Work by more than 100 Artisans inside new Carmel more

Jam, Toffee, Granola, Butters
ArborShire store, Minnetrista Farmers Market
Sharon Downhour,
ArborShire Enterprises

“While traveling around the country, I found a growing trend toward ‘real’ food – an interest by the consumer in knowing how their food is made. We honor that interest by making foods the traditional way — in small batches from authentic family recipes and from recipes I’ve created.”

An interest in gardening, food preservation and food preparation started when Sharon Downhour and her husband moved back to Indiana as a young, married couple. They bought 10 acres and set to work making a hobby farm for their family.

Baking, though, has been her passion since the Blackford County food artisan was about 12 years old.

“As our family grew up, my husband and I decided we wanted to have a ‘Phase 3’ plan for our lives; something we could do together that included both of our interests,” Sharon said. ArborShire Artisan Foods was launched in 2010.

Starting ArborShire Artisan Foods sparked something special in Sharon. She found that the creative aspect of taking a food idea or recipe and making it delicious, then creating packaging and displays, and marketing the foods energizes her.

“I think I’ve found my creative niche,” she says. The family’s goal is simple: Getting people back to the table; leisurely dining and conversation with family and friends.

“Good food, good wine and good company are some of the greatest delights of life,” she added. “These inspire me to believe that what we are doing is important. Connected people seem happier and healthier.”

Sharon is surprised when the muse strikes. Her CrunchTime! Granola Toffee was the result of her youngest son eating her trail mix while commuting to college.

“One day he told me it was hard to eat when all the chunks were gone,” Sharon explained. She envisioned him “bag tipping” as he ate, and that motivated her to ensure there were always chunks. Experimentation led to her toffee, which quickly became popular with customers.

Sharon didn’t expect to have her jams and toffee branded by Indiana Artisan the first time she applied, but she’s delighted with the opportunity it has given her.

“One of the issues start-up entrepreneurs face is wearing all the hats,” she said. “It’s alright when the demand for your products is manageable, but when the business starts growing there just isn’t enough time for marketing beyond your immediate borders. Having Indiana Artisan endorse our products is nothing but a win-win for ArborShire. I am ready to get started taking ArborShire to the next level in the statewide marketplace with this opportunity.”