Popular Philadelphia Amish Sandwich Stand Closing Due To New Mandate

I was sad to learn yesterday that my friend Mose Smucker is shutting down his sandwich and meats business at Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia after 12 years. A new city vaccine mandate on food establishments (taking effect January 3rd) means The Grill @ Smucker’s will shut down for good on New Year’s Eve.

Mose, who is 70, made it this far but it looks like with this latest requirement he has had enough. Via the Philadelphia Inquirer:

“I have to get away from all these mandates,” said Smucker, 70, who started the stand as his “retirement job.”

Before joining the Old Order Amish section at the historic market, he operated a harness shop on Route 23 in Churchtown for 38 years, providing tack for a who’s who of clients, including the Budweiser Clydesdales and the horses of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Asked if he had family to continue the stand, he replied: “They’re all too smart to be in this business.”

That’s his trademark humor. We haven’t spoken on this, but I’d say it’s not even necessarily the case of whether Mose has an issue with getting the vaccine or not. It’s also about whether he would be able to find enough workers for his business as well. As we’ve looked at earlier this year, Amish as a whole have been reluctant to get vaccinated, in part due to a belief that the majority have had COVID already.

I first wrote about Mose on this site in 2010 when my Amish business book was coming out. He was one of several Amish entrepreneurs whom I introduced to a reporter for a Time magazine piece on Amish business.

Mose Smucker at his market stand, 2010

Here’s an excerpt from that article, written in the early days of The Grill @ Smucker’s, when no one could have predicted that one day a health law would lead to its end:

The Amish have also learned to work outside their enclave–outside their comfort zone, in B-school parlance. That takes the kind of flexibility displayed by Moses Smucker, 59, the owner of two businesses in Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. Smucker, a big man with a bushy beard and a straw hat, starts his day a 55-mile (about 90 km) van ride away in Lancaster County, waking at 4 a.m. to feed the horses. “I come down here, and I adapt to this,” he says. “I go home, and I adapt to that.” Doling out packages of liverwurst, headcheese and beef jerky, Smucker is a born salesman. “This place doesn’t know what hit ’em,” he says. “I yodel, I whistle, I sing.”

No word on what the other Amish-owned businesses in Reading Terminal Market and other Philadelphia Pennsylvania Dutch Markets are doing. I suspect they would have similar issues to what Mose has faced.

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    1. cary

      re. vaccines

      I’m 74 with kidney disease so I’ve had to stop giving rides to my Upstate N.Y Amish neighbors. Of course as I’m “English” (and boosted)we don’t discuss religion. I do respect their supportive sense of community and value them as neighbors. As a retired BSRN I have seen many folks die horrible deaths (often tobacco or etoh related). So I’ll follow the science and support life on this one …and of course I don’t tell my Amish friends that their God does not will it — nor do I relate to them that I’m a proud “none” (Atheist). No need to send any fuming replies. Thanks!

    2. Jim Gas


      Let face it the mandates are pushing many out of business. It’s ridiculous. The so called blue states are seeing a loss of population. Why? People are tired of the mandate nonsense. They seek freedom!

    3. J.O.B.

      Good for him for being able to walk away. He is “retired” so it is a little easier to do so. But I do enjoy stories where people who had enough of what’s going on in the workplace, and simply walk away.

    4. Alan

      These mandates are disgusting! The courts need to stop them immediately. We know people who have died or been seriously injured from this experimental “vaccine”. Thank God so many are standing up against this!

    5. Hospital

      Spend a day as a nurse working the COVID . Might feel different. Shame to see sooooooo many people against the vaccine. Sad you all feel that way. Then you cry when a loved one passes from. COVID. Don’t understand your reasoning. God Bless

      1. Rev. Dr. Kimberly Warner

        I have not had a single loved one pass from covid. I just got my flu and pneumonia shot this past Monday and I have had many adverse reactions to them,.

    6. Jim Gas


      Just think if the vaccines worked (effective) you would see very low levels of Hospitalization .
      Even in Vermont with high rates of vaccination hospitals are filling up. Take the vaccine please, if you wish.
      Are they safe..? Good luck. Note congress and the CDC are exempt from vaccine mandates. Why?

    7. Mike Boxell

      Government Control.

