Shady Maple

January 13, 2023

31 Things to Know About Shady Maple

Smorgasbord
Source: Historic Smithton Inn

Shady Maple is the #2 Tourist Attraction in Lancaster County, second only to Sight & Sound Theater!  Why is Shady Maple so beloved by tourists & locals alike?  It starts with providing people what they love… delicious authentic PA Dutch cooking & quality products, all in one location, at a good price.  Add to this the fact that this family-owned business treats everyone like they’re part of the family & you’ve got yourself a winning combo for success.  Whether you’re dining at the Smorgasbord, buying produce or baked goods in the Farm Market or purchasing special gifts in the Gift Shop, you can rest assured you’ll be talking about your experience the next day & beyond.

This Blog is All About Shady Maple

#1 – 13:  Shady Maple Smorgasbord

person outside restaurant
Your Innkeeper presents… Shady Maple Smorgasbord!!

Address: 129 Toddy Drive, East Earl, PA

Hours of Operation

    • Breakfast: 7 am – 10 am
    • Lunch: 11 am – 3:15 pm
    • Dinner: 3:16 pm – 7 pm (last seating at 7, buffet served for 45 minutes after last seating)

Smorgasbord Pricing (as of March 2022)

Cashiers
Shady Maple Cashier Lines
      • Breakfast: $12.99
      • Lunch: $16.99
      • Dinner:
        • Monday (Steak Night): $22.99
        • Tuesday (Seafood Night) $28.99
        • Wednesday (Prime Rib Night) $22.99
        • Thursday (BBQ Night) $21.99
        • Friday (The Grand Menu) $24.99
        • Saturday (The Grand Menu) $27.99

 

Holiday Pricing:

ice cream and pie
BE SURE to save room for Dessert… it will be hard, but worth it!
  • Shady Maple Smorgasbord pricing is higher on these holidays: Martin Luther King Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Good Friday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve

Celebrate a Happy Birthday at Shady Maple!!

Dining Room
Shady Maple Dining Room
  • One of the best and most famous promotion that Shady Maple runs is that guests eat FREE on their birthday.  Pretty cool, huh?!  Note:  You need to bring ID and it needs to be your ACTUAL birthday, not the day before or day after.  The only exception is if your birthday falls on a Saturday, then your free meal at Shady Maple Smorgasbord is on Monday.

Military Discount Wednesdays:

sign
One of the Grill Stations at Shady Maple
  • Every Wednesday, members of our armed services receive a 25% discount in the Shady Maple Smorgasbord and a 10% discount in the Shady Maple Gift Shop.  Military ID is required to take advantage of this offer

Dress Code:

  • No, this doesn’t mean you need to wear a sport jacket & tie to eat at Shady Maple!  They simply ask that guests wear “appropriate” clothing which means you need to wear shoes, your undergarments can’t show and your clothing can’t include offensive language or images.  Not too much to ask really!

How the Shady Maple Buffet Works:

ticket
Shady Maple Lunch Ticket

For anyone who’s never been to Shady Maple’s Buffet before, here’s a step-by-step run down from arrival to eating your heart out:

    • When you walk in the front door, there’s a line leading to the Cashier Stations. Work your way to one of those stations to pay for your meal.
    • The Cashier will hand you your receipt along with a “bookmark-looking-thing” that lets the servers know what meal you’ve paid for. (ie:  You can’t arrive at breakfast & stay for lunch & dinner too!)
    • Take your receipts up to the hostess stand. The hostess will seat you at either a table or booth.  NOTE:  Your table is numbered, so if you get disoriented in the vastness of Shady Maple, you can find your way back to the correct table or booth.
    • Leave your “bookmark” face up while you’re still eating.
    • When you’re through, turn it upside down so the staff knows to clean your table for the next guest.

Shady Maple Buffet Favorite “Must Eat” Foods:

