Here at Lehman’s, we’ve always had a serious penchant for the unique. The hard-to-find. The off-the-beaten-path. The antique-ish. Our founder, Jay Lehman, has made a name for himself over the past 60 years as he chose, over and over again, to keep carrying all the “outdated” things other stores were giving up: oil lamps, wood stoves and wringer washers to name a few. Jay’s vision was to preserve the past for future generations.
That’s why we’re so happy to be able to bring you some very special products you will only find here. Some are things that would’ve died out altogether, but we bought the patterns to keep making them. Some are newer discoveries that hearken back to yesteryear, when things were made by hand, the slow way. Like anything truly unique, they all have a bit of a story.
Diamant Grain Mill. One of our passionate customers showed us this cast iron mill years ago, assuring us it was the finest one made anywhere in the world. That statement has been proven true over and over again. The Diamant has been made in Europe (first Denmark, now Poland) since 1920, and we have sold hundreds to satisfied customers. This heavyweight, workhorse of a mill grinds fast and fine (see it here), and can handle virtually anything – all grains, corn, beans, many spices, legumes, beans, nuts (except peanuts) and seeds – turning them into wonderfully fresh flour, cornmeal, coffee, sesame tahini, cereal or animal feed. We also carry a full line of replacement parts, ensuring this machine will keep grinding smoothly through multiple generations.
Lehman’s Stainless Steel Cider Press. Desiring to offer a high-quality, hygienic stainless press for serious cider makers, we finally decided to design our own. The idea came from Galen Lehman (CEO of Lehman’s and son of founder Jay Lehman), and our products development team did the design work and built the prototype. Now this amazing machine is made for us locally and assembled by Lehman’s two craftsman in our Kidron, Ohio shop. Fun facts: it takes about 34 apples to make one gallon of cider. This press can crank out up to 18 gallons in an hour (depending on what kind of apples you use). See it in action here.
Delicious, Convenient, Carefully Sourced Canned Meats. The story behind these is simply one word: preparedness. We wanted to offer good, quality pantry staples to customers interested in emergency preparedness, or prepping. We found it right here in Ohio. These meats and broths are minimally processed, contain no artificial ingredients, and are a fantastic value when purchased by the case. Whether it’s a natural or man-made disaster, or just a busy Wednesday night, you’ll never wonder about dinner again – your meat is ready to go.
Lehman’s Dazey Butter Churn. Long revered as the best churn design available, Lehman’s has brought the Dazey churn back after a long hiatus. Made since 1906, we’ve updated the time-proven design so only glass and stainless steel touch your cream. Plus, a better paddle design means the churning cycle (the time it takes for the cream to turn to butter) is up to 20% shorter than with the old Dazeys. Yes, that means your butter is ready sooner! Using one of these churns is so easy, you’ll wonder how you ever bought stick butter. Buy cream instead and enjoy fluffy, creamy, FRESH butter on that homemade bread!
Lehman’s Own Reading Apple Peeler. A real piece of the past – and still one of the fastest ways to peel apples! Amazingly, this peeler almost vanished into history – until we saved it. Lehman’s purchased the patterns for the Reading 78 and has continued manufacturing it in our workshop, making it one of the oldest designs still in production. Each one is carefully assembled using 44 precision steps, and thoroughly tested before it goes out the door to ensure the highest quality. A Lehman’s exclusive and customer favorite for years. See how fast it is here!
Lehman’s Own Old-Fashioned Froe. When our source for this hard-to-find, old-time tool dried up, we took matters into our own hands once again and started making our own. Today, our froe is is 100% Amish-crafted. The blade is made by an Amish metal shop, the handle by an Amish turning shop. The froe is then assembled by our Amish craftsman, in our store workshop. For making shingles, kindling and cutting other small pieces of wood, you just can’t beat a good froe.
Editor’s Note: First published in August 2016.