Family works together at Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery

Family works together at Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery
Doyle Yoder

Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery, 5452 state Route 557, Millersburg, is celebrating its 35th anniversary May 14-15 with Customer Appreciation Days.


If you have spent much time in Ohio’s Amish Country, chances are you visited or have at least seen Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery. You may have seen the rows of hanging baskets filling the parking lot each spring or the fields full of pumpkins ripening each fall. You may have seen the bins of produce or the horses pulling wagons and buggies. You may have even seen a goat or two walking on the roof.

What began as an in-home bakery has grown and changed into a destination that is popular with local shoppers and tourists from around the country. Today, the bakery features fresh-baked cookies, pies, doughnuts, breads and other wholesome baked goods. All of the pies and fry pies are made with seasonal fresh fruit or frozen fruit, and no preservatives are used.

Along with the bakery products, you also will find canned goods, noodles, meats, cheeses, spices and handmade candies. The Farm Store offers a variety of items including wooden toys, furniture, home décor, candles, handmade purses, belts, wallets and more. And the farm’s animal-petting area allows people to get up close and personal with over 100 farm animals of all types and sizes.

Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery, 5452 state Route 557, Millersburg, is celebrating its 35th anniversary May 14-15 with Customer Appreciation Days. The celebration will include 10% savings on all items in the bakery, Farm Store and petting area admissions. Door prize drawings will be held throughout the event, and a light lunch of hamburgers, church noodles and dessert will be served while supplies last.

The celebration will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days with the petting area open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the bakery, store and Farm Store is free while the petting area is $5 per person with age 2 and under free.

The history of Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery is filled with family, change and the desire to provide quality products and a unique experience for customers.

Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery was first opened in 1986 by Alvin and Emma Hershberger. The earliest days of the bakery saw Emma baking in their home kitchen, where she created many of the baked-good recipes still used today. Eventually, the baking was moved to their summer house and then to an open-sided building where Emma baked and Alvin ran the store. When Emma passed away in 1994, daughter Erma took over the baking and the store until she married.

In 1998 Erma married and left the store while Alvin and Emma’s son Daniel and his wife Mary Esther purchased the bakery, added a porch to the store and started the petting area in a pasture. In 1999 Alvin remarried, and his wife Iva began working in the store. The two worked side by side until they retired in 2004.

The 2000s were a period of growth and change. In 2002 a new bakery was constructed beside the store, allowing for room for some expansion and the addition of new bakery products. The year 2005 saw the construction of a barn for the horses and other animals, and in 2007 the first petting area building was completed. In 2008 the food trailer was added, allowing visitors to enjoy breakfast and lunch on the farm. In 2010 the original petting area building was converted to what is now the Farm Store, and the modern petting area building in use today was constructed.

In 2014 another phase of growth began as the bakery and store were expanded with additional retail space and climate-controlled storage. In 2016 the horse barn was expanded, and the addition of the walk-thru petting area was added. In 2018 pony rides, wagon rides and buggy rides were added.

Last year a greenhouse and closed porch were added to the store to allow shaded space for more produce. The food trailer also added a new building specifically for drinks, hand-made ice cream and smoothies. The pavilion also was moved, and additional outdoor seating was installed. This year Hershbergers put on a new addition to the petting area building, and new outdoor paths have been created in the walk-thru portion of the petting area. A walk-thru aviary was created, housing over 400 new colored parakeets.

As the bakery, store and petting area grew, so too did the Hershberger family. Daniel and Mary Esther have nine children who have each contributed to the success of the farm and bakery.

Steven Hershberger (married to Naomi Mast) currently serves as the store/general manager. Rosie worked in the store and bakery until she married Menno Yoder in 2013, who then became the Farm Store manager in 2014. Christina worked in the petting area and with the horses until she married Emery Miller in 2015. Joann worked in the store and bakery until 2019 when she married Vernon Miller. Susan currently works in the petting area and with the horses, as does John. Victor currently serves as the product manager. The youngest of the children, Joseph and Emma, are still in school but help in many areas as they are able.

Daniel and Mary Esther also have eight grandchildren, some of whom are bound to become the fourth generation to contribute to the farm and bakery operation.

The 35-year history of Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery is filled with innovation and change. The one thing that remains consistent is the family. As an example, Daniel still starts the bread every morning at 4.

“Without my family and employees, it would be impossible to do all the things we do. The Lord has blessed us with a solid family, great employees and many good customers,” he said. “We are truly fortunate and thankful.”

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