Food Application Guidelines

PREPARING A SUCCESSFUL INDIANA ARTISAN FOOD & BEVERAGE APPLICATION

Indiana Artisan is an economic development organization accomplishing two things. It identifies, recognizes and promotes Indiana’s high-quality foods, beverages, art, and fine craft and the Artisans who make them, with the goal of helping each Artisan expand his/her business. At the same time, Indiana Artisan is building a brand that defines Indiana by its high-quality foods, beverages, art, and fine craft, using the work of the state’s highest-quality Artisans as the stuff of the brand.

Definition of Food & Beverage

Indiana Artisan defines foods and beverages broadly. The products reviewed include, but are not limited to:

Bread, pastries and other baked goods
Beer
Distilled Spirits
Dried meats/Jerky
Dry Mixes
Candies
Cheese
Chocolates
Jams/Jellies
Noodles
Sauces/Salsa
Syrups/Honey
Wine

It’s important to note how Indiana Artisan defines foods:

Value-added food is enhanced beyond its raw form, presented for purchase to be taken by, or shipped to, the consumer. Blended teas, roasted coffee, infused/seasoned/flavored olive oils, produce/plants, candles, soaps/bath/body products, and raw meat/fish are outside Indiana Artisan’s definition of value-added and not reviewed. In addition, products made by home-based vendors are not reviewed.

Some explanation:

  • Blended teas, roasted coffees, seasoned/flavored olive oils. While the processes used most certainly are artisanal, the raw product cannot be grown/produced in Indiana. Because a large part of the jury criteria focuses on the product’s link to Indiana and because the brand strives to promote foods/drinks with an intrinsic link to the state, these applications cannot be successful.
  • Produce/plants. Indiana Artisan focuses exclusively on value-added foods.
  • Candles/soaps/bath & body products. These fall outside Indiana Artisan’s definition of food and art.
  • Home-based vendors. Because of the limited venues in which home-based vendors are permitted to sell, Indiana Artisan cannot be helpful in expanding their businesses.

Artisans whose work juries into the organization via one product will be permitted to sell only that product through Indiana Artisan. For example, if you jury into the organization with salsa, you may sell salsa through Indiana Artisan. If you also produce chips, pottery salsa bowls or any other salsa-related product, you may sell that through Indiana Artisan only if it also juries in. Please do consider applying with those additional products. If you produce only the same food in a variety of flavors (i.e. blueberry, grape and strawberry jam or mild, medium and hot BBQ sauce), apply and submit samples for each flavor you want designated Indiana Artisan.

Application Information

How many applications can I submit?
Submit as many applications as you like. Each application should focus solely on one line of work made in the same technique.

To be clearer, products employing techniques, styles or ingredients that vary greatly should not be mixed within a single application. As an example, candies and cheese would require separate applications.

Samples employing the same techniques to produce identical, or nearly identical, products, can be submitted on the same application. For example, strawberry jam and blueberry jam, along with a variety of jam flavors, could share the same application.

If you have questions, we are here to help.

I have applied before. Is the review panel the same?
Panelists change every year, allowing applications to be reviewed with a fresh perspective each time.

I am not a full-time producer. Is that an issue?
No. Applicants must be willing to create/produce/grow their product on a regular schedule, but they need not be a full-time food producer. Applicants must state whether they are willing to sell their product on consignment to retail markets, however willingness is not a factor in adjudication. Artisans must produce their product in Indiana, and sales representatives are not eligible for this organization.

American Indian-made work requirements.
Artisans producing products identified as American Indian-made will not be accepted into Indiana Artisan if their work is not made by an American Indian. The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 makes it illegal to sell or display for sale, any product not made by Native American Indians in a way that falsely suggests it was. If submitting Native American work, please submit a copy of your membership card in a federally recognized Indian tribe, band, nation, or organized group or community, with your entry for authenticity purposes.

Before I begin, what is the best way to approach the application?
A couple of thoughts: We assume you are reading this because you consider yourself among the very best at your craft in Indiana. Keep that in mind as you write because your audience, the review panel, needs to understand why you are among Indiana’s best to make its decision. Tell your story. Be clear you know you are the best at what you do and explain why.

Because you will not be present when the panel convenes, the application speaks for you during this review, so it is important to explain why your product and process are the best, providing facts and answering questions that set you apart. Most questions on the application are open-ended and encourage you to tell your story.

Including “See my website,” as an answer to a question is a losing strategy.

Some panelists will visit your site and social media channels to answer their own questions or to further evaluate your product, but their sole focus when they meet is your application and sample(s). Applicants often are encouraged to reapply if the application is unsuccessful due to unanswered jury panel questions.

There is an option to save your application and return within 30 days to complete. When you’re happy with all of your responses, upload up to five images of your work, and submit it.
 
You will be emailed an acknowledgement that your application has been received, and it will include a copy of your application.

If your product is labeled as organic, you must provide your, or your supplier’s, certificate number on the application in the space marked.

What kind of work is Indiana Artisan looking for?

Applicants may include any artisan who, or any business that:

  • produces a value-added, premium food/beverage, created by the applicant or supervised by the applicant, that can be purchased at retail or shipped to the buyer;
  • creates a product(s) that contributes to the positive reputation of the artisan’s business and to the brand development of quality Indiana-made foods/drink;
  • desires their product(s) to be part of a set of locally produced goods branded as made in Indiana and carried in retail outlets, as well as sold via ecommerce;
  • creates their product(s) in Indiana and has been located in Indiana for at least one year;
  • would benefit from entrepreneurial support – education, workshops, and on-site assessment; and
  • seeks to reach the retail market through participation in trade shows/marketplaces.

PLEASE NOTE: The application questions sound repetitive, and to a degree they are.  The one application serves a large variety of food and beverage producers.

For one application to meet all needs, there are subtle variations in the questions.

PLEASE FEEL FREE to answer a question with “see my response to question #.” “Not Applicable” also is a perfectly fine answer; however, please know the jury bases its decision upon your answers. 

Successful applicants are those who take the time to tell their story, and the story of their work, to the jury panelists. One-sentence responses and quickly completed applications seldom lead to successful outcomes.

Tell your story through your responses so the panelists understand why your work is the highest quality being made today in Indiana.

INCLUDING IMAGES IN YOUR APPLICATION

Since the application includes a section to upload images, and the panel reviews the application before meeting, am I required to provide images or penalized if I don’t?
No. Photographic images of your work are not required to be uploaded to the food and beverage application. However, the application does allow for five images to be uploaded if you desire the jury panel to see the breadth or depth of your product line. While professionally photographed images represent the product better, professional photography is not required.

Is there a size limit for the uploaded images?
Yes. Each image cannot exceed 5MB in file size.

submitting your application

Application to Indiana Artisan must be made online: Food + Beverage Application  Paper/snail mail applications are not accepted.

There is a $30 application fee that is paid online by either credit card or PayPal.

Submitting Samples

Do I have to submit a sample of my work?
Yes. Applicants must submit one sample of each item or flavor they want the panel to consider. It can be the smallest package you produce, and it must be shipped/delivered exactly as it sells at retail. Samples should not be modified or adorned in any way and must be labeled and packaged exactly as they sell at retail.

Obviously, after it has been poked, prodded and tasted, you do not want the sample returned. It’s important to note that Indiana Artisan cannot be responsible for jurying lost or misdirected food samples. The Timeline has addresses where to ship and to drop off samples to keep everything headed where it’s supposed to be.

The panel will not review an application without samples, so any application submitted without samples will be unsuccessful.

the jury panel

Panels have included dieticians, chefs, sommeliers and cicerones, food writers and bloggers, food safety experts, culinary educators, food retailers, packaging/labeling experts, nutritionists, and others with expertise in Indiana’s food-related regulations. Increasingly, Indiana Artisans are among the panelists. Indiana Artisans are at the top of their craft, and those who have reached that point recognize it in the work of others.  

Panelists’ names are not published so that they cannot be individually lobbied prior to a review or individually questioned afterward. We value the time and effort given by panelists for the review, and we thank them with an experience as anonymous as possible.

review criteria

The jurors use the following criteria when reviewing and scoring your application(s) and samples:

Taste (25 points maximum)

The taste/texture of the product is unique and superior, and it reflects an artisanal process to make it. The ingredients, production process and finished product support the expansion of the Indiana Artisan brand – the jury panel asks how your product is intrinsically linked to Indiana so that it supports the brand called Indiana Artisan. As you respond to the application questions, be sure to emphasize your product’s link to Indiana and why it is the highest quality product of its kind being produced in Indiana.

Appearance of product (25 points maximum)

  • A superior comparability with a retail norm
  • Consistency within the product

Appearance of packaging (25 points maximum)

  • Overall attractiveness – distinctiveness among products on a store shelf
  • The design complements the intent of the package and/or food
  • Clear wording and labeling

NOTE: Any product not meeting Indiana State Department of Health labeling requirements will be disqualified.

Marketability (25 points maximum)

  • An identifiable consumer market segment exists for this product
  • The product and price are appropriate for the expected market
  • The product supports the development of the specific Indiana Artisan brand
  • The work is appropriate for the marketing activities of Indiana Artisan
  • Similarly, wholesale and/or retail opportunity exist for the work, and the pricing is appropriate for Indiana Artisan to assist in expanding sales opportunities.

the review process

Before meeting in person, jury panelists individually review the applications. When the full panel meets, your application is discussed and your sample(s) is first reviewed for its packaging, labeling and appearance, to confirm your product meets state health department labeling requirements and Indiana Artisan’s standard for marketability.

