Amish-Owned Pizza Place? Why Not

This is a neat article (Jamestown Post-Journal) on the opening of one Amish family’s new pizza place, the aptly-named “Family Night Pizza”.

On first glance, the article title itself is eye-catching, for more reasons than one: “Amish Owned Pizza Business Has Opened In Panama”.

That would be Panama, New York – not the Central American nation. But the pizza part is just what you would think it is.

Photo: Sara Holthouse/Jamestown Post-Journal

Amish-owned restaurants are not that common, at least the free-standing ones. Plenty of Amish people do sell prepared foods at Pennsylvania Dutch markets. Sandwich stands and the like are common.

And despite what some might think about Amish diets, pizza as a dish is as popular among Amish as it is among other Americans. I just recently enjoyed a creatively-topped homemade batch while in Pennsylvania. Amish people in some communities sell frozen pizzas door-to-door as fundraisers.

So the name of this business and reasons for opening it coalesce around one of the most important themes when it comes to the Amish: family. Dorothy Miller, who owns it with her family, explains:

Miller said the name Family Night Pizza came from her family having their own family night once a week.

“We have family night for our kids once a week and it has made such a huge difference in our family’s closeness,” Miller said. “It teaches our kids to speak their own minds. Each week, we have a topic and the kids get a chance to speak up. It’s made a huge difference for us. The ability to pray together and bless each other is huge for us. I don’t know who first suggested the name for our shop, but when it was suggested it was unanimous.”

Additionally, Miller said they decided to open a pizza place because the entire family loves pizza and they wanted a business where all of the children could be involved.

At one time in their history, getting all the children involved in the family livelihood was done basically in one venue: the family farm.

Now, many different work environs provide that opportunity for Amish children, including home workshops, market stands, and produce operations.

So besides this place, I have only heard of a handful of free-standing Amish-owned restaurants. Not so long ago, I enjoyed pizza from a shop in Holmes County, Ohio. But that one wasn’t Amish-owned, as far as I could tell.

Though, they certainly had Amish customers, sitting smack-dab as they do in the middle of Charm, a heavily-Amish area of the county. Here’s the pizza-eye view of Charm Pizza. A group of Amish ladies had just come in for lunch:

A lot of the Amish-style restaurants that you see in Amish areas are not in fact Amish-owned, but might be owned by Mennonites or people with Amish heritage (or none of the above). I am happy to hear of other Amish-owned examples that you might know of.

For those who might think that life as an Amish person is all hunky-dory, all the time, Dorothy Miller addresses that: “We work and fight for this family and to keep our moral values and be open and honest with each other. Sometimes it is work to simply like each other. But, with the grace of God we will always keep working on it and work to draw us together.”

Along those lines, Family Night Pizza has a piece of flower artwork hanging on its walls. It states simply: “Family: we might not have it all together, but together we have it all.”

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    1. Doug Douglass

      Sunday Sales

      Is the pizza shop closed on Sunday?

      1. Sunday Sales

        Yes it is closed on Sundays. It is fairly new and in a great quaint location. Driven by it daily and have yet to go in. Will go in to support soon!!!

    2. Kensi Blonde

      sounds good

      Why not capiche?

    3. I sure like Dorothy Miller

      I’ve never met Dorothy Miller, but I sure do like her. It only took one sentence, when she said: “Sometimes it is work to simply like each other.”

    4. Lena Gallier

      Business restrictions

      As an amish owned business is the restaurant restricted to being no-electricity? or maybe run off a generator?

      1. Helen Curtis

        Amish Family Night Pizza

        I’d like to know whether or not the pizza restaurant uses electricity or wht their alternative is.

        1. In some communities, electricity in businesses is permitted when the building is not owned (though in some cases it may in fact be owned). I suspect this family is renting the space from a non-Amish owner though.

      2. Glenn

        Business restrictions

        The Miller family are Clymer Amish who are more progressive as to what they can use.

        Clymer Amish families are using solar panels, cell phones, etc at home.

    5. Amish owned pizza

      WOW I would like to say the Amish pizza posted has alot on it. No skimping. They say out hear “where’s the beef” lol. The restaurant charge alot and give you much less. That is one reason I don’t go out eat anymore. I think it’s very charming having an amish owned business. Certainaily if I come to visit I would make sure it was owned by Amish. Be nice to enjoy seeing Amish decor as well.

