What I Bought in 6 Amish Stores (Video)

So I did a video recap of all the things I bought on my recent Kentucky-Ohio-Virginia Amish trip. You’ll see my haul from a total of six stores (plus one bonus stop in Kentucky that I explain in the video).

I visited a couple of variety stores, a bent-n-dent food store, a large market and deli-style store, and two bulk foods places. But my Amish store haul is not all food (though that’s usually what I gravitate towards). I hope you enjoy. Runtime: 9:56


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    1. Marcia Clark

      What I like to buy in Amish Stores.

      My favorite things to buy and/or look at in Amish stores are canning products and kitchen utensils. I love looking at everything but canning and kitchen are my absolute favorites.

    2. Mary Farley

      What I buy at Amish stores

      I like the bake goods especially the cinnamon rolls. Also the syrup and the peanut butter and the bulk candy. I collect Amish dolls so always looking for the Amish made ones.

    3. David Stear

      Amish stores

      I enjoyed the video, Erik’s selections are probably what I would pick out myself. I live in California now and have for the past 30 years. There are no Amish in California although a few sometimes take the train to San Diego (I have seen them once or twice in the waiting room at the S.D. train station) usually enroute to Tijuana for cheap dental work (which I’ve heard is not bad) or alternative medicine and treatments, sometimes for cancer. The video took me back to growing up and spending the first 37 years of my life in Pennsylvania. Driving around the countryside in Crawford County, PA once, I saw a sign that said “butter and eggs for sale”. I stopped and knocked on the back door of the house and a youngish woman in bare feet but with prayer cap and ankle length dress on with little kids around her answered the door. I asked if she had any butter for sale and she said “yes, I can sell you some butter”. As I recall, it was a pound slab wrapped in waxed paper and wasn’t bad at all. I don’t recall what the price was. I wondered if she made it the old fashioned way in a wooden churn with some plunger device that you had to keep pumping up and down.

    4. David Stear

      Amish stores PS

      I have sometimes heard of a cottage cheese like product both the Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch have at least historically made called smierkase. I’m not absolutely sure of how it is made, but I think it involves pouring hot water over soured milk in a cheesecloth bag and hanging it up to drip until the whey is all dripped out and what is left are curds. A few other ingredients are added to the curds and I’ve heard it is very similar to a stronger flavored (on the sour side) cottage cheese–the smier (smear) part I think has to do with spreading it on bread, probably preferably home baked bread, which makes me wonder how many Amish households make their own bread as opposed to buying it from a grocery store. Anyway, this begs the question of whether anyone has seen any signs for smierkase being sold in Amish country and also whether anyone has tried it and can compare the taste between that and regular cottage cheese.

    5. Bea Noguier


      As soon as I walk into a store I smell sweet smelling bakery item and must buy something. I love looking at material to buy. Last time I was in Lancaster I bought a queen sign quilt.

    6. Al in Ky

      An item I buy at Amish bulk food stores is 7 Grain Hot Cereal mix. I can’t find it at any stores except Amish stores. I’ve bought it at E & S in Shipshewana, Ind., Country Salvage at Arcola, Illinois, JayTees at Rockville, Ind., Detweilers at Cub Run, Ky., etc. I’ve been going to some of these stores for more than 25 years and it’s amazing how they have grown. It seems like these big stores have more non-Amish customers than Amish, although lots of Amish shop at them also.

      Also, in some of the smaller/mid-size Amish communities I’ve visited, I’ve found bulk food stores that are unmarked — no store sign by the road, no sign on the small store building, etc. I”ve found them just by word-of-mouth. Each of these type of stores has welcomed me to shop there even though they are unmarked and seemed focused on serving their community.

      With grocery prices going up, I’m wondering if business at Amish bulk food stores and bent-and-dent stores might increase, since prices on many items seem cheaper there than even in “big box” grocery stors.

      1. I have been to a handful of unmarked Amish stores at this point. Also there are the unmarked service providers like suit makers and so forth that strictly serve the Amish.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re correct on the bent-n-dent stores seeing more shoppers, with food apparently up significantly.

    7. Terry from Wisconsin

      Erik, You’re getting closer to Wisconsin!!! It’s a new year with new possibilities!

      At Mishler’s bulk food store in Dalton, which I’ll be at on 2/8, the list of items is long; 50″ lbs of flour, white and brown sugar, spices of some sort, clear gel, therm flo, powdered milk, choc chips, vanilla, pudding, soup base, noodles, pasta, snacks, yeast for bread baking, beet pickles, maybe a new cookbook, oatmeal, canning jars, Unkers salve, chore gloves, hankies, and who knows what else. It’s most always a cart full! We don’t go that often, so I have to stock up.

      When we go Amishing there are our favorite haunts that we patronize beside the bulk food store; such as; bakery, maybe a furniture store, the lady who weaves rugs, (I brought her several bags of carpet strips to use. She wanted to pay me but I said no, just weave me a rug. She rattled of some sizes that I look for!). Oh, and bring egg cartons to drop off, There is a cheese store, If I write to Amish friends and tell then we’ll be stopping in, she have goodies to go with coffee. 🙂

      So, when you decide to “Go west” we’ll have a fun road trip!

      1. Haha yes closer and closer. Fantastic list by the way. I can always tell by your comments you have such fun on those visits. Clear gel is a cooking item right? Now that I’ve checked off Colorado, the list of states I haven’t visited yet grows smaller 🙂

        1. Terry from Wisconsin

          Morning Erik,
          Clear gel is a thickener, as is perm and therm flo. It’s depends what’s being thickened and we still use cornstarch. When you visit Amish friends you take note on the advice and directions you’re getting!

          As Maudie in the Budget says; Make it a good day!

    8. Tricia McCaa

      Amish Restaurants

      My husband and I would like to eat at restaurants specifically run by the Amish. We’re going to Paradise in September. How would we know if it’s authentic to their culture?