When we are in Amish Indiana, we almost always stop in at E&S Sales in Shipshewana. This is another place that I drove by for years without stopping to investigate. A bulk foods store doesn’t seem like a very vacation-like destination—but these days, we never get out of there in less than 20 minutes or for less than 20 dollars!
I pictured a bulk food store as having 40-pound bags of flour and gallon jars of ketchup. But as the pictures indicate, it isn’t anything like that. Along with the usual things, there are hundreds of items there that just aren’t found in regular grocery stores, at least not where I currently live in suburban Chicago. Bagged things like cookie and soup mixes, dried fruit snacks, dozens of kinds of pretzels, all kinds of candies, cookie decorations, nuts, popcorn, spices, beans, noodles, snack foods you’ve never heard of, and lots more. Things in jars like jams, jellies, preserves, Amish peanut butter, apple butter, pickles, honey, canned fruit, relishes, maple syrup, and more. It goes on and on. It’s something you have to see, to believe.
E&S recently doubled the size of their building, and now they have more things like refrigerated and frozen foods and fresh bakery goods. But the old favorites are still there, with lots of new ones. It’s a nice place to rub shoulders with the Amish, learn about the local culture, and bring back some delicious and interesting items that you’d never find at home. Be aware that they don’t take debit or credit cards, just checks or cash. And like most retail stores in Amish Indiana, they are closed in the evenings and on Sundays.