Treat Yourself Along Route 23


Foodies, take note! Whether you have a sweet tooth or appreciate coffee or a cocktail, you’ll find it along Route 23! 

Achenbach’s Pastries, Leola 

Jordan and I started our tasting adventure at Achenbach’s, where they’ve been creating pastries and baked goods the old-fashioned way (i.e., from scratch) since 1954 (which means they are celebrating their 70th anniversary this year). You haven’t lived until you’ve tasted one of Achenbach’s signature Long Johns. Staring into the case filled with the treats, Jordan recommended we go for it and order what he calls the “trifecta” of Long Johns, i.e. the doughy confections are iced with oh-so-sweet vanilla, chocolate and peanut butter frosting. Sounded like a plan, so we ordered three in each flavor and retreated outside to sample them on the porch. Oh, they were so, so good! (To avoid temptation, I made Jordan take the leftovers home with him.) Long Johns have proven so popular that they are used to create special occasion cakes (even for weddings). There’s even a Long John Eating Contest at the New Holland Fair. 

According to Rochelle Shenk, who stopped in while doing research for Table for Two, “The aroma inside the bakery is heavenly; you’ll need a ton of willpower to walk out of there empty-handed!” The bakery also offers donuts, cakes, cupcakes, three sizes of whoopie pies, pies, breads and more. 

If you’re looking for breakfast or lunch before or after shopping at Achenbach’s, Eli’s Place is right next door. 

Information: 375 E. Main St., Achenbachs.com.

Misty Creek Goat Dairy, Leola 

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Fun and food. You can’t beat that combo. I learned about Misty Creek through the Best Kept Secrets Tour. Here, you’ll find the source (goats) of the farm’s lineup of European-inspired cheeses, milk products and soaps. Open since 2003, the enterprise was a dream of the family matriarch. Research, enlarging the farm’s goat herd and an apprenticeship to learn the nuances of cheesemaking led to Misty Creek becoming known for its cheese (and adorable goats). 

Information: 43 W. Eby Rd., Mistycreekgoatdairy.net. 

Lapp Valley Farm, New Holland  

I need to get out more! The last time I was at Lapp Valley Farm, the ice cream shop was located in a small cinderblock building, a wall of which held a sign that related closing hour as being dusk. It was also cash-only. I seem to remember peacocks strutting around outside. 

Things have certainly changed since founder Ben Lapp began making ice cream for church services that were held at local campgrounds. The ice cream proved to be so popular that he opened his farm-based shop in 1975. Success prompted the need for a larger facility, which debuted in 2002. The large, wood-clad building features an inviting, plant-filled, wrap-around porch, where tables and chairs entice you to sit for a spell, savor your ice cream and take in the scenery. The porch’s visitors include the farm’s friendly cats. 

Inside, the aroma of freshly baked waffle cones fills the air. Cases are filled with milk products that come courtesy of the farm’s Jersey cows. (Employees are kept busy by customers who utilize the drive-up window to buy milk.) Then, you come to the main reason why you’re there: ice cream! Seventeen-plus flavors beckon. Yummy doesn’t begin to describe it! It’s creamy and oozing with flavor. What took me so long to return, I asked myself. Now that they take credit cards, there’s no excuse (I never have cash on me). 

Just an FYI: Lapp’s has outposts at Kitchen Kettle Village and the Green Dragon (Fridays), as well as a large creamery and café in Gordonville. 

Information: 244 Mentzer Rd., Lappvalleyfarm.com.

Pellman Foods, New Holland 

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Ah, cheesecake. It’s been a Pellman family specialty for over 50 years as a result of Ruth and Bill Pellman making as many as 100 cakes a week in the kitchen of their home for customers such as restaurants and farm markets. In 1973, Pellman Foods opened an office and baking facility off Route 23. Now under the leadership of a second generation of Pellmans, cheesecakes, pies, tortes and cakes are sold throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. Those Pellmans are some smart cookies, as they provide their outlets with not only whole cakes but also with half, quarter and slice-sized portions of their products. When a craving for cheesecake calls, I head for Stauffers or Giant for a slice. 

Information: Pellmanfoods.com.

Byers Butterflake Bakery, Leola 

Earlier this year I happened to be in Leola and decided to treat myself to something from Byers. As I perused the display case, my eyes grew wide when I spied a piece of White Rhapsody cake. I hadn’t tasted its fabulousness in years. Arriving home, I polished it off after dinner. It was as tantalizing as ever. Envision moist white cake with chocolate shavings folded in. The cake layers are separated by raspberry marmalade and mousse. Buttercream frosting completes the picture. While it’s a top flavor for wedding cakes, the good news is White Rhapsody can be ordered as a birthday cake, for an event such as a dinner party, or in my case, if you’re just craving a piece of it. Since we were in the vicinity, I suggested to Jordan that we stop. Fortunately, a piece of White Rhapsody awaited!

