April 17, 2014

Intermittent clouds

Hundreds of Amish men build produce auction house

Less than a week ago, the northwest corner of state Route 301 and West Salem Road was an empty farm field. Today, it’s the site of a 28,000-square-foot Amish produce auction house in Homer Township.

The transformation was the work of hundreds of Amish men who are hoping the auction house will help support their families’ traditional rural way of life.

Hundreds of Amish workers participated in the “barn raising” of a 28,000-square-foot produce auction house at state Route 301 and West Salem Road, in Homer Township. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY DAVID KNOX)

“Two hundred-plus families are counting on it for their source of income,” said Nick DeFelice, who will be the auctioneer at the market, which is expected to open by the end of the month.

DeFelice said the auction house will operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the produce for sale will include a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, including strawberries and melons, squash, tomatoes, onion, zucchini, cauliflower and cabbage.

He said prospective buyers include major supermarkets from Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Detroit.

John Covender, the construction manager for the project, said the Amish community leaders “specifically designed the building to accommodate the horse-drawn wagons” used by Amish community, which shuns modern technology.

Covender said speed of the Amish “barn-raising” construction was amazing. The concrete and posts that support the building were installed on Wednesday and Thursday.

More than 150 Amish workers arrived in buggies and wagons on both Friday and Saturday to raise the building.

By nightfall Saturday, the entire complex was under roof.

Contact David Knox at (330) 721-4065 or dknox@medina-gazette.com.

  • http://www.facebook.com/melody.cole.9 Melody Cole

    Why hasn’t any reporters asked the Homerville Produce Auction how this will effect their business,or does it matter.

  • just wondering

    I’m very interested in hearing about how homerville will support both produce auctions? I am also interested in hearing why the new auction walked away with all of the growers, workers, and auctioneers? I would also like to know if Mr. Owen and his family were compensated for all their hard work over the past 16 years. And 1 more question!? Wasn’t the first auction responsible for teaching everyone in the community about the produce business? If i was considering buying at this new auction I’d consider if they were truthful and honest in their dealings first. I’m sure Mr. Owen would answer any questions asked of him.

  • Just agreeing

    I totally agree with the previous post.

  • Just agreeing

    And why hasn’t anyone interviewed Mr. Owen? Excellent point!

  • JT Thomas

    It appears that the Homerville Auction is enlisting the courts to restrain trade and FREE ENTERPRISE. Likely too lazy to make improvements that will be necessary to compete with the new auction house.

  • ANNA

    Hi i’m anna shearer I’M 11. andrea owens daughter and fred owens grandaughter. Were very sad about the auction. NICK was one of are old employees. There doing everything the same as us just to get us out of buiseness. SO THANKS NICK FOR RUINING OUR AUCTION. PLEASE COME SUPPORT OUR AUCTION ON TUES. AND THURS. AT 5:30 PLEASE COME.