Stauffer’s country store is the “newest “Mennonite business on Ohio State Route 41 near Bainbridge. This is an area I’ve been to fairly frequently but I’ve had never noticed Stauffer's before. I was pleasantly surprised to "discover" the store, so I pulled into the parking lot and headed inside.
I asked the Mennonite woman who runs it whether the store was new, she hesitated... laughed and shook her head and said no. I asked her how long she had been there.... She stopped and thought for a few minutes and said that her stores had been there since 2012, so that’s almost 10 years. I know I have been to the Mennonite settlement on State Route 41 since 2012 and I did not remember seeing this place. But then it occurred to me that store is a good three miles south of the main cluster of Mennonite business is on 41, so now I’m thinking that maybe when I visited this Mennonite settlement last I just didn’t drive far enough south on 41. That’s possible.
So, if you’re visiting the Mennonite community outside of Bainbridge Ohio on Route 41, don’t forget to visit this gem of a business.
Stauffer‘s country store is very much in the vein of your typical Amish or Mennonite “surplus store," with a few added touches. I’ve been to some of these “bent and dent "stores and some are very no-frills. That’s all it is is bent and dent and you go in and get your boxes of crackers and leave. This store has a bent and dent component, but they also have a section of “soft goods", canning jars, and even a little deli type section in the back that sells a small amount of meats and, perhaps the best reason to stop by: homemade ice cream.
It was a cold day in winter when I stopped by, so I have a feeling they didn’t have too many ice cream customers on that day… But at only a dollar a scoop I couldn’t resist… She had vanilla and black raspberry on the menu, so I selected black raspberry and, wow, it was just amazing… She warned me that the ice cream was a little soft, and it was, but to me that just made it better...it went down sweet, smooth, and just out-of-this-world delicious.
So, if you’re in the Bainbridge Ohio area, it’s worth checking out the store, and it’s definitely worth having a scoop, or two, of their homemade ice cream. And if they have black raspberry on the menu, I highly recommend it. Let me take you a little photo tour:
There were some boxes of Cinnamon Oat Cheerios on the shelves of Stauffer's Country Store. They looked intriguing and her only about $2, but the expiration date was approaching. I am sure they would have still been fine, but I passed over them.
The store has a large fabric selection.
If I had seen some cases of Coke for a good price, I would have grabbed some.
More fabric, threads, and sewing sundries.
Plenty of pre-made clothing that would appeal to the growing Old Order Mennonite community around the store.
And there it was: the sign for homemade ice cream!
This was some of the best ice cream I've ever had, it just tasted so pure and refreshing, not packed with preservatives or whatever else the store-bought kind has in it.
The owners of the store live in a house behind it.
This is the exterior of Stauffer's County Store.
Stauffer is, by the way, a very common surname among the Old Mennonites here. In fact, the informal name of their order is the "Stauffer Mennonites."