I like to share places I’ve found in Amish Indiana—places to eat, shop, stay, or see things. Bringing home food is always a part of any trip we take there (never leave home without a cooler in the trunk). One of our regular stops is Dutch Country Market, owned and operated by an Amish family named Lehman. Norman and Katie can be found on the premises, as can their six children—Merle, Lavern, Devon, Marilyn, Wilma and Wanda. It is located at 11401 County Road 16, between Middlebury and Shipshewana (a very scenic drive).
One of the specialties there is the wide selection of noodles—four widths, two thicknesses, white and whole wheat, according to their brochure. The Lehmans make an average of 400 pounds of noodles a day – you can often see Katie and the kids rolling it out on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. through a glass wall in the store. But you can buy it any time! (Except Sundays… almost everything in Amish Indiana is closed on Sundays.)
Another specialty is honey. According to Melissa Troyer’s book 101 Things to Do in Shipshewana, Norman has tended bees for over 20 years and produces 36,000 pounds of of honey products a year! The store carries jars of honey in many sizes and varieties, comb honey, honey sticks, bee pollen, beeswax candles and soap, and nine flavors of whipped honey. My husband has to drag me away from the working honeybee hive that can be seen in the store—I find them fascinating.
Lots of other products can be found on the shelves. My husband likes the jellies, pickles, and preserves, and I like the salty snacks. Another local favorite is Amish Peanut Butter. Look for applesauce, fruit ciders, pancake mixes, salsa, apple butter, and 20 kinds of jam. Outside, local produce of amazingly high quality can be found in season, as well as locally-made lawn furniture. I’m not a huge shopper as a rule, but I could walk around this place for half an hour, just looking at things and reading labels.Dutch Country Market is also home of one of the area’s many summer “quilt gardens,” and they always have a nice one on display on a piece of slanted ground out in front of their store. It’s also a great place to get Christmas gift boxes. We ask for an empty gift box (they have various sizes), fill it up with things the recipient would like, and then they pack it up nicely. An added bonus is that their gift boxes end up costing less than those from the better-known places in the area.
All in all, worth a stop.