Fresh rolled butter. Peach fritters the size of softballs. Peanuts ground into cappuccino peanut butter. Salads made from generations-old Amish recipes. The aroma of hickory smoked ribs and chicken. It’s no wonder that Yoder’s Country Market in Centreville, Michigan, has had to expand three times in its ten-year existence—and the market is bursting at the seams again.
Skip and I had the pleasure of touring the Yoder Country Market with Faithann, the market’s decorator and manager of kitchen utensils and other non-food goods. Faithann is related to the owners, Jon and Brenda Yoder, as are several other staff members. The store employs about thirty, mostly from the local Amish and Mennonite communities.
The parking lot, like most businesses in the area, has a hitching post for Amish buggies.
Shopping carts are smaller than usual, a perfect size for navigating through the store.
We toured the kitchen, quieter on Saturday than on weekdays. Because the market is closed on Sunday, they let their inventory deplete on Saturday. I can imagine how bustling the kitchen is Monday through Friday, judging by the giant appliances and all of the foods they prepare in-house.
Baked goods and salads are all made here, as are the hickory smoked ribs, chicken and hamburgers.
The deli counter includes salads, a full buy-it-by-the-pound salad bar, hot soups, cheeses, lunchmeats and hot meats.
Meats and cheeses are mostly imported from Pennsylvania. One unusual lunchmeat they offer is Lebanese bologna. It comes in a regular version and sweet, and both are delicious. I’d say the sweet tastes like a cross between mild salami and honey ham. If you’d like to sample something before you buy, just ask.
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Indoor seating is available if you’d like to stay and eat your meal. In the summer, plenty of outdoors seating is available, as well. Many of the deli goods are available in pre-packaged carry-out containers or blister packs, including the smoked meats and fresh-made cheesecake desserts.
It’s nearly impossible to resist bakery goods. We tasted the sweet glazed buttermilk donuts, but they were already out of the bacon long johns. Huge fritters are made with a different fruit each day. The fruit du jour on our visit was peach.
Pies are made fresh in the bakery, too. I like that besides the regular full size pie, they also sell a smaller six-inch size, perfect for one or two people. We picked up a raspberry cream pie—yum!
Yoder’s also sells many locally grown, raised and made products, including meat, salsa, popcorn, eggs, butter, preserves and honey. Since owner Jon knows many of the suppliers personally, he knows he’s getting quality products.
They make their own fresh, natural peanut butter, available plain or in flavors like chocolate, hazelnut and cappuccino.
Other items they purchase in bulk and repackage, like snack foods, candy, flour and herbs. I picked up some crystalized ginger at a price much lower than you can find at most specialty stores. If the packaging is more than you can use, they are happy to repackage a smaller size for you.
Steel–cut oats couldn’t get much fresher than you cutting them yourself with the machine that works the same way as a coffee grinder.
Yoder’s sells several locally made non-food items, as well, including aprons (modeled by Faithann below), hand-woven table runners, books and cookbooks compiled by area churches. Faithann said that some of the salads they prepare in the deli are from the recipes in these books.
It’s not surprising that Yoder’s is known as a destination market. I’m sure I’ll be detouring to the market whenever I’m anywhere nearby or even making a special trip there.
Yoder’s Country Market is located at 375 Eleanor Drive in Centreville in southwest Michigan near the Indiana state line. Check the web site for a map. Hours are Monday to Friday,7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Disclosure: Our visit to Yoder’s Country Market was hosted by the River Country Tourism Council of Greater St. Joseph County and Yoder’s Country Market. However, any opinions expressed in this post are my own. Photos by Skip Reed.
Other articles that may interest you:
Grabill Indiana: Authentically Amish
Shop the South Bend Farmers Market Year Round
Tour the South Bend Chocolate Company Factory
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