Two of my favorite back roads stores to visit in Lancaster County are Country Housewares Store near New Holland and Miller’s Natural Foods in Bird-in-Hand. Both are Amish owned and operated.
I’ve been visiting Miller’s Natural Foods since the early 1980s. My uncle frequently bought antiques from a man named Eli Miller on Miller Lane in Bird-in-Hand and would bring them home to NC. So, we started visiting Eli’s antique shop that he ran out of a building on his farm. His son, Christ, had opened a health food store on the property in 1968 and had since built a store beside Eli’s place. He sold all types of vitamins, supplements, medicinals and herbals, and organic foods. The first time I ever heard of organic and natural foods was when shopping at Miller’s. One time I had a bad strep throat while visiting PA and my Amish friends suggested I pick up something called tincture at Miller’s. I did and it really helped ease the pain until I got home and could get some antibiotics. I actually still have that bottle.
As word spread, Miller’s became a local favorite, so Christ built a new, larger, solar-powered store across from the old one. This store opened in 2006 and is a really nice facility. He stocks products such as Annie’s, JASON, Ezekiel 4:9; Nature’s Gate, Burt’s Bees, Maranatha, Tom’s of Maine, etc. To me, the store is a Plain version of Whole Foods. The store frequently hosts health screenings, seminars, and information sessions on topics such as eating healthy, special diets, and holisitic medicines.
The irony of this story is that the Amish family that I am close friends with are first cousins of Christ’s and live on the same lane. We met them while they were visiting NC and started visiting them after we had already been going out to Miller’s Natural Foods. My friend Leroy owns and operates Life Enhancing Acres on the same lane, so if you visit Miller’s Natural Foods, you might stop in and take a look at Life Enhancing Acres’ produce, meats, and dairy products.
Miller’s Natural Foods
2888 Miller Lane
Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505
Hours: M-Th: 7-5 pm; Sat: 7-4 pm. Closed Sundays.
I began visiting Country Housewares Store in the early 2000s, when my friend Linda had us drive her over to pick up some items. Country Housewares is basically a large, Amish owned general store, though it’s almost like an Amish department store. Its lighting is similar to Miller’s Natural Foods. They stock clothing, dinnerware, fine china, kitchen utensils, books and school supplies, toys, silverware and silver sets, a nice display of harmonicas, clocks, gas lamps, pretty much anything you can think of. The store was started in 1980, at a different location, by Reuben Beiler. In the early 21st century the Beilers built the current store. Definitely stop in if you are taking a back country tour of the County and you happen upon it.
589 Musser School Rd
Leola, PA 17540