Bob Landman: in gratitude

Dateline: Tue 09 Dec 2008

Bob Landman, the kind, generous and community-minded owner of the Good Earth store in Broad Ripple, died Saturday of a heart attack at age 62. His passing is being mourned at several local food blogs, and while I can't compete with those writers' memories and close relationships with Bob, I can say that he was a friend to newspaper reporters.

He took time to answer questions with intelligence and insight; he was always happy to educate the public. In the 1980s, when recycling was new on the scene, he was the go-to guy for a feature story on the subject. For years, he had probably the first and only bins on Indy's Northside, located behind the Good Earth store in Broad Ripple, alongside the parking lot.

When we first moved to Indianapolis in 1978, we lived on the West Side, off 10th Street, not far from cornfields. The Good Earth's reputation preceded us; at the time, it was as well known for its vegetarian restaurant as its grocery. We had never been to Broad Ripple, but a clerk at the store gave us good directions. The food was excellent, and the location -- by the duck-filled canal -- was delightful.

Sadly, the Good Earth's reputation was somewhat tainted later on by Landman's business partner, Brett Kimberlin. Brett was the un-cool hippie, the one who never got the peace message and ended up going to prison for planting bombs in Speedway. I always was impressed that Landman did not bail on the Good Earth; he kept it going, he built it up and it became a centerpiece business (sans restaurant) that has withstood all sorts of corporate competitors.

Landman did it first. He did it best. He was a good ma, and he shall be missed.

Read more, if you wish, at these food blogs:


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