Tying Up at the Hitching Post

When people think of the Amish, they don’t usually think of them as shopping at their local convenience store.  Yet Brett Yoder says their Marathon location in Shipshewanna, Ind., complete with a Subway® franchise, is a popular destination point for the local Amish community.

The Amish are many of our loyal customers,” says Yoder.  “Of course, they don’t buy gasoline, but they do buy kerosene and white gas (naphtha) in five-gallon containers for lamps and other needs. They also like to eat at the Subway.”

Shipshewanna is located in the heart of a rural part of Northern Indiana, home to the third largest Amish community in the country. As a result, Yoder’s Shipshewanna Marathon includes a parking spot – a hitching post – for Amish horse-drawn buggies.  Yoder says that they considered removing the hitching post when they remodeled the station, but in the end, they decided it needed to stay.

It’s easy to see why customers are drawn to Yoder’s location.  The Subway includes seating for around 40 people, including outdoor seating that overlooks the downtown area.  In fact, the location received Subway’s 2008 Franchisee of the Year award for single unit owners. Headquartered in Elkhart, Ind., Yoder counts a total of six company-operated Marathon locations and two jobber dealer locations.
“Of course, there’s a little extra maintenance associated with having a hitching post,” Brett Yoder continues, smiling. “Some stores actually require the Amish to clean up after their horses, but we aren’t one of them. It’s just part of our customer service. Our employees know they need to keep the area clean, and they’re really good about it.”

Updated: Wednesday, June 29 2011