Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Meeting Makers in Martinsville, Indiana: Martinsville Candy Kitchen and Homestead Primitives


**Disclosure: Thank you to Pam and John Badger and Ann Lankford for showing us some of the treasures of Martinsville! Thank you to the Hendricks County Visitors Bureau for sponsoring our trip to Hendricks and Morgan Counties. No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.


Side trip: Martinsville, Indiana:

Our journey through Morgan and Hendricks Counties in Indiana took us to the delightful small town of Martinsville. The lovely old brick buildings with edifices telling the stories of old America will invite you to explore in search of hidden treasures. Across the street from the town's prominent court house, we found two discoveries worthy of a side trip to any vacation in the area. We were thrilled to experience the real flavor of the creativity of the area by meeting the makers behind the sweet treats at the Martinsville Candy Kitchen as well as the intricately hand painted gourds of Ann Lankford.



A walk on the sweet side at Martinsville Candy Kitchen

A trip to a candy store is a joyful trip back to childhood. Warmly housed in an inviting brick building, we could tell that the Martinsville Candy Kitchen would be more than just a candy store. We were greeted by beautiful counter after counter full of delectable treats. We were surprised to also discover a soda fountain and a counter of roasted nuts in the store. Our jaws quickly dropped with childhood glee--before we even met the delightful owners, John and Pam Badger who have to be some of the sweetest people we have ever met.


During our visit, we experienced a candy making session. If you can make your way past all of the fudge, sucking candies and gummy delights, you will find a large picture window in the back of the store. The window provides the ability to view candy making in action! We loved watching the Badgers at their craft. My knowledge of candy pulling previously consisted only of seeing it on television. So, I found it interesting to see candy pulling up close and personal! During the process, you truly see the candy transform between various stages of warming and cooling and then as the air leaves the candy during the pulling. The pulling itself is pretty rhythmic and fluid--making it neat to see! What a treat!

We saw candy go from this......


To this.....

The Martinsville Candy Kitchen has been turning out sweet temptations since 1919. While the kitchen has had several owners, the Badgers have been the owners for the past ten years and recently marked their big anniversary! The holidays become particularly busy since the Martinsville Candy Kitchen is known for fresh and vibrant candy canes. While the Badgers' traditional candy canes are definitely worthy of their following, the Candy Kitchen's creative designs and flavors make for beautiful and tasty variations of the traditional treat. Candy cane hearts, shamrocks and baskets--yes baskets--amazed us. Plus, they have an astonishing 16 flavors!

Delicious, fresh and beautiful treats:




Can you believe the baskets? Just beautiful! The Martinsville Candy Kitchen is certainly worthy of a visit if you are in Hendricks or Morgan Counties or even in Indianapolis!

Add some country charm with Homestead Primitives and Berries & Ivy

After a short jaunt down the street, we found Berries & Ivy--a country treasure trove full of home decor items and more. When we visited Berries & Ivy, the store was undergoing a wee transformation as ownership was changing. However, the store was still adorable and had home and gift items neatly displayed in a way that would inspire you to make additions to your home. {Ok, I did not need much inspiration to uncover treasures at Berries & Ivy, but their displays surely welcome exploration!} Store owner Ann Lankford provided us with a store tour and introduced us to products from makers in the area. So many discoveries to make! Ann made us feel so welcome in her store and was so knowledgeable about every item!


A little secret about Berries & Ivy---it is home to Homestead Primitives which tempts visitors with art and antiques. With a quick look around the store, we quickly honed in on the gorgeous gourds hand painted by none other than owner Ann Lankford! The gourds are absolutely exquisite and I was definitely surprised by how detailed each one was. I found the bird, cottage and country scene gourds to be especially beautiful. I asked Ann how she started painting the gourds and she replied that she really liked the surface. By looking at these pieces of art, you an tell that surface works really well for her and her love for her art truly shows through. She has gourd art in all sizes and even has glorious and functional birdhouses (specially treated for outdoor use), so you will be able to find one perfect for a gift or even for your own home!

Intricate and beautiful hand painted gourds, a perfect gift:




I was thrilled to learn that Homestead Primitives does have painting workshops and Ann works with groups throughout the area. Plus, they also have a rug hooking group. I always find it so refreshing to see the arts alive and well. Additionally, bringing a handcrafted item home is the best way to remember a trip!



Enjoyable afternoon in Martinsville

We enjoyed our afternoon in Martinsville! Martinsville is truly a charming little town and has a lot of character worth exploring. If you are ambling through the area, you can check out a suggested cultural trail for the town! Being able to see products made in the area and talk to the makers themselves was a wonderful experience for me as well as a great learning experience for my daughter.

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