Is This The Oldest Amish Bakery?
As mentioned in yesterday’s post on Amish hand-deconstructing a historic building, there is an Amish community at Guthrie, Kentucky, right near the Tennessee border. Guthrie is one of the more atypical Amish settlements, as it is an “electric New Order” community.
The Amish here permit electricity in the home, and also fully use tractors, even for road transportation. Still they are considered an Amish community, as they dress plain, use Pennsylvania Dutch, and follow the Amish way as far as their religious observance and traditions go.
It’s just one that might be considered on the edge of the Old Order Amish world given their permissiveness with technology (for more on the electric New Order and other “on-the-edge” Amish churches, see G.C. Waldrep’s 2008 article).
There is apparently a nice little bakery that has been operating here for nearly 50 years. Schlabach’s Bakery was founded in 1970 (Guthrie is the state’s oldest Amish settlement, started in 1958). I don’t know how many Amish bakeries can claim a half-century in existence; this must be one of the oldest.
YouTuber David Gould visited the bakery last year and gives us a video tour inside the place. For starters I love the simple old lettering of the store sign and the cozy garden setting. Also note the red and blue neon “OPEN” sign, which seems a bit atypical for an Amish store, but maybe not for this community:
I always enjoy seeing what types of treats these places contain. I did not stop here on my one visit to the Guthrie community years ago, on account of not knowing about it. Otherwise it would have been a must-visit.
The man running the register appears to be a non-Amish relative running the store that day; he explains that his grandma started the business in 1970 and enjoys a couple of laughs with a customer:
I am assuming this is Amish-owned as it’s described in the video as “Amish” and has the tell-tale signs of an Amish place. But perhaps the man behind the register is technically the current owner. In any case here’s a shot from the back of the bakery showing someone who looks quite Amish at work:
What can you get here? He says the best seller is probably the cinnamon rolls, and “sour bread” (not sure if that is sourdough or something else). They also sell a lot of pies and granola. You can also see a good selection of honey and other canned items like jams, as well as fried pies, banana bread, cakes and traditional breads.
Also, it’s unclear, but as the video ends it looks like they might be selling an array of outdoor furniture as well.
Here’s the full video; it’s not quite 3 minutes long:
Where is Schlabach’s Bakery?
The address and contact number for Schlabach’s Bakery:
6225 Guthrie Rd.
Guthrie, KY 42234
As the founder’s grandson mentions in the video, the bakery also has a Facebook page (not uncommon for Amish places nowadays). Below are the hours listed on that page.
You can see that they are of course closed Sunday, but also on Thursday. Amish places often take a second day of the week off.
And a few more photos from the FB page: