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.
A Cultural Experience at the Grabill Store
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 meet four-door sedans 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.
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.
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?
*This post was originally published June 2012 and has been updated and reformated.