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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Recipe for Success

Mary Beth Guard says New Harmony, Indiana, put a spell on her. She and her husband Michael came to the area from Oklahoma City to visit her mother at the Charles Ford Retirement Communities of New Harmony. Originally from southern Illinois, Guard had not been to the town since she was a child but was immediately charmed.

“All the sudden you just notice you feel so happy and you feel so relaxed,” she says. “Then you start thinking you want to make this town really do well and prosper.”

After working as a banking attorney for almost 40 years in Oklahoma City, she decided it was time to venture into something new. The answer was Capers Emporium located at 602 Main St. in New Harmony.

“I always have loved to cook, and I love kitchen gadgets,” says Guard. “When I saw this building was for sale, I thought what a crime this building at this strategic location in New Harmony is just sitting empty.”

Open since June 30, 2018, Capers has been a project of phases. After getting on its feet after the summer opening, cooking classes were added to the shop in October. Earlier this year, on Jan. 27, a bakery opened for business with a line outside on opening day. The baked goods were sold out in less than four hours.

“Cupcakes are really what I’m known for,” says Martha Wilkinson, Capers’ resident baker. “I have some family recipe oatmeal cookies that have been a hit, and I’m learning breads. It’s been a lot of fun.”

This spring, rentable picnic baskets will be introduced that come with a quilt or tablecloth. Picnickers can choose from a selection of ready-to-go foods at Capers before heading off to their favorite scenic location in New Harmony. Another upcoming activity is glass fusion classes to make jewelry, pendants, garden stakes, dishes, coasters, ornaments, and more using layered glass that is fused together in a kiln.

The retail portion of the store is a mix of about half food and kitchen gadgets and half home wares, and Guard chooses a selection of items to appeal to everyone from kids to seniors. Some of her favorites are the air fryers and tools like the Stem Gem and one-handed slicer to easily de-stem and slice strawberries.

“There’s a thrill of discovery here, because I guarantee you’re going to find things to look at you’ve never seen anywhere else,” says Guard. “We’re giving people one more reason to come to New Harmony.”

Capers Emporium
602 Main St., New Harmony, IN

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