Lately I’ve been writing about Amish-owned businesses you can find and visit throughout the countryside. Many are places that most tourists don’t find. Some have no internet presence, and for those I’ve tried to give an address and phone number. Most, however, can be found at www.visitshipshewanaIN.com and some have even hired outsiders to make them a simple website. For those, I’ve included links.
Here are a few places south (and east) of Shipshe that are worth a stop... To find these, start at the intersection of Routes 5 & 20, at the south end of Shipshe, at the Yoder Popcorn corner. As you wander the countryside, look for Amish roadside stands and businesses. If there's a sign, you're invited!
Remember that none will be open on Sundays, and some don’t accept credit cards, but only cash or checks instead. Have fun!
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Riehl’s Herbs. This wonderful herb shop (below) is owned by friends of mine. It is located west of the 5&20 intersection, rather than south on 5 like the rest of these stops, so it’s a little out of the way, but there’s a nice Amish restaurant nearby called Howie’s Six Mile Café. Both Sam and Mary know plenty about their inventory, and being off the tourist path, we find their prices to be better. Sam is the son of my beloved (and now late) Mrs. R. Located at 0170 N 600 W, Lagrange. (260) 768-9109.
Howie’s Six Mile Restaurant. This place (below) is small, out of the way, very simple, and the food is cheap and good. Locals and truck drivers on State Road 20 have been coming here for years. It recently changed ownership, and Howie is slowly making improvements to the place, such as staying open some evenings. He also moved his ice cream stand, Howie’s Ice Cream, from its old location down the road to a side building next to his new restaurant, and it’s open in the summer. Located at 5975 US 20, Lagrange. (260) 463-2381
Long Lane Furniture. My husband and I bought a dining room set here for a very reasonable price, back when it was called Ervin’s Hardwoods. I also brought a photo of my ratty old china cabinet, and they made a custom one in the same design, except in wood to match the dining room set, for about $1,000. Now the sons have taken over, but the quality remains high. Drive down the long lane—don’t be shy! More info here: https://justplainbusiness.com/long-lane-furniture/
Weaver Furniture Sales. This place differs from Long Lane in that it has lots of beautiful wood pieces, but also a lot of upholstered pieces. Check it out if you’re in the market for furniture and don’t want to pay big-city prices. More info here: https://www.weaverfurnituresales.com/Owl Toy Craft. South of Shipshe a bit. This Amishman makes amazing things for kids from wood. The toys aren’t cheap, but they’re the kind of thing that your great-grandkids will still be playing with some day. His toys are sold in retail outlets all over the country. He also has some amazing puzzles. More info here: https://visitshipshewanain.com/listing/owl-toy-crafts/
Star Frappes. The next little town south and a bit east of Shipshewana is Emma. At the main intersection you’ll find Star Frappes (below)—one of the places responsible for making a dent in the ingrained Amish habit of drinking coffee black! A widow started this place a couple of years ago when she needed some income, and it has thrived. (Also—there is a new café across the street in the old Emma General Store building, which I don’t know much about. Let me know if you go there, and what you think. It’s called Corner Cravings.) Star Frappes is at the corner of Main Street (600 W) and Lake Street (700 S) at the main intersection in Topeka. I don’t know of a phone number.
Topeka Pizza. Make time for a stop at Topeka Pizza in downtown Topeka. I’ve brought a lot of visitors here, and they always come back later on their own. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and we’ve never had a bad meal there. It’s also rumored that their in-house-made ice cream is the best in the county! Located at the main intersection in Topeka. More info here: https://topekapizza.net/
L n R Footwear & Gifts. Nearly every Amish town has a general store, and this (below) is the one for Topeka. Like other Amish general stores, it’s an excellent way to learn about the Amish culture. Spend a few minutes wandering around… You won’t come out empty-handed—I didn’t! More info here: https://lnrfootwearandgifts.com/
Nature Unlimited. This store and greenhouse specializes in purple martin houses (a local favorite for their mosquito-eating capabilities), but also carries lots of other bird feeders, bird houses, and supplies. 260.593.0610. 219 Nature Trail, Topeka. More info here: https://visitshipshewanain.com/listing/nature-unlimited/
Carolyn’s Kitchen. Carolyn and family make 20 flavors of homemade jams—all with no sugar or artificial sweeteners. She has a nice country store south of Shipshe. 260.768.8160. Located at 5965 S 675 W, Topeka. More info here: https://www.carolynskitchentopeka.com/
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