Byers was founded in 1968 by Dean and Naomi Byers (Dean’s parents operated Byers Pastries in Columbia). Their daughter, Diahann Byers-Cascarella, was blessed with the baking gene and oversees the creation of the bakery’s beautiful wedding cakes. The bakery also offers an array of cake flavors, as well as pies, cookies, pastries and more. They can also be found at Root’s on Tuesdays. 

Information: 44 W. Main St., Byersbakery.com 

Osteria Avanti, Leola

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The menu at this Italian countryside-inspired restaurant begins with fresh produce and herbs that are harvested from an on-site garden and greenhouse at The Inn at Leola Village. But what if you don’t have reservations? Head for the bar, where the atmosphere is relaxed, the bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable, and the menu offers a taste of Italy. One night I was in with a friend, and we decided to go old school and order old fashioneds. The drinks were sublime (as were my cosmo and my friend’s vodka martini). If wine is more to your liking, the wine list offers 450 selections. Seasonal spirit infusions and craft beer are also served.

Information: 38 Deborah Dr., Theinnatleolavillage.com


I prefer Diet Coke (and only Diet Coke), so Jordan was the authority here. 

New Holland Coffee Co., New Holland

Open Monday-Saturday until 8:15 p.m., the menu offers nearly 60 beverages, ranging from espresso to bottled drinks. The food menu is equally as impressive. The plant-filled environs make for a relaxing and beautiful way to start or end the day.

Information: 832 W. Main St., Newhollandcoffee.com.

Botanical Creperie, New Holland  

Also owned by the New Holland Coffee Co., the creperie is open for breakfast and lunch. The crepe selection is joined by items such as waffles, quiche, baked oatmeal, toast and more. Plus, there’s an array of beverages.

Information: 856 W. Main St., Botanicalcreperie.com.

CoffeeCo, New Holland

In business for 40 years, CoffeeCo has been at the forefront of coffee culture in Lancaster County. Offering a café atmosphere, handcrafted beverages and a wide-ranging breakfast and lunch menu, New Holland is one of five CoffeeCo locations in Lancaster County.

Information: 504 E. Main St., Coffeecocafe.com.

La Mattina Caffe, Leola

Fresh-brewed espresso, cappuccino, latte and coffee await (along with cold-pressed juices) at this café that is located on the grounds of The Inn at Leola Village. Breakfast, lunch and snack fare are on the menu, as well.

Information: 38 Deborah Dr., Theinnatleolavillage.com.


From quilts to flowers, from trendy to rustic, you’ll find it all along Route 23. 

Finial & Fern, Leola  

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Ten years ago, Bonnie and Ron Strasko opened a shop along Route 23 that offers a little bit of everything: plants, antiques, home décor, vintage, art, etc. What caught my eye on my last visit were terra cotta pottery and decorative iron picks (perfect for containers) that take the shape of fiddlehead ferns. They were from Campo De’ Fiori in Sheffield, Massachusetts; Finial & Fern is the exclusive dealer in this area. Visiting Finial & Fern equates to being in the home of a person whose eclectic interests come together to create a magical space. 

Information: 15 W. Main St., Finialandfern.com.

Harry’s Fine Used Furniture & Accessories, Leola 

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Yes, Harry’s has a store that offers new furniture, but be sure to walk across the road and explore the warehouse that is brimming with used furniture and accessories. Vintage, mid-century modern, traditional, flashbacks from the ’70s and ’80s, farmhouse … you’ll find it. Richard Harry made the transition from running his own auction house to attending auctions (although he still dabbles in conducting toy auctions). He’s gotten selective over the years, hence quality pieces define the inventory. He shared that he had attended a sale the night before, hoping to snag some Danish Modern pieces, which are all the rage. Be sure to follow Harry’s Instagram account, as it’s frequently updated to share what’s new in the store. 

Information: 11 & 16 Graybill Rd., Hfcl.us.

Re-Uzit Shop of New Holland 

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Making its home in the former Good’s Furniture store, Re-Uzit is part of a network of more than 100 stores in the U.S. and Canada that rely on donations of clothing, home goods and other items, as well as volunteers, to operate. Proceeds benefit the Mennonite Central Committee. The store in New Holland was launched in 1976, when it took over the space once occupied by Rubinson’s Material and Sewing Center. In 1990, it expanded with the purchase of a larger facility that was further enlarged in 2000. 

