Chef Alexa Lemley’s gourmet marshmallows were never supposed to be sold. The thoughtful chef prepared these sweet, inventively flavored cubes as gifts for 240Sweet’s original catering clientele, but they quickly became a customer favorite.
Today, chef Lemley keeps up with demand by gathering quality local and organic ingredients to craft small batches of her inventively flavored gourmet marshmallows. She combines Michigan beet sugar, Ohio glucose, and Indiana cornstarch and whisks everything together into dense, fluffy cubes, which she then flavors with handmade vanilla extract.
She has developed a line of creative, standard flavors such as Hoosier strawberry, maple and brown sugar, and coffee chocolate chip. Additional flavors rotate in celebration of monthly events, including the Dirty Leprechaun for St. Patrick’s Day and Love Stinks! for Valentine’s Day. Each individual treat is sold in thoughtful, minimalistic packaging: a clear plastic bag tied with a ribbon. 240Sweet also provides online recipes for other sweet treats, including popcorn balls and salty s’mores, and it runs marshmallow-making classes where patrons can combine their own unique flavor combinations or make a life-size marshmallow snowman.
The professional photographers at Target Portrait Studios capture paramount moments in premier lighting with high-tech digital cameras and a choice of vivid background images. After clients discuss pose preferences with their portraitist, subjects take the stage for approximately 10 minutes of flashing bulbs, bright smiles, and focused lenses. Clients are welcome to bring props and shadow puppets from home, and after choosing a background, they can further customize each image with one of the studio's props, if desired.
Aromas of fried chicken and housemade side dishes waft from behind a deli counter as visitors peruse the aisles of groceries and other household necessities. According to a 2011 feature in the Southside Times, Hampton's Market embraces its role in the community by getting to know its customers and lining shelves with locally produced goods, including maple syrup and jams siphoned from nearby trees. The butchers' display cases brim with marbled steaks, custom cuts of beef, and sausages made in-house.
Based on the concept of balancing bodies with all-natural supplements and organic food, Nature's Pharm opened its first health-centric emporium in Fishers 13 years ago. It has since built up a tiny fiefdom of three stores across central Indiana, where a bounty of pastas, sauces, condiments, and gluten-free snacks keeps pantries wholesomely stocked. Curated shelves of carefully formulated amino acids, omega-3 supplements, and vitamins equip systems with vital nutrients. These herbal capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids infuse bodies with the power of nature without the need for planting a whole garden or licking a tree.
With two locations in Battle Creek, Vision Center At Meijer's eye mavens outfit more than 700 frames with lenses carefully crafted in their own laboratory to specifically suit the eyes and face of each patient. Professionally administered eye exams determine the prescription strength required to correct eyeball anomalies, and the laboratory can upgrade any lens with tints, Transitions, or antireflective coatings that save one from endless staring contests with one's own eyes.
The Hunter family knows bees. At their family-owned and operated farm, they continue a more than 100-year-old tradition of producing honey and honey-related products. Managing several hundred hives across the state of Indiana, Hunter farms produce honey, beeswax, bee pollen, and propolis, which is used to make everything from beeswax soap and lip balm to honey hot-wing sauce and 32 different flavors of honey sticks.
Guided tours of the honey farm teach groups of all sizes and ages about the work of the honeybee, while forestry tours introduce tourists to the farm’s 65 acres of hardwood. The beehive tour lets guests shadow a beekeeper on the job while "Flight of the Bumblebee" plays on repeat in their heads. The Worker Special tour includes even more hands-on learning, teaching visitors how to roll their own beeswax candle and fill bear-shaped containers with honey.
Ninety-seven cuts of premium protein await carnivorous shoppers at The Meat Shop of Indianapolis, where a brigade of butchers carves ready-to-cook portions of beef, chicken, and pork sourced from store-trusted suppliers. Shoppers can procure juicy filet mignon ($10.99/lb.) or order ground elk ($7.29/lb.) or oxtail ($4.19/lb.) to acquire adventurous eats without using themselves as bait in a werewolf trap. The store’s cleaver-wielding wizards slice each selection of sustenance into customizable cuts that cater to their customers’ tastes, fashioning lean and marbled morsels before patrons’ awestruck eyes. Packaged bundles of brawn, such as a pound of deli meats and a half pound of cheese ($39.95), offer plates of protein suitable for serving large groups or unusually small pet whales.