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Burton –  Countryside Home Baker is pleased to announce their 5th Anniversary celebration on December 17 & 18, from 8am-5pm, with drawings, free coffee and more! A family owned business that opened in 2005 as a way to generate a little extra income has grown into a self sustaining business through the hard work and traditional recipes used by the store’s bakers. By baking everything from scratch and using real butter Countryside Home Bakery provides the community a product that is readily available, yet does not lose the homemade, down-to-earth taste. Another distinctive feature of the bakery is its traditional wood burning oven, the results are products unique in their own way. Stop in and taste the difference!

At Countryside Home Bakery you will enjoy traditional, home-made breads, pies, cookies, and more all made from scratch. With Christmas just around the corner, the bakery offers Christmas cookies, gift baskets, delicious breads and specialty items like chocolate covered candies! Also available is a selection of locally-produced jams and maple syrup.

Regular business hours are Wed.-Sat. 8am to 5pm. The bakery will be closed from Christmas through February 2. Christmas orders need to be placed by December 23rd to be picked up by December 24th.

Countryside is located at 17075 Mumford Rd., Burton,   approximately 2.25 miles north of Rt. 422 and 1.5 miles south of Rt. 168. Phone 440-834-0776.

Middlefield – If you are looking for a unique place to buy locally-made, handcrafted gift items, you need to stop by Amish Home Craft & Bakery.  They are located at 16860 Kinsman Road in Middlefield, just 1 1?2 miles east of downtown Middlefield.  Their regular hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 am until 4:30 pm and closed on Sunday.

Owner, Jonas Miller, Jr., spoke with me about the diversity of visitors that come to the shop.  They have several return customers from Utah, Texas, and as far away as  Dubai.  I took a look at their guest book and there were visitors from Arizona, Nevada, Canada and the Czech Republic.  While I was there Mr. Miller was regaling visitors from the far west side of Cleveland with delightful local stories.

The store provides its customers with a variety of handmade items.  They have items for the children such as Amish dolls, wooden trains, wooden puzzles, story books, use-your-imagination toys and games, corn hole bags and warm blankets.  You can pick from many items for the home, like quilts of all sizes, natural soaps from Pine Breeze Farms, rugs, table runners and placemats, baskets of every size and shape, wall hangings, hickory rockers and coat hooks.  You can also find lamp parts and other smaller household items.

Other items available are a line of Nature’s Sunshine herbs, supplements and vitamins.  Nature’s Sunshine first encapsulated herbs in 1972 and has been around ever since.  Miller’s Country Jams are available as well as other canned items and honey.

The homemade items are one component of this adorable shop and the other component is the daily bakery.  The Millers have an on-site bakery kitchen and offer a large variety of baked goods.  You will find several varieties of breads, cream rolls, cakes, pies, cookies, donuts, crème sticks and fry pies.  Now with the larger ovens, they are able to offer large fruit danish and other specialty baked items.  The bakery is in and of itself a worthy reason to stop by.

With the holidays fast approaching, you can get special orders made for your holiday meals.  By calling 440-632-1888 (let it ring as the phone is not in the shop or the house), you can order pies, dinner rolls, breads or sweets so you can do other things and enjoy the holidays more without the extra work for you.

The renewed consumer interest in locally-made products makes shopping for gift items and home items a perfect option at Amish Home Craft & Bakery.  Mr. Miller told me that most of the items they offer are locally made either by Amish or Mennonite artisans.  Buying there helps local economies and helps your personal economy because the pricing is extremely reasonable.

Christmas is a great time to stop by and do gift shopping, but don’t forget gifts for yourself and your dinner table.  You will be glad you stopped by.