Westtown Amish Market Opens at Last—Was It Worth the Wait?

Amish Market Exterior

After months of speculation, rumors and posted signs, the Westtown Amish Market finally opened its doors just a week prior to the New Year holiday. Situated in a former ACME building in the Westtown Village Shopping Center at routes 202 and 926, this Pennsylvania Dutch food lovers’ paradise was, in fact, well worth the wait.

Build it and they will come. In droves. I visited no less than four times during the opening week (more about why so many times later), and every time I entered the place it was packed. Folks with armloads of farm fresh meat, hot rotisserie chickens and ready-to-bake crab cakes were making their way out to the overstuffed parking lot and eventually to homes throughout the area.

Amish Market Soft Pretzel Stand

Amos Stoltzfus, the Lancaster County farmer who built and oversees the entire business, shared modestly, “We’re glad we designed the aisles wider than originally planned because of the crowds, but we can always hope for more traffic. Everyone seems excited that we’re part of the neighborhood.” Stoltzfus also manages other successful farm markets in Princeton and Mullica Hill, New Jersey, as well as in Annapolis, Maryland.

Aiming to get a literal taste of the place, I opted for farm fresh eggs, potatoes, toast and crispy scrapple for breakfast (for a reasonable $6.99) from the sit-down counter of the H&L Grill, located just inside the entrance. As I finished my coffee, I observed the throngs of locals circulating while I attempted to pinpoint a demographic. Who patronizes this type of farm market environment?

Apples, Westtown Amish Market

Young families with strollers, middle-aged couples perusing produce and pies, senior citizens, grandparents and even small groups of teens were out to see what the excitement was all about. The space is large with tall ceilings, while well-constructed light-colored wood tones throughout give it that farm-stand look with a focus on simplicity. Most of the workers wear traditional Amish garb, which provides that definitive Lancaster County ambience.

Shopper Ellen Rulon, with her daughters and grandsons in tow from West Chester’s Chatwood neighborhood, pointed out, “It’s definitely an enjoyable experience. It’s like a year-round harvest time here with the farm fresh eggs, meats, vegetables and fruit.” Daughter Tara mirrored, “This is such an awesome new market in a perfect spot in the county. I could spend all day here. And everyone who works here is so knowledgable and pleasant.” “When you first walk through the doors the tantalizing aromas intrigue your senses. This market is a wonderful addition to our town!” summed up daughter Holly.

Just under 25,000 square feet of space will now be home to a plethora of welcome businesses, including Old Barn Candies and Bulk Foods (where I ended up purchasing five dozen chocolate-covered strawberries over my four-visit period for various holiday events I was attending), Stoltzfus Fresh and BBQ Poultry (I took advantage of a sizable wing selection and take-out dinners), Sugartown Smoked Specialties (packaged fish, fowl and game) and Dutch Family Fresh Meats (I purchased bread and herb stuffed pork chops to bake at home that were exceptional).

Westtown Amish Market Pork Chop

Other worthwhile booths to check out are Capt’n Chucky’s Crab Cake Co. (serious quality crab), Hand Rolled Pretzels, Fishers Salads (includes eat-in salad and smoothie bars) and Emma’s Healthy Choices (chock-full of herbal and oil remedies, salts, teas and soaps).

Westtown Amish Shop, Health Products

King’s Market rolls out the fresh produce (with some of the cleanest brussels sprouts I’ve purchased in a while), Stoltzfus Cheese and Deli has all your cheese needs (I came home with an earthy bleu and a raw milk cheddar that both were smooth and savory) and of course a baked goods market stacks sticky buns, gourmet donuts, pies, cakes and can’t-live-without Pennsylvania Dutch whoopie pies.

westtown amish market donuts

A full-on selection of new well-built Amish furniture for sale rests in the left side of the market with a pet goodie section and craft shop. A beautifully appointed Paradocx Winery kiosk completes this farm market tour de force.

Paradocx Tasting Room, Westtown Amish Market

This is a food shopping experience the area has certainly been hungering for, so don’t just sit there. Get up and experience this taste of Americana right at our county’s doorstep. Be prepared to browse, shop and sample some great food. And stop by to say hello to Rose at the chocolate-covered strawberry counter (ask about chocolate-covered bacon!).

Hours of operation are as follows: Thursday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.–8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Shopping carts and restrooms are readily available.

Find the Westtown Amish Market at 1177 Wilmington Pike in West Chester; phone: (610) 492-5700.

  • Photography: Ed Williams