The Indiana Small Business Development Center and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. recently awarded three Hoosier entrepreneurs with Small Business of the Year awards. Of the eight honorees, three are members of Indiana Grown, a statewide branding initiative of Indiana products.
“Small businesses are critical contributors of our thriving economy and our state, and we are extremely proud of these hard working entrepreneurs,” said Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, who also serves as Secretary of Agriculture. “Each of these awarded Indiana Grown members represents dozens of other small businesses that are supported and loved by their local community and Hoosier customers who value shopping and eating local.”
Beneker Family Farms in Brookville was named the 2022 Rural Small Business of the Year. The business, owned and operated by Allen and Jayme Beneker, focuses on pasture raised and grain finished beef. The family ships meat products directly to customers through subscription boxes.
Diamond K Sweets & More in Spencer was awarded the 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year. Founded by mother and daughter Kristi and Kelsie Risk, Diamond K. Sweets opened its store front in 2015.
The company offers gourmet Belgian chocolate and candy products. The candy business was featured on the shopping network QVC in 2020.
The third Indiana Grown winner is Sea Salt & Cinnamon of Muncie. The vegan food company was named the 2022 Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year. Amanda Reninger founded her company in 2014. The business now had retail outlets in Muncie, Indianapolis and Fort Wayne.
“It was an honor to be able to celebrate and visit some of these award winners,” said Bruce Kettler, ISDA Director. “They are a fantastic representation of our Indiana Grown program, and we are so thankful to have them as Indiana Grown members. Indiana is lucky to have great examples of innovative entrepreneurs for younger generations to aspire to be.”
Indiana Grown, which is an initiative of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, has more than 1,800 members and 50+ business partners, ranging from farmers to wineries. To be able to use the Indiana Grown label, the products must meet certain criteria, such as sourcing of ingredients in Indiana or preparing the food product in the state. For a full list of Small Business Awardees, click here.