Meet Mel Riegsecker, a master craftsman from the Blue Gate, who created miniature wagons and six horse hitches with everything from manes to bridles authentically detailed. Mel’s father displayed the handsome miniature in his shop for all to enjoy. To the surprise of father and son, the miniature was quickly purchased! As his reputation grew, Mel found that visitors enjoyed watching the crafters in his workshop, adjacent to his country home. However, due to a lack of space, in 1984, Mel and June purchased and renovated an old factory building conveniently located at the 4 way stop in Shipshewana. They called it the Shipshewana Craft Barn. That was the beginning of Riegsecker Marketplace. As the Riegsecker’s vision has evolved to 3 retail stores, a restaurant, bakery, theatre, hotel, event center, catering, backroad Amish tours and a carriage business that have become a part of what is now called the Blue Gate Hospitality Co.
Teaberry Wood Products
A small, family run business that started out as a sawmill and dry kiln operation has grown into a full time arts and craft business. Meet Lavern and Rachel as they craft animal puzzles, nativity sets, and Monroe Dutcher style baskets made with cherry, oak, walnut and purple heart.
Victorian Candy Company
The Amish owned Victorian Candy Company, by Jr. and Martha Yoder, has been satisfying the strongest of sugar cravings for several years now. Located inside Yoder’s Red Barn Shoppes, you will find them making candies of all kinds. They make their own Brittle Brackle. Each soft batch is cooked to perfection with either peanuts, pecans, cashews or pretzels. It comes plain or drizzled with chocolate.
Flea Market Finds
Shipshewana Trading Place, Auctions and Flea Market boasts the Midwest’s Largest Outdoor Flea Market with 700 open-air booths offering something for everyone – bargains, gifts, home decor, produce, plants, food, antiques, handmade, and wood crafts. In addition, weekly antique, livestock and horse auctions are also on the grounds. Interviews with artisans, crafters, and fleas are available.
It is not by accident that Mark and Stephanie Liechty grew from door-to-door scrap gathering to one of the Midwest’s premier furniture builders. Like everyone else, they have modeled their business after what they know. They have seen and experienced that the rubble of past lives can be used to build anew. They take the rejected, discarded, and overlooked materials and salvage them to make fine cabinetry, flooring, and household furnishings. Reclamation is not just what they do professionally; it’s who they are. The Liechty’s are professional pickers and custom furniture builders. “If you can dream it, we can build it!”