One of the optional extra events that Amish conference attendees can join is a tour of Amish businesses in Lancaster County.

Milo Miller of the Sugarcreek Budget newspaper was on the tour yesterday, and shares photos and comments on three Amish businesses – Emma’s Gourmet Popcorn, DS Machines, and Lantz Structures. Here’s Milo:

My second trip to Emma’s Gourmet Popcorn was as sweet my first trip. This home based business is “popping” through retail, mail order and e-commerce.

This one-time single employee business has blossomed to 15+ part-time employees and continues to grow.

With tasty varieties like Amish Peanut Butter, Key Lime, Cookies & Cream and nearly 30 others, this company not only serves up great snacks but is an economic driver for the local community.

emmas-gourmet-popcorn-varieties

For years I have wanted to visit and tour DS Machine and see their manufacturing process; today it became a reality.

The hour-long tour was educational and very enjoyable; from custom fabrication, to stove manufacturing, to testing, to shipping. Hard-working employees producing high-quality, forward-thinking stoves using traditional processes. A great experience!

amishman-skid-loader-lancaster

The final stop of the Amish Business Tour was at Lantz Structures in Leola. The group toured the large manufacturing facility that creates custom storage units that are shipped throughout the Eastern United States.

lantz-structures-production-facility

Lantz employees 25 Amish, with the goal of producing one storage unit, per employee, each business day.

engine-lantz-structures-amish-business-lancaster

The final stop was one of the highlights of the tour group that numbered 18 – which included individuals from across the United States and Internationally; including Switzerland, Germany and Japan.

tour-group-lantz-structures

Ben, our host, did a fantastic job leading the tour, telling stories, answering questions and sharing a few jokes along-the-way. A wonderful way to begin one of the most anticipated events of the year.