In today’s video Amish Cook editor Kevin Williams gives us a peek into Mary’s Bakery in the Hardin County, Ohio Amish community (we recently saw another video from Kevin here of a toy and furniture business in this same community).
As Kevin notes, it is a quite small bakery, but one chock full of nice things to eat – homemade cinnamon rolls, cookies such as peanut butter and oatmeal, pies, fudge, snack mix, and other goodies.
And also something I’d never heard of – jello cookies.
There are also canned goods, popcorn, and other non-baked items to eat.
Besides the store, you also get a look of the ovens and work space where Mary and co. do their prep and baking.
If I were Amish and had some sort of business at my home, I think a bakery would be one of the nicest choices.
And not just for the obvious reason of always having a lot of goodies around. If you enjoy interacting with people these are the types of places where you have a lot of contact with regular customers.
Not to mention, bakery smells might be the very best smells.
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Enjoyed this post. I haven’t been to Mary’s Bakery, but it reminds me of the Amish bakery in the Fillmore County, Minnesota settlement. I can’t remember the name, but it’s right off Hwy. 52 between Harmony and Canton, Minn. Very similar to Mary’s in size, types of baked goods for sale, etc.
Canton, MN Amish Bakery
Roadside Baked Goods is the Amish bakery located near Canton, MN. It is a wonderful bakery full of baked and canned goods similar to Mary’s Bakery. They added on to the the bakery and they now have a large kitchen and bright display area and is very clean. Raised, glazed donuts are the best–a must see in Southeast Minnesota Amish country!
Investments in the presentation -
It was interesting to hear about the labeling problem the bakery had last year. It brings up a quandary – the FDA is there to protect the public and I am very glad that agency exists or a lot of people would be sick. But then does it place an undue burden on small enterprises, like Mary’s Bakery?
But then the more I watched the video, I kind of understood why maybe there was a slight problem. While the pies and cookies looked good (jello cookies!)- the space did make me pause for a second. Poor Mary looks like she could use a tiny bit more investment in the aesthetics of her bakery, just for business sake. It’s such a small space, one must organize, hide boxes, a bucket of paint costs twenty bucks, clean shelves.
It’s interesting to me that since this was an Amish bakery – I automatically expected a suped-up display area for the baked goods. That shows my unrealistic expectations. Perhaps Mary recently bought, or rented this space “as is”. And sometimes it takes a while to settle in and make a place perfect. But I think a coat of paint on the shelves, clearing out of boxes in the customer’s show area, and definitely either another window, or more light, would help.
But that said, sometimes one must wait in order to save enough money for improvements. I wish Mary well and hope her business grows.
Interesting thoughts Judith. My impression is that Mary’s bakery’s aesthetic isn’t unusual for a small home bake shop (not commenting on the size). I actually rather like the super plain and basic layouts of these shops in plainer Amish communities. The ones that cater more to tourists in large settlements will put more into the display though.
I live in Massachusetts,and we don’t have any Amish out this way, I was wondering if you know of any Amish Bakeries that do mail orders,Or Homemade jams and jellys,or fruit butters? I’m not talking about from the big touristy,General Stores, I mean from an actual family,that makes it all homemade, I’m also looking for someone tha Ican buy Baskets,pot holds and such things.I am in Love with Amish crafts,and they would make great and unique gifts for family and friends.But I would like to buy directly from the people, and not from some prepackaged make believe Amish General Store.Thanks in Advance for any help anyone can give me.
Donna, March 15th re: Real Amish Products
Donna, I am partial to Esh Handmade Quilts, 3829 Old Philadelphia Pike, Gordonville, PA 17529. Anna Esh has a lovely collection of quilts and smaller quilted items that are beautifully rendered. Of course, jars of preserves are a treat, especially the hot pepper jelly, perfect with goat cheese or baked on chicken. Anna represents a number of other Amish quilters and her selection is high quality. Perhaps you can call them and they could describe what they have in stock: 717-768-8435
My 2 cents worth...
Good to hear from you Erik!
I agree with Judith wholeheartedly on her comments re: the bakery.
