A recent news item looks at a new Colorado Amish furniture and variety store which has opened in Fremont County (central CO).

Partners Joe Nissley and Paul Schmucker of the P & J Hitching Post have sourced all their goods to Amish producers, with furniture, quilts, and “denim-works” coming from both local and Midwestern sources.

Colorado Amish Baked GoodsThey’re also doing food, with bread, cookies and baked goods, plus 13 varieties of jam homemade in the Monte Vista, CO Amish settlement. With toys and home decor also available, this is one-size-fits-all Amish shopping.

And when you think about it, it makes sense that an Amish store in a new area might carry all manner of Amish-made products (whereas stores in large settlements may be able to do well specializing in one category).  With few local Amish outlets, more items here means more chances to send a customer home happy, and for the business to grow.  More on Amish furniture in Denver

Glimpsing the future?

I love these stories of pioneer businesses in new Amish areas.  They make me wonder what Amish communities will look like in the future, even many years from now, when everyone reading this will be long gone.

Colorado still has just a small Amish population, but evidence shows Amish here making positive moves–both to migrate to the state (see the PBS Amish documentary for a fascinating example) as well as to develop their businesses and secure an economic foothold, as in the case with P & J here.

Who knows if the Amish will continue to thrive in Colorado–other states have seen Amish arrive, do well for a short period, then leave for any number of reasons–but I hope that’s the case.

If I live to my life expectancy of around 80 (not quite 50 years from now), and Amish growth rates stay the same, I should see a time when there will be over 1 million Amish in North America.

In 2060, how many Amish will call Colorado home? Will Pennsylvania and Ohio still be the leading Amish states? Where will Amish be living that they aren’t today? These are just a few of the questions that come to mind.

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