The Amish Market in Unity starts where it stood before the fire, so business is brisk.


The Amish Community Market and Bakery in Unity, pictured Friday, has reopened after the store was razed in January. Michael G. Seamans / Morning Sentinel

UNITY – An Amish store is drawing crowds of customers just days after reopening following a fire that destroyed the building in January.

John Yoder, owner of the popular Amish Community Market and Bakery, described the reopening as “awesome.”

Now standing in the market, the burning remains immediately following the fire. The front porch — lined with handcrafted wooden chairs, produce and a pot of mums — creates a quaint fall Maine scene and invites patrons inside.

Etna resident Sue Reynolds said the new building looks “amazing.” She used to visit the market every week. She was looking forward to the reopening and was there Friday to stock up on favorite items.

One product missing for now is the market’s popular donuts. Yoder, who took over ownership of the market from Caleb Stoll during the rebuild, said they should be back sometime this week after a fan hood is installed on the grill.

Aaron Fisher, behind the register, checks on customers Friday at the Amish Community Market and Bakery in Unity. Michael G. Seamans / Morning Sentinel

The market is open every day except Thursday and Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm. It’s a mix of a hardware center, grocery store, and bakery made by the surrounding Amish community or otherwise made in Maine. But if you want to make a purchase, leave your credit card at home, they only accept cash or checks.

Laurie and Brian Yasino They were at the market for the first time on Friday and were surprised by the low prices and picked up a variety of items. They live in Mount Vernon and were in the area for the Common Ground National Show when they decided to stop. An aunt told them about the market last year but they didn’t have a chance to visit before the fire.

Yoder said efforts have been made to maintain the overall look of the store, but the front porch is a little wider, the bakery a little bigger in the back and the interior has a new layout for shoppers.

People can peek into the bakery to see the hustle and bustle as the staff produces a wide variety of baked goods.

Photos of the January fire that destroyed the Amish Community Market and Bakery in Unity were released Friday. The Amish community worked quickly to rebuild and the market reopened last week. Michael G. Seamans / Morning Sentinel

And offerings in the store range from practical to magical. There are axes, tools, boots, baking tools and spices. And then there are the homemade desserts: pies, breads, cookies and fudge from raspberry to maple nut.

Last summer, the fire quickly engulfed the building, leaving workers unable to do anything but watch, with heavy smoke visible for miles.

But it didn’t take long for the Amish community to begin cleanup and rebuilding efforts, and the wider community showed support — many donating money to the rebuilding effort.

The regional fire department investigated the fire but could not determine the cause. The fire started near the heater, Yoder said, so it’s believed the malfunction may have been the cause.

An Amish community member welcomes people to the Amish Community Market and Bakery in Unity on Fridays. Michael G. Seamans / Morning Sentinel

In the new building, many changes have been made to meet the needs of fire protection. The heater was moved outside, fire resistant insulation was used and styrofoam was covered instead of leaving it exposed like the old building.

Standing in the new space Friday, Yoder expressed his appreciation for those who contributed to the rebuild.

“I definitely want to thank the city, the community for their interest and help, and especially for the donations,” he said.


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