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Business is booming as Unity's Amish market picks up where it left off before the fire

The Amish Community Market and Bakery at 368 Thorndyke Road in Unity, shown Friday, has reopened after a fire destroyed the store in January. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Unity — Unity’s Amish Market is drawing in throngs of customers after reopening after a fire in January that destroyed the building.

John Yoder, the new owner of the popular Amish Community Market and Bakery at 368 Thorndyke Road, described the reopening as “just great.”

With the scorching remains of a fire a distant memory, the new front porch, lined with handcrafted wooden chairs, produce, and mother’s pots, creates a Maine fall scene that invites customers to the market.

Etna resident Sue Reynolds said the new building was “amazing”. She said she used to visit the market weekly and was looking forward to its reopening. She was there on Friday and stocked up on her favorite items.

One item missing: the market’s famous donuts. They should be back later this week after a vent hood is installed over the fryer, said Yoder, who took over ownership of the market from Caleb Stoll during the rebuild.

Aaron Fisher behind the counter supports customers at Unity’s Amish Community Market and Bakery on Fridays. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

The market is open from 8am to 5pm every day except Thursdays and Sundays. It’s a mix of hardware center, grocery store, and bakery, with lots of merchandise made by the surrounding Amish community and made in Maine. I will leave it. The store only accepts cash or checks.

Laurie and Brian Yacino They went to the market for the first time on Friday and were impressed with the low prices and picked up a variety of items. I was in the area. My aunt told them about last year’s market. But they didn’t get a chance to visit before the fire.

Efforts have been made to maintain the overall look of the store, Yoder said, with a slightly larger front porch, a slightly larger bakery in the back, and a new layout for shoppers inside. .

You can peek inside the bakery and see the hustle and bustle of workers as they produce various goods.

Photos of the January fire that destroyed an Amish community market and bakery are on display Friday at the rebuilt market at 368 Thorndyke Road in Unity. The Amish community worked to rebuild the market, which reopened last week. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Across the store, merchandise ranges from the utilitarian to the whimsical. There are axes, tools, boots, baking supplies, and spices. There are also locally made sweets such as pies, breads, cookies and fudge in flavors ranging from raspberry to maple he nuts.

Last winter’s fire quickly engulfed the building, billowing smoke for miles and leaving employees to watch.

It didn’t take long for the Amish community to begin cleanup and rebuilding efforts. The wider community also showed support, with many donating to help build the new market and bakery.

The Department of Defense investigated the fire but was unable to determine the cause. Yoder said the fire started near the boiler, so it is believed that equipment malfunctioned and ignited the flames.

Members of the Amish community welcome customers to Unity’s Amish Community Market and Bakery on Friday. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

The new building has some modifications for fire protection. The boiler was moved outdoors, fireproof insulation was used, and Styrofoam was covered rather than left bare like in older buildings.

Standing in the new space on Friday, Yoder thanked those who contributed to the rebuilding.

“I would especially like to thank the towns and communities for their interest, support and donations,” he said.

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