Yesterday while traveling on I-81 through Tennessee I stopped in at Yoder’s Country Market (Bulls Gap, TN). This is in the eastern end of the state, the part which juts out between Virginia and North Carolina.
This is one of the nicest PA Dutch-style stores I’ve come across. I call it “Amishy” because it has a very Amish feel, selling the types of things you’d typically find in an Amish market store. But it’s not owned by Old Order Amish or had any Amish working there that I saw.
Yoder’s gets good reviews and entering the store you immediately start to see why. The place has a big selection and is very neatly maintained.
Lots of bulk foods, candies, cooking supplies, jerky, cold drinks, books, and much more.
They also have deli meats and cheeses, and they’ll make you a sandwich to order. I got one with sweet bologna and Swiss. I give it a B+.
The sandwich was stuffed with plenty of meat and cheese and veggies (you check off the items you want on a slip of paper, a method a lot of these places use). So that part was great. I just didn’t love the bread that I got.
My favorite of the things I bought were the okra chips. If you aren’t familiar, these are lightly crispy full pieces of fried okra. Quite different from slimy cooked okra (which I also like but I know some don’t).
I also picked up some Asian rice snacks. Not very “Dutch,” but I have a soft spot for those treats. Yogurt covered pretzels and a no-bake peanut butter chocolate cookie also made their way out of the store with me.
I spoke with a son of the owner as I was paying. His parents come from the Old Order Amish, with his mother originally from Apple Creek, Ohio. His father is Kore Yoder. The store has gotten some nice publicity.
I asked him where the nearest Amish community was (kind of knowing the answer already as there was one not too far away). He told me about two local Mennonite congregations, but didn’t seem too aware of Amish around other than in central Tennessee.
If you live in the area or find yourself traveling on this interstate, I recommend stopping in. It’s just a little ways off the exit.
Yoder’s Country Market details
Yoder’s Country Market
15275 W Andrew Johnson Hwy.
Bulls Gap, TN 37711