The Garfield Park Bakery That’s Been Positively Popping Off

Cafe Babette’s co-owners are navigating the choppy waters of success.
Photo by Jes Nijjer/Indianapolis Monthly

Cheyenne and Ryan Norris are doing everything they can to keep up with their own popularity. In 2023, the parents of three were working in e-commerce but dreamed of opening a business in their own community. “I bake all the time,” Cheyenne says. “So I decided if I can teach myself how to make a croissant, I can do anything. We can have a bakery.

After she mastered the croissant, it was on to morning buns and other French-inspired classics. Soon, she was developing her own recipes for over-the-top pastries, such as a cruffin made with rhubarb honeysuckle jam and lemon curd topped with cream and edible flowers. “When she gets an idea, it’s just ‘zoom,’” Ryan says. The innovations just keep coming.

About a year ago, the couple started selling Cheyenne’s creations to their neighbors under the name Cafe Babette (2627 Shelby St.). As word spread, people were traveling from all over to pick up boxes of baked goods from their Franklin home.

“People started asking us to do pop-ups in the city,” she says. Those sold out swiftly enough that the couple realized that their dream could be a reality. With help from some particularly ardent supporters, they found a kitchen and retail space in a century-old Garfield Park building. It opened for business in January, serving customers from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday.

Soon, the bakery will also open on Fridays, with additional menu items including doughnuts and sandwiches. They know their customers are hoping for even more days of operation, but they’re proceeding with caution. “We don’t have backers,” Ryan says of their self-funded operation, “so we’ll grow when we can, but only when we know when we can do it right.”