On October 26, Dutch-Way Farm Market — a locally owned independent grocery store that puts an emphasis on fresh, quality and local — opened its fourth store at 1125 S. State St. in Ephrata, in the shopping center where Kmart used to be. The old Kmart building has been entirely transformed with renovations that include a new facade with gabled roofs over the entrances to Dutch-Way and to Good’s Store, a Lancaster-based, family-owned department store.
Dutch-Way is known for its quality meats, cut or ground fresh in-store each day, without the dyes or additives that many stores use to keep their meat looking fresh longer. The products Dutch-Way offers include organic and gluten-free items, and the company has formed relationships with local farmers in order to provide fresh, local produce and other locally sourced food. The grocery store also offers prepared foods, with baked goods, soups, sides and entrees made fresh on-site in the Dutch-Way bakery and kitchen.
Unlike the other Dutch-Way locations, which have full-service family restaurants, the newest location has a cafe that serves coffee, lattes, specialty drinks and Dutch-Way’s staples, such as soft pretzels, soft serve ice cream and milkshakes. The store side of the cafe offers hot, grab-and-go lunch items and a full salad bar, while the other side of the cafe has booths and little tables under cozy lighting where customers can relax with a drink, enjoy a meal, or use the cafe’s Wi-Fi to get some work done.
In addition to the tables indoors, there is an enclosed patio area with windows that can stand open in the summer to let in the fresh air. Jordan Snader, the new store’s manager and one of six partners in Dutch-Way, told The Lancaster Patriot, “We have a semi-outdoor seating area with a fireplace and just a great, comfy space for customers to get together with friends, gather, enjoy a nice cup of coffee, and relax and spend some time there.”
While many chain stores are focused on efficiency and saving money in regards to labor, Snader said that Dutch-Way’s focus is on the value that its employees bring to how the company operates and what the company can do. “We believe very firmly that our employees are what makes us special, and that’s what we’ve invested in over the history of the company,” he said. Having friendly, smiling staff throughout the store, ready to engage with customers, is one of the things that makes Dutch-Way unique, he explained. “Our goal is to have a culture that is warm and welcoming and can brighten people’s day as they shop.”
Because the people who shop at Dutch-Way are put first, the shopping experience is special. Snader explained that the Dutch-Way team loves to meet their customers. “One of the things that we try to do is get to know our customers by name, so when they shop regularly we try to build relationships, get to know them, get to know their likes, their preferences. If they are looking for an item, and we don’t currently carry it, we want to hear that and we’ll try to get it in for them. That’s not something that every retailer will do, but we value all of our shoppers and we try to do everything we can to ensure that we’re giving them the best experience that we can.”
Dutch-Way offers its customers multiple ways to save, too: there are e-coupons that can be redeemed in-store or when purchasing items online, a rewards program that gives members access to special discounts and the ability to earn redeemable points, a 5% senior citizen discount on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and “double ad day” on Mondays, when the previous week’s ad discounts are still valid while the new week’s ad is launching.
“For our rewards program, one of the neat features with that is that you can go on our website and there’s a catalog of coupons,” Snader said. “You can just click on whatever coupon you think you might have interest in or might use at some point, and then if you ever buy that item and it fits that coupon, at checkout it automatically would come off the bill.”
In the 50 years since David Martin founded Dutch-Way, the company’s Christian values have guided its business practices and helped it flourish. The first Dutch-Way market launched in Myerstown in 1972, followed by one in Gap in 1983 and another in Schaefferstown in 1991, and the company broadened its services with a hardware store near the Gap market in 2012. The opening of the Ephrata market this year marks another milestone in the company’s growth and puts the company in reach of a whole new community that can experience firsthand how Dutch-Way stands out from the competition by focusing on integrity, excellent customer service, and serving the community in a Christlike manner.
All Dutch-Way Farm Markets are open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and the restaurants are open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. All locations are closed on Sundays. Visit dutchwayfarmmarket.com to see more of what Dutch-Way has to offer.