Indianapolis Rallies Behind Blind 'Broom Guy'

| by Brendan Kelly
Jim Richter, the "Broom Guy"Jim Richter, the "Broom Guy"

An Indiana community is coming together to support a 78-year-old blind broom maker after complaints caused him to be kicked off the property where he sold his brooms.

Jim Richter has become well known on the north side of Indianapolis as the "Broom Guy." He has been selling his homemade brooms on the post office property in his neighborhood for 60 years. 

According to IndyStar, postal officials received numerous complaints about Richter selling his brooms on the post office's property, leaving the district to ask Richter to take his business elsewhere in February.

"I was worried, yes, because that was probably 80 percent of my business," Richter told WXIN.

After learning of the blow to the Broom Guy's business, a supportive community rallied behind him.

Richter found new spots to sell his brooms, at a gas station and outside a former auto parts store in Indianapolis.

"I love Mr. Richter; we've brought all of our brooms from him," community member Ramona Cowser said.

Even Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana stopped by with his wife on April 5 to buy a broom from Richter, reports IndyStar.

Thanks to the community's support, business is better than ever. Richter now makes the amount he used to make in a day, in just a couple of hours.

Richter's positive attitude is part of the reason his community is happy to support him. He says he has dozens of conversations with customers every day and is always happy to talk to people.

"I just love to talk to people and try to leave them feeling better when they leave than they were when they first came up to me," Richter said.

Sources: IndyStar, WXIN / Photo credit: Screenshot via WXIN

Do you think it was fair for the post office to kick Jim Richter off the property?
Yes - 0%
Yes - 0%