When David Shaum moved to the Roann area more than two decades ago, he felt the area could use a store like Squirrel Creek Bulk Foods. He followed through with his idea, and this year will mark the 22nd year that the endeavor has been in operation. Throughout its successful years serving the community, the building has undergone several additions as the business has grown.
“We have a cousin that has a little store like this up in Michigan,” says Shaum’s daughter, Delynn Shaum. “That’s what gave my father the idea. When my father moved here, he built the store building. It has done well and we have regular customers, but we get new customers every day. Over the years we have built on three or four times when we needed extra storage or retail space.”
The Shaum family feels that the deli within the store is a big factor in making the business successful. Meat and cheese products are sourced from Walnut Creek brand, which is based in Ohio. Besides the usual meats offered, products such as hard-to-find Lebanon bologna, both savory and sweet, are offered.
“The deli products are high quality, sold at affordable prices,” Shaum says. “If you are from Pennsylvania, you will know about Lebanon bologna. We make sandwiches to order. Our most popular is the Squirrel Creek Sub. It’s on a homemade sub bun with ham, turkey, salami and provolone cheese. Customers can pick whatever condiment they like, but most pick mayonnaise.”
Squirrel Creek Bulk Foods has options that make entertaining easier. Customers can order meat, cheese and sandwich trays for special celebrations such as graduation parties. All the baked goods are homemade and there are plenty of pies, cakes, breads and cookies to choose from. Crystal Springs Creamery milk, which comes regular and in flavors like mint, root beer and orange cream, is the perfect beverage to drink with the sweet treats.
“Out of all the cookies we carry, our buttermilk cookie is our top seller,” Shaum says. “Although there is not a place to eat inside, there are a few tables outside. We have seven different homemade breads including honey wheat. Our packaging is totally different from usual stores. Because we get things in bulk, we repackage everything. There are many varieties of products people can choose from. For instance, we have many different flours including choices like buckwheat.”
Flour is only the beginning of all the goods in the store. More than 90 types of spices, along with popcorn seasoning in flavors like buffalo and red-hot cinnamon, are available. Large assortments of pasta, candy, popcorn, grains, candies, and supplies for cake decoration are found on the store’s shelves. Customers eagerly await seasonal produce such as locally harvested peaches, muskmelons and watermelons.
Patrons can purchase an amazing diversity of products. For those who buy fruits and vegetables by the bushel, canning equipment is for sale. If a present is needed, local handmade items, utensil sets and even puzzles make great gifts.
David Shaum’s idea turned out to be a good one. The store draws people from the surrounding area and beyond. The Shaum family looks forward to serving its customers for many years to come.
Squirrel Creek Bulk Foods is located at 13653 North 500 East in Roann. For more info, call 574-893-1942 or visit squirrelcreekfoods.com.