#HomeGrownStories – Amber Lange
Rosebud’s Ranch & Garden was started in 2013 by Covington native Amber Lange. Her passion for cooking and desire to feed both family and community with healthy food led her to create delicious seasoning mixes and unique fruit butters. All are made with ingredients which are homegrown or locally sourced as much as possible. Her seasonings and fruit butters are a wonderful way to liven up any meal. In addition to selling her products, Amber also teaches classes on healthy eating throughout Miami County. She was recently interviewed for our #HomeGrownStories campaign.
On living in Miami County:
I have lived in Miami County all of my life. I was born, raised, and went to school in Covington. I did move to Piqua for about six years, but an opportunity arose that I could move back to Covington. The property was adjoining to my parents’ property and it’s out in the country. I’m a country girl so I took advantage of that. My dad’s parents were born and raised in Piqua. My mom’s parents were born in Beavercreek and New Carlisle but then moved to Covington. I had dreams and aspirations of becoming a fashion merchandiser. I had the big city life in my vision for the future but then I met a guy, got married and had a baby so we stayed in town. I realized as I got older that country living is for me. I love visiting cities but I couldn’t live in one, I prefer living out in the country over living in town.
On starting her own business, Rosebud’s Ranch & Garden:
I started my business in late fall 2013. Several of my friends who garden were teaching me about the benefits of chemical free and organic food. I wanted to get involved with what they were doing. I started out by growing a very large garden and began incorporating my garden produce and herbs in the food products that I was making. My niche ended up being on the cooking side of things. I still have a garden and I grow the peppers that go in my Ghost Pepper Mango and Peach Poblano Fruit Butters. We cultivate Native American plums, which I put in the Vanilla Cherry Plum Fruit Butter. Some of the rhubarb in my fruit butter comes from my garden. Someday I will have a giant rhubarb patch because that is something that I can grow to put into my product. Right now I grow several different things and my dream is to grow many more of them. There are some things, like the mango in my Ghost Pepper Mango Fruit Butter, that I can’t grow [laughs]. I can’t really grow mangos around here!
On the community response to Rosebud’s Ranch & Garden:
It’s been absolutely phenomenal! I participate in local farmers markets, and because of that, my business has grown tremendously. My products are now carried in a couple different stores and we are rapidly growing. The responses have been absolutely unbelievable.
On her involvement with the local community through her business:
I have participated all my life in a lot of different organizations in the community. I am a steering committee member of the Women in Networking group. I am involved in a lot of things in Piqua through French Oil like the Mainstreet Piqua board. I’ve been a board member for several years now. I like to give back to the community by teaching classes. This week I gave a presentation at Piqua Manor. I have taught at other nursing homes and at the Piqua Public Library. I’ve led classes to teach people about making butter, cream, yogurt, and kefir. I also teach people about essential oils which are not directly related to Rosebud’s but it’s all a part of healthy living and utilizing what God has given us.
What she loves about Miami County:
I love Miami County for its diversity of activities. We have the Miami County Parks, the bike path, the farms, and the Miami County Fair which I grew up participating in every year. We have downtown activities such as Taste of the Arts in Piqua and all the events in downtown Troy. There’s always something to do, whether it be something quiet and low-key or something with a little bit of music or activity.
How she feels connected to Miami County:
When I drive through Miami county I have all of these memories and connections, you know? I drive by the Miami County fairgrounds in Troy and I have all these memories of growing up showing my horse and my sewing projects. I have memories of my girls showing their rabbits and chickens. When I drive by the different farms in the area I can tell you who lives there and what they grow or what animal their kids showed at the fair. I’m starting to develop a relationship with a lot of business owners in the area so when I drive by their storefronts in town I think of the store owners. I’ve started to learn everybody’s stories.
How Miami County is different from other parts of Ohio:
I like that Miami County is quieter than big cities like Dayton and Cincinnati. I like that it is more peaceful and the people here are very personable and friendly. I don’t have to freak out if I forget to lock my car. It’s not a place that I get scared if I’m working alone or walking somewhere late at night. It just fits my pace of life very well.
Her Miami County recommendations for out of town visitors:
I definitely recommend visiting the farmer’s markets during the summer! There are wonderful stores and little mom-and-pop shops throughout the county. My favorite restaurant is Basil’s on Market in Troy and I enjoy going to the Fort Piqua Plaza and the Piqua Public Library. I love the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency and Brukner Nature Center. Stillwater Prairie Reserve is my favorite park. It’s more remote and secluded than the other parks and it’s about five minutes from my home.
Her best-selling items from Rosebud’s Ranch & Garden and her personal favorite:
Out of the fruit butters, it’s the Ghost Pepper Mango, even though it’s hot and spicy. I sell more of it than any of the other fruit butters. If I’m going to become famous, though, it’s going to be because of Sassy Salt and Jane’s Italian Seasoning. They are just absolutely viral! My products are going out all over the United States, so that’s been very very cool. Sassy Salt can be used on anything. We put it on pork chops, steak, and broccoli — it makes any vegetable taste good! Piqua Mayor Kazy Hinds told me that her son now eats vegetables because of Jane’s Italian Seasoning! When I’m finishing a batch of Ghost Pepper Mango I love to put a little bit on some Greek yogurt. Those cool and hot flavors go really well together. Another go-to for me is my Vanilla Cherry Plum Fruit Butter.
Follow our storyteller and interviewer, Courtney Denning, at ThisOhioLife.com.