I love it when people see a need for something in Indianapolis and just go ahead and do it.
That’s just what Nathan Smith, Zach Rohn and Mike Blackwell did when launching Manthan International Market, an ethnic food fest that takes place Saturday, July 26, at 748 Massachusetts Ave. They plan to hold the event the last Saturday in August and September as well.
Saturday’s fest, which runs from noon to 5 p.m., will bring a variety of ethnic restaurants from around city to one place – the intersection of Mass Ave, College Avenue and St. Clair Street — to make it easier for Indianapolis diners to try them. The word “manthan,” Smith said, is a Hindi word meaning to churn knowledge.
“We like to think of it as a blend between a farmers’ market and a food festival,” said Smith. “Our goal is to introduce Indy residents to the various ethnic places from around the city, because it’s all spread out. So we’re trying to provide a central hub where everyone can experience these things from all reaches of the city all in one convenient little area.”
More than a dozen food vendors are scheduled to participate, including Santorini Greek Kitchen, Poccadio Moroccan Grill, Jiallo’s Afrcan-Caribbean Cuisine, Sunny’s Chinese Kitchen and Lino’s Coffee. Vendors will be selling their foods, but there is no admission fee to the market.
“There’ll be a few cultural societies there as well,” said Smith, “so it’ll be a learning experience as well as a food experience.”
The motivation for launching the event, he said, is the trio’s passion for international food.
“We’re travelers, and we’re also foodies,” said Smith, “so food is our way to travel without necessarily having to go anywhere. I might call it my favorite hobby. Any time I get a chance to discover a new place around the city, I’m very excited.”
Smith hopes to encourage others to explore Indy’s ethnic restaurants.
“Our city is so spread out, and people don’t venture out of their neighborhood that much, so a lot of people don’t know about various ethnic restaurants from other parts of the city,” he said. “We just want to build a stronger international food community within Indianapolis.”