    6. Jerry

      Amish Auction Pizza

      I’ve found Amish made pizza at several Amish auctions. Many are using large vertical wood fired ovens. Belleville Childrens Clinic has the best. I’ve noticed they used pre made crusts but the tomato sauce is homemade, the vegetables are fresh cut and the they slice the pepperoni on site. I see a lot of Amish buying a few to take home for dinner that night. They also make a very delish vegetable pizza.
      Also at the Belleville event is an Amish make selling his version of an at home brick pizza oven.

    7. Paula

      Amish Pizza

      Who doesn’t like pizza!!! This is great. A nice way to bond with family & have us English enjoy breaking bread as well. I hope they do a nice thin crust with a not too sweet sauce & a cornmeal bottom!!! I’ll take a slice!!! We do ours in our heavy cast iron pan…my hubby makes the best!!! Breakfast pizza with scrambled egg, bacon, sausage, spinach, tomato & grits.

      1. Never heard of cornmeal bottom pizza but am intrigued! Sign me up for breakfast pizza

        1. Paula

          Cornmeal Under crust

          Very popular. Gives texture & crispness to the bottom. Not everyone does it…it’s kinda old school. But I don’t know why some don’t. My ex SIL made it like this at her pizza shop & peple from all over town came fo it.

    8. Mark Gallagher

      Amish Restaurants in Lancaster County, Pa!

      As a tour guide for many years at Amish Village in Lancaster County, Pa (and a very faithful reader and fan of Amish America), I was quite surprised to read your story about the unusualness of Amish restaurants in America. I guess we are spoiled in Lancaster County with, at least 2 Amish restaurants that have flourished over the years here: Katie’s Kitchen, 200 Hartman Bridge Rd., Ronks, Pa (literally 100 yards from Amish Village), and Dienner’s Country Restaurant, 2855 Lincoln Highway, also in Ronks, Pa. As a local, I eat at both places with friends and family and our guides highly recommend both places to our visiting tourists!

      1. Thanks for sharing on these Mark! I’ve heard a lot about Katie’s over the years as well. I would still say owning and running a freestanding restaurant is not the most common business for Amish though certainly there are a lot of Amish waitresses working in even the non-Amish-owned, Amish-style ones. I do need to try either of Katie’s or Dienner’s though. Last month I took some Amish friends to the Bird-in-Hand buffet which is where they wanted to go (we were fairly nearby). It was actually really quite good (as long as you don’t overeat :)), better than I remember it being when I ate there some years ago.

    9. Jerome McAndrew

      Amish Pizza Centerville New York

      Best Amish Pizza is at Rabers Pizza in Centerville New York.

    10. Al in Ky

      I was in the Elkhart/LaGrange, Ind., settlement recently and was told there are now two Amish restaurants in the settlement:

      1. Danny’s Diner — 422 S. Main St., Middlebury, Indiana
      Open for lunch and dinner Mon. thru Sat.
      Serves several kinds of pizza, as well as
      burgers, salads, etc.
      Closed on Sunday.

      2. Howie’s Six Mile Diner — 5975 U S. 20, LaGrange, Indiana
      (between LaGrange and Shipshewana)
      Open for breakfast and lunch Mon, Tues. Sat.
      Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner on
      Wed., Thursday, Friday
      Closed on Sunday

      As with many other large Amish settlements, there also are several that
      advertise themselves as serving “Amish Style Cooking”, but Danny’s and
      Howie’s are Amish run, likely Amish owned (although I’m not certain of that).

      1. Thanks for these possible additions Al. A reader wrote me that Topeka Pizza is Amish-owned. I’ve never been there but looking at the website there are suggestions that is the case. Are you aware of that one?

        1. Al in Ky

          I just checked with a person very familiar with the area who said that Topeka Pizza is Amish-owned and is a very good place to eat. I plan to try it out next time I’m in the area.

          1. Good to hear, well if we find more of these maybe I’ll need to think about starting an “Amish pizza” section in the business directory!


      When do they close in the evening?

      One of the problems I encounter when driving the Amish at night is finding a restaurant in an Amish area that is open past 6PM. This can be very difficult and I usually just go to a convenience store and eat junk food.

      1. Glenn

        When do they close in the evening?

        Family Night Pizzy is usually open to 8 PM from mid-week to Saturday. Hours and Days may vary.

        And yes, no Sunday sales. : )