Local exploration: the Amish Community Market in Unity

Not far from Colby in the small town of Unity, Maine, a growing Amish community owns a small market. The market includes a bakery which sells doughnuts every Wednesday and Saturday morning. Mainly due to word of mouth, these doughnuts have become increasingly popular in Central Maine, with some driving long distances to this unexpected location.

The popular doughnuts at the Amish Community Market include flavors like raised-glazed, jelly, chocolate cream, maple cream, and pumpkin cake. The store is also a general store and sells some items  relatively unique to Amish lifestyle, such as axes. Despite this, they utilize some modern technology, as the doughnuts are made with an electric mixer.

The market is only one part of the roots that the newly-growing Amish population in the Unity area has set down. According to the Bangor Daily News, the population in the area originally consisted of a group of Amish families, mainly from Arostook County in Northern Maine, who were looking to buy farmland near each other. With winters even harsher farther north, they were looking for large, cheap tracts of land where they could farm for a longer season. They found many of them in the Unity area. Since arriving, they have been joined by other families looking to be part of the community, including people not raised as Amish initially. There are now between 15 and 20 Amish families in the area, and horses, carriages and bikes are commonly seen on the roads.

Part of this community is the former sous chef of the well-known Charlie Trotter’s restaurant in Chicago. Matthew Secich, while not initially Amish, recently joined the Amish population in the Unity area and started a local meat shop right next to the Amish Community Market called Charcuterie. The meats at this new shop are just as popular as the doughnuts next door. In a Bangor Daily News article, Secich stated he was happy to be running a shop where everyone can eat his food, instead of a few people with the money (the tasting menu price at his former restaurant was $600). While it is uncommon to leave a promising culinary career for a quiet, Amish lifestyle, Secich seems more than happy riding horses. “I hope that when you walk in here, you walk back 100 years,” he said of his new shop in
the article.

The small town of Unity is not one usually thought of by Colby students, except for the annual Common Ground Country Fair in September. However, it has become the sight of a unique community looking to trade modern technology and fast-paced lifestyle for horses, amazing doughnuts, and a simple life in the past without televisions or cars. The community’s market is certainly worth the visit, particularly on mornings with their doughnuts. What is only a short drive from the Colby campus seems worlds away.

  • Robert Riversong

    While I think the Community Market is a wonderful addition to the Unity area, and frequently shop there, I was dismayed that their baked goods are made mostly from white flour, sugar and lard. In that way, too, they are 100 years behind the times.

    Those who are interested in healthy food might look elsewhere.