Roughly 1 million people flock to the quaint town of Intercourse each year, which makes it a prime spot for shops that can draw the tourist’s eye — but it is also home to a thriving small-town community. A little more than a decade ago, Carl and Fan Smucker brought new life to an abandoned gas station and service garage across the road from Kitchen Kettle Village, changing the vacant space into a vibrant village of their own. Smucker Village was first just the Corner Coffee Shop and The Treasure Place, but in recent years it has expanded to include Corner West and Rolled Cold Creamery. These shops serve as a unique and interactive shopping space for locals and visitors of all sorts.
When the Smuckers bought the initial property in 2012, they already had experience running a business. Carl had been president of Auntie Anne’s in the 1990s, and he and Fan had founded an online business selling locally made garden sheds, playhouses, gazebos and such. They had sold that company in 2009, and they dreamed of starting a brick-and-mortar store in Intercourse that would be a blessing to the community and would allow them to interact with their customers face to face, something they had missed during their online venture. When they purchased the corner property, they did not know precisely what type of business they would run there, but they knew that they wanted to provide both a communal space with a coffee shop and a unique shopping experience, something that offered more than typical Amish-made goods like the ubiquitous cherry and oak bedroom sets.
The Smuckers began with a renovation. They knew that there was incredible potential in the corner location, and they drew inspiration from the architectural features of the existing building. They transformed the main storefront into a fresh and inviting gathering place with broad, high windows, giant garage doors, a shaded porch, and a courtyard with benches, Adirondack chairs and cafe tables — a space that blurs the lines between inside and out when the weather permits the large doors to stand open all day. The coffee shop takes up only a portion of the first floor, and the rest is dedicated to The Treasure Place, which also occupies the second story loft that was added during the remodel.
Since the Smuckers love renewing and repurposing old things, it was natural for them to choose to run a furniture and home decor store that specializes in such items. The Treasure Place offers a stunning mixture of wooden tables, shelves, mantels, island tops and bases, chairs, stools and more, many of which are made from reclaimed barnwood, old barrels or repurposed industrial objects. Since a lot of the pieces in the store are handmade and one of a kind, there is always something new and distinctive at The Treasure Place — but this also means that there’s no guarantee that an item will stick around long enough for a customer to come back for it later. The Treasure Place offers local and nationwide home delivery for those who do choose to buy something.
In 2019, the Smuckers acquired a small, two-story house adjacent to the main property and turned it into a boutique, Corner West. The shop continues the theme of home furnishing, with staples like upholstered furniture, lighting and wall art, but its style is more modern and the merchandise focuses more on gifts, decor and accessories, such as jewelry, purses, clothes, bath and body products, and candles.
In 2022, Lancaster-based Rolled Cold Creamery opened a stand in between Corner West and the main building where it makes its 99% lactose-free ice cream in single servings right before the customer’s eyes. The Smucker Village location’s menu includes Belgian waffles, milkshakes and oodles of toppings, and the shop accommodates allergies and provides gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options.
Since Smucker Village combines a great shopping experience with a welcoming coffee shop, it attracts couples who want to spend a day out: the wives can take their time browsing the interesting wares while the husbands can sit down with a drink in front of a flat-screen TV inside the coffee shop or sit out on the patio to enjoy some fresh air. Carl Smucker pointed out that since Smucker Village is frequented by locals and visitors alike, the shop is a wonderful melting pot. He has seen people of all ages and all walks of life, from the Old Order Amish to the Wall Street elite, taking the time to mingle with each other while they enjoy a beverage or a pastry, soup or sandwich from the Corner Coffee Shop or an ice cream from Rolled Cold Creamery.
Because the Smuckers have been part of the Intercourse community their whole lives, being able to provide another way to bring people together there is very rewarding. “Last summer, there was a group of guys out on the courtyard having their weekly Bible study,” Carl Smucker said. “It’s what we wanted — just a community place where people can come together and do life together.”
The Corner Coffee Shop hosts live music on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Smucker Village also hosts a weather-dependent event called Second Saturday, where local artisans set up tents outside the building so that people can come examine their wares and even see the artisans at work.
“One of the overriding goals of the property is to connect the maker, the person who’s actually making the product, with the customer,” Carl Smucker said. People come to this area, he believes, to watch people at work, even stopping by the roadside to watch the Amish in the fields, so Second Saturday fits right into the fascination that comes from seeing people work with their hands.
Hard work and entrepreneurship are multigenerational values for the Smuckers — one of their grandchildren started a book exchange in the coffee shop’s courtyard when she was about 10. Now, four years later, she meticulously runs the operation so that anyone can purchase a book for $1, swap one book for another for free, or donate to the little library. The enterprise adds another charming element to Smucker Village and makes it that much more inviting for the whole family.
For people interested in getting away from the hustle and bustle of Main Street and other spots where tourists flock, the Smuckers rent out two vacation suites on their personal property, The Smucker House, just 3 miles away from Smucker Village but nestled comfortably in the tranquil farmland of the small town. More details about the Smuckers’ businesses can be found at smuckervillage.com and on the Facebook and Instagram pages for The Treasure Place, Corner West and the Corner Coffee Shop.