Maven to Know: Jessie Harden

The Garden Table co-founder and Crafted creative director is also a beauty guru who always knows the best new skincare find.
Jessie Harden Maven to Know INDY MAVEN

Jessie Harden, Co-Founder of Garden Table & Creative Director at Crafted

Jessie Harden is one of those people who always has a great recommendation for where to eat, what to read or binge-watch, and the go-to beauty product nobody knows about yet. How she manages that along with her jobs as co-founder of Garden Table (with spots in Broad Ripple and on Mass Ave) and creative director at Crafted, we’ll never know. 

But we’re definitely always game to pick her brain. 

Personal life: Jessie, 33, lives in SoBro with her husband, Greg, and their 2 cavapoos, Kona and Ollie.

Maven superpower: Being in tune with my intuition.

How did you get into the restaurant business and develop the concept for Garden Table?

The concept for Garden Table started with a market need my husband Greg and I saw—there were hardly any juice bars in Indy! We decided to incorporate food and make it a brunch spot. With our second location on Mass Ave, we expanded the idea to include a full bar with craft cocktails and dinner service. 

You were very involved with the design of the restaurants. What did you want the vibe to be? 

Bright, airy, welcoming, and buzzing with energy. I kept the palette neutral with pops of green and metallics. I wanted it to feel like a place where you could stop in for a juice or stay all day on your laptop. The interior ended up being a little West Coast meets Midwest—and I love that. 

Do you have a favorite dish at Garden Table and what’s your go-to brunch order?

In Broad Ripple, the vegan beans and cornbread is the best on a cold day. On Mass Ave, the Turn-Key Sammie is a weekly order for me, and I always get Blueberry Hotcakes for the table. Also, we just put a Beyond Meat plant-based burger on the menu, named The Governor, and the flavor is UNREAL! 

What are some of your other favorite places to eat in Indy?

Bluebeard is forever and always my go-to for dinner. Beholder is a close second. Ukiyo has the best sushi and ramen in town hands down. Love Handle for a hearty breakfast, Provider for the best pistachio latte on earth, Petite Chou for a dirty martini and apps.

“I hope local residents keep bringing fresh, innovative concepts to Indy. It’s a hard, but rewarding business, and there’s so much talent in our city.”
What foodies should we be following on the ‘Gram?

To name a few: @indywomeninfood, @alan_sternberg, @peteinc, and @esteban_rosas.

How do you feel about the local food scene these days?

I hope local residents keep bringing fresh, innovative concepts to Indy. It’s a hard, but rewarding business, and there’s so much talent in our city. We had a big boom of new concepts a few years ago, and I hope it becomes the norm and continues. 

What are your current beauty and wellness obsessions? 

Herbivore Botanicals, one of my favorite all natural skincare brands, just came out with a retinol alternative called Bakuchiol. It’s plant-based, just as effective as retinol, and a great option for people with dry or sensitive skin that can’t handle retinol but want the anti-aging effects (It’s also safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women!) When you mix it with a few drops of their PRISM, it makes the most silky serum on earth. I’ve also been taking Seed Daily Synbiotic, which is a probiotic + prebiotic for digestive health, and I’ve never felt better. 

What book is on your nightstand right now?

The Untethered Soul, which I haven’t cracked yet but has been on my list forever. I just finished Normal People by Sally Rooney who is an unbelievable writer. Dying to read her more widely known novel Conversations with Friends next.  

Follow Jessie on Instagram @jessiekai and the Garden Table @thegardentable.

Abby Gardner is the executive editor of Indy Maven who, as a former beauty editor, can vouch for all of Jessie’s product picks.

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