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A Feast for the Senses

A Cornucopia of Treats From Amish Farmers Await You at the Dutch Country Farmers Market

It’s hard to not feel a bit of sensory overload when you first walk through the doors of the Dutch Country Farmers Market in Flemington. Shoppers bustle about as if to find the origins of the delicious smells of something freshly baked or roasted to perfection hanging in the air, while the vendors hurry to accommodate, snatching goodies with tissue paper before handing them off in brown paper bags.

While it will take a bit of time to fully explore all the market has to offer, one thing is immediately clear: This is not your average grocery store. 

The market, which opened in 1991, has always been populated by independent, family-owned Amish vendors, many of whom travel from Lancaster County to sell their goods. Currently, the market has 11 vendors, offering everything from fresh cheeses, meat, wooden crafts, baked goods and a pretzel stand whose chewy, perfectly buttered twists are the delicious reason behind the bending line often several dozen people deep. 

“Each vendor specializes in what they sell,” says market manager Allen Stoltzfus, who is also the owner of Stoltzfus Fresh & BBQ Poultry. “That way, there’s much more attention to quality. We want people to go home and enjoy a truly fresh product. Fresh meat, cheese and produce come in weekly from Lancaster County. We’re not selling items that have been previously frozen.”

Stoltzfus explains that shopping at the market provides a more personalized experience and perhaps this is why they have so many regulars. “We have clients who have been coming in from day one,” he says. “It feels more like seeing old friends; we know each other’s names and what they like to order, and this creates a unique, personalized experience. You’re not going to find that in a grocery store.”

While many customers are local to New Jersey and Pennsylvania, some come all the way from New York or beyond. 

Stoltzfus, who has been a part of the market for nearly 18 years, explains that many of the vendors have been with the market for 12 to 15 years or longer, like Melven (Mel) Beiler of Beiler’s Cheese and Pickles who has been with the market since 1991 alongside his wife who runs Marty’s Candies and Canned Goods, where you can find jams, dried fruit, spices, homemade fudge and a candy selection that will take you back to the days of penny candy.

“Most of our cheeses come right from Lancaster County,” says Beiler, who admits having a soft spot for super-sharp cheddars or a nice smooth Colby. 

Along with blocks of local and imported cheeses of all sizes and shapes, Beiler also sells hormone-free milk, yogurt, butter, sauerkraut, and all types of pickles. “Food should be an experience—and nothing compares to eating a pickle straight from the barrel,” he says. 

Find out more about the Dutch Country Farmers Market at