Amish Stands Closed For COVID Violations; Owner Feels “Targeted” By The County

This happened at an Amish farmers’ market in Maryland. From the Star Democrat:

EASTON — Two food stands at the Amish Country Farmers Market in Easton that were shut down by the county government for violating COVID-19 masks orders will reopen on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

“We’re going to reopen,” said Eli Stoltzfus, who operates the Country Cheese and Salads stand at the Amish market on Marlboro Avenue.

The cheese, deli and dessert stand was ordered to shut down temporarily by the Talbot County Health Department on Thursday, Nov. 19, for violating state mask orders related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Stoltzfus said the alleged violations stemmed from two employees who were in the back of his business on a food break. He operates the stand with his wife Rachel and their daughters.

The second stand, Ruthie’s Soft Pretzels, was also closed the same day for mask violations.

Market stands are popular among Lancaster County Amish. Checking the market website, that is where these stand owners are from. Easton is located on the Delmarva peninsula, and can be reached in a drive of around two hours from Lancaster County.

The Amish Country Farmers Market in Easton, Maryland. Image:

Eli Stoltzfus took a hit for the down time:

Stoltzfus said the closure cost his business significant sales revenue during the busy lead-up to Thanksgiving. “It’s thousands,” he told The Star Democrat.

The businesses went through an inspection by the Talbot County Health Department on Monday, Nov. 23.

Stoltzfus said the inspector was much more positive and conciliatory on Monday as compared to Thursday when his business was closed.

“Something changed,” he said.

This is not the first time he’s run into this problem:

Stoltzfus said his business was temporarily shut down once before for mask violations during the pandemic and on Saturday told The Star Democrat he felt targeted by the county.

He runs a food business that lost the full weekend prior to Thanksgiving – arguably the biggest “eating holiday” of the year – so that had to hurt financially.

Closure notice. Image: Mike Sunnucks/Star Democrat

Was Eli Stoltzfus targeted? That would probably be hard to prove. But could it be that inspectors are focusing disproportionately on Amish businesses? It may be so that Amish businesses are getting closer attention – perhaps at least in part due to negative publicity some Amish have generated/received during the COVID pandemic.

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    1. J.O.B.

      Two employees in the back were on break…without masks? You DONT shutdown ANY business for that reason.
      Costing thousands of dollars during this busy season.
      Yes. They were targeted. The reason. The timing. And the attitude by the inspector having “changed”.
      Yes. I know townships that do this to small business owners. And they literally laugh about it the next day when talking to their friends.
      Sometimes these inspectors do this to get paid cash from the owners. Or they’ll shut them down a few days. Sad. But true.
      And some people, for whatever reason, continue to target the Amish.

      1. Michael B Caron

        Amish scapegoating is wrong. But not the whole story.

        Neither JOB nor I have enough information to be even moderately confident in knowing the facts in this case, but the tone and broad insiniations of callous bureaucrats laughing at their power to harm small businesses for the fun of it is way outside any real world discussion of unfair targeting of Amish businesses. I have no doubt Amish are being unfairly scapegoated for the second surge of COVID infections. I also know personally of an Amish woman who cares for my relative and has been visiting her father every day in Holmes County when he was sick with COVID and did not inform my loved ones, both of whom are in their 70s and have underlying conditions, until after the fact. Scapegoating is abhorrent. Holding people responsible when they ignore reality and put others in real danger is not scapegoating. We ought to be adult enough to recognize and act appropriately on the difference.

        1. R Noll

          Medical Tyranny

          What we are under right now is no less than Medical Tyranny. People thinking other people can affect their own health more than themselves…because that’s what the media has brainwashed them into thinking, and then stripping away personal freedom and liberty all because someone “might” get sick. People literally afraid of the air, and normal human contact. It’s ridiculous. The medical industry, and the media, both operate as fear-mongering factories. Then you add in power-hungry politicians and citizens who think they’re part of the STASI (look it up if you don’t know history)…and you have the situation we are facing. Not to mention the lies being told about hospital data. Many people think people are dying of this fake virus. They even think their family members have. In reality they have pneumonia, the flu, heart attacks, etc. But we name it something else based on a test that no one has standardized for a virus that has never been isolated. Give me a break. Wake up America it’s time to rise up.

          1. Dale

            Isolating the virus

            The virus was isolated way back in March of this year, in more than one country, that’s how they sequenced the genome for it…and that is the driving factor behind the most promising vaccines and will inform the development of therapeutics. Until we have those about the only thing on offer is masks, distance, and proper hygiene.
            This article does not give enough information for anyone to determine if the citation was unreasonable or not. Yes, when you are in the back having lunch you cannot wear your mask. No, when you are in the back having lunch Not wearing your mask you cannot be within 6 feet of another employee…if that is the regulation in your area. We don’t know what the inspectors found when they arrived in the back. We also don’t know what they found when the business was shut down before.
            If all of the regulations were being followed then the owner should seek compensation through the court system. Unfortunately, unless someone filmed the whole thing, it’s going to end up one side’s word against the others.

        2. Michael B Caron

          The evidence is indisputable

          This chain of comments documents quite clearly that anyone who tries to blame the Amish for what is happning in our nation right now is walking around with horse-blinders on. There are plenty of folks of all religious and political persuasions who have found one excuse or another to pretend their bone-headed behavior has nothing to do with the deaths of more than a quarter million Americans in less time than it took our enemies in the Pacific all of WW II, the Communists in the Korean War, and the Viet Cong & NVA in my war to kill all the Americans who died on those three Asian battlefields combined.YOU deniers managed to kill more of us in less than a year and wave a flag while doing it. Your war on science and truth may make you feel like patriots today, but one day soon you will realize history remembers those who aid the enemy by a different name.

    2. Ingrid Miller


      Now people are to eat their lunch at work with a mask on? Wish we could all donate funds to compensate this family…income lost because poor decisions made by weak, small minded “authorities”.

    3. James Gas

      Masks anyone?

      The mask wearing is a total fraud on the public by our political class of elites. The Amish or any small business that even slightly protest this mask wearing will be shut down. Walmart? Noway.
      When will everyday Americans wake up? Our small business owners are being destroyed before our very eyes.

    4. Piera


      Mask mandates are unlawful per se our constitution. Amish business owners need to sue the inspector & county for loss of revenue and violating their God given right to earn a living. Convid 19 is a fraud and there is no evidence that masks protect against any virus.

    5. Terry

      They were targeted

      I agree. Jesus is Lord. This is persecution of the believers in Jesus Christ. The one world government (the beast system is arising in our day). Even their precious vaxcine is from the beast. Don’t take it! It Is from the devil ! Bad blood in it – devil’s DNA. It will change you from human beings into something else. They claim you will not be able to buy or sell without it. Sound familiar? Ya, Revelations speaks of it. Keep the faith and don’t give up, don’t give in. The mask is a lie, it is a type of control, conditioning people to obey, leading them into slavery. Lots to say, but I keep this short. My beloved Amish family please do not quit. Stand strong in faith. To arms. Lock and load. Please protect yourself over there.

      1. elaine
    6. Walter Boomsma

      Hard to prove?

      I would take issue with the statement that it’s “hard to prove” he was targeted. Since there’s little doubt that compliance with this order is the norm, how many other businesses in the county have been shut down?

      “If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.”

      Many people–not just government agencies–have become self-appointed Covid Cops. They are going to prey on marginalized populations and people they don’t like. There’s very little doubt that’s what happened here, particularly in view of the fact this is the second time it happened.

      1. Walter Boomsma


        That should have read “There is little doubt that compliance with this order is NOT the norm.” Sorry!

    7. elaine


      this isn’t rocket science. if you want to stay in business, comply with any/all regulations. this persacution complex is stupid and inappropriate. covid-19 could care less, it’s intent is to infect.

    8. Walter Boomsma

      Thought for the day...

      Attributed to Edward R. Murrow:

      “A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”

      I don’t think Little Red Riding Hood had a persecution complex.

      1. R Noll

        The brainwashing is complete

        Indeed, Walter! It’s unbelievable how many people buy what the media has sold them. It’s not surprising, since every TV station, every radio station, the internet, billboards, signs on every door, reinforce the perception. As a healthcare worker who works in a hospital, I can tell you even the doctors are being forced to silently go along with saying how much they like the Emperor’s new clothes. I wish everyone would understand this historic political story, (it has nothing to do with clothing!)… because it perfectly describes what is happening in society right now. Hmmmm…it’s almost as if this has been done before!

        1. Michael B Caron

          Indeed it has been done before, by Joe McCarthy

          Ironically Walter cites Edward R. Murrow, who stood up to the McCarthism that should remind any serious wolf spotters of Trumpism. Ms. Noll reminds me of the mother who sees her son marching and points out that he is the only one not out of step.

          1. R Noll

            When did I say I was a “Ms.”? You’re assuming, aren’t you? “The evidence is indisputable”…yeah we’ve heard that a million times before in the religion of science, and yes, science is the biggest religion out there. It’s also just as political as all the other religions. Actually to say the evidence is indisputable is about the most unscientific comment that one could make, as science is supposed to be continually open to newly discovered data, hypotheses, underlying yet-to-be realized natural phenomena, etc…like for example the fact that bacteria, parasites, and viruses are MANUFACTURED inside every cell, not “caught” from the environment. I estimate in the next 10 years or so the mainstream scientific (media, that is) establishment will be forced to admit this reality as it’s becoming harder and harder for them to stop true information from reaching the public, and a large number of the world’s population are already aware.

