Christine Terpening
Contributing Writer

(Photo by Christine Terpening)

Our Amish neighbors dot our local countryside adding beauty, culture and value to our community. A little drive down our back roads will lead you to hidden treasures. One such treasure, owned by Lamar and Rebecca Miller, lies just outside Vermontville village limits.

Great Lakes Bulk & Health Foods can help you check off the items on your grocery list whether you are cooking, baking or just satisfying a craving. Amish owned and Amish run, the store is located in the Vermontville countryside and well worth the drive. Large bulk portions to small, they carry baking supplies such as flour, dry yeast, corn syrup, molasses, vanilla, puddings and gelatins. Rows and rows of seasonings fill their shelves with a plethora of seasoning salts, fennel seeds, whole cloves, paprika, minced onion, red pepper and on and on and on. Rebecca Miller stated, “We carry healthy flour for healthy baking.”

Visit the meat and cheese counter for custom sliced Walnut Creek Foods Meat & Cheese. Many hard-to-find varieties of meat include hard salami, smoked hams, German bologna, roast beef and smoked turkey breast. The robust cheese selection includes varieties such as Muenster, pepper jack, white onion, horseradish, smoked hot pepper and old standbys such as Swiss, cheddar, provolone and colby.

Chips, pretzels and other salty treats pair well with an entire section dedicated to please any sweet tooth. Candies from old fashioneds like root beer barrels, caramel creams, buckeyes, circus peanuts and bubble gum to newer delights like M&Ms, sour gummi worms, and peanut butter cups.

“We make fresh deli sandwiches,” Miller added. Select your custom choices of meats, cheeses and toppings between two slices of homemade Amish bread. Stop by in the morning and get a sandwich to put in your lunch pail, bring the family for a unique experience, or just bring yourself because you deserve delicious food.

Whether you’re making a little or a lot of your favorite recipes, the aisles are filled with multiple sizes of your pantry essentials. Variety is the spice of life and that’s what you’ll find at this Amish treasure—food, staples, cleaning supplies, bird seed and gardening supplies are samplings of that variety. “We have quite a variety of baking supplies and spices,” Miller informed, “We want to have a store with the hard-to-find items that you can’t find in other stores.”

Great Lakes Bulk & Health Foods is located at 5680 Allegan Road in Vermontville and may be reached at (517)652-2686. Their open hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The store is closed on Sunday. The deli and cheese counter closes one hour before the stores close for cleaning.