Olympia Candy Kitchen

By Grant Beachy / Photography By Grant Beachy | June 06, 2016
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Grant Beachy at the counter at Olympia. Photo by Jennifer Creighton
In a new town, the first thing I do is become a regular, and I look for a place that has the best regulars. It is a stabilizing thing to have a customary seat and order. A newcomer becomes a familiar face and a name, and the small information that drives a community is unveiled piecemeal. There are few quicker ways for me to understand the trajectory of a town than to hear about what it was from people who were there. In my 20s I moved eight times in eight years. I have been served well by this strategy.
 
Grant’s usual breakfast at Olympia consists of over-easy eggs, bacon, toast and coffee.
My current stop is Olympia Candy Kitchen in Goshen, IN. It combines all the things I like about diners into one place. It was started in 1912 and has been sitting on the corner ever since (I have a suspicion some of the regulars have been sitting there nearly as long). On any given day you can sit at the counter and hear sports scores, travel plans and the general banter that you would expect from staff and customers who know each other. The food and coffee are exactly what I want from a diner. It’s honest with no tricks, and the grill is right in front of you. It’s comfortable food that has been prepared the same way for 100 years. That’s important, when you plan on eating it with any regularity.
 
A few years ago, I approached Kare Anderson, who represents the fourth generation of Olympia owners, about doing a photo project of the people I saw frequently there. He directed me to my first regular, Tom Kintigh, who said, “My first time I came in was in 1942 as a sophomore in high school. Of course, I missed out when I was in the service. Came back in ’46.”

I have a long way to go.
 
Olympia Candy Kitchen
136 N. Main St., Goshen, IN
Article from Edible Michiana at http://ediblemichiana.ediblecommunities.com/eat/olympia-candy-kitchen
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