Visiting a Mennonite Market (21 Photos)
While in Lancaster County I took a trip with a friend and his son to an Old Order (horse-and-buggy) Mennonite community in the Buffalo Valley area of Pennsylvania.
It’s about a two and a half hour drive and there had been inclement weather that day, which worsened as we headed further north. We did get a nice visit at the community which I’ll go into more in a future post & video.
On the way back we happened to pass through a second horse-and-buggy Mennonite community, in Snyder County. Their homes were visible off the highway which appeared to have been laid between numerous small towns and the Susquehanna River.
No doubt they had to destroy some old homes to do this as it felt you were driving through people’s front yards for a lot of the way. These included a number of Mennonite homes in the area of Port Trevorton.
As we drove by I noticed what appeared to be a plain store up ahead. So even though we were due back for a Christmas dinner, I made an impulse stop and got no protests from my passengers 🙂
We first went into the little store which very much resembled an Amish store.
This group uses the same lighting as horse-and-buggy Amish (some plain Mennonites permit electricity in homes and shops).
This group is the Stauffer church (aka Piker Mennonites) which is the plainest of the three groups found in Lancaster County (which also happens to be where they originated from).
The store had a lot of the types of items you’d expect in an Amish store. Food, books, some gifts and more.
For example, they had a nice stock of Christmas gift baskets:
I found it interesting that they sold “Amish Country” postcards:
Beautiful handmade gift cards.
Some local cookbooks. One for men in particular:
Fresh eggs in the fridge:
There were some baked goods in this store as well. I picked up some very loaded-looking fruitcake. Lot of pecans on and in this tasty treat:
After perusing the store for awhile and making our purchases, the lady mentioned the bakery right next door, which I had totally missed coming in.
Once outside though the enticing aroma of what to me seemed like apple cobbler was unmistakable. Even though the clock was ticking, this was a must-stop as well. I’ll share the bakery in an upcoming post. Outside the store we found some bird food and baskets.
And before we made it to the bakery, my friend spotted this, which he could not pass up:
This is apparently the good stuff. Stay tuned for a look inside the bakery. Update: check out the bakery here.
I would love to visit that store..I would probably be there for couple hours..Just amazing.
Erik, sure glad you don’t have control of your impulse control. You’re certainly an adventurer, especially when it comes to Amish country. Thanks for sharing. Happy holidays, Jim
Thank you Jim! We didn’t manage to stop at any stores in Buffalo Valley so we had to get in at least one on this trip:)
That looks like a good little store! Have you been to East Drumore Foods between Quarryville and Drumore in Lancaster County? I go once a month to pick up my bulk cooking and baking supplies. They also have an outrageously good selection of elixers, naturopathic remedies and natural toiletries. their bulk food selection is excellent, I highly recommend them! In season they also have produce.Cheapest price on 2 lb rolled butter too, which I buy and store in my freezer. I can’t pass a plain store without going in!
Thank you for sharing photos of this delightful store. I think I recognize a book by Christy Otto with his unique sketches that I am planning to purchase after the holidays.
Their presentation of baskets of goodies are so sweet. I’d love to visit.
It’s nice to see you made it to my area. This settlement is often called the “Synders”. (Mattie from Burkes’ Garden uses that term and I think she had a brother living here). They live in a triangle of Routes 11/15, 104 and 35. Three church districts of Stauffer Old Order Mennonites. However there are four meeting houses in the area and I suspect one church district consists of Mifflinburg mennonites. We call those the Reiff Mennonites. These orders publish their “census” every 10 years and I have the Stauffer 2020 version and the 2010 Reiff edition.
Did you get a chance to see any meeting houses or school buildings in either area? Did you also notice Route 11/15 is a four lane divided highway? The OOM run their horse and buggies only on the south bound side regardless of which direction they are going.
Weavers is known for their huge variety of whoopi pies. However you missed the real treasure in the area. It’s 1/2 mile from Weavers and called The Old Trail Supply. The locals also call it “the Amish Walmart”. Next time.
Hi Jerry it didn’t click to me when we headed up that way that we were in your area, but of course you have shared from Snyder County in the past. I would have liked to visit the community for longer, but that always seems to be the case. Next time!
We did see one school in BV, not sure if we saw any meetinghouses. That’s interesting about the buggy directions. I’m doing a vid now where I’ll share some more images from both place, maybe you’ll see some familiar things.
Believe it or not, my family and I have had the pleasure of stopping in at Weaver’s Market and Bakery. It happens to be on the way up to or back from my Mom’s home near Buffalo, New York. It is a favorite stopping point!
One piece of advice… make sure you have cash on hand, since it is easier to work with when making purchases…and you WILL want to make some purchases, believe me!
Absolutely! I regret not getting more of the baked goods, especially the granola squares and pecan pie squares.
All very familiar and still I’d like to go! Thanks, for taking us there, Erik!
Gladly, happy you liked it! This was a nice surprise on a fully packed weeklong trip. Credit to Ben for the idea to visit Buffalo Valley.
Great stopping point
Weaver’s is a gem in the rough. You could just pass on by if you weren’t looking. The Buffalo Valley is my old stomping grounds and it is full of Mennonite shops, stores and craftsmen. But it is more abundant during the spring thru fall. The Lewisburg Farmers Market is a must see as well as a visit to the annual benefit auction which is held at the Buffalo Valley Produce Auction. And the nice part of visiting here during the harvest months is a visit to the Great Valley ie… Belleville, PA which is home to many white, yellow, black and grey topper Amish. Cheers to you Erik and wishing you a Blessed and Healthy New Years to continue the fine and awesome quality stories and videos of a most interesting and important part of our history.
Neat to hear that Buffalo Valley is your old area Joseph! Your tips here just make me want to return with more time in the schedule. And I just checked the map you’re right it’s not too far from that other colorful-buggy-valley is it:) I’ve been out there a few times, I think last time I had Ben along as well but it’s been a few years. Many thanks for your support and happy New Year to you as well!