Wholesome goodness is synonymous in Indiana with Bloomington’s Dillman Farm. For more than 40 years they have grown from being a condiment in a Brown County restaurant, with their all-natural apple butter served on bread for patrons to eat, while waiting for their meal. To 100 different products they sell today, throughout the US and parts of the world.
First established in 1970, Carl and Sue Dillman made their homemade apple butter as a means to supplement the family’s income. Carl worked as a milk delivery driver. As popularity for the apple butter grew, he would take pints of it with him to deliver on his milk route. Customers started asking for other varieties and soon after, peach and strawberry preserves were added. By 1978 they were selling to orchards, gift and specialty shops.
In 1985, the business became incorporated, blossoming into a full time endeavor. Cary Dillman, the couple’s son, joined them as a partner, after graduating from college. But the business was not without its share of obstacles.
A fire in 1991 destroyed four of six buildings. 2011 brought winds, up to 110 mph, that damaged the cook room. Orders had to be manually filled to accommodate the loss. And in 2005, Cary’s young wife, Amy, passed away from a tragic heart condition.
“It’s been tough, but by the grace of God we keep going,” Cary Dillman says.
Today, Cary is the sole owner, after his father, Carl, passed away in 2015. Carl’s wife, Sue, no longer takes part in running the business, but still lives on the family farm. And 2016 has been an exciting time of growth for them. They became a certified, organic facility, introducing new Organic No Sugar Added Apple Butter.
You can find all 100 Dillman Farm products—from fruit butter spreads, preserves, jellies, mustards, salsa, barbecue sauces and more—on their website www.dillmanfarm.com or throughout Indiana in Ace Hardware and Kroger stores.
“My goal is to one day have a jar of product in every refrigerator in the US, ” Cary Dillman beams.