food on a plate
PA Dutch Favorites: Fried Chicken, Buttered Noodles, Potato Stuffing, Pork & Sauerkraut, Roasted Beef & Gravy, Mashed Potatoes & Dried Corn
  • So this is a tough one, right?  While MY favorite food is Brown Butter Noodles, everyone else is thinking, “Have you lost your mind?!  Their famous Pot Roast is best!!”.  And even though they have all the PA Dutch Classics on the buffet, they also have some hip-different foods to choose from as well.  So…here’s a list of just SOME of the wonderful things you’ll typically find when you surf your way through the Shady Maple buffet line, hopefully it includes one of YOUR favorite things!:
    • Soups: Typically 3-6 delicious options, all made on-site
    • Salads: There are 46 salad bar items to choose from!
    • Breads & Rolls:  There are a whole host of house-made breads and rolls to choose from
    • Veggies: Dried Corn, Brussel Sprouts, Green Beans, Beats
    • Starches: Brown Butter Noodles, Mashed Potatoes, Potato Dressing, French Fries, Loaded Baked Potatoes, Scalloped Potatoes
    • Meats: Fried Chicken, Baked Chicken, Ham Balls, Chicken Croquettes, Baked Haddock, Sliced Ham, Sliced Turkey, Roast Beef, Smoked Brisket, Pork & Sauerkraut, Stuffed Cabbage, Seafood
    • On the Grill: Steaks, Seafood, Chinese Food, Philly Cheesesteaks, Burgers, Hot Dogs
    • Desserts: There are hot & cold dessert options including cakes, pies, apple dumplings, fruit and even a soft serve Sundae Bar!
    • Drinks:  Anything you could possible want to drink, with the EXCEPTION of alcoholic beverages, can be found on the Shady Maple buffet line.  Soda, juices, punch, coffee & tea (with flavored syrups) are all available.

Eating Healthy at Shady Maple:

salad
Mixed Salad with Baked Haddock
  • Maybe you’re wondering if it’s even possible to eat healthy foods, vegetarian, gluten free or vegan meals at Shady Maple.  I’m here to tell you that YES, it’s possible, but it may require a bit more discipline than the average person possesses, because there are so many delicious things on the buffet that you’ll have to pass on.  BUT, there are plenty of healthy or diet-specific options that you can still get your money’s worth.  Specifically, look for:
    • Salad bar items (healthy, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, vegan)
    • Baked & Grilled meats including chicken, beef and seafood (healthy, gluten free, dairy free)
    • Steamed Vegetables (healthy, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, vegan)
    • Sides / Starches (gluten free, vegetarian, vegan)
    • Fresh Fruits for Dessert (healthy, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, vegan)

Interesting / Fun Shady Maple Smorgasbord Statistics:

buffet
Shady Maple’s Buffet Line
    • The Buffet line is 200 feet long
    • Shady Maple employees more than 800 full & part time employees annually
    • In 2019, Shady Maple served more than 99,450 people free birthday meals
    • On a Saturday morning, Shady Maple will serve up over 3000 eggs
    • On Prime Rib night, they use 65 pieces of rib!

Groups:

dining room
Private Rooms Available for Groups
  • Shady Maple is a great option for groups because everyone can eat exactly what, and how much, they want.  Groups of 15 or more can make reservations in advance.  If your group is large enough, they have private rooms in a variety of sizes and configurations.

Weddings & Special Events:

sign
Shady Maple sign at Toddy Road entrance
  • Shady Maple has a separate Banquet Room that people can reserve for weddings, celebrations or other large events. Choose from a list of Shady Maple’s favorite appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts.

Aaron & Abner Zook’s Artwork:

3-D art
Aaron & Abner Zook 3-D art on display at Shady Maple
  • Aaron and Abner Zook, local Amish twins, learned the art of woodworking as young children.  As adults they mastered the art and began creating incredible 3-D sculptures and artwork.  Marvin Weaver purchased and collected over 25 pieces of these fascinating works of art which decorate the walls of the Smorgasbord.

#14 – 20:  Shady Maple Farm Market

grocery store
Shady Maple Farm Market

Address:  1234 Main Street, East Earl, PA

Shady Maple Farm Market has evolved over the years from a simple farm stand to an epic ‘more-than-a-grocery-store”.  At the Shady Maple Market you can purchase all your normal groceries, but the best part is all the specialty areas where this market really stands out.  Instead of driving all over the county to purchase local cheese, meats, yogurt, jams, sauces, spices and more, you can find all those things right here in one place.

Fresh Produce

fruit and vegetables
Shady Maple Fresh Produce
  • Shady Maple has fresh produce year-round.  What’s nice about this market though, is when a particular fruit or vegetable is in-season, they always have LOCAL produce you can buy!  While it’s nice to buy your apples or tomatoes at a small farm stand, if you’re doing  major shopping trip, this allows you to buy everything you need, including locally produced items, in one place.

Meat Market

butcher
Shady Maple Meat Counter
grocery store meats
Shady Maple Smoked Meats
  • The meat market and selection at Shady Maple is famous.  The cure & smoke their own meats, make a wide variety of sausage and butcher a wide array of top quality beef, chicken, pork, turkey and more!  And their prices are VERY reasonable (even better than you find at weekly markets like Green Dragon or Roots!)

