Schmucker’s Produce Farm: a Touch of Amish Quality

Schmuckers sign close up Copy 225x300 Schmucker’s Produce Farm: a Touch of Amish Quality

The Schmucker’s sign marks the way.

 

You’ll find Schmucker’s Produce Farm just outside Fort Wayne on 12815 Doty Road. And they are open year round – except in the winter, when they are closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (They also don’t open on Sundays any time of the year.)

You have to watch for the turn to Doty road carefully – it’s not quite visible, yet you really know when you’ve missed it. The tall corn seems to separate behind you and wave. But there are signs – a big one on Doty Road, and a large one right outside the parking lot to Schmucker’s Produce Farm. The high, white greenhouses also clue you in.

A lot has changed at Schmuckers since I last visited the place. The store itself is sided in log-look siding. Entrance is through one door – exit through three other doors. Inside, the floors are a concrete laminate, polished to a high sheen. White lace valances flutter over big windows, and the feeling of being in a small supermarket takes over. Maybe it’s the rattling noise of shopping carts, rolling around the aisles.

Inside Schmuckers, you’ll find a little bit of everything, from seed packets to fresh fruit, popcorn and taco seasoning. In the aisles closest to the front of the store, there are rows of packaged seasonings. Celery salt, taco seasoning, onion powder, oat bran, and many other dried seasonings are set up in neatly-labeled bags, about a ½ quart each. Bags of dried noodles also fill these shelves, along with cans of instant gravy – simply heat and serve. In one alcove is the seed stand, loaded with small brown envelopes of just about any garden veggie you want – lettuce, watermelon, squash, pumpkins, and radishes, just to name a few. At $.69 per packet, that’s not too bad.

A refrigerated cooler holds paper-wrapped rounds of butter and different cheeses. White Colby and low-fat hot pepper cheese were just two of the several flavors on the shelves.

The area that hasn’t changed too much is the place where wooden bins hold corn cobs. Bags for your corn are hung from the ceiling – grab your own and choose from one of several varieties of corn that fill the wooden bins. Watermelons also are piled on nearby tables, while 50-lb. sacks of onions rest on a pallet on the floor.

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Pick your own sweet corn ears here, at Schmuckers.

Maybe the best scent at Schmuckers is the fruit. The deep, sweet scent of plums radiates from white handled bags, smelling like a piece of summer and wild freshness. Bags of apples, pears, nectarines and peaches are also available – you can buy apples in half peck, whole peck, or half bushel bags. Varieties available the day I visited were Golden Delicious, Paula Red and Gala.

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Fresh apples – don’t they look good?

Another sensory sensation is the pepper section – Schmuckers has non-spicy, sweet green jalapeños and fiery hot banana peppers, jalapeños and habaneras. Simply stand in front of the bins for a minute – you’ll feel a wave of heat. The colors are so vibrant, too – red, yellow and green, healthy and plump.

As you head towards one of the several check-out counters, you’ll walk through aisles of dried beans, lentils, flavorings (like black raspberry, vanilla and coconut) and candy. Bags of popping corn, envelopes of “Amish Country Microwave Popcorn,” and candy are also for sale. (The peanut butter malt balls looked quite tasty.)

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Lentils, beans and other dried mixes are ready for your kitchen. And they’re non-GMO, too!

Rows of potted mums are outside, in deep purple, vibrant yellow, and a mixture of many colors. A few metal-look benches are scattered between giant pots of flowers, and people are just waiting for another parking place to open up. The paved lot is smooth and easy to use – fairly wide. On the day I visited, people of all ages were loading cars, getting kids ready to go, and walking into the produce shop in a busy hustle. As we left, an Amish buggy trotted past, everyone dressed warmly in knit caps and coats – it was only around 50 degrees.

If you want to sample some of Fort Wayne’s Amish culture, just drive out of town for a short distance and you’ll be right in the heart of it. The Amish staff at Schmuckers is friendly, and they appreciate “English” (their term for non-Amish) customers.

Louisa

About

Louisa is a lifelong Fort Wayne resident. A long-time musician and literature aficionado, Louisa likes to explore the classical music offerings that Fort Wayne has to offer. (She also likes to browse the Allen County Public Library's stacks for just the right book!)

Katie’s Kountry Korner – a sweet little place to stop

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Just a few of the beautiful plants flourishing at Katie’s Kountry Korner – oh, to be able to grow flowers like this!

Look at all the flowers! This was my first thought when we entered the long driveway to the tidy country store located on 13312 Schwartz Road, Grabill, Indiana, 46741. The perfectly trimmed grass and white fences make you curious to see just what an Amish country store has to offer.

