back the farm business and are currently not supplying produce to outside sources. We will be growing a small garden in the back of the Diner so that we can provide fresh produce on the menu during the growing season."

What was running the farm like?

"We ran the farm business for about 4 years. It was successful but very hard to run with Kent working a full time job. The boys helped in the garden by growing veggies and flowers, helping with goat husbandry, and caring for the chickens. It was a great experience for us, especially with homeschooling. We still homestead and I still make goat milk soap. Our energy has changed of course with running the diner, but we still are providing good, local food for a reasonable cost."

The local movement extends beyond just food. Your family is also part of a network really interested in building community and support throughout Richmond. Why?

"We love building community. We love keeping it local. We shop local whenever we can. I would rather spend a few cents extra at a local "Mom and Pop" business than shop at the large chains. Large chains may provide things that people don't always have access to, but we Love to Shop Local!  Veach's is a special, family favorite. I just feel that when a community is strong, it creates a strong state and a strong nation. It all begins in the community and in the attitude we develop with each other."

There's a lot of excitement about the new Farmer's Market adjacent to the Diner. Can you tell us a bit about the new Thursday Market?

"We are so excited about this market! We will be featuring one unique vendor per week, either by using their ingredients to make a meal in the diner or by giving a complimentary sample provided by the featured vendor. For example, last week's feature was a Honey Glazed snack mix I made using Pappaw's Hunny Farm honey. Each table was given a small bowl to snack on while waiting for their dinner. This week's feature is Arden Farms. We will be using their herbs in whatever creation Kent comes up with. We are also excited that we now have our retail egg license so we can sell farm fresh brown eggs inside the restaurant!"

What are your top favorite menu items?

"That is a hard question to answer! There are so many favorites.  My personal favorite would have to be the hand cut, hand battered onion rings.  Kent's favorite is the homemade biscuits and sausage gravy (made with fresh local sausage (M.S.G. Free). Many people say we have one of the best cheeseburgers around. Diners should definitely try the hand breaded tenderloin and pretzel buns we bake in house."

As a family business, how do you enjoy working together? What do you all do after a long day at the restaurant to relax?

"Working together and going home together has provided its own set of challenges, but we work through it. We are a close knit family with a unique restaurant history. (Kent and Dori met while working together at Bob Evans) At the end of the week we turn off the Diner sign light and relax with a great cup of coffee at Roscoe's Coffee House."

Local Lady's Favorite Order: Western Omelette & Fries

The Main Street Diner's Thursday Market takes place from 4:00-7:00 pm during the summer & fall. The market includes 7-12 vendor booths. One vendor is featured each week by the Diner through the menu or by a shared product sample. Come for the quality, locally produced items and stay for dinner!

Much thanks to the Baxter Family for their time!

The Main Street Diner is located at 1600 East Main Street in Richmond, Indiana.

Hours: Mon - Sat7:00 am - 2:00 pm and Ext. Hours on Market Thursdays til' 7:00 pm.

You can find them on Facebook Here.

The Thursday Market concluded in October 2013, but We're looking forward to next year!

<3 your Local Gal


  1. I stopped in a couple of weeks ago with a couple of friends who were visiting from Portland, OR. We were all impressed with the food and the service. It's such a good feeling to share Richmond's best with visitors from out of town :)

  2. Glad you & your friends enjoyed it! My little ones agree their pancakes are the best in town. :)