On Saturday I visited the Union Grove Amish settlement, one of two in North Carolina. This was a quick one as I was on the way to the Blue Ridge Parkway on a trip with my brother. We stopped in at the big attraction in the community, the Amish-owned Shiloh General Store. That was followed up by a stop at Wholesome Country Creamery just down the road, another Amish business I was happy to see was still around.
I considered saying hello to one or two Amish people I knew of in the community, but skipped it due to the COVID situation and lack of time.
The Shiloh store is larger than it once was. Previously:
It’s since moved into a new building:
The signage is different now as well:
Inside they have the wide variety of foods and items you’d expect in this sort of Amish store:
I grabbed a German chocolate pie, cheese tray (road snacks), fried okra, and a few other things.
They also have a sandwich stand which seemed to be pretty popular.
I got a pastrami and swiss:
Quilts, and even Amish dolls were on display (I am assuming the would sell these to non-Amish customers, unlike another store I visited last year in Virginia):
Sign at the bathroom. I wonder who put this up..?
At the checkout I spoke with Mark Graber, who was running the cash register. He looks older than this now:
That image is from a news report on the store, done in early 2019. Mark told me that after that report, business to the store basically doubled.
He also said that they really haven’t seen a slowdown due to COVID.
I also exchanged some brief words with Mark’s father, who owns the store. I told him the last time I was there (2014), the place was smaller. He informed me they built the new store in 2017.
Wholesome Country Creamery & Other businesses
Leaving Shiloh General Store I headed to another nearby business just down the road, the Wholesome Country Creamery. Things looked about the same as at my last visit.
I treated myself to some maple walnut ice cream and a chocolate milk. Very rich tasting and as the name says, creamy.
Near the Creamery there is a furniture store.
Signs for other businesses in the area.
Leaving the community shortly after, we came upon this skid loader rolling down the road.
As this is a pretty progressive Amish community, I expected to see an Amish person driving.
As we passed, I saw I was correct – a young boy, perhaps 10 years old.
Union Grove is a small but nice community to visit, especially if you are in the mood for some Amish-style foods. As this just a single-church-district settlement, there isn’t a lot there, and it is quite different from the state’s other Amish settlement, the very plain Swartzentruber community at Ellenboro. But if you find yourself nearby-ish, it’s certainly worth stopping.
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