Large pots of pink petunias are everywhere, decorating the shop’s porch and the grounds around it. You can see a perfect vegetable garden off to the side of the house – flourishing plants with not a weed in sight. Large out buildings and a big house are also nearby.

Inside, you’ll be met by a peg-board wall with several beautifully delicate Amish capes and hats on display. Made of fine white gauze, these are clearly special-occasion clothes, not your everyday work wear. You’ll also see some plastic containers at kid height filled with tiny dice and other trinkets that small ones would like to explore.

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Katie’s Kountry Korner is something of a general goods store. Behind the counter is a large room filled with bolts of cloth and other sewing materials. This shop specializes in making Amish quilts – although you can also purchase other sewing supplies, too. One woman was buying a number of zippers and ordering more things as I walked in. The cashier was friendly and straightforward – she explained how they put together their quilts and demonstrated the versatility of the fabrics they used for making useful yet lovely products.

There is also a great deal of Amish-made furniture in the back of the shop. Large bedroom sets, shelves, and other great-sized pieces of wooden furniture gleamed in the dim light of the back room. This being an Amish store, they use non-grid power for the lights and other appliances. You can sometimes hear the carpentry shop at work in the background, turning out another piece of good craftsmanship.

While this shop has carried a variety of goods in years past – wooden toys, coloring books, canned food items, painted lamps, etc. – what caught my eye this visit was the painted china clock. It was a square white plate carefully done with purple blossoms and green leaves. Hung above the cashier’s desk, it peacefully counted away the minutes while a small baby woke up in his bassinette behind the counter. The cashier picked him up and continued on with her work, unfazed. The baby seemed to like being where the action was, too.

If you’d like to experience a little bit of Amish culture, I highly recommend that you check out Katie’s Kountry Korner.  It’s so country, yet so near.

Louisa

About

Louisa is a lifelong Fort Wayne resident. A long-time musician and literature aficionado, Louisa likes to explore the classical music offerings that Fort Wayne has to offer. (She also likes to browse the Allen County Public Library's stacks for just the right book!)

See you in the country at the Grabill Country Fair!

My favorite season is coming…the changing from almost unbearable heat to warm days that turn into crisp cool, evenings…fall! And with fall come more fairs and festivals. I love the Grabill Country Fair! I love that it starts with the short, scenic drive from Fort Wayne and ends in a small town full of history, home-cooking and country charm.

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The homemade ice cream is a great treat that you’re sure to come back for.

The fair begins on Thursday, September 6th and continues through Saturday, September 8th. Activities at the fair appeal to kids and adults of all ages, from magic shows to musical performances and contests from pie and watermelon eating to cherry pit spitting! All of the contests and events are relevant to the bygone era. The parade through the streets of Grabill begins on the 8th at 10 a.m. and is surely not to be missed! Musical entertainment ends each evening with gospel, country and bluegrass performers.

Over one hundred merchant and craft tents are set up and feature children’s items, blown glass, dolls, quilts and crocheted items. There are also local Amish vendors showcasing their handmade wood pieces. Artisans bring their own twist to creating homemade items including chain saw carvings, T-shirt art and hand-drawn portraits.

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Handmade foods, crafts and music are staples of the Grabill Country Fair.

And let’s not forget about the food at the Fudergong! Each morning, the day begins with “Breakfast at the Fudergong” a Pancake and Sausage Gravy breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The Fudergong offers homemade beef and noodles and freshly made pies from the Grabill Inn on the 6th and 7th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. On the 8th, High’s BBQ chicken and more pies from the Grabill Inn, from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. I cannot wait to get some of that chicken! Don’t forget the many food vendors that offer homemade rolled pretzels, ribs and lemon shake-ups!

To make things easy, you can park at Leo High School and catch a shuttle into Grabill. For more on shuttle information, a list of daily activities and a map of the area, visit the Grabill Country Fair website here.

The fair’s slogan is, “Grab your family, meet up with old friends and enjoy a look back at a slower pace and a simpler time!” See you in the country!

Jamie

About

Jamie Dolsen is a lifelong resident of Fort Wayne. She is a graduate of North Side High School, where she met her husband, Jesse, and Ball State University, where she majored in Telecommunications. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and spoiling her Yorkie, Barkleigh. Her hobbies include music and writing. During the summer, you can find her on the sidelines of a ball diamond or poolside.

The Grabill Country Store: Breakfast, Lunch and Groceries

We all have special places where we love to take guests to entertain them and show them the unique features of our town. I love to have house guests, especially friends and family who have never visited Fort Wayne. One of my special spots to take visitors is the Grabill Country Store (the “Grabill Store”).

The Grabill Store is a community-owned bulk store in Grabill, Indiana, a small outpost in northeast Allen County. Grabill is a town of around a thousand people, including a significant population of Amish families.