Bulk Foods

bulk food aisle
Shady Maple has a large selections of Bulk Foods
  • Many grocery stores in Lancaster County offer bulk foods for purchase and Shady Maple is right there with them.  You can purchase pastas, flours, spices, nuts, cereals, candies and more without the added cost of brand-name packaging.

Bakery

breads
Shady Maple’s Bakery is AWESOME!
  • This sign does NOT lie!  Shady Maple fruit breads make fantastic French Toast!  In addition to house-made breads, Shady Maple’s Bakery makes cakes (including Wedding Cakes), pies, donuts, whoopie pies, cookies and MORE!  If you’re looking for something to bring home with you to remind you of your trip to Lancaster, this is the place to shop!

Ready-to-Eat Foods

food case
Shady Maple has a large selection of prepared foods
  • If you LOVED your meal in the Shady Maple Smorgasbord and wanted to take some of it home with you, here’s how you can pull that off.  Shop the multiple cases with ready-to-eat foods, where they cook up all their customer’s favorites to take home with you.

Locally sourced foods & produce

cheese case
Shady Maple sells locally produced foods like September Farms cheese
  • In addition to local produce, Shady Maple also sells a number of other locally produced foods including local cheese, yogurt, milk, eggs, pickles and more.  The ability to purchase all your favorite locally made products, all in one place, is one of my favorite things about the Shady Maple Farm Market!

Private Labeled Foods at Shady Maple

jams and sauces
Shady Maple has a wide array of private label products!
  • With so many great local recipes on hand, it only makes sense that Shady Maple would bottle them up for you!  They sell canned fruits, jams, pickled vegetables, sauces, syrups and even their own line of spices!  The Shady Maple Farm Market is the ONLY place you can buy these products, so be sure to stock up while you’re here!

Do the Amish Shop at Shady Maple?

amish buggy
Buggy Barn at Shady Maple

Absolutely, our Amish and Mennonite neighbors both shop, eat and work at Shady Maple!  The Shady Maple Farm Market is super-convenient to the local Amish & Mennonite farms in East Earl and New Holland.  Plus, if you’re driving a buggy, you want to get as much as possible all in one trip, which is one of the advantages of the Shady Maple complex (plus the Good’s Store next door!).

#15 – 27:  Shady Maple Gift Shop

gift shop entrance
Shady Maple Gift Shop – outside entrance

Address:  129 Toddy Drive, East Earl, PA

Shady Maple doesn’t do anything half-way, that’s all you need to know about the Shady Maple Gift Shop!  This shop is a bit overwhelming in some ways, there’s just SO MUCH.  If you need a gift for someone who’s difficult to buy for, this is the place to go… they have EVERYTHING.  From locally made gifts to jewelry, purses, yard décor, sports team gifts, furniture, toys, baby gifts, collectibles, candles and MORE…  If you’re in the Smorgasbord you can simply walk down a set of wide stairs to enter the gift shop.  Alternately there’s an outdoor entrance where you can park and walk straight into the shop.

Just a few of the “Categories” within the Shady Maple Gift Shop include:

Amish Gifts

quilts
Amish-made gifts at Shady Maple Gift Shop
  • This section of the the Gift Shop is separate from the rest of the store and you pay for your purchases right here.  Everything in this area is locally made, possibly from the Amish woman working the cash register.  If Emma is working that day, you can ask her about the Quillows (quilted pillow-blankets) that she made!

Furniture

furniture
Locally Crafted Furniture at Shady Maple Gift Shop
  • Three’s a combination of finished and unfinished furniture in this large section of the Gift Shop.  You can buy everything from tables & rocking chairs to book shelves and hutches.  Everything is locally made, not mass-produced.

Toys & Baby Gifts

  • You can find gifts for all ages in the Shady Maple Gift Shop.  From infant shower gifts to teenager-presents, they have just what you need for anyone on your shopping list!  Stuffed animals, traditional games, electronic games, outdoor toys & games and more can all be found here.

Jewelry & Accessories

  • No gift shop would be complete without a selection of jewelry & accessories including purses, bags, socks, slippers and all kinds of other goodies you didn’t realize you needed!!

Outdoor Décor

  • You can buy everything you need to decorate your lawn and flower boxes at the Shady Maple Gift Shop.  They’ve got tons of outdoor flags, bird baths, lawn art, little outdoor signs and more.  Your garden will be the envy of your neighborhood after you’re done buying up the store!

