Hamilton County, Ind. (April 15, 2016) - The town of Arcadia might be small on the map, but there are places that hold a big space in people's hearts.
One of those places is Wilson Farm Market.
The success of the shop would have been hard for Bill Wilson, Sr. to predict in the 1960's when he was selling eggs using only an old refrigerator and a muffin tin.
"My father-in-law started to sell eggs," said Judy Wilson, owner of Wilson Farm Market. "He had 10,000 chickens. Now it’s been remodeled three times, greatly enlarged, with a fresh bakery, deli, fried chicken and all kinds of bulk foods similar to what you’d find in an Amish store. "
Judy Wilson jokes Wilson Farm Market is "in the middle of nowhere," halfway between Indianapolis and Kokomo on U.S. 31 in Hamilton County.
"Everybody that lives up north goes south to work, and everyone who lives south goes north to work, plus we have normal highway traffic every day."
"We’re kind of like a family and we try to be friendly and we try to be unique so that we’re the only one of a kind."
The family of customers knows what they like.
"Our most sold items are pretzel bread, fried pies, fried chicken and angel food cakes."
And the family knows where it all comes from.
"We sell a lot of Amish products. We have a good working relationship with the Amish. We grow 100 acres of sweet corn and 30 acres of green beans, tomatoes, peppers and cantaloupe. In the summer, what we don’t grow, we get from neighboring farms and local growers."
And the family also knows what's coming and can get a little restless.
"We have a sign now on the front that says, 'Morel Mushroom Update!' It needs to warm up. Everyone gets anxious!"
Customers snatch up the morels the second Wilson sets them out.
"They only come once a year. They grow wild out in the woods so it’s a big deal."
Wilson Farm Market is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"We’re well worth the drive, even if you’re just coming for a destination, and I hear everyday people say, I’ve driven by 100 times and I’ve never stopped, this is my first time but I’ll definitely be back now that I’ve stopped."
Another gem in the area is Lake & Lodge Outfitters.
Gerry Hiatt is the owner and his place is 70 years in the making.
"I was going to auction sales here in Hamilton County and Tipton County with my parents when I was ten years old and there was always old tools and pottery," said Hiatt. "At the end of the sales, they’d be on a farm wagon, and I’d buy things for a quarter or 50 cents at that time!"
As time passed, a quarter didn't get him much anymore, but his business grew along with his collection.
Hiatt served in the Navy and traveled the world.
His first two loves, old tools and pottery, still hold a place in his heart and on his shelves.
But now, so does a lot more.
"We have about 40 boats, canoes, kayaks, sailboats. Things to decorate lake cottages, and log cabins and we’ve done them from northern San Francisco, Colorado, Telluride, Breckenridge. We’ve done houses. One in Arkansas. We’ve sent animal mounds, moose heads, buffaloes all over the place."
There are two other warehouses full of racks to the ceiling, piled with furniture, luggage, totem poles and more.
A few friends help him manage it all. You can find them sitting on the porch telling stories, waiting to help you find a treasure.
"There is something here that’s for about anyone!"
If you want to visit, be sure to call ahead to make sure Hiatt is there.
The Lodge Garage will hold a flea market Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at 610 E. Main Street in Arcadia.