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What is so special about the Grabill Store? A stop at the Store is a cultural experience. It is a place where horse and buggy meets four-door sedan and freshly made bread and ground peanut butter meet repackaged gummy worms and trail mix.  The centerpiece of the Grabill Store’s is the Amish bakery and deli. The bakery produces freshly baked bread. You will find perfect loaves of sourdough, wheat, raisin bread, and others. A personal favorite of mine are the trays of fresh donuts made daily and sold fast. You won’t just find glazed donuts either, you will see filled, iced, and flavored. Select a box or bag and take a pile home, you will not regret it.

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The Grabill Store Deli offers a hot buffet, deli meats, and cheeses. A perfect Saturday morning activity is breakfast at the Grabill Store. Get there early and have a cup of freshly ground coffee and enjoy a traditional country style breakfast of eggs, bacon, biscuits, gravy, and mush. Or grab a plate of the outstanding sourdough French toast – thick cuts of bread battered and sauteed before being finished off in the oven. It is sweet and fantastic. In case you are not an early riser, you can head to the deli buffet for a lunch of fried pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Then finish lunch off with a slice of freshly made pie for dessert. The buffet changes daily but these are some of my favorites.

Once you finish your meal be sure to cruise through the grocery offerings. You will find Amish-made fruit jams and spreads, pickled items, pasta, cooking supplies, and spices. The Grabill Store also offers a huge selection of repackaged items – nuts, dried fruit, and candy. Because the Grabill Store purchases these common items in bulk and repackages the items the shopper saves money. Who doesn’t love that? One more thing you will not want to miss at the Grabill Store is the homemade ice creams. Giant tubs of blackberry with nuts, banana, fudge, strawberry, and more await you in the freezer section.

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Dining and shopping at the Grabill Store is a pleasure. A visit gives the customer the opportunity to enjoy a good meal and great products. More importantly customers are supporting a truly local business while experiencing the local culture. The Grabill store is a reliable and wonderful place to shop regularly and a great local destination for your out-of-town visitors and guests who want to see all Allen County as to offer.

Where do you take visitors when they come to Fort Wayne?

About

Whitney is a Southern girl. She is an attorney by trade and an administrator by birth who works at a local college. Whitney spends her free time adventuring with her border collie Scout and blogging at It is pretty - https://coalfieldstocornfields.wordpress.com.

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1 Response to "The Grabill Country Store: Breakfast, Lunch and Groceries"

Kayleen
July 4th, 2012
These photos make my mouth water! What a fun daytrip for girlfriends or families! We'll check them out sometime this summer. Thanks for the info!

Schmucker’s Brings Freshness to Northeast Indiana

Schmucker’s Produce Farm brings new meaning to the words “fresh” and “local.”

Allen County’s northeast side is home to a religious group known as the Amish. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress and a reluctance to adopt to modern technology. Mostly farmers by trade, the Amish love to welcome visitors to their places of business.  And there are many Amish-run operations located just a few minutes outside of Fort Wayne limits.

 Schmuckers Brings Freshness to Northeast Indiana

Fresh produce is harvested daily.

Schmucker’s Produce Farm, 12815 Doty Road in New Haven, is a must-see for anyone who appreciates fresh, locally grown food. The grocery section offers a sundry of items, including grains, dried herbs, raw sugar, soup bases, seasonings, marinades, noodles, cereals, canned meats, beans, nuts, seeds, syrups, jams, apple butter, salsas, pickled eggs, candy, pop corn, and even soap! Many of these items are produced by the Schmucker family. (How cool is it to meet the person who actually made your snack on site?)  And there is also a small fresh cheese section and an impressive produce section. You can’t much fresher than this!

 Schmuckers Brings Freshness to Northeast Indiana

The selection at Schmucker's is as delicious as the taste.

In the spring and summer months, be sure to check out the greenhouse located on the property.  They typically have tomato, cucumber, zucchini, cantaloupe, strawberry, eggplant, pepper, okra, and assorted herbs, just to name a few, all ready to be planted in your garden or container.  Check out the beautiful flowers for planting, as well as pots of mixed plants and hanging baskets, are ready to add some color to your porch or patio.

Hours are April through October are Monday-Saturday 9 am to 5pm; closed on Sundays. Insider’s tip: many Amish businesses do not accept credit cards, so have plenty of cash on hand or a checkbook handy!

About

Lauren Caggiano was raised in Fort Wayne, and returned in 2007 upon graduation from the University of Dayton. The president of WriteOn LLC, she specializes in writing, marketing, and French translation. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, yoga and volunteering. In the summer you can catch her riding around downtown on her vintage green Schwinn. For more information, check out her website: www.lcagg.com.