Harry and Lydia Miller settled in West Union, Ohio's small but growing Wheat Ridge Amish community in 1977. They were farmers raising hogs, cattle, and sheep.
On the weekends, Harry, Lydia and their six children baked. Their surrounding community loved everything out of the Miller's oven and came to buy what they desired straight from the farmhouse kitchen until 1988.
Then, Gerold Miller and his wife Becky took over baking and carted the goods to a tiny 10x16 building to sell the baked goods. The 10x16 building grew to 24x36, and then 32x64.
After returning from trips to Holmes County in Northeast Ohio, the Miller's offered furniture for sale at their bakery. The more they brought back the more that sold. Finally, a separate building was dedicated to this side business. They converted what used to be a barn near the store and used it for many years. Today it's a warehouse.
With newer, larger buildings sprouting up on the grounds, the Millers had plenty of room and could now serve the tour bus groups that discovered their farm. They started selling bulk foods, spices, cheese, jellies, lunchmeat and more. People couldn't get enough of the Holmes County cheese and trail bologna. Soon, they outgrew another building.
It was about this time, Gerold started selling lawn furniture and the business continued to boom so Gerold brought in his siblings to help manage everything. Daniel and his wife Mary helped with the furniture store. Larry purchased the baking equipment from Gerold since he and his wife Esther had been the lead bakers for the past several years. In 1996, Larry built the present day bakery building. The bulk foods store became the responsibility of Harry Jr and his wife Leah. By now, Malinda moved to Indiana with her husband Alva Jr and the youngest brother, David, moved to Florida.
Recently, the furniture store expanded, adding on another 12,000 square feet. Today, the Miller's 300 acre farm has homes for those that live their, including the old farmhouse, 34,000 square feet of furniture under one roof, plus much more outdoor furniture, gazebos and barns outside. Across the parking lot are the bakery and bulk food buildings.
More than 30 years after the first loaves of bread, pies and other baked goods filled the southwest Appalachia air with Miller's baking fresh from the over, a family celebrates their blessings. To show appreciation for the employees and customers that have been so kind to them over the decades, they plan to give back in the form of numerous sales planned throughout the year.
Although Harry Miller has since passed, his legacy lives through this close-knit Amish family. It probably won't be long before newer or larger buildings are built to keep up with growth. Some of Harry's 20 grandchildren will eventually assume responsibilities from their parents and keep Miller's Bakery, Furniture & Bulk Foods alive for many more years.
For more information on Miller's Bakery and Furniture, please fill out this brief contact form.