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While Berlin may be the center of Amish attractions, you may want to consider venturing east of the village as many other Amish towns and attractions await to satisfy your shopping experience. Set your course east on SR 39 and make your way past the shops of Walnut Creek.
Just as the road begins to curve towards the village of Sugarcreek, a small building surrounded by lawn furniture and dcor attracts your attention. The fresh spring air and sunshine have suddenly put you in the mood to do a little shopping for that landscaping project you have been meaning to start for the summer. So you hang a left and pull into the gravel drive of Swiss Country Lawn and Crafts.
Gazebos, lawn chairs, tables and benches in the sturdiest of vinyls and woods are all on display to inspire that dream backyard you always wanted. As you peruse the large assortment of furniture, you are also intrigued by the home dcor just inside the building. You realize you have made the right stop when it comes to updating your household and find yourself picking out a few gifts for loved ones as well.
Dwight and Mabel Mast begin the business from their own yard 23 years ago. In 1989, Dwight Mast decided to purchase a small load of lawn furniture to try and sell. After managing to sell the whole load rather quickly, Mast decided this was a business venture he would like to get into.
In 1992, the Mast's began selling items from the crafts side of their business from their garage. The business began to grow rapidly so, in 1995, the Mast's purchased the current building and moved the business to the location it resides in now.
"Sometimes we are easily overlooked," said Dwight Mast. "I've even had people tell me they never stopped because they thought this was someone's house." While the building may look small from the outside, the interior is stock full of the most unique, rustic and even primitive collections of home dcor.
"Candles are a very popular item for us," said Mast. Swiss Country Lawn offers a variety of candle collections in the most enchanting of scents as well as flameless timer candles. These battery operated candles flicker and are perfect for places where real candles would not be permitted. Some of the "flames" have become so life-like, it's almost like having a real candle and timer's in the candles conserve battery life. "People sometimes call us the candle shop," joked Mast.
Along with candles, Swiss Country Lawn and Crafts carries home dcor such as; pictures, shelves, faux floral, rustic and primitive knick-knacks (also good for garden decorating), a few accessories and a small line of indoor furniture. While Mast feels the "crafts" side of the business has been a very successful one, it is clear to see that Mast's expertise lies in the lawn furniture side of the business and it's no secret that it is his favorite.
"Our main goal is to sell quality lawn furniture," said Mast. Swiss Country carries Lux Craft outdoor furniture, which offer a lifetime warranty and Mast feels is one of the best lines out there, as well as Playmor swing sets. Their polyethylene furniture is available in up to 13 different color combinations and is very durable. "People can take the furniture home and expect to use it for years and years."
A new display of their Playmor line features a large locomotive with a variety of activities to keep the young ones busy. The locomotive features a slide, mini-rock climbing wall and full swing set.
"Customer service is another main goal," said Mast. He takes pride in his store being a family owned and operated business. Along with his wife, Mast's son and four daughters all play a role in making the store successful. Five other employees make up the staff at Swiss Country and Mast gives his employees a lot of credit for making the store a success. "The girls do a lot of the indoor decorating and know how to show off our products," said Mast.
As the weather begins to break and people begin to get busy with their outdoor projects, the Masts anticipate the start of their busy season. If you're currently contemplating an outdoor project and are in need of quality furniture, stop in to Swiss Country Lawn and Crafts and get some advice from the helpful and knowledgeable staff.
Swiss Country Lawn & Crafts is located at 2131 SR 39 in Sugarcreek. Store hours are Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. They also have a second location at the Holmes County Flea Market. For more information call 330-852-2031 or visit www.swisscountrylawn.com.