Have you ever traveled to a community and wondered “what do they do here to make a living?” Visitors to Noble County can easily see farms and factories but may not fully grasp the diversity – and related opportunities – that make our local economy thrive!
Noble County is full of “makers”! In fact, eight of every ten business establishments here employ 0-10 people. Small businesses and entrepreneurs are a major contributor to the local economy. Many find the natural amenities, affordable homes, and friendly business climate the perfect place to launch and nurture a small business. It is not unusual for residents in Noble County to work a full-time job outside the home, while operating one or more “gig businesses” on the side. That is how many of those we introduce in this blog came to be!
Follow your nose to find fresh-roasted, gourmet Country Roads Coffee selections at many local retailers, or find the Clouse family selling direct at any of several local farmers markets throughout the summer. Country Roads Coffee is local favorite and an American “dream-come-true” storybook business!
If you discovered northeast Indiana because you enjoy the beautiful farms and the Amish lifestyle, you might like to take home a Barney Qu hand-made “barn quilt”. No two of these hand-made wooden “quilts” are alike! Available in multiple sizes, Barney Qu barn quilts can be mounted indoors or outdoors, bringing a colorful, country charm to your home or business. Barney Qu offers free shipping in the U.S.
If you admire the beautiful farms in Noble County, you might enjoy an opportunity to furnish your own home with some hand-crafted farmhouse furniture – or if that is not your style – something more contemporary! A Place to Gather, operated by a father and daughter – bring you high quality hardwood furniture and “reimagined whiskey barrels”. They recently added more pre-fabricated items, so you may not have to wait to take home something beautiful!
Did you know one of the only organic perfumeries in the nation is located in Noble County? In 2021, Annie Oakley Natural Perfumery is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of production of custom-designed organic perfumes at their Ligonier, IN studio. Renee, founder and owner, has created an amazing retail space and studio. In addition to an e-commerce business that ships products across the US and Canada, local visitors can enjoy a variety of tours, programs, and shop at the studio in Ligonier.
If apparel is your go-to souvenir, be sure to check out the cute, clever, and locally-designed custom apparel and other gifts at Betty Lou Designs & Graphics, Bizzy Bee Tees, ABC Embroidery, and DaniJo’s Threads while you are here! These locally owned businesses are among the many who go out of their way to sponsor and support Noble County’s local little league teams and other worthy, charitable endeavors. They help Noble County thrive and are happy to help customize your souvenirs and gifts. Perhaps a red cardinal, or lake theme, on a hoodie?
Maybe you crave some of the region’s bountiful harvest. Noble County is proud of the many local producers who offer “Farm to Fork” experiences and sell fresh produce and other goods locally. Check out Orchard Hill Farms to find a selection of apple-based products, including preservative-free cider, apple butter, apple syrup, and more. A visit to the orchard in the fall, during apple season, is a “must”! If you are lucky, you may get to meet Hertha, the matriarch of this family-owned business, and one of the hardest-working women you will ever meet.
DeCamp Gardens’ retail shop is one to visit – but get there early, before the locals snatch up all the best, newly harvested vegetables, home-grown popcorn, soup beans, and more! Pam and Jim’s underground “tunnel” grows food year-round and is just one of many interesting things to learn about when you visit this Certified Naturally Grown organic farm. It has been in business for more than 40 years.
Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, you are in luck! Noble County is home to several bakeries and ice cream shops. Among some of the most notable – for their creativity – are Gabriella’s European Bakery and Watchamacakes. If you want something “different” and special, let the ladies at Gabriella’s and Whatchamacakes help! Gabriella, a native of Romania, will blow your mind with her beautiful and delectable baked goods. The sense of humor Lisa has at Whatchamacakes will fill you with whimsy – and sweetness!
While many of Noble County’s “makers” work out of their homes, you may purchase their products online, at weekend farmers markets, or – with just a quick call – may make plans to connect in person. Crooked Mile Candles, for example, offers hand-poured candles and wax melts, room and linen sprays, and goat milk and whipped soaps.
Goat Girl Soaps uses goat milk right from the family’s farm to create soap, soap socks, and bath bombs. Murphy’s Townhouse Candles has dedicated a portion of their beautiful family home to the production of hand-poured soy candles, melts, and tarts. Give Kim a call and she will go out of her way to greet and assist you with your purchase!
If you visit during the Christmas holiday season, be sure to make plans to stop by Sweet Tooth Chocolates and see why Karen and her family-owned seasonal business is busy every November and December making and shipping hand-made chocolates near and far. The retail store is open on select days, for only a few weeks, each holiday season.
These are but a few of the many Made in Noble products and experiences you might discover while visiting Noble County. To find more and connect with any of these and many other makers, visit the SHOPNoble directory’s “Made in Noble” section. Check back for updates, because Noble County is on the grow and a great place to do business!