BY CARMEN SIERING
With its KitchenShare project well established on the north side of Bloomington, One World Enterprises has plunged headfirst into two separate projects elsewhere in town.
Co-owned by Lennie Busch and Jeff Mease, One World will move its catering and events operations to the site of Woolery Stone Mill on Tapp Road. Working with property owner Randy Cassady, One World is transforming the 28,000-square-foot building from an industrial space to an events center.
“We’re really working to keep the rustic nature of the space,” Mease says. “It’s on the National Register of Historic Places, so there are a lot of hoops to jump through as far as what we can really change.”
Mease says a lot of people are familiar with the site. “It’s almost like a public space,” he says. “It was in Breaking Away, and the owners have never really tried to keep people out.”
Those who have been there can expect to see some things stay the same—the old steel doors from the mill will remain; even the rusty iron beams will be left in place. “There was some talk of blasting and painting them,” Mease says. “But the latest idea is just to clean them and seal them and leave them pretty much as they are.”
Work started in October. Cassady has invested $4 million in the project; One World has added $1 million. Mease expects half of the events at the site to be weddings and the rest to be corporate affairs and fundraisers. With a large kitchen, he says his staff can handle two separate events at the mill, which seats nearly 500, and cater an off-site event at the same time.
The project, known as One World at Woolery, is scheduled to start operations in July. So is One World’s new east-side restaurant—Hive.
“Hive is for people who are interested in healthier fast food, where the food is fast, but it’s not fast food,” he explains.
The restaurant will open at 6 a.m. for pastries and coffee, start a hot breakfast menu at 7 a.m., and then begin a lunch and dinner menu that will be served from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Located at the corner of East 10th Street and the 45/46 Bypass, Mease says the restaurant is in a “phenomenal” location for pickup. The centerpiece of the menu is roast chicken.
“Groceries have made rotisserie chicken very popular, but it’s just gotten worse over the years,” he laments. “We’re going to serve Miller Farms chickens, which are just way better.”
Mease says he didn’t plan to be working on the two projects simultaneously, but he looks at things philosophically.
“For a company of our size to be doing two major projects at one time is something of a nightmare,” Mease says. “But I’m not complaining. You wouldn’t choose to do it, but you take these opportunities when they’re there.”
One World Enterprises also includes Bloomington Brewing Co., Lennie’s, Pizza X, and Loesch Farm.