Sports Teams Paraphernalia

gift shop
Buy gear from all your favorite teams at Shady Maple
  • No matter what team is YOUR team, you can buy gear & gifts to show your support here!  They’ve got clothing, knick-knacks, wall art, toys, games, towels, hats and more (yes, I realize I’ve been saying “and more” a whole lot here… but it probably should just become a Shady Maple slogan… because there’s SO MUCH that typing it all would take me to next year!)

Candles, Collectibles & Home Décor

gift shop entrance
Shady Maple Gift Shop – indoor entrance
  • Shady Maple sells multiple lines of candles, collectables and other “gifty-type” things.  This is the type of gift shop you can go to when you know you have to buy a gift for someone but you don’t know what to get them.  There is such a wide variety of things in this store that I challenge you to walk out empty-handed.  If you do, I’ll be you didn’t walk around the ENTIRE store!!!

 

#28:  Shady Maple RV Sales & Service

Building with RVs
Shady Maple RV Sales & Service

Address:  160 Ewell Rd, East Earl, PA | Website

As if the Shady Maple Buffet, Shady Maple Farm Market and Shady Maple Gift Shop aren’t enough, they even have Shady Maple RV Sales & Service for people who want to enjoy the great outdoors in comfort.  They have a wide variety of RV types including Truck Campers, Folding  Campers, Expendables, Toy Haulers, Travel Trailers, Fifth Wheels, and Motorhomes (Class A, B & C).

Things to know about Shady Maple RV:

  • They sell both new and used RVs
  • They also RENT RVs
  • You can get pre-approved for financing right on their website!

#29:  Shady Maple History

family photo
The Weaver Family

Shady Maple has evolved from a simple Lancaster County farm stand to a complex of 4 buildings / business that span over 284,000 sq. feet and employees over 800 full and part time staff per year!

BRIEF Time Line:

    • The history of Shady Maple dates back to 1962 when Mr. and Mrs. Henry Z. Martin (Miriam Weaver’s parents) originally started selling produce at a roadside stand located underneath a large maple tree in front of their home. 
    • Marvin & Miriam Weaver took over the business in 1972 and built a block building with garage doors to sell produce & grocery items in partnership with IGA.  The grocery expanded multiple times from 1975 – 1980s.
    • A Cafeteria was introduced in 1982 and was expanded to become a Smorgasbord in 1985, expanding again in 1989.
    • The new Smorgasbord you see today was built in 2000.
    • A Banquet & Conference Center was added in 2005.
    • A major Shady Maple Farm Market re-model happened in 2010.

 

#30:  What’s Near Shady Maple?

farm
Shady Maple is Surrounded by farmland

FARMS!!  That’s what’s nearest to Shady Maple!!  The photo above is the view directly across the street from the Shady Maple Farm Market.  There are some other nearby businesses and attractions you can see while you’re in the area though, here are a few of our favorites:

  • Good’s Store (aka: Amish K-Mart) | 1338 Main St, East Earl | Website
  • Gish’s Furniture (Amish-Made) | 1352 Main St, East Earl | Website
  • Lickety Split Ice Cream | 209 E Main St, New Holland | Website
  • Hinkletown Sewing | 232 Wanner Rd, Ephrata | Website
  • Pool Forge Covered Bridge | 1940 Main St, Narvon | Website
  • Warwick to Ephrata Rail Trail & Winters Leadership Memorial | Website

This Blog is All About Shady Maple

#31:  Stay at a Historic Bed and Breakfast Near Shady Maple!

Stone B&B If Shady Maple is just one of the places you plan to visit during your Lancaster PA getaway, you should consider staying at a top-rated Bed and Breakfast not far from Shady Maple, the Historic Smithton Inn!  We’re located an easy 10 miles west of Shady Maple along PA-322 (just 2 turns!).

At the Historic Smithton Inn, you’ll enjoy historic charm combined with modern comforts.  Each room has a working fireplace and private bath, plus a large flat screen SMART TV, reliable WiFi and luxuroius sheets, towels & toiletries.

breakfast pizza Every morning we’ll serve you a delicious home-cooked, full, plated breakfast.  You’ll have your breakfast table all to yourself, no ‘sharing’ and you can choose the time you’d like to eat (between 8 – 10 am).  And if you have dietary requests like vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, or gluten-free, we’re able to accommodate that with advance notice.

Book your room today and choose from one of our 9 guest rooms and suites!

 

If you like this blog post here are some others you may enjoy as well: