Local Items Abound at Dutch Country Market

Photography Provided

There aren’t many shops that produce, package and sell products onsite anymore, but Dutch Country Market is an exception.

The quaint Middlebury market specializes in homemade and locally-sourced products. Norman Lehman, his wife Katie, and their six children have all had a part in making the store what it is today. For 15 years, Dutch Country Market has provided the community with unique eats, gifts and treats.

“We have been extremely blessed to have this opportunity to serve both the locals and tourists with quality, unique food and gift items from the community,” Owner Norman Lehman says.

The towns that make up Elkhart and LaGrange counties are where the majority of the store’s products come from. However, Katie’s Homemade Noodles, Katie’s peanut butter spread and Dutch Country Honey are all made onsite at the store, and are offered as retail or wholesale items.

Fresh-baked cinnamon rolls, homemade breads, cookies and pastry delights greet customers as they enter the market. Colorful jars of spices, vinaigrettes, dressings and marinades line the shelves and provide a sure-fire way to enhance any recipe. Customers rave about Pappy’s Grilling Spray, a distinctive spray that can be used on both veggies and meat during grilling.

A variety of candy, nuts, fudge, bridge mixes and peanut butter spreads are available to soothe the sweet tooth, and locally-made salsas and jams in every flavor imaginable will broaden flavor palates for months.

Crystal Springs Creamery provides an abundance of plain and flavored milk, yogurt, cheese curds and heavy cream. Locally-sourced summer sausage, brown eggs, Walnut Creek cheeses and roll butter can also be found in the coolers.

Katie’s Homemade Noodles are a standout product at Dutch Country Market. Customers love the all-natural, award-winning noodles. They contain no preservatives and come in a variety of cuts.

Made in the market for everyone to see, customers can watch the noodle-making process from start to finish from behind a glass wall. A large mixer combines the ingredients to create the dough, which is then kneaded by hand and placed in a pasta-rolling machine that flattens it into thin sheets. From there, the dough is placed on racks. It is then cut to size, dried and packaged for purchase.

Customers can buy ready-made noodle dinners that include Katie’s Homemade Noodles, packaged broth, a soup base, and a protein choice of either chicken, beef or turkey, as well as a recipe and instructions.

Another unique feature at Dutch Country Market is its honey. It’s not just the selection of flavors or the wide variety of honey products, which includes raw, unfiltered, never-been-heated honey, spun honey, bee pollen, and tapered candles made from 100% pure bee wax. It’s also the experience.

Dutch Country Market is home to a beehive that resides in the shop. Customers can have a honey of an experience while getting educated about bees and honey production as they watch it all take place through a glass-enclosed beehive. The bees can come and go as they please through an enclosed exit that leads outside. The pollinators travel to and fro, and can even be seen making a stop at the petunia and begonia quilt garden that welcomes customers as they enter the parking lot. The garden is in bloom from June 1 through September 15, and is part of the Elkhart County Quilt Garden Tour.  

The market is also home to a selection of inspirational signs, home decor, woven rugs, travel bags and wood crafts. Customers will find locally-crafted wooden cutting boards, trivets and lazy Susan tabletop organizers for any kitchen.

Dutch Country Market provides a one-of-a-kind shopping experience with local food products, seasonal produce, gifts and more. The market is located at 11351 County Road 16 in Middlebury. Hours of operation are Mon. through Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sat. 8:30 a.m. 5 p.m. For more information, call 574-825-3594 and visit facebook.com/DutchCountryMarketIN.

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