Visiting the Amish at Union Grove, NC (32 Photos)

NC Amish Store Shiloh Hamptonville

My first Amish trip of 2014 happened last week. I made a short visit to the only Amish community in North Carolina, the Union Grove settlement.

The Union Grove community includes both Union Grove and Hamptonville addresses (Iredell and Yadkin counties).

North Carolina Amish Community

This is the western part of the state, about 45 minutes west of Winston-Salem in what I would call foothill or pre-foothill country (you can see the beginnings of the Blue Ridge mountains from the area).

Amish in North Carolina

north-carolina-amish-mapUnion Grove is a New Order Amish settlement which has been around for nearly 30 years. While there I learned they recently started a daughter group in Chatham, Virginia (Pittsylvania County).

For as long as I’ve known of it, Union Grove has been just one church district in size, and I am assuming that’s been the case since its founding in the mid-1980s.

I had previously been here once before, in 2011 as part of a five-state Amish trip. Here’s a photo from that visit.


Well, I should say right off that the Amish business I mentioned in that post, Windsor Country Store, is no more. The look of the building below tells the story. Not much happening here any more.


I paid a visit to the owner’s home, not far away. He said they had shut down earlier this summer, June I believe. I suspect the competition from the nearby Shiloh General Store might have been too great (more on that business later).

Wholesome Country Creamery

Wholesome Country Creamery
6400 Windsor Rd.
Hamptonville, NC 27020
(336) 468-1520

I’m happy to say there is a new Amish-owned business a stone’s throw from the old Windsor Country Store.

The Wholesome Country Creamery has been in operation just around a year, I was told by Rhoda, daughter of the owner.

You might remember this business being involved in the NC Amish barn-raising earlier this year.


Funny enough, I believe I met the owner of this business randomly while in Ohio a couple of years back at an Amishman’s viewing. I was with a Holmes County Amish friend, and as we were leaving, he shot out a hello to a gentleman just arriving.

I think the man’s hat, noticeably different from the local variety, caught his eye. The man, John Hostetler, was from the Union Grove community and lived right near the Windsor Country Store, I learned. Small world.


Back to the Wholesome Country Creamery. It’s a typical small-scale Amish home store, a little building built right next to the home.

The building holds a couple of coolers housing yogurt, milk, kefir, and other dairy items, and a freezer or two with ice cream.

Of course I was going for the ice cream, conveniently offered in single-serve sizes for $1.85, as well as larger containers.

But which of the half-dozen or so flavors to choose? When October rolls around, I feel it’s my duty to sample at least one or two of the onslaught of pumpkin-enhanced products (is it just me or does everything come with a dab of pumpkin this month?).

I don’t particularly love pumpkin anything, but it’s like egg nog or Cadbury creme eggs – you put a few down once a year and you feel you’ve participated. Done your seasonal food duty, so to speak.


While I don’t love pumpkin flavoring, I certainly don’t mind it, and I have to say this pumpkin ice cream was quite delicious.

It had a much more pumpkiny color (unfortunately, not really visible in the sun-drenched photo below) than the very white pumpkin ice cream I had about this time last year while in Florida’s Pinecraft Amish community.


Butter Pecan was choice #2, and it was excellent. There were three or four other flavors including chocolate and peach which I had to leave for next time. I hadn’t had my lunch yet folks.


I did leave with one chocolate item, the milk, which was rich, and wholesome.


As you can see by the brochure, they also sell goat dairy products. I left those alone.


A small store but worth a visit. You might also find their goods retailed in other NC stores, including in Charlotte.

Wholesome Country Creamery
6400 Windsor Rd.
Hamptonville, NC 27020
(336) 468-1520

Shiloh General Store

Shiloh General Store
5520 St Paul Church Rd
Hamptonville, NC 27020
(336) 468-4789


The showcase business for the Union Grove community is the Shiloh General Store, the closest thing the community has to a tourist attraction.

The day I was there there were probably a dozen vehicles in the parking lot. It’s easy to see the business’s appeal.


Shiloh is primarily a food store, selling everything from canned goods to bakery items like pies and bread to deli foods to cooking ingredients like herbs and spices.


