An Amish Country Store Opens in Virginia

The North Carolina Amish community I visited a few weeks ago has a daughter settlement, in Chatham (Pittsylvania County), Virginia.

Chatham VAA friend who visited Chatham this summer estimated around 15 families in the settlement. Janar explained that the settlers chose to move to the new location for its cheaper land, closeness to the original community, and because the settlement at Union Grove had grown too large.

He also observed that the first bulk food store was being built at the time. Well, it looks like that business has opened.

Heritage Hill Country Store
David Miller in the Heritage Hill Country Market. Photo by Danville Register & Bee

Owner David Miller recently described his vision for Heritage Hill Country Market: “It will be kind of like a destination instead of a drive-by in the country.”

From the Danville Register & Bee article:

Miller said that all of the about 12 families already visited his store. Some items that cater to the Amish customers include cheese powders and bulk goods, he said. He added that his store is the only Amish-run operation in Pittsylvania County.

Some items, he explained will not appeal as much to Amish people. For instance, jarred goods are typically prepared at home in the Amish community.

“It’s not that we’re just targeting the Amish. That’s definitely just going to be a part of our customer base,” he said.

The store opened last Monday.

This is Miller’s first business, and it sounds like his community’s first full-fledged store. I wonder if he is taking inspiration from the successful Shiloh General Store in his old community.

Forest in NC adds that there is a Farmer’s Market held on Saturdays at the Route 29 Agricultural Center, with Amish selling produce, baked goods and more.

I also wonder if Chatham will follow the settlement pattern of their parent community. If so then this settlement will probably not get too much bigger, and Miller will need that English business.

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    14 Comments

    1. Janar

      store

      This store had a really good location – on a busy road, so I’m sure that they will do great there. The owners themselves live just about 300 feet behind the store, so it will be a good family business 🙂

    2. Interesting. Just regret that it is so far away from MO (where I live).

      Okay, I have to ask: What is “cheese powders”? Is it a food, or what?

      1. Is this what they sprinkle on Cheetos? 🙂

      2. Linda

        Cheese powder

        Cheese powder might be like the packet of dry cheese sauce mix in a box of Macaroni & Cheese dinner.

        1. Susan

          An Amish Country Store Opens in Virginia

          It is like the powdered orange Kraft Mac Cheese packet. I bought a good sized baggie of it at Glenn’s Bulk Foods in Hutch, Kansas. (We have a farm in Yoder Township)

      3. Mark - Holmes Co.

        Cheese powders are the name we (our family) uses for powdered seasonings, like the yellow-orange powder that comes in boxed macaroni & cheese, but it must be a different brand. We like it sprinkled on popcorn (cheese, sour cream & onion, or other flavors) and it sometimes gets mixed into a cream sauce to go with peas, broccoli, or whatever. It’s not really a “food” and I’m sure it’s about as unhealthy as Cheetos. 🙂

        1. Thanks Mark. So I’m gathering that while some of it may actually be related to cheese (as an ingredient, or the intended taste), some types don’t have anything at all to do with cheese. I may have to try some of this sometime.

    3. Tom Geist

      Lights, Action, Camera???

      I notice they have electric lights in the place. Does anyone know if they are being run by a generator or on the grid?

      Also, in some Amish communities, taking a picture of an Amish person is frowned upon and usually the Amish person will turn away. I wonder if David Miller knew the picture was being taken.

      I get confused because I thought the NO picture rule was universal among the Amish but have seen several ex-Amish on Facebook that had all sorts of pictures of themselves as kids, with their folks and others. (like yearly pictures kids get in school)

      Tom in Lincoln

      1. Since this is an electric New Order affiliated church most likely they are plugged into the grid. As far as the photo, I’d be very surprised if he didn’t know, given the angle of the photo, nature of the article, and community he belongs to. While it won’t be true for every individual, New Order churches seem to be among the most allowing of photography.

        They’re not the only Amish who do allow photos taken, and some Amish even pose for private shots. I have seen posed photos of Amish and have even taken a couple myself 🙂 This isn’t to give the impression that Amish welcome the camera, but that there is a lot of grey area and the idea that Amish outright refuse photos across the board is a misconception.

      2. NOO and Photographs

        Tom, last week I visited with an Amish businessman in Ava, IL. I noticed that his shop not only had electric lights, but a large AC unit next to the building (so obviously on the grid). When I mentioned it, he said that he was New Order Amish, and they this was not an issue with them like it is with the Old Order. When I asked him about taking some pictures (meaning just of the things in his shop), he said that it was no problem if some of the family happened to be in the shots that I took. “We won’t pose for you,” he said, but if I happened to catch them while working, they didn’t have an issue with that.

    4. Jerry

      I’m delighted to see that Amish might be moving into this area. This past weekend while I was hitting my usual areas of Amish and “horse and buggy mennoite” farm stands, both asked me about what I knew about Chilhowie Valley, Va. These folks know that I brought my family from Va. to visit them on a tourist trip for the last two years, they asked me what I knew about Chilhowie. Chilhowie is an orchard area that is somewhat depressed and it’s on a major highway (I81) that has exceptional soil and marketing potential. Could they be looking for this area for future settlements? I was surprised. This area is not that far removed from how they currently live and many large farms are not for sale. It’s an excellent location for their next settlement. Time will tell. They will be most welcomed into this area.

      If either of these lovely clans decide to move there, they will find cheap fertile land with excellent business opportunities to grow their concepts. They will thrive there. Many large farms are now for sale which the Amish will subdivide into good opportunities to flourish. I hope this works for them and I hoping for the “horse and buggy” mennoites.

    5. Alice Mary

      I’ve used those cheese powders on popcorn for years. White cheddar is a favorite. Now I’ve got a hankerin’ for popcorn…with cheese powder sprinkled on top.

      I had some of the same questions as Tom Geist about the electric lights & photo (they just hit my eye as soon as I saw the post). Makes me wonder id the Amish (“New”) will slowly filter into some “English” suburbs, if electricity is OK, and since farming isn’t the main Amish occupation anymore.

      Alice Mary

    6. Marcella

      An Amish Country Store Opens in Virginia

      I had the MOST PLEASANT Christmas shopping trip this week! I am NOT a fan of Christmas shopping usually…………the “mob scene” and commercialism does not suit me.

      Took a ride out of Chatham, VA, on Route 57……about a 6-mile beautiful drive on a sunny day………wide open spaces, cattle grazing, well manicured farmland…….just a big slice of God’s natural beauty! Destination: Heritage Hill Country Store. A true treasure house in the “middle of nowhere”. These fine, fine folks working their new store………..super neat shelves, stocked so well with countless wonderful food items, and capped off with a deli; made-to-order fresh sandwiches and fine meats and cheeses by the pound. Not to mention the lovely handmade items….wood items,sewn items, and more.

      I just can’t praise this great little country store ENOUGH! I must have browsed an hour or more just for the pure pleasure of it (not to mention I found some “perfect” Christmas gifts to check off my list!!!) I’m pretty sure I’ve found a “place of peace” that I will visit quite often!!

    7. Gary Herndon

      Love the Amish Store at Chatham

      I have patronized the store several times, I love the great assortment and variety of products that you can’t find anywhere else. The people are friendly and the prices are good! Thanks for coming to our community!

      Gary