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Yoder's Oak and Cherry

Story by Kate Minnich: Amish Heartland Writer / Designer Published: April 1, 2016 5:00 AM
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Handcrafted, reasonably priced and built to order. These are only a few benefits the patrons of Yoder's Oak and Cherry enjoy. Located on the authentic back roads of the Amish Heartland, Yoder’s Oak and Cherry offers a full line of handcrafted hardwood and upholstered items.

The store began when owner, Marvin Yoder needed something to do in the winter. Having an interest in the furniture business, Marvin began his career within a store located in Norwalk, traveling back and forth from Holmes County for three years.

Acknowledging the tourist market present in Holmes County, Marvin decided to open his own store closer to home. During the tourist months, Marvin enjoys a steady stream of customers and always receives return visits from customers overjoyed with the value of the purchases.

Time and again handcrafted furniture is advertised within the Amish Heartland, but the furniture created through Yoder's Oak and Cherry has a family flare. Marvin with the aid of his father and three others build the bedroom sets while family members craft most of the other pieces. The process begins with an uncle who gathers the wood from a lumberyard and strips down one side of the wood. Then the pieces are transported to the shop where various members work the wood into undeniably beautiful furniture.

Yoder's Oak and Cherry provides a relaxed setting for a customer to browse. Furniture is grouped by type within the store allowing for direct comparison of similar items. Perhaps a darkly stained table sporting thin legs with a slight curve grabs your attention, but the curve echoed in the back of the chairs may seem a bit much. With all the tables in the same general area, a customer at Yoder's Oak and Cherry can see a similar table with less curve to the design, making the decision as easy as turning the head from left to right.

The furniture designed and crafted by Marvin and his relations are inspired by popular styles and surrounding materials, but he often encourages customers to voice their ideas. Customization at Yoder's Oak and Cherry can be as simple as changing the stain color of a bed to the entire redesign of a hutch. As a customer walks around the store they will notice books with different styles, stains and upholstery. Flipping through the books, it soon becomes apparent that a nearly endless number of combinations are available with over 150 different bed designs alone.

If a customer is still not able to find that perfect piece for their home, then Marvin will work with them to completely customize a piece of furniture. There are some people who come in with a picture or catalog in hand and ask Marvin to build the piece to a particular dimension. Other customization opportunities include the type of wood used in the construction of the furniture. Despite the store’s name, the craftsmen work with oak, cherry, maple, hickory and much more. Whatever the look of your home Yoder’s Oak and Cherry can craft furniture just for you.

Little pieces of character spread throughout provide accents for your home. One of the few elements not crafted by Marvin or a member of his family, these home décor items come from local establishments. Arranged to portray a home, wall hangings fill in the space above a displayed bed while a horse figurine graces the shelf of a bookcase.

Customers come from all over the country in order to purchase furniture from Yoder’s Oak and Cherry. Word of mouth and customer loyalty have expanded the popularity of Marvin’s furniture outside the immediate area. One tourist from Texas loved the store and the furniture he purchased so much that he recommended the store to his brother in Alaska. After hearing the positive testimonial, the brother ordered a 12-foot table and 16 chairs. Yoder’s Oak and Cherry offers shipping for those customers unable to transport their purchases.

Furniture bought through Yoder’s Oak and Cherry comes complete with a lifetime warranty. The warranty takes into account the human aspect of the handcrafted furniture and the errors that may occur. One customer asked a hutch be specially made for their home, providing the dimensions for the desired end product. Unfortunately once the hutch was finished the dimensions were too large for the customer’s home. Marvin barely flinched and began to rebuild the hutch for the correct dimensions.  

Marvin Yoder and Yoder's Oak and Cherry have met with a steady stream of success, causing the business to outgrow the original location. Now located at 5911 S. Kansas Rd., Apple Creek, OH 44606, open Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information call 330- 893-4012.


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