I picked up a few canned items and some sweets, including this peanut butter fudge which I photographed after it was three-quarters gone.


They also sell a wide variety of canned products produced by another local business called The Dutch Kettle. I passed this company on the road but did not stop. I’m assuming it is Amish by its appearance and name.

Shiloh General Store offers a lot of Dutch Kettle spreads and jams, including the ones with the funny names – Traffic jam, F.R.O.G jam, and a new one for me–T.O.E. jam. Yum.


They also carry the bigger brand “Amish-style” products from companies like Ohio’s Walnut Creek Foods and Amish Wedding labels.



Just a side note, a “Modesty Appreciated” sign hangs on the door here, just like at the old Windsor Country Store.


I’m not sure everyone in the store that day was following the suggestion. The coming cold weather will help those folks comply.

The Shiloh General Store also sells non-food items such as cookbooks as well as outdoor structures, which sit by the parking lot.


Interestingly, the message/advertising board by the door touts these products.


As we’ve covered before, some Amish don’t mind the Amish name on the product or ad.

Here’s the business card for Shiloh General Store:


And directions printed on the back:


Shiloh General Store
5520 St Paul Church Rd.
Hamptonville, NC 27020

Other Businesses – Union Grove Amish

Aside from these, there are a few other businesses in the Union Grove area. This is the Vinyl Structures storage buildings business.



I believe this greenhouse is Amish-owned. The tack place is non-Amish, unless this is owned by an Amish convert with a non-traditional name.


Down Windsor Road you’ll see this hydroponic tomatoes sign.


File this one under “coming soon.” There was an Amish person in a carriage at this future furniture business so I assume it’s Amish-owned.


 Visiting the Union Grove Amish

As Adrian Whicker commented on our Facebook page, “It’s tiny but a nice little place.”

Union Grove is not a place that looks immediately Amish, and if you miss the buggy warning signs you could pass right through without realizing you were in an Amish settlement.


You won’t see a ton of buggies criss-crossing the area, as being one district in size, there are simply not that many people in the community.


Frankly it is a little hard to tell the Amish homes from the non-Amish. I did see a school which I didn’t notice the last time.


The Shiloh General Store is the main attraction, and they are clearly welcoming of tourist visitors. The place is popular, with a line for their deli sandwiches and most parking spots taken on the Saturday morning I was there.horses-nc-amish

They also sell some Wholesome Country Creamery products, but I’d suggest visiting that store itself, just a short drive down Windsor Road, if you go.

Union Grove has been on the Amish map for three decades, today the sole Amish presence in a state that hasn’t had much Amish settlement in its history.

Don’t expect Lancaster County, but if you’re in the area, it is worth a visit. But bring an appetite–or at least a sweet tooth.

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    1. Bill Rushby

      Keep the Emails Coming

      Hello, Eric!

      I enjoy reading your stories and viewing the great pictures. Please keep them coming my way.


      Bill Rushby

      1. Gladly Bill, will do that. For a few years we were doing posts 5 days a week, the past year it’s been more like 3, might get back to that previous level at some point. The feedback is always appreciated.

        1. Fred Jensen

          Texas Amish

          I was raised 30 miles from Holmes county in Ohio and having draft horses I did business with the Amish a lot, however I was transferred to Texas in 1969 and didn’t get back into the horse business till the late 70’s, now that my age is catching up with me I wonder if you know of and Amish settlement in Texas that is working horses, if so I would appreciate a note to make contact I have some unbroke horses that need started am appreciating you Blog.

    2. Kim Shinn

      On our recent visit to this community, the highlight was talking to the store owner’s two little boys. They are around 6 and 8 and very smart and respectful. Just wondering if you had the pleasure of meeting them.
      P.S. I am definitely driving an hour soon to try that pumpkin ice cream! I had raspberry back in the summer.

      1. Union Grove NC Amish Stores

        Kim I did not meet those guys, the fellow working the cash register at Shiloh General Store looked like an older son. They were a bit slammed with customers when I was there, maybe that is a Saturday AM thing, when I visited a few years ago I believe it was a weekday and they weren’t nearly as busy. More and more people may be learning about this store though.

        The Wholesome Country Creamery store is a lot smaller, really just a room with a few freezers/fridges, but worth the visit.

        Folks familiar with Union Grove, are there any other stores that I missed? Both of my visits have been briefer than I’d like so didn’t go down every single road in the area.

        1. James

          Used to live there

          My mother and father are Amish convert living in Union Grove. (going one 30 years) They actually started shiloh general store. You should look them up next time you go. They love to share their experience.

          1. How neat James. I take it then they are not related to the Grabers who own the Shiloh store now. I’m sure I’d enjoy meeting them.

            1. James

              They sold it to the Grabers because they wanted to semi retire.

          2. Diane V Horton

            Phillip union grove

            I’m very good friends with your parents Tom and Sandra. I love them like family. They told me about when they owned the Shiloh store. Such sweet folks they are

        2. Judy

          Union Grove Amish

          Erik, you hit the main stores in the community. The furniture store is open now and the furniture is shipped from Ohio. The owners, the Millers, do a great job of keeping the business going and although the furniture can be costly it is made to last for centuries. The two young boys, Isaiah and Kevin are old enough to be found working in the store on Saturdays. They help with making doughnuts and other jobs around the store and home. Saturday is indeed their busiest day and I hear we can look forward to a future expansion project. The family is a great compliment to the community and does their best to keep the business going. The creamery is thriving, and both business families work hard daily at many different tasks. These people truly live their daily lives based on Biblical truths. It is sad to see many businesses claiming the Amish name on their establishments yet they are not really Amish owned. Consumers beware: if the business is not in a community it may not really be Amish owned.

        3. Deb

          Union Grove, NC store hours

          Can someone tell me the store hours in UG, NC? What are the stores in the area.

    3. Al in Ky.

      I always enjoy seeing pictures from an Amish community I haven’t visited. I was interested in your comment about the farmsteads/homesteads not all looking that different from non-Amish. I’ve experienced that in other New Order Amish settlements. Sure is a lot different from a Swartzentruber settlement where you can pick out the Amish places very easily.

      1. NC Amish Homes

        Exactly Al. Generally speaking I think you see homes more like English ones in the more progressive communities. As Don Curtis notes below this is an electric New Order group so basically just about the most technologically progressive Amish group which is still considered Old Order or horse-and-buggy Amish.

    4. Janar

      late visit

      As I visited more than 10 different settlements this summer – I liked the Union Grove/Chatham community the best. Mostly because they did something that most of the Amish settlements are afraid to do. As I spent couple hours in Chatham I met most of the families who moved away from Union Grove and there were couple of reasons:
      The settlement grew too big for the church.
      They started new settlement (Chatham) not too far from the old (U.G.) so the people could attend their church service. Same time it’s far enough, so you can’t just go and visit them every day.
      The smaller the community, the closer are the people.
      It’s better to run businesses as they are not gonna be in competition with each other.
      Land prices were going up, so it was cheaper to start a farm in Chatham, VA.
      Chatham community is building their 1st Bulk food Store, one family is starting out with Produce etc

      So overall they were brave enough to leave their friends and family, so they could follow the principles that they believe in.

      1. North Carolina Amish offshoot community

        Thanks for sharing this insight Janar. I know you were at a lot of communities over the summer but didn’t realize when we spoke last month you made it to NC too.

        On your comment about starting a new church because it grew too big, I seem to recall either hearing or reading from one of our commenters here that that was something the Union Grove community has focused on doing, which may be why it is still one district in size 30 years after founding. It’s a very conscious way to keep the community close I suppose, and avoid problems more common to large settlements (though it would take a LONG time to grow from one district to the size of say a Holmes County 🙂 ).

        1. Janar


          Erik last week I did my end of the summer trip:

          Tuesday – Canastota, NY
          Wednesday – my last day in Penn Yan area with horse and buggy mennonites
          Thursday – Lyndonville, NY
          Friday – Oakland, MD
          Saturday – Chatham, VA and Union Grove, NC

          1. You covered a lot of ground Janar!

    5. Mark - Holmes Co.

      Interesting. Thanks for sharing this.

    6. Randy A.

      Thank you

      Erik, Thanks for a great post. I really enjoy the photos.

    7. Juanita Cook

      I always enjoy reading about the Amish. Love seeing your pictures. Thanks foer sharing them with us.

      1. Mark, Randy, Juanita, my pleasure. Being an NC native I am glad this community is here.

        I was disappointed to see the Windsor Country Store closed, I enjoyed my visit with the owner last time. He had quite a good memory about some of the things I told him three years ago. I was surprised, and at the same time wasn’t 🙂

    8. Forest In NC

      On Saturdays the Amish in Chatham have been setting up at the Farmer’s market at the Agricultural Center on Rt. 29. with baked goods, produce, etc.

      Thanks for the article on the Union Grove community. They are the ones who started the Amish Church in Caswell Co, which today has evolved, sort of, into the Caswell Mennonite Church.

      I’ll have to get up there and sample the ice cream, especially now that the leaves are starting to turn. It’s a pretty drive, once you get past Winston-Salem/

      1. Very interesting Forest. Let us know how you find the ice cream if you go. I have a feeling the peach is going to be good.

        Do you have any idea how many households are in Chatham?

        1. Janar


          I think about 15 families moved to Chatham about a year ago.

    9. Rich and Polly Stevick

      Thanks, Erik. A couple Union Grove Questions

      Do any of you know if Union Grove regularly conducts their church services in English or only when they have English visitors? Does anyone know what proportion of their membership are converts from the English? Also what churches do they “communicate with,” i.e., fully fellowship with, even sharing communion? Thanks for the travelogue, Erik. I’ve always been curious about Union Grove. If you invite me, I’ll travel with you anytime 🙂 Rich

      1. Mark - Holmes Co.

        I do know they fellowship with the main New Order group here in Holmes Co. so I’d guess they fellowship with the other New Orders. Some of those families moved down there from here in Holmes County. I know there is one family of converts living there and some who have moved there from very low Amish churches, but the rest I’m not sure about.

      2. Union Grove Amish Questions

        Gladly Rich. If I can make it to Holmes County this year you’ll be hearing from me 🙂 I think Mark and Don Curtis below have answers to some but not all of your questions.

        The tack place in one of my photos above looks by the sign like it’d be an Amish business; the name on the sign was Dennis Whitaker.

        Crazy W does and doesn’t sound like a typical Amish business name to me – the initial in the name feels “Amish”, the “Crazy” part doesn’t 🙂

        1. Judy

          Crazy W is not owned by any of the families there.

          They speak in German during the service, but it can be translated in notes taken by some who can hear it, translate it, and write it quickly. It is very difficult as the preaching is not at a slow pace. If an English person desires to visit the church it must be with the intent to seek a better way of life, and a desire to find the Gospel truths. Actually you would really need to be seeking to live their way to continue to go to the services. They surely do not desire to have their services become a tourist attraction. You must be prepared to sit for up to three hours on wooden benches. The songs are slow paced and acapello. Women should be dressed in long dresses and long sleeves which is their version of modesty, and not bright colors. The women sit on one side of the room and men on the other and do not even enter from the same side of the building. It is a beautiful and peaceful environment.

      3. James

        My parents are members there and are converts. When I lived there they would preach in English. Not sure if they still do.

    10. Thanks Eric. I enjoyed your pictures and narrative.

    11. Don Curtis

      Mark's info on the Union Grove, NC community

      I asked my son, Mark, about Union Grove, NC. He said that he has never visited there but that he does know a little bit about it. He said that most of the New Order Amish churches would not be in full fellowship with Union Grove. Holmes County and Belle Center are not in full fellowship with them. They will exhchange preachers so far as just a regular church service. However, a Union Grove bishop would not be invited to officiate at a Belle Center or Holmes County communion (gross gmay). That is because Union Grove has electricity and farms with tractors. Union Grove would be in full fellowship with other New Order churches that have electricity and farm with tractors such as: Conneautville, PA; Greenville, PA; Princeton, KY; Kinsman, OH; Guthrie, KY; and others. Full fellowship means that the standards of a particular community are acceptable enough to another community that they will accept the bishop from that community to officiate at their communion service. I hope I explained that well enough. I don’t quite understand it all, myself. But, Mark seems to and I guess that’s all that counts.

      1. Mark - Holmes Co.

        I’m sorry. I was wrong about them fellowshipping with the New Orders here in Holmes Co., but Mark Curtis should know, as he is in a New Order church, so take his answer as right and mine as incorrect.

      2. Rich Stevick

        Thanks for your help

        So if I understand correctly, Union Grove is not in full fellowship with either Belle Center or Holmes County New Order groups b/c of electricity in the home and tractors in the fields. Thanks for getting in touch with Mark. If he is at the Mt Hope horse auction this week, I would very much like to track him down in the crowds, or let me know, Rich

    12. James Beltz

      Store in Finger,Tn

      Have you went to Tennessee? There’s a store called Ada’s “RmThe Unusual” Country Store
      and it’s just like these. Good prices and lots of choices.Have a Facebook page as well..I’d say it’s the only store in West Tennessee till you get to Ethridge,Tn.

      1. Have not been there James. The only TN community I’ve visited is Ethridge. Looks like the place you are talking about is McNairy County in western Tennessee, one church district community founded 2009.

        1. James Beltz


          The store’s link

          Located in Bethel Springs area…yes that’s partially correct…one inROSE CREEK VILLAGE: Situated on 100 acres in Selmer, McNairy County, Tennessee, this religion-based intentional community of about 200 members formed in 1989 (established in 1996) from a core of 17 families moving from Geneva, Florida, to Bethel Springs, Tennessee. Offering Rose Creek Village midwifery and childbirth services, the community also supports five other businesses: commercial and residential painting, construction, Solar Tint installation, a restaurant (Another Realm), and a distribution center offering office and warehouse services. Derived from the “Twelve Tribes Communities,” members express beliefs centered around God and a desire simply to be the people of Jesus Christ.

          The other church..Finger Christian Fellowship
          93 Mockingbird Rd, Finger, TN
          was Beech Amish I believe but left that and are now Mennonite.
          Workers from both communities work at the store.

    13. Margaret
    14. Forest In NC

      Union Grove was preaching in German a few years ago. I think that is still the case. They did have some families who had joined from outside.

    15. Jonathan Edwards


      The Union Grove settlement is in full fellowship with the traditional electric New Orders. Perhaps a little bit of history would help. The Holmes County New Orders started in the 1950s mainly regarding spiritual matters…supporting Bible study, Christian piety, non use of tobacco, etc. They fellowship in part with other New Orders and some Old Orders with similar values. A progressive group broke away from them twenty or thirty years ago. They are called New New Order or New Order Christian Fellowship. They have tractors and electricity. There is a small group called Tobe New Order that was the result of differing views amongst the Tobe people who broke away from strict Old Orders in Holmes County. But they are only called New Order because they decided to use tractors and electricity. Other New Orders do not fellowship with them because They have different values. But the Union Grove Amish originate from more traditional Amish communities which over time allowed tractors and electricity and tended to resist tobacco usage. There are a number of other twists and turns but a lot of the details can be traced historically. That requires local knowledge. And an ability to understand their interpretations, applications, and concerns.

    16. Dianne Senn

      Lived in NC entire life and never realized there was an Amish community here. Very informative post and great photographs. Already planning a visit to Shiloh General Store in the near future. Thanks for your insight.

    17. Sandra K

      Do the Union Grove, NC and Chatham, VA settlements have produce auctions? I just moved to Brevard, NC (western NC near Asheville) 2 months ago and want to know if I’d be be able to get produce for canning.

      Interesting post. Thanks!

      1. Janar

        I would drive up there and just ask around. Usually in every community some Amish families grow produce. You don’t really need an auction to get some good deals

      2. Judy

        Sandra K

        These families do grow and can their own foods, but not for sale to outsiders. That would require much more land. They grow food enough for their large families. You may try to use the Shiloh phone number on the business card to call and see if anyone has a desire to have such a business in the future, but again, there is not much land for that kind of a business.

    18. Sandra K

      Janar, I’m a bit shy. Is there a common place– maybe the store where I can make inquiries?

      1. Janar

        Sandra give me your email or send me one

        I will give you some names and addresses where to go. I visited most of the families in those 2 communities last summer.

