Foodie: Bearing Fruits At Broccoli Bill's
Bill Weghorst glances around the Noblesville market he’s run for 23 years, Broccoli Bill’s. Pointing out the on-site businesses he recruited into the building in the last year—Caplinger’s Fresh Catch & Cuts, Natural Born Juicers, and Rene’s Bakery—he doesn’t mince words. “I like people that give a shit, that are here every day,” he says. “These people have a passion for what they do.”
A member of the O’Malia family of iconic Indiana grocers that operated local stores from 1966 until 2001 (when it sold to Marsh), Weghorst started bagging groceries for his uncle Joe O’Malia at age 15. He worked his way up to director of produce operations, a position he retired from in 1994, weary of the corporate grind. Then he opened Broccoli Bill’s (a name inspired by the alliterative Jungle Jim’s grocery store in Ohio), intent on running a small, quality seasonal produce and deli stand. “You have to fill up these big stores, so you have 19 different kinds of apples. I mean, come on,” he says. “Give me three good ones.” Last year, he expanded the space and reached out to locally owned businesses he admired, offering them a suburban presence without the expense of having their own building.
Now, afternoons bustle with shoppers on their way home from work, taking advantage of multiple vendors in one place. “People are buying some seafood for dinner, grabbing a baguette, picking up a couple of tomatoes and peaches,” he says. “It’s a win-win situation.”
Our gallery of Bill Weghorst’s favorite things: