Travel: Shady Maple Farm Market, Lancaster County, PA

Shady Maple Farm Market sign

Look at this gold lettering on the welcome sign.  It is your first clue that the Shady Maple Farm Market stands out.
Look at this gold lettering on the welcome sign. It is your first clue that the Shady Maple Farm Market stands out. | Source

Shady Maple

If one lives near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, this name inevitably bubbles into conversations regarding authentic Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. The Shady Maple Smorgasbord always garners high recommendations. However, the good folks who brought the world the smorgasbord restaurant created an equally marvelous food market. If you are vacationing anywhere near, it is worth a visit to the restaurant and to the supermarket.

FARM, not Farmers, Market

The official name is Shady Maple FARM Market. If a vision of a farmers’ market with plain, gray concrete floors and multiple booths each with its own cash register pops into mind, please erase it. This is not a conglomeration of slightly competitive independent vendors selling slightly overlapping farm products. This is NOT a farmers’ market. Instead, it is a gorgeous wide-aisled uncommon supermarket in a building updated and expanded in 2010.

One of the Foyers of the Farm Market

A snack shop, vending machines, and other small sales areas line a 20 foot wide hall outside the supermarket.
A snack shop, vending machines, and other small sales areas line a 20 foot wide hall outside the supermarket. | Source

Super-Clean, Spacious, and Beautiful

Beauty in a food market? This never happened in my prior experiences with supermarkets. There are natural stone fountains bubbling on wall!

Peaceful Sound of Running Water

This is in a SUPERMARKET!  Can you believe it?  You could stand near it and meditate or say your prayers!
This is in a SUPERMARKET! Can you believe it? You could stand near it and meditate or say your prayers! | Source

Mennonite Fung Shui

All the fountains and maple leaves in floor tiles and décor remind me of unique ethnic décor of the first Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. Not only is that a casino, it is an art museum and educational space. The Shady Maple Farm Market is not an art museum, but it is much more aesthetically pleasing than any other supermarket I’ve visited. I do not want to use the term ”designer décor”, because that conjures up visions of wealthy, trendy, interior decorator baloney. This market is visually pleasing – containing fountains and a maple leaf theme in the flooring and throughout the walls. In one corner, one even finds a re-creation of the maple trees under which the family market started.

Not surprisingly, the Shady maple Farm Market is immaculately clean – which is a hallmark of Mennonite culture. Is this Mennonite Fung Shui? The owners have created a very wholesome atmosphere. Employees are scrubbed-face and ever so helpful and kind. Many of the women employees wear knee-covering dresses and white lace prayer caps.

Tree Lovers' Delight inside the Market

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Shady Maple Farm Market

A markerShady Maple Farm Market, in Lancaster County, PA -
Rte 23 & Rte 625, East Earl, PA 17519, USA
[get directions]

if you are anywhere near, it is an amazing place!

History of the Shady Maple Farm Market

Members of the Martin family sold produce during the summers at a stand in front of their home, coincidentally under the shade of mature maple trees. In 1970, a daughter of the original Martins built a 65 by 65 foot square block building (4225 sq ft) to sell produce and groceries. She( Miriam) and her husband, Marvin Weaver, continued the business. Each following year saw successes requiring additions and expansions. By bicentennial year 1976, the farm market included an in-store bakery and the entire facility covered 45,000 square feet with ten cash registers and 130 employees. In 2009 major renovations began in the complex culminating in a grand re-opening of this fantastic facility in Sept 2010. It looks it!

Departments and Features

Special Pennsylvania Dutch foods that are made and sold include whoopee pie, shoefly pie, chicken pot pie and scrapple. Departments include Bakery, Bulk Foods, Dairy Products, Deli, Meats and Smoked Meats, Seafood, Gourmet, Grocery, Frozen Foods, Party Trays, Produce, Soup and Salad, and Pharmacy. Also, there is a small cafe adjoining the market.