      2. Forest in North Carolina

        Heritage Hill Country Market at 5844 Callands Road would be a good place to start in Chatham. It has not been open too long, but apparently is wanting to draw in non-Amish along with the Amish in the community. Shiloh General Store is a pretty friendly place for visitors to the Hamptonville/Union Grove settlement. I have never heard of a produce auction in either place, but I wasn’t looking for one….
        You might also visit the Amish settlement near Nathalie Virginia. I have been to an auction up there, but it was not specifically a produce auction. The Halifax County, Va. website did have info on the Nathalie settlement.

    19. Sandra K

      To Janar and Forest — Thank you so very much for the information. I will try to visit sometime during the week in very early spring, just to get a feel for everything and maybe for “visiting.” I’d like to get there before tourist season is underway too much — and make sure I get a full taste of yummy eatings! 🙂

    20. William Campbell

      Bill Campbell

      1) Seeking Amish community near Charlotte NC
      Just about to publish book
      2) Could fit y’all in book if y’all want to be well known
      3) Can’t drive & address is
      309 Sloane Square Way
      Charlotte NC 28211
      4) However if y’all let me join I could show
      5) So if you let me do HARD WORK & I
      Regain energy I had At childhood.

    21. I just want to let everyone know that the Leg and Foot Cramp Remedy is FANTASTIC! Worth every penny and then some. It was the only thing that eased and eliminated horrendous leg cramps caused by the Statin drugs I was taking. And it worked in less than 2 minutes vs 1/2 hour to an hour with a heating pad (and the cramps often came back more vicious than before. With this remedy (one capful with a small amount of juice) I could take it and go back to bed AND to sleep! KEEP MAKING IT. FOLKS! If nothing else (even pickle juice) hasn’t worked for you, get a bottle of this remedy, NOW! You won’t be disappointed!

    22. Heidi

      Good article and post. I realize that this is a fairly old post, but when visiting Amish country in Ohio we were told that Union Grove Amish do welcome outsiders to their church services. They are one of the few that do, we understand. I grew up around Amish in OH (live in NC now), and have always been very respectful of them. We would love to attend a service as we even made some Amish friends from Indiana while on the Amtrak!

      It’s not out of tourist interest or lack of awareness that we would like to do this, but out of a real understanding, love, and appreciation of the Amish from knowing them personally. Please let me know if you are aware of a possible contact. I’ve looked online but since Amish are not generally online nor contactable online (for obvious reasons), I’m not really sure how to proceed.

    23. Cookies?

      I enjoyed your article. We lived among the Amish in Ohio, but there are few and far between in NC. I don’t suppose somebody bakes raisin filled cookies in Union Grove? Fingers crossed. Thanks.

    24. Erika L Potter

      Western NC

      Um that isn’t western NC not even close. It starts in Morganton. I’ve lived in the western part of NC (Brevard NC) my whole life! Union Grove is the Piedmont not western part of NC.

      1. Yea, I guess it’s still the Piedmont. I grew up in Raleigh, so it as definitely “west” for me 🙂 I could have written “western half”. I guess it depends on the definition of “western part”. In any case, right it’s not the mountain region. Thanks for the comment from a fellow North Carolinian.

    25. Angelia S Cline

      Looking for homemade butter.

      Do you know of anyone that makes and sells homemade butter. Please e-mail me if you do.

    26. Amish Handcrafted Horse Tack & Other Leather Products

      We’re neighbors of the Swartzentruber Amish in Rutherforton and Cleveland counties. From other comments it seems many are readying this article because they are interested in Amish products and services. We’re looking at feasibility for helping them with online sales. You can help by telling us what handcrafted products you would find useful.

    27. Grant Wade

      outdoor buildings

      I am looking for a true Amish person or company (not a reseller) to manufacture outdoor sheds and buildings for me on an ongoing basis.
      I have retail shed sites throughout NC and need a supplier of sheds.

      Grant Wade
      Highpoint Buildings

    28. Karen Harrison

      I am going here this morning!

      For years I’ve wanted to visit an Amish community and make some purchases of nothing in particular…I think to live like this is so amazing!