            1. Michael B Caron

              Dr. Noll I do not presume...

              Anyone who has taken high school biology in modern times has been taught that “bacteria, parasites, and viruses are MANUFACTURED inside [the infected host’s] every cell”, but your misunderstanding that this somehow means hookworm, pneumonia, or covid-19 to mention three examples are not “caught” [acquired] from the environment [ie from external sources-animal/vegetable/mineral] is pure delusion, as wacky as a Q-ANON posting. I repeat, the evidence contained in the majority of posts in this link indisputably documnt that there are plenty of non-Amish (yes I AM presuming most of the comments here are made by folks who are NOT practicing Amish) who refuse to wear masks, social distance or entertain even the possibility that the pandenic is anything but a hoax created by Trump-haters or maybe Bill Gates plotting to double his fortune.

    9. Tee


      Michael, that was out of line.

    10. Michael B Caron

      Stepping out of line proudly

      R. Noll posts a mountain of pseudo-scientific poppycock, insists the pandemic is a global conspiracy and calls on everyone to “rise up” whatever that threat entails, and I am labeled “out of line”? That is a line I will gladly step out of with no apologies. I respect religious freedom and free speech and never want to live in a place where everyone thinks alike. My choose to live in a place where my neighbors are as politically diverse as anywhere in America. I have close friends of many faiths and some with no faith in anything but the here and now. I respect them all. What I do not have a lot of patience for are people who insist anyone who does not embrace their conspiracy theories is a cowardly blind sheep asking to be victimized by evil wolves. Calling them out may be “out of line” in your world. I choose to live in a different world where BS that kills my fellow humans does get challenged.

    11. J.O.B.

      Will someone please delete Michael B Caron and his comments.

      He went down the rabbit hole and just wants to online fight and introduced weird insults.

      This website is about the Amish. Can we please have at least ONE website on the internet where this type of behavior is removed?

    12. Michael B Caron

      Peace and common sense

      I am sorry that JOB, Terry, Noll, and undoubtedly several others feel that my comments are weird and deliberately provocative. Perhaps there really is no room for speaking common sense here. I am merely challenging deadly conspiracy theories that they have come to sincerely believe explain what is taking place all across our planet. Clearly that drift from sanity is impacting the USA in terrible ways, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of many thousands of our neighbors and family.
      This nation is infected with and dying from the coronavirus far and away the worst of any place on Earth. Perhaps that is the devil targeting America for our special sins, but I am convinced that it has more to do with a significant portion of our citizenry embracing the lie that there is a devilish plan afoot to turn us all into sheep and stick chips in our arms to make us obey satan’s wishes. I believe such poisonous poppycock has been growing and spreading so widely in this land precisely because there are SO MANY websites where these ultimately homocidal topics, which are NOT really about the Amish, go unchallenged and repeated endlessly. That is precisely how some folks come to think all the good people, the ones worthy of saving, share this deadly nonesense about what is happenig in this world. If this forum goes down that rabbit hole Eric will not need to “ban” me, I will unsubscribe willingly.
      I make these comments precisely because I want it to remain a site for informed discussion of Amish life and not just another dark corner of the web where conspiracy theorists gather to chatter baseless claims that vaccines are the devil’s DNA and the pandemic is a hoax. When Terry in an earlier post said “Stand strong in faith. To arms. Lock and load”, no one commented that a line had been crossed. I can’t imagine a world where the Amish would take up arms and shed blood to defend their way of life. I know enough of their history to doubt that would be the course they would choose. Suggesting otherwise truly disrespects and distorts their most fundamental beliefs. I do not blame the Amish for this terrible scurge that has taken so many of my fellow citizens, but I do call out some of those who have posted here as being irresponsible spreaders of fearmongering and anti-science fake facts that are causing the unnecessary death of many who would otherwise have survived to be among us for a while longer. That, I know, does not fit with the belief that all deaths are God’s will. I do have respect for those who embrace that form of Christianity, or any other religion that subscribes to the belief all that happens in this world is preordained and can not be changed. If that one’s faith, however, there is no call to tell people, whether Amish or atheist, to “lock & load”. Peace and common sense brothers and sisters.

    13. sharon rena belfield

      amish and covid

      what laws do you use to protect yourselves from vaccine shots ? it seems like they are forcing many people to get this shot. we have many of the amish in our community..i love them.and do business with them yr round. i would like to know. i dont believe these shots are good and violates my freedom of choice.. there are many prisoned amish who feel threated. on religous grounds also. my husband and i know some of their sons and daughters who are struggling with this being forced upon everyone.