A Cafe at the Market

One can order Dutch fried potatoes, scrapple, and other goodies here.
One can order Dutch fried potatoes, scrapple, and other goodies here. | Source

The family lives by the motto: “Give the customer quality food and service and you will have a customer for life.” I will add that the prices are always reasonable, competitive and frequently the prices are an exceptional value ( lower than one expects.)

Additional kudos go to the Weavers for their commitment to green, earth-sustaining practices. They have installed solar photo-voltaic energy systems for their complex of market, smorgasbord, and shops. This renewable energy production reduces their carbon footprint.

From their website: “Ultimately, Marvin, Miriam, and their three married sons, Philip, Curtis, Linford, their wives and families (eleven grandchildren), give the Lord Jesus Christ the glory for any success that has been accomplished over the years.”

In keeping with their beliefs, everything at the Shady Maple complex is CLOSED ON SUNDAYS.

On-Line Shady Maple

Foods can be ordered on-line. The website is quite comprehensive:

http://farmmarket.shady-maple.com

717-354-4981


And, it is certainly worth stopping by the physical market for a hands-on experience!

Photos and text copyright 2012 Maren E. Morgan, all rights reserved.

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Comments 15 comments

Teri Helton profile image

Teri Helton 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Though I have visited Pennsylvania many times, I never had the opportunity to visit this market. Your hub made me feel as though I were there. Thanks for a great little 'visit'.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America

Looks like a squeaky clean place with good products and friendly people, not to mention the wonderful tree and fountain. I'll be sure to visit next time I'm in that part of PA.Rated Up and many more.


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

@ Teri Helton, This is located out in the farmlands near the border of Lancaster and Berks Counties. I am glad you enjoyed your visit.

@ Patty Inglish, if you are in this part of PA I would love to greet you!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America

That would be a lot of fun!


KStro18 profile image

KStro18 4 years ago from PA

This is definitely a great place to go. We live nearby and love the smorgasbord! Great hub!


everythingdazzles profile image

everythingdazzles 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

Oh wow I remember going here. I live in southwestern, pa but my family stopped here on a trip once. Good memories. Great hub.


susannah42 profile image

susannah42 4 years ago from Florida

Very well written hub, makes me want to visit this market.


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 4 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

Maren, I'm in Hershey and, I don't know if he's ever visited the market, but my son and his friends enjoy the restaurant from time to time.


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

@ Patty - allright, it's a date.

@ KStro, everything dazzles and MickeySr - the Shady Maple restaurant certainly has a wide-reaching reputation.

@ susannah - with gasoline prices being what they are, if you live far away, it may not be cost effective. however, if you can combine this trip with visits to other destinations - I highly recommend it. Bring a cooler.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This looks like a lovely place to shop, Maren Morgan. I love the names of the foods, even though I don't known what they are - whoopee and shoefly pies sound intriguing, and so does scrapple! Thank you for the link to the online store - I'm going to have fun exploring the website!


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

AliciaC, the foods mentioned are high fat, low fiber fuel for farmers. Not what we would regard today as healthy. But some people think of them as comfort foods.


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 4 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

AliciaC & Maren - I moved to this area from San Francisco when I was 10, I'm now 57 and there are 2 regional things I can't really get used to (at one time it was 3, but I don't notice the accent so much anymore); the weather and the food. Whoopee pies, shoefly pies, soft pretzels (with mustard), chicken corn soup, chicken pot pie, Lebanon baloney, and scrapple, etc, still give me pause.

When we moved into the small community (just next to Hershey) where we live now, the restaurant as you enter the town had on there sign "old-timer's special - mush & pudding" . . . I don't know what the 'mush' was but I've lived here long enough to know the 'pudding' wasn't close to what I understand to be pudding.


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Ah, MickeySr, I hear you. I've always lived in PA and Ohio, but I have a brother who has been in the Oakland, CA area for 30 years. He loves the steady weather there - and no "snow cancellations." I also share many of your feelings about PA Dutch food. I guess I'll need to write a hub about it to explain to the others. !


businessesforsale profile image

businessesforsale 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Looks awesome. Great hub!


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

businesssesforsale, thanks!

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