I have always believed our nation’s strength and global economic respect come from huge companies and corporations. But our country’s heart and soul is reflected in small businesses, unique enterprises that give character to communities and provide us a sense of place.
When you consider just how many small businesses there are, it’s impressive to think about the amount of time, commitment and labor these hard working individuals contribute to make their locally owned establishments come to life and stay alive. Huge corporations, although vital, are usually not representative of the people and culture that make a community. Want to sample the true personality of any city or town? All you have to do is start visiting locally owned shops.
Patti and Rick Baker made their living working for large companies, for which they are thankful. Yet they harbored a desire to someday open their own business. “We also decided we wanted it to be in a small town,” said Patti. Their dream came true several years back.
The Bakers have a passion for outdoor activities. Rick is an avid hunter while his wife loves to fish. It came as no surprise when they decided their new endeavor had to be outdoor related. After careful planning they opened “Treasures in the Woods.”
Most people want to scale back work related activities prior to retirement. Not so for the Bakers. “We knew we wanted to keep busy so that was another reason for opening the store,” Patti explained.
Originally the fledgling business was located in Lafayette. “It was ok but it had a bigger city feel which is something we wanted to avoid,” Patti said. After careful research they soon found a mutually agreeable location and moved their enterprise to the small community of Delphi. “We live between both cities so it worked out perfect,” Rick mentioned.
The business is a reflection of their personal and unique interests. Long rods, used for slinging baits across open water, line the store. There is also a section devoted to short rods for ice fishing and almost every type of lures to satisfying most angling interests and styles.
The quaint store sees a constant flow of fishermen who come to pick up different types of live bait. Naturally you will find hunting supplies including calls, scents and other necessities. “We also sell a lot of ammo and different types of targets,” added Patti.
Her love of outdoor cooking and gardening becomes quickly evident when stepping through the doors. An assortment of cast iron cookware is on display. The couple also sells a variety of heirloom vegetables. “Last year we sold over 2,800 plants,” Patti said proudly.
During deer hunting season they provide complete processing services. In addition to cutting meat into your basic choices they also make their own summer sausage and snack sticks. “We are one of a few who have a real smoker and smoke meat which people love,” Patti continued. The business received a five star rating for their smoked meats. That comes as no surprise because the couple insists on using nothing but apple wood. “This is a great bait shop with awesome service,” said Jason Schlotman, while he stopped in to buy a few items. “Plus they have a lot of really cool stuff.”
According to the Baker’s, one of the greatest assets to owning their own business isn’t profit margins, it’s the customers. “We have the greatest people who come in,” Patti said thankfully. “They are more than just customers, they are our friends.”
The store is located at 215 W. Monroe Street, in Delphi. “Even though the business is based just a few blocks from downtown, Delphi is small enough that it still feels like we are on the outskirts,” said Patti with a laugh. They can be contacted at (765) 412-7005.