Gourmet Amish Apple Butter
I’ve written about how Amish sometimes make goods for upscale retailers, such as a pair of Pennsylvania Amish brothers who produce leather place settings and picture frames for Ralph Lauren.
Now it looks like Amish apple butter has made the big time. Gourmet food company Dean and Deluca is offering apple butter made by Amish bakery Rise ‘n Roll. Rise ‘n Roll is described in its “artisan profile” on the Dean and Deluca site as founded by a young Amish couple ten years ago, in Middlebury, Indiana.
I had a look around and learned that Dean and Deluca also sells things like foie gras, caviar, and something called “white truffle salami”. I guess “plain” food now qualifies to be carried in such refined company. Dean and Deluca lets us know the butter is “delightfully smooth” and “made the old-fashioned way” (how else!).
At $5.50 per 16-oz jar, you’ll pay a premium, though not as much as I think they could be charging. Apple butter is one of my favorite…desserts? condiments? (not sure what it is, really). My favorite is probably Yoder’s, made in a couple of versions by an Ohio Amish couple.
I guess Dean and Deluca’s customers will now be able to taste Amish apple butter (and more power to them). And good for Rise ‘n Roll to be finding new markets outside of the traditional.
I’ve been to the one in DC. Quite an overwhelming place (both DC and D&D), but I went in with one purpose in mind. A good mocha. 🙂
Hi Erik — We bought some Rise’n Roll pecan and cashew bark while on our visit to Indiana in December. Apparently it is no longer Amish-owned. On the back of the bags there was a brief “history” of Rise’n Roll:
Our bakery was established in 2001 by a young Amish couple. They began by baking high quality baked goods from their kitchen and selling them from their front porch. The word soon got out about their fresh preservative free products, and it was no time before they had a small log cabin they were selling out of. In 2004, a larger bakery was built on the original homestead. The popularity of their fresh baked products steadily grew and by late 2008 the demand for their product had outgrown the cabin and the larger facility built in 2004. The growth included a “Deal” with Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream from Holland Michigan. Hudsonville developed a new flavor of ice cream utilizing the Chocolate Cashew Crunch produced by Rise’ N Roll Bakery. This flavor is referred to as Chocolate Cashew Bark.
In early 2009, the young Amish couple decided to sell their business to a non-Amish family and moved it to a new facility. The original founders of the bakery are still employed by Rise’ N Roll and are active in the day to day operations.
Are they mail order? Some of those sound delicious.
Marilyn in New York
Hi Marilyn my name is Garrett and yes you can get some Rise n Roll on line just type in Rise n Roll Middlebury, then find what you want, the Amish couple who started it are good friends of mine, imagine the joy I felt when I seen this on the site it brings a smile to my face, they came along way, and I am glad I was there to see it.
Keith, any ideas why they sold the business? And could it still be Amish owned, just other owners?
Sounds fascinating anyway.
Marilyn, you could probably do a search for them online to see if they do mail order.
Hi Alice — I don’t know why they sold, but I thought it might have to do with the quick growth of the company. Perhaps there’s an uncomfortable feeling for the company owner whose business has become too big too fast.
In the foreword of Erik’s book Donald Kraybill mentions that “a few Amish owners have become serial entrepreneurs — growing a business and selling it off to outsiders…” While I don’t think the young couple at Rise ‘N Roll quite fits the “serial” designation, they may have realized the value of their investment and sold when the time was right.
As for the business, it is now non-Amish owned. Here is their website: http://www.risenrollbakery.com/
Looks like you can order on-line.
They also have a downloadable brochure that has their story in which they say the original Amish couple sold the business to non-Amish owners. They’ve also expanded and have a retail store in Chicago.
This brings up the question from that post a few days ago…even if it started out as an Amish owned business, but is not anymore, should they still be marketing it with the Amish name? OR, can they still call it an Amish bakery because they employ Amish people even though the owners themselves are not Amish?
I personally think the Amish name is over-used. Anybody who can bake can make food with no preservatives. I do it all the time in my own kitchen.
I have to say that im a real big fan of apple butter, ive loved it since i had first tried it while i was in the boy scouts during camping trips.I only prefer apple butter made with no sugar and with spices.there is a place in lancaster where i buy this apple butter, the amish shop there as well and some tourist.to me its one of the best you could buy, and another thing about them that i really like it that they make it themselfs. they even grow their own apples.I used to have it shipped to florida when i lived there when i was not on vacations in lancaster.they do mail order and they make other things as well. Richard. lebanon,pa
Dean and Deluca Amish apple butter authentic?
