My Thoughts About One of My Favorite Places--Northeastern Indiana's Amish Country

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Yoder Popcorn

Just south of Shipshewana, Indiana, there’s a place where anyone who’s a popcorn fan might want to spend some time. 

I’ve been a microwave popcorn person for years now—and Yoder’s is the best I’ve found—but visiting their retail store makes me want to branch out!  They stock unpopped popcorn in lots of varieties, popping oils, all kinds of salts and seasonings, popcorn bowls, various types of popcorn poppers, bags of premium caramel corn, microwave popcorn in several varieties, gift baskets, and all kinds of novelties for the popcorn lover.

Rufus Yoder started growing popcorn on his family farm in 1936.  He shared his surplus with friends and family, and soon he had such a reputation for quality and taste that a business was formed.  When Rufus retired, his children continued to market Yoder Popcorn.  Today  Rufus’ grand-niece Sharon and family operate the 1,700-acre farm and the popcorn shop.  

When arriving at the shop, visitors are given a free bag of popcorn.  The last time I was there, it was their famous “Tiny Tender” brand.  I never knew there were varieties of popcorn, other than yellow vs. white—but they have loads of choices, in various kernel sizes and colors.  Yoder grows and stocks varieties such as “Large Red,” “Sunburst,” and “Baby Blue.”  On the largest end of the spectrum there is “Monster Mushroom,” and on the smallest end, “Tiny Tender” and “Ladyfinger.”  

Each type of popcorn is described in detail, both in the store and on their website.  For example, “Ladyfinger” has this website description:  “Lady Finger is the smallest kernel available.  It is yellow in color and is completely hull-less!!  Very small when popped.”  The store displays a handy chart, shown below:

The popcorn is grown locally, much of it on their own land, and it is all non-GMO.  Like most local businesses, they are closed on Sundays.

Yoder Popcorn’s motto is, “Popcorn the way you remember it—from the heart of Indiana Amish Country.”  It is available from their retail store and also at other local food shops.  They also have a website with both information about their business and the option of online ordering.  Their address is 7680 W 200S, Topeka, IN.

Update:  Some time in early 2020, Yoder Popcorn will be moving to a big new location at the corner of Routes 5 and 20 in Shipshewana, kitty-corner from 5 & 20 Restaurant.

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