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The Road Less Traveled – VA Rt. 60 Discoveries

May 5, 2010 by · 7 Comments 

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US Route 60 from Richmond to Williamsburg, VA, is often called “The Road Less Traveled”.

In the early 1970’s, before I-64 was completed, it was the major route between the two cities.  Today’s heavy traffic migrates to I-64, leaving Route 60 to the locals and visitors that know the absence of heavy congestion makes it a more desirable route. 

There are several campgrounds off of Route 60, one of which was the location of the Cedar Creek RV Owners Club Rally we attended last week.  Rockahock RV Resort is located at Walker’s Dam on both the Chickahomony Lake Reservoir and the tidal Chickahomony River about 20 minutes west of  Williamsburg.

While attending the rally, we all made several trips into Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown for a glimpse into our nation’s history, great food and excellent shopping.

Just before you enter Williamsburg on Route 60 you pass through the tiny community of Norge.  There, just inside the city limits, is the Amish Country Products and Bulk Foods store.

Leslie and Suzie happily greet all visitors

Wait a minute – The Amish Country Products Store in Norge, Virginia?

One does not normally associate Amish Country with Virginia, that connection is more typical of Pennsylvania.  Yet, the store does exist and is a delightful little place to visit while in the area.

The store's shelves are well stocked with a variety of canned and dry goods.

The store is operated by Leslie Strubel and Suzie Blancher.  Both of them live in Intercourse, PA – right in the heart of Amish Country.  The store is only open four days a week so as to allow them to travel back and forth from Pennsylvania to Virginia, constantly bringing a fresh supply of goods with them.

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The store reminded me of the old country stores I grew up visiting with my grandfather as a child.  You know — the ones with stone  ground grains in cloth sacks, jars of fresh honey, preserves and jams made of okra, watermelon rind, green tomatoes and strawberries along with lime pickles and even Damson Plum preserves.

Real Maple syrup, rolled butter and buckwheat pancakes were a favorite of my grandfather.  All of the ingredients are available on the shelves of this little store.

Amish built hardwood furniture

The Amish are well known for their finely crafted furniture, often made from Oak, Cherry or even Walnut.  The store displays tables, chest-of-drawers, chairs and even a rocking horse finely crafted and finished.

Outside you can find Adirondack style porch and lawn furniture.  Many pieces of outdoor furniture are made from an engineered wood and plastic composite that never needs painting nor will ever rot.  It is only upon close examination that you discover that it is not made of the traditional pine.

Adirondack furniture displayed in the parking lot

If you are in the Williamsburg area, perhaps camped at one of many local campgrounds, a trip to the Amish Country Store will provide fantastic entertainment, seemingly never ending shelves of great foods and ingredients, beautiful hand crafted furniture and a piece of history important to our culture and heritage.

Nancy and Oscar enjoy resting on the outdoor furniture on the store's front porch

Leslie and Suzie can answer virtually any question you may have on Amish culture and craftsmanship.  It is the perfect place to take the children or grandchildren and give them an excellent history lesson.

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Useful Links:

Woodall’s Campground Directory: http://www.woodalls.com/

Cedar Creek RV Owners Club: http://www.cedarcreekrvownersclub.com/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=5

Amish Country Products: http://www.amishcountryproducts.com

Norge, VA: http://virginia.hometownlocator.com/va/james-city/norge.cfm

Intercourse, PA: http://www.800padutch.com/intercourse.shtml

Route 60 in Virginia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_60_in_Virginia

Adirondack Furniture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adirondack_chair

Williamsburg, VA: http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/?WT.mc_id=663

Rockahock Campground: http://www.rockahock.com/

Other Williamsburg area Campgrounds: http://www.woodalls.com/Campground/Default.aspx?radius=50&showfeatured=false&type=PlacesToCamp&subtype=RVCamping&city=Toano&state=VA

Comments

7 Responses to “The Road Less Traveled – VA Rt. 60 Discoveries”
  1. Genevieve says:

    Great post! I want to go there!

  2. J.Lynn says:

    Hmmm, we beg to differ with the author of this article, as both Leslie and Suzie are residents of Westpoint, VA. True, we agree Leslie travels to and fro in his non-refrigerated truck carrying furniture, perishable food and baked goods from PA to VA, but at what cost to consumers? The Country Store has received multiple complaints for their poor handling of food and perishables and many locals would not even step foot in the store given their poor track record. Baked goods are transported from one state to another and left to sit in a hot non-ventilated vehicle and then sit endlessly on a table in the store week after week. Whoopie pies and cakes contain perishable creams and are not left in the cooler but again sitting on the table.

    …if you are looking for an authentic Amish store managed and operated by the Amish, try navigating over to Powhatan, try the Country Food and Furniture – Great homemade breads, pies and cakes. Deli and sandwiches as well as hand made Amish furniture. A real treat. 804- 794-4454

    otherwise, don’t bother wasting your good health or money or this place, as it is as authentic as a made in china rolex.

  3. Professor95 says:

    J.Lyn,

    Wow. That is quite a shut down.

    As a writer I do not know if I should believe you or assume you are a competing rival. I am not an investigative reporter — I write about what I see and feel.

    All I can tell you was that I have visited the store on both the initial occasion I wrote about and later to purchase some more dried green beans and okra for Nancy. My feelings about this establishment as an interesting wayside to visit and shop have not changed.

    I do remember seeing the store you mentioned in Powhatan on our way to Cozy Acres Campground. On our next trip I will be sure to stop and check it out.

    Good health and happy trails to you and yours!

    Randy (Professor95)

  4. V.Ford says:

    We purchased some jams from here only to find out they were under a recall for Botulism….http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm212147.htm per our neighbor. We called the store to let them know and that we wanted a refund and they said they would issue one. When we arrived at the store a week later (store is open Thursday through Sunday), they had red stickers placed on the jars as buy one jar for full price, second jar for 50% off. Also, they did not want to issue us a refund. We have not visited since.

    We have not yet tried the store in Powhatan but shop often in Harrisonburg at a Mennonite Store that makes their own jams. We will try the store in Powhatan next time we are being adventurous, but we would agree with the other commenter about this store regarding their baked goods. Our experience is if you don’t purchase baked goods when these items arrive on Thursday, then they do not store much longer, as we were told they are purchased on Monday or Tuesday in Lancaster yet they do not arrive in Williamsburg until Thursday.

  5. V.Ford says:

    Correction to our previous comment regarding the Amish Store in Williamsburg Virginia off Richmond Road. My sister in law stated that the store did remove the jams and fruit butters from the recall. Other than this issue it is a very friendly store.

  6. I”ve been there last week, such a lovely place. I’ll share some of our pics next time.

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