Keith I wasn’t aware of that but interesting to learn. I couldn’t find any indication on the Dean and Deluca site or on the Rise n Roll site that they aren’t Amish-owned (from risenrollbakery.com: “Since Rise’ N Roll opened its doors in 2001, this Amish bakery has produced the highest quality and tastiest baked goods”). They refer to it as an “Amish” bakery (not “Amish-style” or any of the other “diluted” terms you see) so I guess it’s another good case study on using the Amish name.
Christina your question is a good one: “can they still call it an Amish bakery because they employ Amish people even though the owners themselves are not Amish?” In this case it sounds like the founders stayed on.
I am slightly surprised that they sold. Northern Indiana is one of the most “progressive” communities (though with less of an entrepreneurial tradition).
I did manage to dig up a Chicago Tribune article on this. The reporter’s reason for selling is incorrect (“The Amish are not allowed to own businesses”) and there are other instances of Amish operating businesses in large cities away from the home settlement (Geauga Amish in Cleveland; Lancaster Amish in Philly, Baltimore, etc). Although in this case, the commute was longer (135 miles one way) which may have had something to do with it.
Apple butter Amish or non-Amish business?
I’m speculating here, but it’s also possible they may have kept a minority stake in the business. It seems odd they’d go from being owners to regular wage workers, though I guess not unheard of, especially if there was church pressure. Partnering with non-Amish would also explain the website (which proclaims “We’re Famous!” about being in a CBS TV report).
Having Amish employees (and especially the founders) on board would probably give the business enough cover to continue calling itself Amish. Since keeping the “Amish” label is key to the brand, perhaps that was part of the deal.
Good morning folks…. im heading down to lancaster today, so maybe ill stop and pick-up some apple butter today.Or maybe some shoo-fly-pie, or maybe get a few whoopie pies. Id better stick to some salad maybe,lol. Richard. lebanon,pennsylvania
My understanding is that the former owners still pretty much manage the operation. Why they sold? Not sure, unless it was because of all the modern equipment needed to continue on in a much bigger fashion. In my visits there I’ve seen mostly Amish employees. And, btw, they make the BEST Caramel Cinnamon donuts you ever put in your mouth!
I’m wondering if I should go there to do some “research”. 🙂 They have wonderful samples throughout the sales floor.
Mary I wouldn’t fault you one bit if you decided on a research trip-sounds tasty.
From what I read, it sounds like it was their choice to sell in Chicago. Maybe it just took off and grew larger than they expected it to.
Richard enjoy your trip to Lancaster. Try to find a snitz pie if you can. Worth trying if you haven’t already.
What is a snitz pie?
Marilyn in NEw York
I think snitz pie is a amish specialty Marilyn. I think there is a recipe on Eriks site for it.I may have tried some while i was in Ohio staying with that Amish family.I was pretty much eating everything in site while i was there, so i lost track maybe,lol. Richard.
Thank you, Richard. I will have to look in my Amish cookbooks and see if I can find a receipe. You stayed with a family in Ohio? I wish I could do that-stay with an Amish family to really see their life and get to know them.
Marilyn in New York
What is Amish snitz pie?
Snitz is an apple-based pie which is typically eaten by Lancaster Amish during the after-church meal. It is not so commonly sold to the public, but you can sometimes find it in shops in the Lancaster County area.
It’s made from dried apples actually–which is somehow turned into a very smooth apple filling (through some culinary magic that is beyond my ability). It is simple and very tasty. Here is a post on Snitz pie from a while back, which includes a recipe: https://amishamerica.com/snitz-pie/
Snitz is probably my favorite Amish-made pie. And Marilyn glad you asked–we actually had snitz pie come up on the blog a few weeks back but you might not have caught it then.
Well i never said i was invited, i just showed-up, lol. Im kidding, i had a great time and it was interesting. Now id better get going down to Lancaster as its starting to snow over here. see everyone later. Richard.
Sorry I have been missing lately, been very busy working on my ceramics. I have got to get inventory built up before the spring sales start.
Keith, thanks for answering my questions, you too Erik. This is all very fascinating to me. Wish I had the money for Erik’s book right now I am sure it would help me a lot in my own business, perhaps next month.
