The weather forecast called for overcast skies with intermittent rain showers. We figured today would be a good day to do our marketing. I took advantage of the opportunity to take Don into Nappanee to visit the new Amish bakery & market I had discovered last Thursday. So into the truck the 3 of us piled for an hours’ drive southwest of the campground through bucolic countryside & quaint small towns.
First stop on our travels, Coppes Commons. The Coppes building has been around longer than the town of Nappanee has. Nappanee was platted in 1874 & the sawmill portion of the Coppes building opened in 1873. The original building was later enlarged to include lumber, milling & furniture construction. Nowadays it houses several shops, a bakery, lunch counter, ice cream parlor, market & deli, as well as a craft area where local Amish made goods are on display for purchase. If you’re lucky, sometimes you may even see crafters in action. Today there was a woman sitting at a huge old-fashioned loom weaving an area rug.
Our first stop was the Amish market where we stocked up on prepackaged soup, pancake & rice mixes, homemade pasta & pretzels, spiced pecans, & a jar of black strap molasses. Next stop, the bakery, Don’s favorite place to browse & shop. Couldn’t believe he passed up the whoopie pies but indeed he did. This time he chose cookies. Peanut butter ones with buckeyes in the center & old-fashioned molasses ones as well.
It was noon by then so we stopped at the lunch counter to eat. We both ordered club sandwiches. Don ordered a whole on fresh-baked Italian bread with local made American cheese. I had a half on fresh-baked wheat with provolone. It came with homemade from scratch soup. Don had the chicken noodle & I had the cream of broccoli. It also included a drink, potato salad & fresh-baked cookies. Delicious! No wonder our pants are getting snug. We decided to top it off with what else but Rocket Science ice cream. YUM, MY FAVORITE!
This was Don & Tucker’s first taste of Rocket Science ice cream. Don was as fascinated watching the ice cream making process as I was the first time I’d seen it being made. (I did ask the proprietor for permission to take photos as it is impolite to photograph the Amish. I assured them I would not photograph their faces & they happily granted me permission.) I once again ordered the Malted Chocolate Malt Balls flavor, Don had the Peanut Butter Crunch, while Tucker ordered his usual, Vanilla. Don declared it to be excellent & Tucker gave his choice 2 paws up. (Of course to be honest here, Tucker gives all ice cream 2 paws up.)
Next stop, Wakarusa for a stop at The Wakarusa Dime Store. “The store has roots in the Wolfberg Department Store. Established in 1907 by Mose Wolfberg. Mose would travel much of Elkhart County with a pack on his back, selling his wares from farm to farm previous to establishing the Wolfberg Dept. Store. Soon, Wolfberg added a variety store which today is the Wakarusa Dime Store. In the late 1960’s in an effort to establish a candy for the newly created Maple Syrup Festival, Wolfberg’s son, Louie, came upon the idea of Jumbo Jelly Beans. Selling 100 pounds at the 1st festival. The Wakarusa Dime Store today sells over 75 tons.”
We discovered this little gem a couple of years ago & it quickly became a favorite place to shop. Not only did I count 32 different flavors of jelly beans, there is just as many, if not more, flavors of salt water taffy. There are several varieties of handmade fudge & chocolates. There is packaged candies from past decades. I seriously do believe they carry every type of candy ever conceived. There’s even an old Coke dispenser with a wide selection of old-fashioned soda pop. I’d love to bring all the grandkids here to see their eyes bulge right out of their sockets. I’d fill ’em up on sweets, then promptly send them home. HaHa.
We made our selections. I picked out bags of salt water taffy & several kinds of old-fashioned licorice for my father, his favorites, & a bag of assorted spiced jelly beans for me. Don chose the huge chocolate malt balls. They come in milk & dark chocolates. Then we literally rolled out the door.
We’ve got our snacks ready. Bring on the Detroit Tiger game.
Here’s lookin’ at you kid……………………………….