Here at Marinate Me Baby we produce a weekly podcast where we feature food trends, recipes, cocktails and of course one of my favorites a #PDR. What is a #PDR you ask? Well that is the brain child from Scott Duehlmeier. Scott either does a Vine or an appearance where he recommends a few of his favorite finds he has experienced over the last week.
Now, in Episode 14 | What is your Cooking Style?, Scott went above and beyond when he personalized a Vine recommending Sioux City Birch Beer to pair with the Texas Red (Chili Con Carne). This started Danielle Edwards (my great co-host) and I talking about who made the best Birch Beer. Almost in unison, we both cited “Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer.” Folks, if you haven’t had this, it is Birch Gold! It pairs so well with Cheese Steaks, or any meat product, and it’s just a favorite of mine. Danielle suggested I needed to make a trek up north to Willard, Utah and visit Apple Creek Bulk Food Company to see if they sold this magic elixir and this would save me a trips to Salt Lake City. I am so glad I listened to Dani!
For years, the journey to Brigham City, Utah for my family involved a trek up old Highway 89 by the way of Willard and Perry to visit the various road-side stands that dotted Box Elder for more decades. We were on the way to visit my grandparents, so when ever I make the drive it is nostalgic for me to say the least.
This section of Highway 89 between Brigham City and Willard is also know as the “Utah Fruitway”. Too many roadside stands have closed shop as the “mega” marts have started to pop up in bedroom communities of Brigham City, Pleasant View, and Harrisville. This is why a store like Apple Creek works; it fills a much needed niche. This is a play on the old country store that might have dotted this part of Highway 89 when my Mom was in her youth (50’s-60’s).
When you enter the establishment, you will see rows and rows of canned goods. My eyes almost fell out of my head. There were so many different products on the shelf from Pickled Eggs, to Jalapeño Eggs, to Black Cherry Jam, to Banana Strawberry jams, to hot pickles. The rows were just endless, and my anticipation continued to grow. The variety of product is what is amazing to the eye. It’s a sort of culinary Disneyland!
My amazement continued when I hit my nirvana, the deli-counter. This deli was tucked in the very back corner, and I was greeted by two fantastic folks who never forgot what the meaning of small town old school customer service was.
I was presented with samples of various deli meats and cheeses to sample. Lebanon Sweet and Regular, now folks, if you just go for this one deli meat your trip will be a success. We sampled various cheeses that included smoked bacon cheese and a beer cheese. I even sampled their version of head cheese. The employees were extremely educated in the products they were providing for sampling. Even if they chickened out of the Head Cheese tasting challenge I proposed… the key to this trip being a success was the staff had a great attitude and they were not afraid to laugh.
When speaking with the staff, they were not ashamed at all that none of the products sold at Apple Creek were made here. The staff cited that everything is shipped in. Upon closer inspection of the canned and preserved items you will see labeling that states just that, “Made for…”. Normally, I would shoe you away from a place that mass produced, or drop shipped their ingredients. This place is different.
Apple Creek takes pride in quality and freshness of the products they import in from Ohio. Furthermore, if you are looking for a place to try pickled eggs, or Strawberry Banana jam before you make investment in making it yourself you need to make a stop here. I came here for the Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer and I left with a discovery of not just great quality food, an establishment that still focuses on old school customer service.
Apple Creek Bulk Food Co
875 N Main Street
Willard, UT 84340
Apple Creek Amish Market
1331 S. State Street
Provo, UT 84606