Thursday, June 13, 2024

Hoosier Made

By Jaylon Jones

About 55 years ago, Black Jewell Popcorn started growing and selling a one-of-a kind, heirloom strain of black kernel popcorn. In addition to its uniqueness, Black Jewell Popcorn is verified non-GMO and the dark color means it’s packed with antioxidants that help protect against molecules that damage cells, known as free radicals. Headquartered in Columbus, Black Jewell Popcorn offers several varieties of gourmet popcorn kernels, microwave popcorn and packaged, ready-to-eat popcorn.

Owner Sheila Capito creates each blend of Fresco Spice Blends in Fort Wayne. The spices are tested and packed by hand, and each spice is 100 percent natural. Capito starts with spices that are free of additives and each undergoes a three-part inspection to ensure the spice tastes fresh, looks vibrant and smells amazing. Fresco Spice Blends offers a variety of spices: salts and rubs, salt-free spices, multipurpose spices, spicy spices, garlic spices and baking spices. Fresco Spice also offers recipe on their website. 

William Oliver started making wine as a hobby. The Indiana University law professor started growing grapes in northwest Bloomington, and eventually his vineyard had more grapes than he could use as a hobbyist. Oliver then set out to create a commercial winery. To that end, he played an important role in Indiana passing legislation to allow small wineries. The Indiana Small Winery Act passed in 1971 and Oliver Winery opened in 1972. In 1983, William Oliver’s son, Bill, took over the winery. Oliver offers several collections of wines: Creekbend Collection, Vine Series, Soft Wines and Bubblecraft as well as sangria and Camelot Mead, a honey wine.

Before it was known as Tuttle Orchards, it was Tuttle homestead to Roy Tuttle and the grandparents who raised him. Tuttle’s childhood home, built in the 1800s, still stands on the orchard property. Before he started growing his own trees, Tuttle sold apple trees from Starks Brothers Nurseries to farmers. Eventually, Tuttle planted 10 acres of trees in 1928. He also grew other fruit such as cherries, concord grapes, peaches and plums. Roy Tuttle Fruit Farm came into existence. Apple varieties such as Grimes Golden, Rambo and Red Delicious were big sellers. Tuttle Fruit Farm was named a Gold Medal Orchard by the Indiana Horticulture Society in the early 1940s. Today, the orchard sits on 34 acres and produces 24 varieties of apples and at least 20,000 gallons of cider annually. In addition, Tuttle Orchards has 30 acres of vegetable crops and 7,500 square feet of greenhouses. Tuttle Orchards offers group tours for schools, scouts, buses as well as a birthday party location. Annually, more than 8,000 people visit Tuttle Orchard.

Founder Steve Beers started making sauce about 20 years ago. For years people told Beers he should sell his sauce. However, he finally decided to do so with the nudging of his daughter, Amanda. Beers started vending at farmers markets, grew to fairs and craft shows and eventually meat markets and then grocery stores. Now his products are in 80 different stores. A Christ-centered company, the goal of Master’s Hand BBQ is to provide their customers with “delectable barbecue sauce.” Master’s Hand BBQ offers multiple barbecue sauces including the original Taste of Heaven in addition to barbecue rubs, mustard, snack sticks and spices.  I

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