Panelists then taste your sample(s), evaluating it for taste, texture and product appearance.

Each panelist completes a final score sheet, with comments designed to explain why the submission was accepted, and, if not accepted, designed to be helpful in improving and/or marketing the applicant’s work. Jurors’ comments are compiled and e-mailed to unsuccessful applicants.

NOTIFICATION

All applicants are notified of the jury results via email.

The decision of the jury is final and may not be appealed; however, applicants whose work is not selected are oftentimes encouraged to reapply.

PLEASE READ

This is highlighted because it’s so important. All Artisans whose work adjudicates into Indiana Artisan must participate in the required workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, from 6-8 p.m. to fully participate in this organization. Attendance is mandatory at this enjoyable event where you will meet the other new art and food Artisans and learn the benefits of the organization.

Applicants whose work juries in, but who are unable to attend, are not considered to have completed the application process and must apply again.

This workshop is held in the Indianapolis area; the locale will be announced to all successful applican

Member requirements

Artisans whose work juries into the organization via one product will be permitted to sell ONLY that product through Indiana Artisan.
For example, if you jury into the organization with salsa, you may sell salsa through Indiana Artisan. If you also produce chips, pottery salsa bowls or any other salsa-related product, you may sell that through Indiana Artisan only if it also juries in.

Please do consider applying with those additional products. If you produce only the same food in a variety of flavors (i.e. blueberry, grape and strawberry jam or mild, medium and hot BBQ sauce), apply and submit samples for each flavor you want designated Indiana Artisan.

Once my work juries in, is there any cost?
You get what you pay for, and in Indiana Artisan’s case you get much more. In 2016, the Artisan Advisory Board recommended annual dues to help the organization provide more. As the organization pursues grant funding, in particular, grantors ask about the financial commitment of the Artisans and the board members. Dues allow Indiana Artisan to provide more services to Artisans and to secure funding to provide even more. As the organization moves into its second decade, the Artisan Advisory Board will continue to communicate with all Artisans about what they want and need, and it may suggest a change in dues. Currently, the yearly dues are $100.

Once your work has juried into Indiana Artisan, and if you continue paying the $100 annual dues, it will not need to be juried again. However, at any time, and for any reason, Indiana Artisan reserves the right to remove work from the organization or to ask the artisan to reapply.

member benefits

• Recognition by the State as, and the opportunity to call yourself, an Indiana Artisan.

• Use of the Indiana Artisan logo. Indiana Artisans are encouraged to participate in developing the Indiana Artisan brand by incorporating the logo into their labeling, packaging, hang tags, promotional material, and more.

• You and your work promoted as part of the ongoing development of the Indiana Artisan brand, defining the highest-quality work in foods, art and fine craft coming from Indiana today.

• Promotion to media, retailers and the public.

• Opportunity to sell your work in the Indiana Artisan stores, ecommerce and Gift Collections.

• Searchable, individual web page with your profile on the Indiana Artisan website.

• Opportunity to participate in the annual Indiana Artisan Marketplace and Holiday Marketplace, both of which showcase some of the best work coming from Indiana today.

• A listing (name, company, city, URL) and image of your work in the Indiana Artisan Viewbook, the annual print catalog showcasing Indiana Artisans and their work.

• Participation in the private Facebook group page, where Artisans collaborate and share successes, advice and opportunities.

• Educational and networking opportunities.

Application CHECKLIST in five easy steps

STEP 1:  Check your schedule to confirm you can attend the Sept. 20, 2022, new Artisan workshop from 6-8 p.m.

STEP 2:  Complete the application online and submit it before the deadline, which you can find in the “Timeline” on the Indiana Artisan website.

  • Upload up to five photos with the application.
  • Include a copy of your membership card in a federally recognized Indian tribe, band, nation, or organized group (if applicable)

STEP 3:  Once your application is submitted, the “Timeline” is your one-stop shop for every detail you will need. Review the timeline posted on the Indiana Artisan website to remain up to date on the process.

STEP 4:  Submit the $30 application fee online when you submit your application.

STEP 5:  Contact Indiana Artisan at any time if you have questions. Rosalyn Demaree can be reached via phone at (317) 964-9455, and via email at [email protected]

questions?

Indiana Artisan is about building a community of high-quality Artisans. No nameless, faceless people here. Ros Demaree oversees the jurying process and is available any time. Her email is [email protected], and her cell number is (317) 964-9455. She is happy to help!