Lehman’s Variety Store

Lehman’s Variety Store – LaGrange

Variety Indeed

Lehman’s Variety Store Turns 25

Writer / Lois Tomaszewski
Photography Provided

For almost a quarter of a century, Lehman’s Variety Store has ensured that friends and neighbors have access to necessities and more. A celebration is planned in June to thank customers for their support through the years.

The expansive store has a little bit of everything, from toys and household items to clothes, home decor and shoes. It lives up to its niche as a variety store and provides the community with a convenient location to shop.

In 1997 Richard Lehman purchased the inventory of a store owned by a family member and moved it into an expansive new building at his home. One could say that Lehman has been involved with the business throughout his life – in fact, he says, he grew up in it. The original Lehman’s business was a harness shop established by his father near LaGrange.

Lehman’s Variety Store

Through the years the business grew from the harness shop to a variety store. When Lehman had the opportunity to purchase the business, he did so and never looked back on his job in a local recreational vehicle factory.

“I always enjoyed this,” he recalls. 

The store expanded in 2006, adding 3,000 square feet of warehouse space to the store. More space in the warehouse means more space to stock items customers want. During the summer harvest season, that means stocking the store with jars, lids and other canning supplies.

The store houses an extensive shoe department, with children through adult sizes. Popular shoe brands include Red Wing, Wolverine, SAS and Lowa. Lehman calls it a “family shoe store,” which describes the wide selection of styles and sizes. Shoes have always been popular with the customers, as are housewares and gifts.

Lehman’s Variety Store

Many of the items that fill the shelves and aisles of the store came about at the suggestions of customers. When a customer requests something, Lehman and his staff, which includes his son Loren, try to accommodate the request. It isn’t always easy but they do their best, he says.

In addition to Loren, Lehman’s wife Elva also lends a hand. The couple has been married for 13 years.

“I like the bookwork,” Elva says. “I really enjoy it.”

The majority of the store’s customer base comes from the local Amish community. At times tourists find their way to the store, including a group of Amish folks from southern Indiana who visited the store in early March. Stopping in at local stores is something that Lehman can relate to. He does the same thing when he visits other areas.

“We have a lot of people stop in,” he says.

Like other businesses, Lehman’s was impacted from the COVID-19 quarantines and supply-chain issues. At first customers were disappointed to not be able to get the brands they wanted. Then they adapted and asked for substitutions. 

Lehman’s offers much more than just items for purchase. The store’s location is convenient, fair pricing is the norm, and they are responsive to customer needs.

“We try to be a complete store for our community,” he says.

Lehman’s Variety Store

To thank the community for their support, Lehman’s will mark 25 years in business at their location on 350 South with a three-day sale, from June 21 to 23. Customers will receive a 10% discount. Door prizes will be given away. Lehman is planning other extras to show his appreciation.

“Without our customers we wouldn’t be in business,” he says. “We want to thank our customers for shopping here. We appreciate what the community has done for us, and we appreciate the opportunity to support and to be of service to the community.”

In the future there will be an added element to make the shopping experience more enjoyable. Lehman, who has been a model-railroad hobbyist for years, is making plans to suspend one of his trains on a rail to run through the shop. 

“I’ve loved trains all my life and want to share them,” he says.

Lehman’s Variety Store is located at 2825 West 350 South in LaGrange. For more information, call 260-463-7469 or visit facebook.com/lehmansvariety.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.

Send me your media kit!

hbspt.forms.create({ portalId: "6486003", formId: "5ee2abaf-81d9-48a9-a10d-de06becaa6db" });