I have skimmed through all the conversations and it is very interesting.
Hope everyone is well!!
That’s right Erik, not that you mention you did have that one here, I will have to go back and look that up.
Glad you on here, Alice. I got Erik’s book and read it from the library-of course I had to return it. I am also saving to buy a copy for myself.
Marilyn in New York
Apple butter was one of the first things we made our first year Home Economics course in 7th grade, many years ago now. I believe we made popovers the same week. A table of 4 students were to share the one popover with butter and apple butter.
Apple butter is used like peanut butter or jelly, as a spread on toast, etc. I imagine one could use it for a variety of things – on ice cream, for barbecuing, etc.
Blessings to all.
Jory; Apple Butter on ice cream? I’m adventurous when it comes to food, but I can’t imagine apple butter on ice cream.
I have been eating it a lot with breaded veal cutlets, which is nice. It’s not an Amish product necessary, the stuff I have in my fridge, but it’s still good. There is a museum home that has something of a food and harvest festival in the fall, and I typically but some apple butter from them, from an out-of-town manufacture. It lasts me most of the fall and winter. It’s odd though, I’ve been told, it’s hard to find apple butter in local stores despite a decent German population and at least one German food store (not that apple butter is restricted to the Germanic people, but we are reading about it on an Amish [a Germanic ethnic/faith group] themed blog), it’s even hard to find it in the local Italian inspired stores.
Richard….we will be in Lancaster March and April. I have found Apple Butter (also my favorite) at Kitchen Kettle, and a few other places. Where is that place located that you found? I’ll have to check it out.
Can’t wait to get a Hoagie, Cheese steak sandwich, some raisin bread from Millers, pretzels, sticky buns, Wilbur chocolates, etc…….…….
Good morning everyone. I didnt get a chance to get down to lancaster on fri, it was snowing fairly steady and i was not sure if i should drive when i didnt have to. Its sat morning now and even though theres snow on the ground, the sky is clear with the sun trying to poke out of the clouds.So today looks to be a better day for that drive.I needed to get to cosco among other things, and i should be in horse and buggy central when im also in the ronks,pa area. Bob about that apple butter, why dont you drop by my blog and e-mail me, and ill let you know where i buy my apple butter.The e-mail address is towards the bottom of that blog.Let me know which places that you go to eat when your in the area, maybe i could give you a name or two of some you haven’t gone to.And please comment on anything you might find interesting. Richard, lebanon,pa
Oh wow…I didn’t know there was an Amish store a few blocks from my work! Every Friday a coworker and I go out for a treat…methinks it will be Whoopie Pie day. I’ll report back the expectedly delicious results from the trip.
Ok, a week late but I visited Rise n’ Roll in the Chicago loop on my way back to work.
Imagine my surprise to learn when walking in the clerks were two young Amish women. They may have been a very conservative Mennonite though, as the one girl had on a cardigan that had a zipper type closure on it. But I’ve also heard the Amish in Indiana (as I think they are likely from) are a bit more liberal than other groups. But could you imagine being an Amish girl and going to work in the Chicago loop everyday lol? That will be quite the experience to tell their kids I bet!
Knowing I was going to go tomorrow with a co-worker for the whoopie pies, I held back and only bought some noodles and candy. But then I spied it…the Amish Peanut Butter Spread I had read about on this website. Ok it was $5 for a 16 oz jar but I decided to splurge.
It was a good sized store, and I was pleased to see it was doing brisk business. There was a group of several young women buying up all the nut bark, and several people came and went as I perused. I was a bit surprised they did take credit cards, and in the meantime tried selling me up on various other things. Since I am planning on another trip tomorrow I decided to save some money for my trip then.
So I got back to work and I decided I wanted to try a wee bit of the Peanut Butter Spread…so I took a spoon and I tried it…it is AMAZING. I don’t know where it has been all my life, but wow that stuff is tasty. So tasty I took another bite, and another bite…ok so I scarfed down about 1/5 of a jar while sitting in my cubicle at work LOL. I guess it is salad for dinner!
If you want Erik, I may take a couple photos tomorrow. I’ll ask the girls who work there if that is ok first, but I’ll try to at least get an exterior shot.
Love Apple Butter
We love Apple Butter, too. We can’t buy it locally, so we order Amish Apple Butter from Simply Cheese. Here’s the link if you are interested: http://www.simplycheese.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19&products_id=122
It’s $4.79 for 18oz.