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TOUR: Yoder's Country Market - New Holland, PA

Yoder's Country Market
Owner: John and Darlene Yoder
Opened: 1984
Cooperative: IGA (Family Owned Markets)
 14 S Tower Rd, New Holland, PA
Photographed: August 20, 2019
We just left the Shady Maple Farm Market in East Earl, a massive country grocery store with a huge buffet restaurant attached to it. And now we're about two miles away at Yoder's Country Market, another massive country grocery store with a huge buffet restaurant attached to it. Combined, this building takes up over 112,000 square feet. The grocery store first opened in 1980 and may have been expanded to its current size, most likely around 2000.
We enter to the bakery department in the front right corner, with produce in the first aisle. Deli/cheese and meat/seafood are at the back of the first aisle, with the rest of the meat department on the back wall. Dairy is beyond that on the back wall and continuing down aisle 12, with frozen in aisles 10-12. There are 19 aisles total, and the last few aisles include a large nonfoods selection. In the front left corner of the store, there is a pharmacy and a HABA department not included in the grocery aisles.
As we can see, the store is on the older side but maintenance has been fantastic. As we'll see as we tour, there have been fixture updates throughout too.
The produce department is massive and features plenty of locally-grown items. Which, I suppose, is to be expected in rural Pennsylvania.
Looking back up towards the front fo the first aisle, we can see the bakery department in the front corner. As I mentioned, this building also includes a restaurant/buffet and a florist also owned by the Yoders, meaning the supermarket is only around 85,000 square feet or so of the overall complex. Still very large -- in fact, one of the largest IGAs in the region, if not the largest.
This store was previously affiliated with Family Owned Markets, a cooperative supplied (or maybe run?) by Reading, PA-based AWI. When AWI declared bankruptcy and was acquired by C&S, Family Owned Markets stuck with C&S for several years before switching to IGA around 2020 or 2021. When I visited this store back in 2019, it was definitely still C&S-supplied, with Best Yet and Full Circle products.
As we see, this is a bit more of a standard grocery store than Shady Maple, which is really a tourist destination.
And apparently there's another grocery store in Virginia with the same name, but unrelated as far as I can tell.
In the service meat and seafood department, we can tell that the fixtures have been updated and I would bet that the decor is not original to the store's 1984 opening, but is probably more like late 1990s-early 2000s.
We can see here, though, that although the store is not as flashy as Shady Maple, the service departments are also enormous. Clearly, there's a big demand for high-service supermarkets around here, and it's a little unusual to see these rural supermarkets with such massive perishable departments. Between this store and Shady Maple, plus some others we'll see in the Lancaster area, we'll see that it's clearly a format that works and that several operators have replicated.
In fact, at 80-85,000 square feet, this may be one of the largest IGAs on the east coast. Does anyone know of any larger IGA-affiliated stores? I'm not sure there is a larger IGA anywhere in the northeastern US.
More updated fixtures in the frozen department, which takes up two and a half aisles.
And aisle 12 has the cold cut and dairy department facing the last of the frozen foods, in cases that clearly have not been updated.
But the meat department cases on the back wall were looking brand-new when I visited.
The rest of the dairy department runs along the back wall, and is stocked from the dairy backroom behind it. Again, these fixtures look brand-new.
Here's a look at some of the general merchandise aisles.
When there are relatively few Walmarts in an area like this (or other comparable supercenters), it's very interesting how these independent supermarkets jump in and fill that need, too, with basically a little bit of everything except clothing.
Paper products and bread take up the last aisle, with the pharmacy/HABA department in the front corner.
I find this decor to be pleasant, if slightly outdated. It's a good match for the store. And note that the restaurant actually has similar matching decor.
There are a few HABA aisles in the front by the pharmacy (these are pretty large, too, so if 19 aisles sounds a little low for an 80,000 square foot store, you can see how the space is made up elsewhere around the store).
And that just about wraps up our tour of Yoder's! It's a very nice place and the biggest supermarket around New Holland, a town perhaps best known for its agricultural equipment.
But before we leave New Holland, we're heading into the town to see two more small grocery stores. Those are just about a mile and a quarter west into town, so come back tomorrow to check out the first one!