Many people think because it’s “Amish made” that it’s going to be good. Over time we have learned first hand that their baked goods are not worth the $ that was paid for it. Do people think that those berry pies were made from hand picked berries? No, they open a pail of commercial pie filling and in between two crusts it goes! We purchased a blueberry pie years ago that we pulled the shoe leather crust back and just ate the filling! How about noodles or baked goods that taste like kerosene?
What do they use for refrigeration? Is the bread light and crusty or heavy and pale? Are the workers and store clean? If you’ve been working in the garden or barn before coming to work, please use a brush on your hands and wear gloves!
Many of us grew up eating Amish bakery…it was from our mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens! If you had a berry pie you knew it was from berries that were hand picked! Throw in a dash of love and it tasted even better. 🙂
Amish friends of ours had a bakery and we stopped to visit with them, not to buy the baked goods… unless it was a fresh raised doughnut. 🙂 If we stopped in at their house we enjoyed those goodies better than from the bakery. The bakery got to be too much so they sold it and things have stayed the same. I thought there’d be more of a variety to choose from, but so far the new owner has kept things the same.
I’d write more but I have to put bread in the oven now. Not really, that was a week ago! On our counter there were 16 loaves of light, brown and crusty bread that I baked. Six of the loaves were baked in my Amish made wood burning cook stove! Once again Erik I have to remind you of that trip to Wisc that’s on your to-do list! We’ll have fresh bread, a cup of coffee and take off and go Amishing! 🙂
The Amish are no different than the rest of us as we all know. Some are clean, friendly, good cooks or carpenters…many are not. It’s the Amish made title that grabs people’s interests and are willing to spend money on them. Buyer beware!
Hope all is well Erik, that video brought back memories! Terry, I think you make good points. Having been to a gazillion (well, maybe not a gazillion, but a lot) Amish bakeries I can tell you that there ARE some that are just gems, absolute gems, often tucked away into an outbuilding or a basement. My experience is usually the larger the bakery (and I am generalizing, there are some decent larger ones) the more they fall back on the big food-service style cans of processed foods, etc. and that tends to undermine quality. Although even the tiniest Amish bakeries can be bad: too many flies on the food, food tasting like kerosene….I have run into that before also. So, as you said, buyer beware…just because it is “Amish” doesn’t mean it is good, but often it does equate to that!:)
I think we can all atest to going to a shop or roadside stand that may not have been the best. But, I think we then learn, either we will try it again or never return. I can even say that sometimes my own baking doesn’t always turn out perfect. I try to stop by at as many roadside or small amish shops as I can. These people work very hard, and if its not all from scratch thats ok too. I know many rely on us for there businesses and if I can support them, I sure will. If have made many lovely friends this way. I live in Canada and try to visit many amish areas at least 3 times a year, and its nice when they remember you, and look forward to your visit. Some amish make you feel like family and the door is always open.
My husband and I have learned to be extremely cautious when purchasing from Amish owned bakeries. We bought several jars of home canned blackberry preserves from an Amish store in Kentucky that made both of us sick.
I wrote a letter to the owner to let them know, but never received a response. So, we no longer buy anything like that. If I want cookies, pies, homemade bread, preserves, etc., I’ll just make my own.
Marlene Harder and Mount Victory
My deceased wife, Darlene Osborn Rushby, and her first husband (James Osborn DVM) lived among the “Kenton Amish” many years ago. If Darlene were living, she would be astounded to find that her next door neighbor, Marlene Harder, was the videographer for this story. James died of a heart attack while the family lived there. On that tragic occasion, I think Marlene accompanied Darlene to the hospital where she received the sad news of his death. Darlene and the children moved to Virginia, where we got married.
The Amish community at Mount Victory was strict, but its members lived devout and, as far as I know, consistent lives as Christians.
It’s a small world, isn’t it Bill? Thanks for sharing this connection 🙂
I shared this on another thread a few days ago, but one unhappy piece of news from the Kenton community–two Amish homes were fired upon a week and half ago in the early hours of Sunday morning: