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CARMEL, Ind. (Jan. 8, 2016) — This morning we start the 2016 edition of “Your Town Friday” by returning to Carmel!

You’ll find the Hamilton County city just north of downtown Indy!  It seems downtown Carmel has everything: great restaurants, cute little shops, the Monon Trail and for the last year, Peace Water Winery has been able to call the city home.

“I sold some other businesses and found myself with nothing to do.  I said I was retired but my wife said no that’s unemployed Scott, so I wanted something fun and different to do.  We’ve been blessed with our business ventures and with our family so I knew I wanted to do something give-back oriented…I just had to figure out what business model plugged together with that.  We had a passion for wine and loved wine, especially California wine, so we kind of married those two together and here we are!” said Scott Burton, owner of Peace Water Winery.

You’ll find Peace Water Winery just off West Main Street in Carmel.

“All of our vineyards are located in Napa and Sonoma.  It’s a grape to bottle operation.  We have control all the way through which is pretty unique as well, but my winemaker out there is full-time, we got lucky we got one of the best winemakers in Napa who bought into our idea, our business model of wanting to give back and charity oriented and that caught his attention as well.  And like I said, he’s one of the best winemakers out in Napa.  We have a range of white and red, we have a new sparkling wine we just introduced.  We have four white wines, we have five red wines, and we have a high-end Cabernet collector’s type edition at the World Wine Championships.  It came in 11th but they’re all the drier style wines being from the California region so they all fall under the dry category,” said Scott.

Peace Water is not only about great wine though, the winery is all about giving back in an interactive kind of way.  Fifty-percent of their net profits go to different charities.

“We have our giving wall so you get a little token when you buy a bottle and you can go over to our giving wall.  There are eight different charities that my eight kids have picked out and they do work with so when you buy a bottle you get to go over and decide which charity you want a portion of the proceeds to be passed onto and you drop the token in a bucket,” said Scott.

As an adult, Steve Nelson started buying and collecting model trains.

“I’ve always been interested in history.  In 2000 I started collecting these, quarter inch scale trains, we’ve been building this collection since 2000,” said owner of Mr. Muffin’s Trains, Steve Nelson.

His collection kept on growing so he decided to open a space where he could share his hobby and passion with others!

“I guess what I really like is showing them to the kids and running trains for them.  We run our layout on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  On a normal Saturday we’ll have 200 to 300 people in here.  We have a lot of families that come in to see the trains run and there is no admission charge, I just like sharing the trains.”

And everything you see is brand new from the manufacturer and represents a real train.

“There is no fantasy stuff here, they’re all real models.  I know the history of them.  Basically every major railroad in the country ran through Indiana because they had to get to Chicago so we have a lot of train history in Indiana,” said Steve.

Steve, who the kids call Mr. Muffin, will not only run his trains for you and tell you about the history, he welcomes tour groups of all ages and he sells model trains and parts as well.

“We sell a lot of trains.  A lot of people in the country buy from us to support the hobby.  By supporting us, they support the hobby and then for families, there are local people that collect trains.  Families buy train sets and they get into the hobby themselves.  We like to call it STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art and math and you learn all 5 skills when you work with model railroading.  It’s a family oriented hobby and I’m proud we get a lot of families introduced to the hobby by coming here,” said Steve.

While Steve realizes the hobby isn’t what is used to be back in the ’50s, the hobby has evolved and it’s keeping up with our current technology.

“We just installed electronics on our layout that you can walk in here with an iPhone, android or iPad, download the app and run one of our trains.  Manufacturers are moving toward that technology which will help kids relate to it.  The hobby is alive and well based on the traffic we get.  I have people from all over the Midwest drive here, they see us and they want to eat at a local restaurant.  We’re a destination in the Midwest.”