Making Amish Wall Mops is a Family Affair

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High on a hill north of the center of Ohio’s Amish country sits a typical Amish home. White, clapboard siding, manicured yard, flower and vegetable gardens, and neatly organized outbuildings, black buggies parked all in a row. A brown mare munches in the lush pasture. Continue reading

The Warmest Blanket In My House

buggy robe me and MG

Everyone who works with me here at Lehman’s knows that my absolute, hands-down favorite thing we sell is the Amish Buggy Robe. They’ve heard me sing its praises, rave over it and talk it up for a long, long time. They are all very much aware that I. LOVE. MY. BUGGY. ROBE. Continue reading

From Amish Country, With Love: Handmade Chocolates for Your Valentine

chocolate sea salt caramels

I won’t beat around the bush: when it comes to Valentine’s Day, it just has to be chocolate. Am I right? Even the most painstakingly chosen gift adorned in fancy trimmings isn’t nearly as sweet without some chocolate-y goodness to go with it. And we’re all in luck this year, because Lehman’s is offering some of the choicest chocolates made in Ohio’s Amish Country, delivered directly to your doorstep. It’s a sweet tooth’s dream. Let’s take a little tour, shall we? Continue reading

Coming Clean about Toockies®

Handmade, ultra-soft washcloths help Indian women support their families. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Handmade, ultra-soft washcloths help Indian women support their families. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

 

Here at Lehman’s, we’re all about values. The good buy sort of values, bedrock family values, and the value of helping improve a community. 

Amazingly enough, our Toockies Organic Cotton products cover all three. The woman-owned company manufactures a variety of organic cotton cloths and woven jute products for use in the kitchen, bath and living room.

Toockies founder Anna Marie Strauss started small in the early 2000s, working with co-founder Jaya Basu to teach women in Nababpur, India how to knit cotton washcloths, circulation gloves, cleaning cloths, scrub cloths and coasters. At the time, in this tiny village, employment, especially for women, was just about non-existent.  Continue reading

Happy National Pet Week: Your Dog’s Most-Wanted Toy

Yep, it’s a stick. But…it’s not just a stick. It’s the best stick your dog will ever fetch.fetchinstixx

Those of us who have owned retrievers of any kind know the stamina of these amazing dogs to fetch and bring back…fetch and bring back…fetch and bring back. My husband and I used to say our yellow lab was a bit like a small child shouting, “Again! Again! Again!” after being tossed in the air or tickled or something else they really liked. After all, retrieving is in their blood. It’s what they were made for. But lots of other breeds love to play fetch, too. (That’s why this specialized stick comes in two sizes – for for dogs 25-50 lb, and for dogs 50 lb and up.)

This stick has a story. Like many of us humans, the creator of Fetchin’ Sticks battled bouts of depression. Maxx, the golden retriever he had rescued years before from Continue reading

Blacksmith and Family Forge Strong Ties

Danielle in the shop with a neighbor's kid. Doug de-horns kids with a hot iron, just like blacksmiths always have.

Danielle in the shop with a neighbor’s kid. Doug de-horns kids with a hot iron, just like blacksmiths always have.

The Makers of Hand Forged Iron.

Doesn’t that sound like a lovely name for a business from a century ago, all done in curlicue writng? But it’s not a nostalgic memory. It’s the name of the business that’s kept the Lockhart family in Logan, Ohio busy for over 30 years.

Led by patriarch Doug, with his wife Berta serving as office manager, and with contributions from their children/apprentices, Annah Lockhart, Danielle Russell, and Benjamin Lockhart, this family works–hard! Both Danielle and Benjamin have national awards for their work as youth blacksmiths. “It’s kind of hard now, though,” says Danielle, about entering competitions. “I’m going up against adults, because I’m out of the 18 and under class now. I’ve learned a lot, though, and I love to do artistic work.” Continue reading

Country Cottons Are A True Mom-And-Pop Business

100% Cotton Kitchen Towels, Lehmans.com

Pete and Toni Hogan, outside the ‘manufacturing center’, autumn 2013.

Locust, North Carolina isn’t the biggest town on the map. You might not think there’s a whole lot going on there. You’d be wrong–because Pete and Toni Hogan’s three-car garage doesn’t hold cars–it holds a thriving business!

Pete ran Country Cottons from the spring of 2008 until the end of 2010, when he retired. “But folks kept after me, kept asking if we had anything left, if we could tell them where to find dishtowels that were 100% American,” he said when interviewed for Country Life last fall.

And so early in 2013, he and his wife picked the business back up, and now they’re busier than ever! Continue reading

Claey’s Candy Has Been Making Life Sweet Since 1919

Lehman’s is proud to carry so many “Made In The USA” products. This fall, Country Life visited a few of these vendors, and got a behind-the-scenes look at how the magic happens. CL’s blog editor shares her tour at Claey’s Candies. Pick up your favorite flavors at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, or order them online at Lehmans.com.

Claey's Candy building

Since 1919, this has been the home of great candy!

Claey’s Candy was my first stop on the Fall 2013 USA Vendor Tour. And what a stop it was! Those rumors you hear about elves making candy? They must have learned it from Claeys. Starting in 1919, the company has been turning out tons of their signature hard candies in horehound, root beer, and nine other old-school and favorite flavors. Continue reading

A Century Old Tradition: Knives by Franz Güde

A Güde craftsman works diligently to craft some of the finest knives.

When you look at your kitchen knives, what do you see? A work of art? A reliable tool that you’ll always have? What about a tradition that began over a century ago?

When we look at the knives by Franz Güde, we see something more. Beyond some of the finest craftsmanship is a story that is rich and full of hard work, a lasting tradition, and most important of all, family.

The Güde family’s story began over 100 years ago in Solingen, Germany. While Germany alone is known for high-quality cutlery, the town of Solingen specifically has a long history of exceptional knife making. In fact, it has been nicknamed “the City of Blades” for all the knives, swords and other blades it’s known for producing. In 1910, it was here that a man named Karl Güde opened a small cutlery workshop, a fitting start for a company who’d eventually be known for their knives. Continue reading

Local Brothers Cook Up One of Our Best Holiday Goodies

Richard and pose in front of their giant gas baking oven, which is nearly 8 feet tall and 12 feet wide.

Richard, left, and Steve pose in front of their giant gas baking oven, which is just under 8 feet tall and 12 feet wide. It can bake 50 loaves of stollen at once. The brothers moved the vintage oven from a school that closed to the bakery.

Everyone knows that Ohio’s Amish country bakeries are the best anywhere. Now we can share a traditional holiday treat with you: stollen bread.

There are all kinds of German and Swiss traditional foods that pop up during the holiday season. Stollen is a rarity, and we’re pleased that we can work with our region’s best bakery to bring it to you from now until Christmas.

A yeast bread that dates from the Middle Ages, Stollen is a one-of-a-kind German treat. Packed full of tasty dried fruits and nuts, our stollen was developed by a family-owned bakery in nearby Holmes County. Continue reading