In early 2012, New Harmony residents Mike and Angie Woodburn were invited by their neighbors to travel to Mount Vernon, Ind., for ice cream. But with it being a nearly 40 minute-round-trip, Mike believed the drive wasn’t worth it, especially when it meant that ice cream was from a chain restaurant.
That’s when the light bulb went on.
“We already had what is called Vintage Harmony, where we sold hand poured candles, repurposed furniture, things like that,” says Mike. “Since everything in our shop was created by hand, we started visiting artisan ice cream shops in the state of Indiana. We wanted it to be hand crafted. We visited one of those and Angie looked at me and said, ‘I think you could do that.’”
“He came home with a bunch of stuff the next day, and I said, ‘What are you doing?’” says Angie. “He said, ‘You said you thought I could do it, so I am.’”
Mike began experimenting with recipes – making them his own in August 2012. By March the next year, Bliss Artisan was serving ice cream. The name was derived from a synonym for utopia, which represents New Harmony, and the handcrafted art behind the ice cream.
The shop started very small — with a countertop ice cream maker that made one tray every 55 minutes and a small display case for 12 flavors. A couple of months later, Bliss Artisan was growing. The Woodburns upgraded to an ice cream maker that makes two pans of ice cream in 4 ½ minutes and a display case for 18 flavors. The shop makes around 40 flavors, including seasonal flavors, while rotating 18 at a time, and also offers grilled wraps, grilled cheese sandwiches for children, and Dad’s root beer products.
Bliss Artisan also is expanding to Mount Vernon, Ind., where it will serve as an ice cream and coffee shop. The store, located in The Landing on the riverfront, is set to open in mid-May. This location will remain open year-round, while the New Harmony store opens in early spring and season concludes at the end of October.
The Woodburns also own Woody’s Pizzeria, located at 518 S. Main St., in New Harmony.
“We want to go to smaller towns and give them something they don’t have,” says Mike. “Hard ice cream is something you can’t find anymore. There are only a few of us in the whole state that make it anymore. I’m addicted to making ice cream. It is all truly from scratch.”
For more information about Bliss Artisan, call 812-549-5187 or visit its Facebook page.