LAKE TWP. – Located on Cleveland Avenue on a border with North Canton and Plain Township, Yoder’s Bulk Foods & Deli just celebrated its five-year anniversary in April. The small, locally owned market specializes in an expansive selection of bulk food items, and Amish meats and cheeses.
Walking up to the market, you’re greeted by a bright teal welcome sign, matching Adirondack chairs and a pink flamingo. Once you enter, you’ll see shelves stocked neatly with jams, syrups, candies, spices and more. The deli counter beckons, as does the freezer full of cakes, pies, cheeses and meats.
The market has a friendly feel, and it’s impeccably clean.
“If I’m going to be working here every day, I want it to be fun,” co-owner Diana Coblentz, who owns and manages the market along with her daughter, Rachel Coblentz, said when I stopped in.
I caught up with co-owner Rachel Coblentz to learn more about the store.
Q. Where did the Yoder’s name come from? Is it a family name?
A. “The name Yoder is actually my aunt’s last name. She and my mom opened the store together five years ago. They wanted something that was more common than our last name, and that invoked the feeling of it being a store that would carry more ‘ Amish ‘goods. Three years ago, my aunt decided she no longer wanted to be a part of the store and sold her half to Diana. So despite being named Yoder’s, no Yoders work here (now). ”
Q. How did you get the idea for the market?
A. “The store was originally Diana’s idea. She has experience in the food service industry and thought that North Canton had nothing that we offer.”
Q. How’s business after five years, and while surviving through a pandemic?
A. “Business is good after five years. The pandemic was a huge boost to our business, with people not being able to go out to eat like they used to and being home a lot more. We are also a very small store, so a lot of people felt safer coming to us than a bigger store.
“With the boost in business, we’ve had some growing pains, too. Our store is small, and there’s no lot of room to spread out or add more products. Our parking lot is also small and can be tight on days like Saturday, when we’re at our busiest.
Sea: ‘There just aren’t enough stomachs.’ Acme leaders push back on N. Canton Meijer project
“Oddly enough, we have more issues getting products now than we did during the pandemic. Some things that we wish we could carry and did carry are just not available to us right now. Of course, times are hard now with prices going up a lot, but that’s something that’s happening across the board for everyone. ”
Q. I see you offer many items from Amish country. What do you offer, what are some of your most popular items, and where are your sourced products? Do you offer homemade goods?
A. “Out of all the things we have in the store, the most popular is the deli. We get most of our deli items from Troyer Cheese or Walnut Creek Foods. Everything in our deli is sliced fresh; it’s never pre-sliced. We do make our own ham salad and chicken salad, and they are very popular.
Sea: Ohio’s Amish Country offers a slow-paced journey
“We carry a large variety of jarred goods like jams and pickles, for example, that are privately labeled for us.
“We get baked goods from several bakeries in Amish Country and breads from Ideal Bakery in Lakemore.
“We have two coolers with some everyday staples like eggs and sour cream, and we have some more specialty items like our cajun crab dip or roasted red pepper cream cheese spread.”
“We also carry dog treats from Sugar Creek Natural Pet.
“Some things we have that are not found in most grocery stores: We get nuts from CJ Dannemiller, a company from Norton that roasts their own nuts. We have a large selection of their nuts, and they’re very good quality. We have a large selection of Albanese gummies and different candies. We have a large selection of spices. We try to carry things that are high quality and not found in stores around where we are. “
Q. I see you offer specials often. Can you tell me a little bit more about those?
A. “We do run specials every week. They run from Tuesday through Monday. We do post them on Facebook, and they usually have a meat and a cheese and something else from the store.”
Q. Anything else you’d like to share about Yoder’s?
A. “I think what sets us apart from other stores is our work ethic. We own the store, but we’re there every day working. If you come and visit us, the person cutting your meat and cheese is one of the owners.
“And because we are the owners and have high standards, we want everything to be perfect for you. We put a lot of hard work into trying to make the store run smoothly. We have our moments, but I’m very thankful to be able to work with my mom every day. She has always been a great example of what a hard worker and a strong woman is like. “
Yoder’s Bulk Foods & Deli is at 8600 Cleveland Ave. NW in Lake Township, and is open 9 am to 6:30 pm Monday and Thursday and 9 am to 5:30 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. For more information, find Yoder’s Bulk Foods & Deli on Facebook.