      Too much government control. “Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.” SOURCE: FDA

    8. Walter Boomsma

      Walk a mile...

      A friend was recently tested. Her negative results included the printed warning that “you still may have it.” I am vaccinated and boosted and I’m told I still could get it and transmit it to others. So this is not exactly an issue where there is clear “science” and truth. That said, those who aren’t vaccinated are getting a taste of the persecution the Amish have historically experienced. If there’s any good news in the current situation it is that at least the Amish haven’t been singled out for it.

    9. Jim Gas

      Walk a mile.

      Walter .. you are sure right about the Amish

    10. Martha Cable

      Why would anyone trust the government and put an experimental gene therapy in their body, that has shown to cause more harm than good, for a virus 99%+ survivable with a cheap but proven drug therapy called hydroxy?
      The Vaxxed are the carriers spreading it. The vax destroys your immune system. In an OB Ward this week, seven mothers were covid positive, SIX were fully Vaxxed. What happened to herd Immunity? Faust and the gates of hell make billions along with big pharma and the politicians who did insider trading and keep the mandates going. Follow the money people. They don’t care what they do to us.

    11. Carl D Good

      I'm sorry to hear this

      My granddaughter is a nurse in a major hospital. She is fully vaxxed and boosted. Guess what? She has Covid. So unless you test everybody every day, there’s going to be a lot of passing Covid to everyone you come in contact with. I chose NOT to have the jab, as they call it. When Trump put this in gear at warp speed, I thought to myself, NOPE not going to do it.

      It usually takes years for a new vaccine to be approved. No one has any idea what is going to happen down the road. I’ve done a lot of research and there are many deaths and irreparable harm had been +done to thousands of people. But, oh no, the CDC, the FDA, the media, the president and everyone in between, is saying, get the shot, it’s safe. I’m 80 years old, the last time I was sick was when I had the Hong Kong flu many a moon ago. My immune system works quite well. I don’t take any drugs, never have. I have never gotten the flu shot or any other shot they want old people to take. I have not had a cold for years and don’t otherwise get sick. So please tell me why I should have some unknown product injected in my body? And then still have the possibility of getting Covid. I’ve never heard of anyone getting Smallpox after they got the shot. So this is NOT a true vaccine. Prove me wrong.

      Why won’t any hospitals in our area allow the use of Ivermectin? Oh that’s right, it’s just for horses. Merck manufactures Ivermectin. It’s been around for almost 40 years. It’s a very safe drug and has proven effective in other countries, especially in India in Upper Pradesh. But Merck makes very little money on this drug and they actually put out a report about how dangerous it is. Unbelievable. Now Merck has come up with a new pill for Covid called Molnupiravir, that will cost hundreds of dollars. They will probably make billions.

      It’s all about the money. I have never believed in conspiracy theories, but this sure sounds like a conspiracy to me. And if you have nothing else to do, check out the Vaers web site. So all the thousands of people that have died or been injured by this shot. It’s a government website. But many doctors never even heard of it and don’t use it. So the statistics on there on there are no doubt off by many tens of thousands. Have you ever heard the media or anyone else talk about Vaers? No, neither did I.

    12. John Allen

      Reading Market

      I have had the pleasure of eating at this stall several times in the last few years I am deeply saddened to hear it is to close , such a loss to the whole market but this is what you get from quasi socialists in city hall etc , eventually they crush the life from everyone they only want self replicating robots . Wake up America !

      1. Habitatman

        tax the billionaires a bit more--even Ronnie Regan did

        I appreciate my SOCIAL SECURITY thank you. I’ve never met a Scandinavian that didn’t love their UN-fragmented health care systems.

    13. Jim Gas

      A horse cure

      Sorry to hear about the Reading market.
      I did run into a horse lover the other day who praised how good Ivermectin was for his horse. I asked him if humans could take this
      Horse medicine. He said he had in the past. He just put a little bit in his peanut and jelly sandwich. I asked him how it worked. No problem, but he did begin pawing a little bit on day 4.

    14. BH

      Dutch Eating Place still open

      Just fyi, the Dutch Eating Place restaurant at Reading Station is still open. My husband ate there today while passing through Philadelphia. Excellent service provided by Amish waitresses & cooks from Lancaster County.