Two-Tank Trip: Berlin

Unless you’re looking for Swiss cheese and quilts, you might not think of Amish country as a place to get your shopping on.

Unless you’re looking for Swiss cheese and quilts, you might not think of Amish country as a place to get your shopping on. And yet the quaint little town of Berlin in Holmes County offers plenty of retail surprises—fashionable women’s clothing and accessories, handsome and well-crafted furniture in a range of styles, fun novelties and magic tricks, antiques and, yes, delicious Amish cooking.

It’s easy to stroll to each of these businesses, all clustered along the main thoroughfare in Berlin, which incidentally is pronounced BURR-lun (unlike that city in Germany). Parking is free in various off-road lots. Keep in mind that Saturday is much busier than other days.

Berlin is only about a 45-minute drive from Canton through scenic country roads, with plenty of other places to stop and visit along the way.

Here are seven don’t-miss spots for your Berlin day trip:

roam_studio41. Studio 4 Designs, Ltd., 4810-B E. Main Street, specializes in that in-vogue style of furniture that marries beautifully grained woods with industrial metals. The inviting shop is owned and operated by John and Kathy Hochstetler; he builds the tables, desks and other accessories, she sews the textile items. In addition to furniture, Studio 4 offers carefully selected vintage items (cameras, globes, typewriters), lighting fixtures, throw pillows and uncommon home accessories. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday through Saturday. 330-893-1140.

roam_moxie2. Moxie, 4843 E. Main Street, would be a noteworthy women’s boutique in any major city, which makes its location in Berlin feel all the more like an unexpected fashion oasis. The place is bursting with shoes, handbags (from $29 to $599), jewelry, hats, scarves and oodles of clothing. “Our focus here is on things that are good quality, comfortable and colorful,” said manager-buyer Stefanie Kauffman. “One of our big sellers is Jag Jeans, which we sell to girls in high school through women in their 80s.” It says something that Moxie has a number of regular customers from Cleveland and Columbus. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 330-893-9184.

roam_catalpa3. Catalpa Trading Company, 4846 E. Main Street, is a fun feast for the eyes, stocked floor to ceiling with pop-culture memorabilia (“The Wizard of Oz,” Elvis, The Jetsons), fondly remembered toys now reissued (Cootie, Uncle Wiggly), metal signs, magnets, salt and pepper shakers, cookie jars, joke items (Whoopi Cushions, Joy Buzzer), old-time chewing gum and candy, and an extensive array of magic tricks, books and supplies. The shop’s mischievous owner, Raymond Hagood, likes to surprise visitors with magic tricks. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 330-893-3752.

4. Boyd & Wurthmann Restaurant, 4819 E. Main Street, has been serving home-cooked breakfast, lunch and supper since the 1940s, and is a great place to fuel up during a shopping day. The place is cozy and refreshingly nontouristy, with an old-time local feel and very reasonable prices, including a 75-cent cup of coffee. The homemade soups (served with homemade bread and Swiss cheese) and pies (including pecan, banana cream and peanut butter) are superb. A full menu can be viewed at Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 330-893-3287.

roam_giftbarn25. Berlin Village Gift Barn, 4755 E. Main Street, is a vast and inviting store on three levels with a wide variety of home decor, including furniture, lamps, bedding, tableware, kitchen accessories and more. There’s also a large department for women’s clothing and accessories, with brands including Pandora, Alex & Ani and Vera Bradley. The sister store, Country Gatherings, which shares the same parking lot, specializes in primitive-style furnishings and garden decor. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 330-893-2648.

roam_schrock6. Schrock’s Heritage Furniture, 4760 E. Main Street, will be a revelation to anyone who thinks of Amish-made furniture as light-oak benches with cut-out hearts. The wooden furniture that fills three floors here is handsome, contemporary and extremely well-crafted—check out how those drawers close—and all made within 15 miles of the store. You’ll find dining room and bedroom sets, desks, entertainment centers, even circular tables made from Jack Daniel’s barrels in a range of styles and finishes; woods include ambrosia maple, walnut, elm, cherry and quartersawn white oak. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 330-893-2242.

7. Berlin Village Antique Mall, 4774 U.S. Route 62, is a barnlike structure with 26,000 square feet of dealer booths offering antiques and collectibles from 78 dealers on two floors. It would be quite possible to spend hours here, treasure hunting and enjoying the nostalgia. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 330-893-4100.

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass