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Troyer's Home Pantry: Q&A with Jordan Troyer

Katherine Ryder Published: April 1, 2011 11:32 AM
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Store History:

In the early 1960s, Abe and Sarah Troyer lived on a small farm near Apple Creek. They raised chickens and sold eggs on a retail egg route in the community.

Times were hard on a small farm, so Sarah began to do some baking to supplement the farm income. She used the egg whites to make Angel Food Cakes, and the egg yolks to make noodles. These were sold on the routes that Abe ran.

Sarah was an exceptional baker, so the creations from her kitchen sold well. Soon the demand for baked goods was greater than the demand for eggs.

In 1966 a small red barn was built on the yard to house the budding bakery, and in 1974 the business moved into the village of Apple Creek to its present location. The whole family pitched in to make the full time bakery work, and Sarah worked tirelessly to adapt her old fashioned recipes to the need for larger batches.

As the business grew, Abe developed a business structure that would help the company maintain Sarah's dedication to quality recipes. Instead of hiring low wage employees, Abe decided to bring people from the community into the business as partners with a 100 percent profit sharing pay system.

That way, workers aren't just hired; they are partnered into the family.

Today, Troyer's Home Pantry is still a family managed partnership, continuing a 40-year tradition.

We are striving to provide our customers with the best in pies, rolls, cakes, cookies, breads, and more, all made from scratch with the old fashioned recipes perfected years ago.

How long have you worked in the store?

Almost 10 years.

What do you do on a daily basis?

In the morning I'm on deliveries. I really like this part of my job because I get a chance to interact with our wholesale customers.

I'm also in charge of our expense account, about two-thirds of the book work falls on me.

And like now when my dad, Paul Troyer, is on vacation I'm in charge of the office.

I also take care of the equipment and any maintenance that needs done around the store.

I'm kind of a floater, but I really enjoy that aspect of my job. I get to be involved in several aspects of the business.

How many locations are there in Ohio?

Our website lists 70, but I would say we're currently close to 100 businesses across Ohio that carry our products.

Describe for me what Troyer's Home Pantry is about. What is your focus/mission in serving the community?

After all of these years we still make everything homemade. All of that work takes dedication and virtue. My grandmother started baking out of her kitchen to feed her family and the way I look at it, that family has just grown.

We have a very unique way of doing business. Like it's stated in our history, we consider contributors to be our partners and our partners to be our family.

We're just trying to take care of our family.

It was a vision of my grandfather's, to bring others in. That's what a true partnership is.

Over the years, what would you consider to be the business' biggest success?

Definitely maintaining a homemade flavor. There's always pressure to do things...differently. It would be much cheaper and easier if we didn't take the time to make all of our fillings and pastries from scratch. But that pressure is something we've overcome.

What is something the business could improve on?

There are a lot of people who have been here much longer than I have. I have ideas for things that I want to do...we all have our own ideas. I respect that I may not have the best idea. It's very difficult to change something that's been done a certain way for so long.

Something I think we could improve on isn't necessarily an improvement, just something we could work on.

And that's just working for the benefit of the business.

What are some current goals that you have?

I would like to bring more of the community into the store. We have a superb customer-base. I'd like to focus on being even more customer-friendly, having someone there right when the customer walks in the door.

Achieving great customer service is a challenge. Often times we're very focused on getting the job done, we need to find a balance.

How do you view Troyer's Home Pantry in the community?

I would consider us a mainstay. We have such a significant history and we're very well known, not only in Apple Creek, but across Ohio as well. I love this community, the help we give one another and the willingness to do what's best for each other...it's really amazing.

How would you describe your relationship with your competitors?

Pretty cordial. Some of our competitors buy pie pans or frozen fruit from us. On the same hand, we're not afraid to call someone if we need something.

What is your most popular item?

Our cinnamon rolls. They're probably the very first thing you can smell when you walk through the door. People just go crazy over them.

As a whole we have 40 different kinds of pie, which we obviously sell more of. But compared to a specific type of pie, we definitely sell more cinnamon rolls. Cherry is our most popular pie.

Troyer's Home Pantry is located at 668 W. Main St. in Apple Creek. For more information contact Jordan Troyer, (330) 698-4182 or visit www.troyershomepantry.com. Store hours are Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, 6 a.m.-5 p.m.

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