Variety and Quality Abound at Pumpkin Patch Market
Photographer / Timothy Hare
Marlin Martin, the owner of Pumpkin Patch Market in Middlebury, is dedicated to helping his customers find the best possible furniture to make their homes comfortable and beautiful.
Pumpkin Patch Market was started in the early 1990s by Glen Miller, a local Amish man. At first it wasn’t a furniture store, but rather a vegetable stand along U.S. Highway 20.
“Basically, he pushed a wheelbarrow up by the road and said, ‘Watermelons for sale,’” Martin says.
It was such a success that Miller decided to sell more produce, as well as treated lawn furniture, out of a small barn on his property the following summer. Within a few years Miller had expanded his business again to include indoor furniture. Eventually, furniture became Pumpkin Patch Market’s main product.
Fast forward to 2016. Martin, a native of Liberty, Kentucky, met and married the love of his life and moved to northern Indiana to be closer to her family. Almost immediately after marrying, he bought Hostetler’s Lawn Furniture in Bourbon. By 2019, the business structure began to change.
“I had a sales guy in there that was doing a really good job,” Martin says. “I let him have all the responsibility just to see how he would handle it. He did a great job.”
As Martin slowly relinquished more and more responsibility to his salesman, he started dealing with a problem.
“Boredom,” Martin says with a chuckle. “By summer of 2019 I was bored and looking around to see how I could expand my business.”
Within a few months, his brother-in-law had a solution for Martin’s problem.
“He called me and said, ‘Hey, the Pumpkin Patch is for sale,’” Martin says. “That’s how it happened. A week later I had an interview with one of the owners.”
The first time Martin set foot in the store was the day of the interview.
“I had met the previous owner at a home show once, I believe,” Martin says. “I had taken a friend of mine and he knew Glen, so we stopped and talked to him.”
Within two months of the interview, Martin was in possession of the business.
“We continue to sell a full line of hardwood furniture,” he says. “Nearly all of our builders are Amish, mostly from Middlebury and Shipshewana. We do get a few pieces out of Ohio, like Holmes County and the Millersburg area.”
Pumpkin Patch Market sells furniture for almost any area of a house, with the exception of kitchen items.
“We just don’t feel like we’re ready for that,” Martin says. “With everything we sell, we want to do well then move on to something else.”
They sell outdoor furniture as well. All of the poly deck furniture is hand-built by 11 vendors, seven of which are local.
“We also sell gazebos, pavilions and pergolas,” Martin says. “Those are out of Pennsylvania.”
The sheds they offer are available in 24 different styles, and are built by local Amish craftsmen.
“If you’re looking for a shed that stands out in a crowd, you’ll find it here,” Martin says. “We’re able to customize each building to the customer’s needs.”
The company offers outdoor play sets as well. These include anything from a simple swing set to large, custom-made playgrounds. Customers can design the exact play set they want on Pumpkin Patch Market’s online swing set designer tool, which is accessible on their official website.
“We specialize in customization,” Martin says. “It all goes back to customer satisfaction. We’re there for the customers.”
Martin believes Pumpkin Patch Market would not be what it is today without his sales team, comprised of Micah Lehman and husband-wife team Ken and Lucy Hochstedler.
“They do a phenomenal job,” Martin says. “They are the ones who make it happen. My job is to give them what they need to do their job well.”
The team’s goal is to give customers the absolute best product possible.
“When you talk about Amish furniture, you think quality – you think of hardwood,” Martin says. “It’s something that’s going to cost more, but you’re going to use it forever and ever. You can buy similar products to those that we offer somewhere else at a lower price, but they’re not the same quality. Our goal is to offer only the highest-quality products in each category – indoor furniture, play sets, poly furniture and outdoor structures.”
The company sells a wide variety of products from plain to fancy, and their table styles span an immense range. Some are made in modern styles, while others have a traditional Amish look – plain, solid and large. Whatever the style, all the products are built to last.
“A lot of our stuff is really heavy because it’s hardwood and it’s thick,” Martin explains.
They deliver within a three-and-a-half-hour radius, and ship across the nation.
“If someone buys [a product] off the lot or a shop order, we do our own delivery,” Martin says. “As far as indoor furniture, there are a lot of customers who will pick up their own, but we do a lot of deliveries.”
Martin is passionate about his business and his customers, which makes going to work every day a pleasure.
“I enjoy a challenge, which is what led us to buy the Pumpkin Patch Market,” he says. “I enjoy owning a business. I enjoy meeting new people. I often say, ‘When you love your job, you don’t have to work a day in your life.’ That’s what this has been.”
Pumpkin Patch Market is located at 10532 U.S. Highway 20 in Middlebury. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Check them out online at pumpkinpatchmarket.com, or call to speak to a staff member at 574-825-3312.