By: Andrea Sullins
If you are new to the area ,or just passing through our little country town, the saying, ‘don’t blink, you’ll miss it’ is a common phrase we hear all to often. However, we do have little hidden treasures around our small community. The only way to find some of them is by exploring the area, or hearing about these gems over breakfast and a cup of coffee at PJ’s, one of our local restaurants that always seems to be packed in the early morning hours.
The Amish community is intertwined with ours, with homes and farms popping up all around the area. Some might not realize there is a store just 2 miles west of town down 32 Highway. On Deason Drive, about a half mile down the dusty gravel on the right sits a home and Amish general store owned by Moses and Susan Schwartz. To my surprise, the store has been there for 6 years.
“When we first built, it was much smaller,” Susan explains. They soon realized how many Amish families were travelling from the surrounding towns, and expanded to start offering more supplies. Anyone is welcome to purchase the variety of items that occupy the shelves of this very stocked store. There are many items to be purchased, including small toys, board games, and beautiful custom made stables and barns for children. They have a large selection of fabrics, kitchen items, glassware, and large tarps. Various tools and horseshoeing supplies are available as well.
One of the top sellers in the store is the Colby cheese. “Everyone comes for the Colby cheese,” Susan exclaimed. On the back wall, there’s a big cooler that one would probably assume would be cooled by electricity, but they would be wrong. That was my assumption at least. Susan explains, “We have an ice chest on the other side of that wall that has a vent to the cooler. The ice on our pond was 5 inches thick at one point this winter, so we took the ice from there and stocked the room.” When asked how long the ice will last, Susan anticipates it to keep the cooler cold all through summer. “If we have to, we will order 300 pound blocks of ice from a company in St. Louis and have them delivered. That ice will last us until the winter when the pond will freeze over again,” Susan replied.
They have a huge selection of items in bulk, dry goods, spices, and candies available, but the one thing that instantly put a smile on my face as I came around the corner of the middle isle was the rows and rows of essential oils on the top shelf. I have lived down the street from this store for months, ordering my oils online because I can’t find them anywhere else in town. I was somewhat shocked to find out that all along they have been right down the road from me!
“We built the store to support our Amish community, but we also welcome outsiders,” said Susan. They are open Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm. Susan is one of the kindest people I’ve met, so stop by and check out this hidden gem of a store and see what treasures you come across!