Amish farmer commutes each day to bring products to his NYC store

Amish eyes are smiling on the Upper West Side.

millport dairythe first authentic Amish-owned brick-and-mortar store in the five boroughs, opened on May 1 on Broadway between 97th and 98th Streets.

The store is run by John Stoltzfoos, who remains cheerful despite his nightmarish commute.

Amish farmer John Stoltzfoos holds pickled eggs and dill spears in his Upper West Side storefront called Millport Dairy. helaine sideman
A popular store that opened on May 1st. helaine sideman

Mr. Stoltzfoos, 58, a striking Amish man with a beard and suspenders and a wide-brimmed hat, spends six hours a day every Wednesday through Saturday working on his family’s farms in Manhattan and Lititz, Pennsylvania. I am going back and forth.

Stoltzfoos woke up before 3 a.m. and relied on a hired driver — the Amish are not allowed to drive or operate modern technology — to safely transport him and a truckload of fresh produce. have them transported to the Big Apple.

The store opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m.

But Millport Dairy closed on a recent Thursday when a disappointed customer arrived to find a note taped to the inside of the door that said, “We went fishing.”

Mr. Stoltzfoos’ face should be familiar to regulars at the city’s green markets.

His family has been selling farm-to-city to fork meat, dairy products, baked goods and more. It was very exciting For over 18 years, we’ve been ethically selling organic eggs at various New York City farmers markets.

But in January, Mr. Stoltzfoos disappeared from the farmers market scene, much to the chagrin of his loyal customers.

According to one customer, Stoltz Foods has “the best eggs ever.” helaine sideman
Stoltzfoos has been a big seller in New York for 18 years. helaine sideman

Stoltzfus said GrowNYC Rules and Policies Restrictions became too strict and limited the types of products they could sell, so they started looking for a viable storefront with their uncle, John King, a farm owner in Lancaster County.

“At farmers markets like Union Square, where he was a regular, sometimes we’d set up canopies in the pouring rain, then unload the trucks, and then load everything back into the trucks,” he said. he explained. “All you have to do is open and close the door.”

On a recent sunny afternoon, people streamed in and out of the former dry cleaning store.

Stoltzfus doesn’t use horse-drawn carriages for work. He had someone drive him to New York. AFP (via Getty Images)

Many, including Diane Wang, 72, immediately recognized Stortz Foods, from pickled okra, pork rolls and asparagus to hazel pie, pumpkin bread and GMO-free duck and pullet eggs. I left everything behind. “I’m really glad you’re here,” Wang said.

“They’re laying the best eggs ever,” said Harriet Hoffman, 83, who lives nearby. “I’ll never eat supermarket eggs again. The quality is exactly what I came here for.”

Pennsylvania’s dairy products are all produced by horsepower, and the state is also known for its butter and cheeses such as Colby, Parmesan, and horseradish.

Diana Wang, 72, shops at Millport Dairy. helaine sideman
This is a shop that sells baked goods such as whole wheat bread. helaine sideman
Pickled vegetables are popular with Millport Dairy customers. helaine sideman

Stoltzfoos would not comment on how much Millport Farms is paying to rent the space, but said he hopes to keep the store open “for the next 10 years, God willing, 20.” .

He also did not disclose the driver’s salary.

“We involve the whole family, including the children,” Stoltzfoos said, adding that what they learn by working on the farm is “an education for them.” She said the women on the farm make baked goods such as oatmeal bars, ginger cookies and zucchini bread “with love and care.”

The store also carries strawberries, yogurt, smoked pork chops, kielbasa, and even chorizo.

“Well,” Stoltzfoos said with a laugh, “the Amish like a little spice, too.”