By 2010, it was obvious the store needed to expand (again!) and when the Good’s store failed to generate interest at auction, Re-Uzit made owner Richard Good an offer, which he accepted. The store opened at its new home in November, 2010. 

I discovered why the parking lot is always packed when I recently stopped for a look around. It occurred to me the name should be Re-Uzit Department Store. You name it, and it can probably be found within the 30,000 square-foot store: clothing, housewares, china, glassware, furniture, jewelry, accessories, books, toys, games, Christmas décor and the list goes on. Everything was categorized and nicely displayed. The clothing racks were tidy and colorized.     

Information: 707 W. Main St., Newhollandreuzit.org.

Cornfields & Vintage Kollections, New Holland 

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I had not been here in ages and one rainy Saturday I decided to stop in. (The place was packed with visitors.) The barn-like store is filled with all sorts of treasures including antiques, vintage, primitive and stuff that you never knew you needed but must suddenly have. Dealers/vendors operate display areas in the two-story building, so the inventory is ever-changing. If you’re looking for old shutters, farm implements and such, this is the place to go. It’s double the fun, as it’s complemented by a shop called Vintage Kollections. 

Information: 245 Gristmill Rd., Cornfields.com. 

Flourish, Narvon 

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I’d always heard about Flourish and thanks to the Best Kept Secrets Tour, I finally got to see it. Owned by Trisha Snyder, Flourish makes its home at a farmette along Route 23. The enterprise began with a plot of tulips at the Snyder residence and has grown over the last 10 years into a multi-faceted operation that entails floral design (weddings are a specialty), an acre’s worth of gardens, a self-serve flower bar, classes and event space (the second floor of the barn, as well as an outdoor pavilion) for small-scale gatherings. It’s gorgeous!  

Information: 1518 Main St., Flourish.flowers.

Leid’s Greenhouse, New Holland 

There’s nothing I’d rather buy than plants. With that knowledge, Jordan took me to Leid’s Greenhouse. Wow! Two days later, I was back with a shopping list in hand. While the weather was cold and rainy, inside the greenhouse it was warm and “sunny” thanks to the kaleidoscope of colors that radiated from the plant-filled tables. The place obviously has a following, as it was packed both days I visited. 

Family operated for nearly 45 years, the selection includes annuals, perennials, grasses, thrillers/spillers for containers, succulents, grasses, vines, hanging baskets, containers, veggies, herbs and more. I gotta say, the begonias and geraniums are spectacular! Customer service is top notch, as there are ample carts, knowledgeable employees and credit cards are accepted (which seems to be a trend at Plain-owned greenhouses). I bought way more than what my shopping list called for. I can’t wait to see what they have for fall. 

Information: 159 Meadowcreek Rd., New Holland 

Urban Southern, Narvon  

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You guessed it! I discovered Urban Southern via the Best Kept Secrets Tour. Years later, I still regret not buying a leather/cowhide bag I saw. Urban Southern is all about bags – handbags, shoulder bags, clutches, crossbodies, laptop bags, wallets, totes, carryalls … and the list goes on. Everything is made from high-quality full-grain leather that holds the promise that while the bags are made for everyday use, they are “designed to last a lifetime.” 

Owned by Daniel and Rachel Smucker, Urban Southern’s management team is composed of six women who take pride in the fact that this is a women-driven business from both a management and customer perspective. The bags are made on the premises, which is a former barn that was remodeled to deliver an industrial-chic vibe. Upstairs, you’ll find products from other local artisans. 

Information: 2058 Main St., Urbansouthern.com. 

Heritage Design Interiors, New Holland

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Owner Anita Yoder has loved all aspects of home decorating and interior design since she was a child and often found herself helping friends and family with projects. Thirty-five years ago she took a leap of faith and started her own business. Today, Heritage Design Interiors (HDI) makes its home in a former inn along Route 23, where rooms are filled with accessories and other home décor necessities. Custom is HDI’s forte and Anita and her staff specialize in helping clients with everything from window treatments to bedding to the redesign of a room or an entire house.

Ah, but the holidays are when HDI really shines. By early November, each room is decorated top to bottom with colorful decorations and creations that shimmer and sparkle. One year I hit their after-Christmas sale and bought a slew of pink ornaments I had been coveting. I put them in a safe place. The following holiday season, while on the Best Kept Secrets Tour, I took advantage of the discount and bought the very same ornaments, forgetting I had previously purchased them. You can imagine my surprise when I unearthed the bag in my closet! Oh, well, I love pink.

Information: 1064 E. Main St., Interiordesigninteriors.com.

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