Visit A Swartzentruber Amish Basket Shop (Video)

In the market for a nice handmade basket? It you’re visiting a Swartzentruber Amish community, there’s a good chance you’ll find one.

Basket businesses are pretty common among this very plain Amish group. For instance you’ll find one listed among this sample of companies from Ethridge, TN (home to a sizeable Swartzentruber settlement) or some more visual evidence among these photos from the same community.


As you might expect Swartzentruber businesses tend to focus on making plainer, simpler things. This is in part due to their more limited embrace of technology (“higher” Amish would use things like pneumatic power to operate standard power tools, or would be willing to hire drivers to reach clients in more far-flung areas).

In today’s video by Lavonne DeBois, we visit a basket shop run by a Swartzentruber family near Kidron, Ohio.

Lavonne’s business brings tour groups to purchase from the family. We learn that the owner gets the raw materials (maple veneer reed) from Pennsylvania. Ten-year-old son Aaron drops into the middle of the video to tell us about a birdhouse he made.


Besides the products, you’ll see some implements that fit right in with the plain Swartzentruber lifestyle, like a hand water pump and a brick oven used to heat water.

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    1. Kathy Rowe

      Basket Shop

      I have been to this basket shop a few times and they have so many beautiful baskets to choose from and great prices. I believe the first time I went there was on a “LaVonne Tour” and then went other times I was back in the area. Be sure to stop there if you are visiting the Amish area in Ohio! You can’t go wrong setting up a tour with Lavonne.

      1. I like the videos she does, and it seems like she has a nice connection with the people/places she visits.

        I don’t think I have ever done any kind of guided Amish tour, but recently got invited to join one, which I’ll probably do – I think it would be neat to see what it’s like from the guided visit perspective and I bet I would learn something 🙂

        1. Tours Holmes County, Ohio

          I would personally like to invite you if you ever get a chance to visit Ohio Amish country, to check out my tour. Yes I have had 28 years of spending many many hours interacting and are learning about this culture. I drove Amish for 20 years and have a good connection with the local people. I can customize tours according to what you want as well. Thank you for your comment.
          Submitted by LaVonne DeBois
          A Taste Of The Backroads
          Berlin, Ohio

    2. Anonymous

      LaVonne sold the business. The new owner does just bus tours, BUT there is a great guy who now does what LaVonne used to do — check out Troyer’s Amish Tours. He comes from Amish background and has a lot of family in the area. He is good at personalizing a tour; taking you where YOU want to go.

      1. Kathy Rowe

        Lavonne still does tours also.

        1. LaVonnes Tours

          Thank you Kathy… I know that you are aware that I’m still doing tours and I appreciate you clearing that up.
          Hope to see you in 2018!
          Submitted by LaVonne DeBois

      2. LaVonnes Tours

        The comment is not true regarding La Vonnes tour. LaVonne sold the group tour portion of her business but owns the backroad tour portion. She is still very much active and doing doing back road tours. This is her 28th year.
        For 2018 she is offering The “Amish church lunch tour” which is three hours long.
        Her tours depart from the Berlin Grande Hotel Tuesday-Friday at 11:30
        Submitted by La Vonne DeBois

      3. I wonder why this comment remained anonymous. They should’ve checked their information or confirmed it with LaVonne before posting false information.
        Submitted by LaVonne DeBois

    3. MW

      Or try “Country Coach Adventures.” Though they do most bus groups, they can sometimes make arrangements for smaller groups and more personalized tours.

    4. So if I wanted to schedule a basket class who would I contact now?

      1. Do they do basket classes? That doesn’t seem very Swartzentruber-like, though maybe I missed something in the video.

      2. Basket making

        Hello Vicki… I don’t know why I just now saw this thread and it is the middle of December. However if I’m not mistaken you did do a basket making class this summer. I can arrange that as you know with advanced reservations .
        Submitted by LaVonne DeBois
        A Taste Of The Backroads

    5. Christine


      Those are lovely! I have a couple of Longaberger baskets – these look similar and I see there is a wide variety;)

      1. Christine-Baskets

        Thank you for your comment Christine… I don’t know why but I am just seeing this thread for the first time and it is the middle of December. 🙂 Yes many of their baskets do look similar to long and burger but the prices are drastically lower!
        Submitted by LaVonne De Bois
        A Taste Of The Backroads

    6. M.H.G.


      Those Amish baskets are beautiful!!!
      I own 3 small baskets that were made by an Amish Artist from
      North Ohio..
      (They were purchased at the Montgomery County Fair) South Ohio

      I also own thee Longaberger baskets as well…

    7. Beautiful Baskets

      Wow! No wonder Longaberger has gone out of business. The quality of this lady’s baskets exceeds those of the Longaberger company by far. Kudos
      to the artists who create these masterpieces.