Sometimes you just know a place is “Amish” at first sight. That was the case as we drove by and spotted Pineview Bulk Food & Deli, just a couple of miles outside the quaint town of Farmville, Virginia.
I had a couple of addresses of Amish places in the community, but found my phone signal was so weak that I couldn’t get Google Maps to work.
So with my brother Alex driving, we headed in the general direction of where we believed the community to be. Soon we saw the sign and building:
Looks pretty Amish, doesn’t it?
The owner of Pineview Bulk Foods & Deli is a man named Omer Petersheim. Omer was in the store that day and I struck up a conversation with him.
We explained we were on the way up to Lancaster County (this was the Amish Health Conference trip in June) and had heard about the new thriving community here in central VA.
He told us the story of how he ended up in the Farmville area, which has become an Amish “hot spot” for people migrating out of Lancaster County.
It was started in 2016, and already has 40-some families in two church districts, with something like 30 more wanting to buy property in the area.
Farmville, for that matter, is one of those place names where it just feels like there ought to be Amish living in the area.
As an aside, one of our readers, Tim Scovill, is someone who helped make that happen. Tim ended up selling his historic farm to Amish, which he shared recently in a comment:
Fast forward to 2018 when I delightfully sold my historic farm place in Buckingham County, Virginia to an Amish family. The place was 50 acres on which stood a magnificent pre-civil war heart-pine, balloon-frame. hand built home with a roof of slate indigenous to the area; world-wide known and appreciated Buckingham Slato.
Tim cared for and modernized it over four-plus decades. But at a certain point, he decided selling it to the Amish was the right thing to do:
As I and my wife aged and also maintained another home some 50 minutes away near which we have four delightful grand children and their parents, it became increasingly difficult to give that historic home the care and attention it needed. It weighed heavily on me that I could not provide the care, maintenance and attention commensurate with the reverence I had/have for the place. I could not have been more pleased to know that a family from the Lancaster area was purchasing the place and would likely carry on the care and reverence the place decidedly deserves.
Tim says a Farmville-area realtor made efforts to understand and develop relationships with Amish in the Lancaster area, which has apparently been important in them coming into the area.
Omer & Pineview Bulk Food
Omer comes from, if I recall correctly, the Quarryville area (southern end of Lancaster County). He planned to get into the bulk foods market by opening a store in Farmville with the guidance of a relative – I believe it was either a brother or brother-in-law with a knack for success in the bulk foods business.
Sadly, the relative died of a sudden heart issue. That happened before Omer’s store was up and going. He lost both a family member, and a valued mentor in the business. In the end, Omer figured it out as best he could, and now seems to be running a popular place.
We stopped by on a Wednesday afternoon (one of the days when Omer stays open til 7pm), and while it wasn’t packed, there was a steady inflow of customers, several of whom Omer seemed to have a good friendly rapport with. I can see his positive persona must help create a good atmosphere, which no doubt helps draw people back to the store.
Not only that, but knowing his local market – Farmville is home to two colleges – his store is student-friendly. How do I know? The evidence here was an amusing sign by the register asking all students to show ID…so they can get a 10% discount.
I asked Omer if I could take some photos of the place to share here on the site.
The store entrance:
Buggy parking around the side:
Here are some shots of the interior:
It’s a large spacious place with the staples and other things you’d expect to find in an Amish bulk foods store.
Health food section:
Breads and baked goods section:
Shoofly is a Lancaster Amish pie, not something you see much of from, say, Ohio or Indiana Amish. Though you do see it in Lancaster-origin communities like this one.
Mmmm, corn bread. This is the South, after all:
Here’s the deli and sandwich counter:
I got a tasty custom sub:
Candy through the decades:
They also sell outdoor furniture and items:
And what did we end up getting at Pineview? Here are some of the items. Most of these were my brother’s picks:
I asked Omer if there were other stores in the community where we should stop.
It doesn’t sound like there are many, but he did point us to a variety shop, which he was advertising on the entrance of his own store – Cottontown Varieties. Unfortunately it was already past 4:30 and it was closed:
I expect more stores will begin popping up in this settlement as it grows.
Where to find Pineview Bulk Food & Deli
Here’s the address:
Pineview Bulk Food & Deli
749 Plank Road
Farmville, VA 23901
Pineview Bulk Food & Deli Hours
Here are the hours – note the irregular close times.
Monday: 8AM – 4:30PM
Tuesday: 8AM – 4:30PM
Wednesday: 8AM – 7PM
Thursday: 8AM – 4:30PM
Friday: 8AM – 7PM
Saturday: 8AM – 3PM
They also have a Facebook page which someone manages for Omer.
Pro tip for those visiting this area, or doing what I often do, which traveling up the East Coast to the Lancaster County – US Route 15 through central Virginia will in theory add some time/distance to your journey, but it’s a beautiful drive.
This was the first time I did this route, and enjoyed it so much it’ll probably be my standard way to travel to PA from now on.
And the best part, it sure beats getting clogged up in the nasty traffic which typically snarls the DC/Baltimore interstate route.