8 Sisters Bakery – The History Behind the Dream
The story of 8 Sisters Bakery begins with the Schwartz family. Levi Sr. and Sarah Schwartz were born and raised in a traditional Amish community. Over a span of twenty years, the couple had 16 children together – eight boys and eight girls. As with many Amish families, the Schwartz’s had a big farm where they raised and harvested their crops and produce using horse-drawn machinery. They also had a variety of animals on the farm that provided the family with meat, dairy products and eggs. From the first to the last, the children were all taught to work hard and be self-sustaining.
Dad Schwartz and his young sons worked primarily on the farm. As the boys grew to adulthood, they all learned the trade of construction, an occupation practiced by most of the Schwartz sons still today. Mom Schwartz was a homemaker and an accomplished baker. She taught all of her daughters to cook and bake from a very young age. In August of 1998, Mom Schwartz died tragically in a buggy/car accident. This led to some harsh realities for the Schwartz Family. Following this loss, Dad Schwartz and many of the older children began seeking out God in a different light. Several years later and after much evaluating, Dad Schwartz and eleven of his children accepted Christ as their Savior and separated from the Amish community.
8 Sisters Bakery – The Dream Becomes Reality
Long before the idea of 8 Sisters Bakery was even formed, life for the Schwartz family was very typical of Amish living. Mom Schwartz, with the help of her daughters, had spent years of her life baking on the weekends and setting up booths at markets and events to sell her products. This became quite a big business for her and it stirred a passion for baking in her daughter, Emma (Schwartz) Lister.
Not long after the death of her mother, Emma took a job working in her local bakery. Several years later, her dedication to the company and her passion for baking earned Emma a promotion to supervisor of the bakery. Emma continued to work for this bakery for many years, all the while dreaming of having a bakery her own. Finally, in 2010, Emma found the courage to start her own business. Four of her sisters who had also left the Amish community helped her get started. Working from a fifth sister’s house, they began by baking for small orders and events. During this early stage, Emma sought out more opportunities and scouted locations for a commercial building.
In July 2010, the name ”8 Sisters Bakery” was decided upon. Though not all the sisters were directly involved, Emma had a desire to honor her Momma’s heritage by representing all of Mom Schwartz’s daughters. The baked goods to be offered by the new bakery would be made using the traditional recipes and baking techniques that Emma had learned as a child under her mother’s watchful eye. In October 2010, Emma’s dream became reality with the opening of the first official location of 8 Sisters Bakery in Mount Gilead, Ohio.
8 Sisters Bakery Today
8 Sisters Bakery has grown from its humble beginnings into a very successful business. By remaining true to the strong, traditional values of the Schwartz Family and the proven skills learned from Mom Schwartz, 8 Sisters Bakery has been able to expand significantly. A second Mount Gilead location is open for business and wholesale products are now provided to more than a dozen vendors. 8 Sisters Bakery products can also be found at various fairs, markets, and big events for miles around. The incredible popularity of 8 Sisters Bakery is truly a reflection of the exceptional quality of its products.