Walnut Creek Cheese really takes the cake

01 MAIN Clients choice 3098
Randy L. McKee

In addition to beautifully decorated cakes, the bakery also whips up divine gluten-free pastries, like cupcakes, cookies and muffins. Sugar-free options also abound and include fresh-baked cookies.

Over the years, Walnut Creek Cheese has become a destination for visitors as well as a regular stop for locals, but there are a few delicious aspects to one of Amish Country’s favorite foodie havens that even area residents might not be aware of.

Sure, the scratch-made cinnamon rolls from Walnut Creek Bakery are one of life’s finer pleasures. The same can be said about the fry pies, a store favorite. But the decorated cakes really take the, well, cake.

“We create beautiful cakes for just about any occasion,” said Dennis Schlabach, manager of the store. “We usually have some ready to go, or people can place an order if they have a specific design or theme in mind. We can even transfer a photo onto a cake.”

The bakery also whips up divine gluten-free pastries, like cupcakes, cookies and muffins. Sugar-free options also abound and include fresh-baked cookies.

Pair your pastry of choice with Mudd Valley Ice Cream. In fact, you can order a Mudd Valley ice cream cake with freshmade custard inside. “They’re one of our best sellers,” Schlabach said.

In the store’s Cannery, choose from 75 locally made jams, jellies and spreads, like apricot jam, Concord grape jelly or apple butter barbecue sauce.

“Behind the deli counter, you’ll find a variety of fresh meats sliced while you wait and more than 50 cheeses,” Schlabach said.

“And our deli department creates gorgeous party trays, which are perfect for weddings and other special events.”

You’ll also find fresh beef and chicken from area farms.

The popular bulk food section has everything from buckwheat pancake mix to pink Himalayan salt and an entire aisle devoted to baking ingredients.

If you can’t find it in the Butter Churn kitchenwares section, it doesn’t exist. You’ll find blenders and mixers, pots and pans, placemats and linens, and a 120-foot wall of gadgets for cooks of every skill level.

“Some of our most popular items right now include Wustoff and Rada knives, fruit and vegetable savers, and corn cutters,” kitchenwares manager Peg Beechy said.

“Meanwhile, canning supplies, pie-making supplies, cookie scoops and cookie cutters are items that have always been excellent sellers. Baking is always in style.”

As the home of Uncle Mike’s Beef Jerky, Walnut Creek Cheese offers free jerky samples every day. “Sweet Dill and Maple Beef are two of our newer flavors, and people are going crazy for them,” Schlabach said.

The produce section of the store is stocked with the freshest fruits and vegetables. “Our customers love our produce department,” Schlabach said. “During the growing season, produce is sourced from the farmers’ auction in nearby Mt. Hope.”

Enjoy brunch, lunch or coffee and dessert upstairs at the Mudd Valley Café and Creamery. The menu is unique to Walnut Creek Cheese and includes specialty sandwiches, single or double burgers you can top yourself at the topping cart, and exclusive Stacks.

Save room for a gourmet milkshake featuring creamy Mudd Valley Ice Cream made in house.

Walnut Creek Cheese is located at 2641 SR 39 in Walnut Creek (330-852-2888). Visit WalnutCreekCheese.com for hours and more information. Find the store on Facebook under the same name. A second location is at 4727 U.S. 62 in Berlin (330-893-3273).