Aaron Nafziger didn’t want to own a bar. He wanted to own Constant Spring.
Aaron (GHS ‘05, GC ‘09) had been raised in Goshen and seen the awakening of downtown Goshen into a vibrant, creative and conscientious community.
He bought the Constant Spring from previous owner and founder Jason Oswald in June of 2013, to be more of a part of that energy.
Constant Spring serves quality food and drink, but Aaron wanted to join the team at the Spring because it is more than a bar or restaurant. The Spring brings people together to celebrate achievements, hold informal business meetings or watch FIFA World Cup matches with other community members.
Wanting to be engaged in the community may be a trait Aaron gained from his parents, Roger and Laurie Nafziger.
“I care enough about the community that I feel invested in it and want to do what I can for us to continue to grow.”
Roger Nafziger (GC ‘78) is the director of planned giving at Goshen College, but has also been on the board of directors for United Way of Elkhart County, the Goshen board of zoning appeals and the Goshen school board through which he is also a non-voting member of the Goshen park board. Laurie Neumann Nafziger (GC ‘78) is the CEO and president of Oaklawn, a mental health and addictions treatment organization that serves the Michiana area. She’s also been on boards for the Goshen Chamber of Commerce, Greencroft, a retirement community, ADEC, a local organization that serves individuals with developmental disabilities and other special needs, and Mennonite Healthcare Services.
They may feel “overboarded” at times, Laurie said with a laugh, but they’re so involved because Goshen is home and they care about what’s going on.
“You get to know some other people in the community, which is really gratifying and beneficial in a lot of ways,” Roger said, “but you also just learn a lot more about the community and about what people care about and what they’re trying to do… I care enough about the community that I feel invested in it and want to do what I can for us to continue to grow.”
Links from the story
Local people doing local stuff at their local bar since 2006.
We’re here with a passion and a purpose – namely, to make peace in every way we can, in the world and within our uncommonly great community.
A collaboration of upstart businesses who have chosen Goshen as a place to grow their big ideas into successful ventures.
The Planning Department creates zone districts to promote orderly development and preserve property values.
From kindergarten to twelfth grade, our students have the opportunity to explore the past, present and future of our ever-changing world.
We provides high quality recreation services, facilities and parks to benefit area residents and contribute to the economy, the environment, the wellness and the sense of community in Goshen.
A mental health and addictions treatment organization that serves the Michiana area.
The mission of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce is to champion our community’s business future.
The Goshen Park and Recreation Department provides high quality recreation services, facilities and parks to benefit area residents and contribute to the economy, the environment, the wellness and the sense of community in Goshen.
By enhancing the lives of people with disabilities, we enrich our communities through the diversity that comes from inclusion.
A not-for-profit organization that supports Mennonite and other Anabaptist faith-grounded health and human service providers in their leadership and strategic direction.
Maple City Greenway is 32 miles of urban trails connecting neighborhoods, schools, businesses and parks to downtown Goshen.
A not-for-profit corporation dedicated to converting the abandoned Pumpkinvine railroad corridor into a linear park and greenway.
“ … we’re in this together …”
Roger and Laurie Nafziger have seen a lot of growth happen in Goshen already in their 40 years living here. They’ve seen more restaurants, shops and art venues take root in Goshen. At the same time, they love that Goshen is still the right size to know the waitstaff at their favorite eateries. They often run into other people they know around town, but there are still plenty of other people to meet. As a family of runners, they also love the 32 miles of trails for running, biking or walking in the city.
The kind of people that make up the Goshen community is a big reason the Nafzigers have dedicated themselves to serving the city and region in so many ways.
“There would be a lot of Midwest towns that would be more one-track minded,” Aaron noted, but he sees a large variety of people at Constant Spring. “Really talented, intelligent…”
“Bright people,” Laurie added.
“Interesting people with lots of stories to share,” Aaron continued. “And well-traveled.”
There’s also a collegial relationship between local businesses, Roger said.
“The businesses in town, there’s a level of trust because it is a little smaller, it’s more collegial, like ‘we’re in this together’.”