Jan. 31—Molly and Greg Barrett know flowers.
In 2018, they bought the former Poplar Flower Shop renaming it Maggie & Moe’s Poplar Flowers & Decor. And last year, the couple took over the flower and gift shop at Terre Haute Regional Hospital.
Now the Terre Haute couple is growing their business acumen into events, purchasing The Red Barn at Sycamore Farm, on the city’s east side. The barn will remain an event center for weddings, family gatherings and other events, but the property will also contain a coffee shop, flower shop and space with a private bar for rental.
“It was not about being an event center so much, but just the property itself. Greg and I both loved this property forever. We actually looked at it when we first moved back to Terre Haute in 2003,” Molly Barrett said.
“The barn was not restored then, but there was a bread and breakfast here. I was pregnant with my youngest and had two other kids and we would have had to live here and there was no [event] income,” she said, “but we always said somebody has to fix that barn up and make it into an event center.”
The 4,000-square-foot post-and-beam red barn was built in 1840. Curtis and Marilyn Oehler purchased the property in 2006 and the barn was restored in 2007. Their daughter and son-in-law, Gretchen and Kris Kraut, then operated The Red Barn at Sycamore Farm and the Butler’s Pantry Food Co.
Since then, the Krauts have opened Federal Coffee + Fine Foods in downtown Terre Haute.
“We weren’t in the market for it at all. I was actually talking to Gretchen Kraut in the flower shop one day and she happened to mention The Red Barn was for sale. So that whole day I was like, hmmm. So I mentioned it to Greg and he said what do we have to do to make this happen,” Barrett said. “That was the end of it.”
The Barretts closed on the property Jan. 18.
The Red Barn was already 80% booked for events this year, but the Krauts had not been booking events for 2023 and 2024, Barrett said. Now that booking is back open for future weddings, gatherings and events.
The Butler’s Pantry will also continue to cater events planned for this year and will continue to be a caterer for The Red Barn.
“The barn part will stay as is and we are not doing anything new there,” she said. The Red Barn can hold 152 people on its main floor, with another 40 people in a loft area.
However, the front room section of the barn, which contains a bar and can hold an additional 40 people, has been redecorated. That space will be known as Patrick’s at The Red Barn, named after their son.
“It can be used for rehearsal dinners, graduation parties and other events,” she said.
Their son Patrick died of cancer in March 2016 at the age of 19. They also have two daughters, Maggie and Maureen, who goes by Moe. Maggie is studying elementary education at Indiana State University, while Moe is a senior at Terre Haute North Vigo High School, and plans to attend Butler University in the fall.
Plans for Patrick’s at the Red Barn include beer tasting and other events.
“We want to offer different beer tasting, wine tasting and bourbon. We have a two-way liquor license and could apply for a three-way license, or maybe have it catered. We have been thinking about something we may call ‘bourbon,'” burgers and brews in the barn,” she said.
The reason? Greg Barrett’s brother, Kevin Barrett, a sergeant on the Terre Haute Police Department, is among co-owners of Responder Bourbon, founded by a team of police officers and business professionals in Bardstown, Kentucky.
Greg Barrett is a teacher and head football coach at South Vermillion High School.
The couple has hired Amber Gremore to be the event manager at The Red Barn and plan to hire eight to 10 part-time high school or college-aged employees to work in the adjacent 3,000-square-foot farm house to operate a flower shop/ coffee shop
“The timing wasn’t right to do this with small kids, but we knew this year was the right time,” Molly Barrett said. “It is scary to be in a new endeavor, of course, but I would say all four of us are super excited about it.”
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @TribStarHoward.