MCCORDSVILLE, Ind. — A new convenience store is heading to the southeast side of Indianapolis. Leo’s Market and Eatery will soon set up shop along Emerson Avenue. 

The locally owned chain currently serves three central Indiana locations: Greenfield, Noblesville and McCordsville. 

In only a few short weeks, their fourth location, at the intersection of Emerson and Edgewood avenues, will join the pride, serving up savory snacks on the southeast side – most notably kolaches!

“We make them ourselves. So, this is something that we can be really proud of making them by hand, so we start with fresh ingredients, nothing is frozen and we’re really proud of how we do that. They are time and labor-intensive but that’s part of the charm of the kolache for us,” Leo’s Eatery Corporate Executive Chef Matthew Chappell said.

“To prepare for this I actually took a kolache tour of the southwest and I learned typically an authentic kolache is kinda the Danish pastry-looking thing and they have fillings like poppy seed butter and sweetened cottage cheese. They are very popular in Texas but honestly, that doesn’t sound as appetizing to the Midwestern people here and so we’ve taken that and copied sort of what they’ve done down there where we do our stuffed kolaches that we can do just about anything with.”

Leo’s Eatery prepares all sorts of kolaches both savory and sweet, from breakfast varieties to pulled pork, pizza, Reuben and more.

“You can get all your classic flavors but in something that’s really easy to take with you and eat,” Chappell said.

While Leo’s Market and Eatery may look like your typical gas station from the road, what’s inside is a real lion’s share. You’ll find groceries, freshly made food, drinks, even tables and chairs for sit-down customers. Chappell said what they serve and how they prepare it is what he takes pride in most. 

“We really focus on the market and the eatery aspect of this – more than the fuel side of things. So just like you go to the grocery store, and they have some fuel pumps outside, we do too… but we really try to focus on having really fresh market products,” Chappell said. “Everything we serve is exactly what I would serve at a white tablecloth event. As a formally trained chef I can tell you the quality is the exact same.”

While it may seem strange for a convenience store to have a chef on staff, Leo’s Market and Eatery Marketing Director Tiffany Cring says it’s part of what sets Leo’s apart from the competition. 

“We pride ourselves on, you know, locally based products, goods, people can stop here on their way home from work… skip that trip to the grocery store – we have a ton of products on our market side, we also have a fresh eatery,” Cring said. “You just can’t find this level of service and commitment to quality in other players in the market.”

Leo’s has opened three locations in three years. The new southeast side branch will be their fourth in five and is set to open sometime in April bringing 30 new jobs to the area.

“The people that work here live in the community. We just want to be that place where the people in the community can be proud that they have a Leos,” Chappell said. “We’re only here because of them.”