Cool Coworking Space Spotlight

The Station is Terre Haute's coworking chameleon

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The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce has always been a bastion of support for local businesses. So when the opportunity arose to transform a coworking space into a thriving community hub, the Chamber didn't just consider it — they ran with it.

Enter The Station, a coworking space that's undergone a metamorphosis, shedding its former skin as Launch Terre Haute to meet the evolving needs of remote workers, entrepreneurs, and local businesses with aplomb.

A rare COVID success story for a coworking space

Lindsey English Terre HauteLindsey English is The Station's Director of Manager Engagement. As she tells it, "The Station was known as Launch Terre Haute, a 501(c)(3) focused on startups, particularly in the tech sector. During COVID, the Chamber adopted Launch Terre Haute as a separate entity but with dual-role staff. Our executive committee became the governing board over the coworking space. And since then, we've emerged as The Station, Terre Haute."

Austen Leake, Director of Communications, added, "Launch was successful, but during COVID, many people let go of their memberships. The Chamber saw the value in keeping this type of space in our community, especially with the rise of remote work. Our executive director, Kristin Craig, considered it as a valuable asset for the community and especially the business sector. So, rather than let this asset flounder, the Chamber took on the responsibility of nurturing it."

A historic bakery creates fresh innovation

Today, The Station stands as a testament to resilience and innovation. With more office suites, larger conference rooms, and a variety of amenities, it caters to a diverse community like a well-stocked watering hole.

"Our old location had one conference room and four personal office suites," English recounted. "Now, we have more suites, a larger conference room, and the ability to book different spaces using Coworks software. Our membership has evolved to support various events and learning opportunities for entrepreneurs."

Austin Leake Terre HauteThe space itself is unique, housed in what used to be the home of Clabber Girl Baking Powder, a consumer brand that dates as far back as 1899. "The space we're in includes a demonstration kitchen and a commissary kitchen," Leake explained. "Instead of gutting it and using that floor space as more offices, we've turned this unique space into an asset for the community, where events like cooking classes and member workstations offer more unique opportunities to food entrepreneurs and community members."

A melting pot of possibilities

One of the standout features of The Station is its ability to cater to the diverse needs of its members, like a chameleon adapting to its environment. From remote workers to food entrepreneurs, the space offers something for everyone.

English highlighted the growth and adaptability of the space: "We have members who use the commissary kitchen for catering, online sales, and packaging products. It's been exciting to see more bookings and rentals recently!"

Leake added, "Ghost kitchens are on the rise, and we've seen members using our space in similar ways. It's about providing a stepping stone for businesses to grow. We don't want people to stay here forever; we are excited for them to grow and move on, making room for new entrepreneurs."

Cocktail Class 3

Building community, one event at a time

Events play a crucial role in fostering a sense of community at The Station, like a hive of activity buzzing with energy. English, the ‘head honcho’ as Leake referred to her, shared her approach to programming: "It's a mix of figuring out what the community wants and what works best. We've had successful cocktail classes and cooking classes because the space was originally intended for that. We also provide educational opportunities for entrepreneurs based on community interest.”

Leake echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of member-driven programming: "An added bonus is that members often want to run their own programs. We've had high school groups and leadership meetings here, using the space for their events. It's great to see others utilizing the space for their programming, cross-pollinating ideas and fostering growth."

24/7 access: a night owl's office

One of the key benefits of The Station is its flexibility. Members have 24/7 access to the space, allowing them to work whenever it suits them, whether they're early birds or night owls.

"24/7 access is amazing," English said. "Members can come in at any time, which is great for those who work outside standard business hours, not confined to the 9 to 5.”

Leake added, "The Chamber uses the space for various committee meetings because it's easy to book and access. We also host events like visits from the State Chamber or conferences. The patio has become a great space for receptions and other gatherings, a hard to find setting for networking and socializing."

Chamber of Commerce coworking

How Chambers of Commerce and coworking spaces ignite community

Imagine walking down your local downtown street during the workday to find it buzzing with entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses — all thriving in a space that screams innovation and collaboration. 



The Chamber's vision: a guiding light

The Chamber's involvement with The Station goes beyond oversight. It's about creating a fully sustainable and supportive environment for local businesses, elevating Terre Haute as a homebase for new business and a destination for anyone looking for a lower cost of living but a high performance business environment. 

Leake emphasized the Chamber's commitment to the future: "It's important for chambers in general to understand the changing business sector and workforce, like navigating uncharted waters. Our executive director has future-proofed our chamber. We're focusing on what the community and workforce need, not just traditional chamber activities. The Station is a big part of that."

English added, "We've had several prospects and members come from The Station to the Chamber. It's a mutually beneficial relationship, like a symbiotic ecosystem thriving on collaboration."

Sponsorship as an engagement opportunity

Larger local enterprises can play a vital role in sustaining The Station through the sponsorship program. English detailed the opportunities and their impact: "Sponsorship is going well. We're soliciting more sponsors for the year. Sponsors get access to the space, branding opportunities, and highlights in our communications, plus access to our community of members."

Leake noted the community's positive response to sponsorship opportunities: "Sponsors see the value in supporting the space. It's an easier conversation than other sponsorships because people understand the benefits for the community, like a no-brainer investment in their own backyard."

The future is uncharted — but unlimited

The Station's success is a testament to the Terre Haute Chamber's innovative approach and commitment to community development, like a ship sailing toward new horizons. English and Leake both expressed excitement about the future.

"We're big believers in coworking and the value it brings to the community," English said. "Polling other chambers about remote workers and flex employees could show the need for a coworking space, like planting seeds for future growth."

Leake concluded, "We have a great working relationship with local officials who see the value in what we're doing. The Station provides a stepping stone for businesses to grow and succeed, like a launchpad for entrepreneurial ambitions."

The story of The Station is one of collaboration, resilience, and innovation, like a thriving ecosystem where different species coexist and support each other. Through the dedicated efforts of Lindsey English, Austin Leake, and the entire Chamber team, The Station has become a vibrant community hub, a veritable oasis in the desert of modern work.

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