Pennsylvania Dutch market opens in Hagerstown

January 04, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS


Just inside the newly opened Pennsylvania Dutch Market at Long Meadow Shopping Center is an ATM.

The modern banking convenience is in stark contrast to the shopping experience advertised as "a step back in time."

Eight merchants selling everything from fresh bread to handmade furniture are either Mennonite or Amish, said Rosemary Schinzel, who owns the market.

Elmer Riehl and his family, neighbors and friends drive two hours from Gap, Pa., to bake fresh bread and pies for Riehl's bakery inside the Pennsylvania Dutch Market.

Riehl called his wife the "best baker in the county," and customers seem to agree.

"The baked bread smell lures you in," said Jeannie Huntzberry, who browsed the market Thursday with her husband, David.

The Huntzberrys own Longmeadow Eyecare near the new market.

"We've been waiting for something to open up," Jeannie Huntzberry said. "We're happy to have other businesses join us."

Naomi Savage surveyed the array of fruit and custard pies, breads and cakes.


"It's good quality. That's what we look for," she said.

Riehl opened a deli section in the front of the store, where he sells pasta salads, pickled eggs, domestic and imported cheeses, and desserts.

A lot of the food he sells is made on the premises, but he brings in some from Lancaster, Pa. In time, he hopes that everything he sells will be made on site, Riehl said.

"I think we can meet some of the needs of local people," he said.

The store's limited hours - Thursday through Saturday - are Amish hours, said Nancy Boltz, a market spokesperson.

Riehl, a Mennonite, explained the hours.

"We put long days in. We need Monday to get ready for the week, Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare, and Sundays are closed. It's the Sabbath," Riehl said.

Bulk candy, nuts, honey, gourmet sweets and baking necessities are available in the front of the market.

"I just think they're great, especially the spices. These are good quality spices," Kathy Piotrowski said as she sniffed onion powder.

Fresh meat, including duck and pig's feet, is sold at the back of the market near the vegetable stand.

When they're in season, locally grown fruits and vegetables will be sold, Riehl said.

A barbecue stand offers babyback ribs and barbecued vegetables. Amish girls in traditional dress roll out pretzel dough and serve ice cream.

Customers eager to try their food may take a seat in a dining area in the middle of the market.

At the front of the market, Liz Hamilton sells items for the home. She likes the family atmosphere and quality of food, and called the Pennsylvania Dutch Market "destination shopping."

Schinzel owns a larger Pennsylvania Dutch Market in Cockeysville, Md.

She expanded operations to Hagerstown because she wanted to expand to the west and because of the "friendliness of the people," she said.

About 5,000 people are expected to stop in for the market's grand opening this weekend, Boltz said.

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