Lehman’s is a well-known business catering to Amish and – even more so – to non-Amish who like off-the-grid and low-tech tools and home products. Many readers here are familiar with it – we’ve had posts including 5 Interesting Facts About Lehman’s and 6 Lehman’s Products Used By The Amish.
So I thought it might be of interest to share that Lehman’s is being sold:
HRM Enterprises — which runs Hartville Hardware — is buying the historic Lehman’s store in Kidron, combining two iconic businesses in Northeast Ohio.
The deal was announced Monday.
Lehman’s, operated by Galen Lehman, in the small Wayne County community is a major attraction in Ohio’s Amish country. The Hartville-based HRM also owns Hartville Kitchen and other businesses.
“We are ecstatic to add the Lehman’s team and brand to our family,” HRM CEO Gary Sommers said in a prepared statement. “Our company’s values of putting God first, treating customers, suppliers, and each other as we would like to be treated and giving back to our community match well with Lehman’s approach. We hope to build on the success and tradition that Galen and his family have established over the years.”
The good news is it sounds like the two sides have close ties, and Jay Lehman’s son Galen will be staying on to partner on business operations:
Jacob Troyer, president of the Kidron Community Council, said area residents would likely support the purchase particularly if the Hartville Hardware owners maintain Lehman’s community-minded approach.
Lehman’s, Troyer said, “has been a tremendous asset to this small village of Kidron. They bring a lot of business into town. They are good for the community. I hope (the new owners) make their presence felt in town.”
Lehman’s founder Jay Lehman discussed the plans with HRM Enterprises before his death in July 2020, the company said.
Lehman’s will remain a standalone business in HRM’s family with Galen Lehman partnering on the day-to-day operation, the company said.
Lehman’s also will operate using the Lehman’s brand.
“We are thrilled to become part of the HRM family of companies,” Galen Lehman said in a prepared statement. “The partnership between both family-owned businesses is a win for this community.”
Jay Lehman – who founded Lehman’s way back in 1955 – passed away last year at age 91.
No other family member showed interest in continuing the business after Ervin and Galen Lehman retired, but the relationships between the Lehman family and the Miller family, the owners of HRM Enterprises, stretches back years.
The company’s founder, Howard Miller Sr., and Jay Lehman used to travel together on international buying trips. Their sons, Howard Miller Jr. and Galen, would share meals, discussing business and their shared faith. Gary Sommers, CEO of HRM Enterprises, married a Kidron woman whom Galen sponsored in her youth at Kidron Mennonite Church.
“The public may not be aware of our relationship,” Ervin said. “If you think about it, it really makes a lot of sense. The vision and the mission are the same.”
Ervin, daughter of founder Jay Lehman, who died last August, doesn’t expect customers to notice much of a change under the new ownership. She and her brother Galen had discussed the sale with their father before his passing and both plan “to stay with the company for years.”