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About Us

History

Yoder Department Store is a family owned and managed retailer specializing in fabric, shoes and clothing located in Shipshewana, Indiana.

On May 3, 1945 Ora and Grace Yoder made a decision to buy a dry goods store in Topeka Indiana, the heart of Amish country. The original operation included many goods to serve the local farming population. Bib overalls, work shoes, and of course fabric for clothing and quilts were items sold. A number of years later, in 1952, a second location was opened in a nearby town, Shipshewana, Indiana. After operating both locations for decades, a decision was made to sell the Topeka location and to move all operations to the downtown Shipshewana location. Around the age of 60, Ora decided to move his business “out of town” to new facilities just south of downtown Shipshewana to Yoder Shopping Center, the present day location. Just like back in 1968 when the business was moved, Yoder Shopping Center is shared with two other businesses, Yoder’s Hardware and Fireside Cafe. This concept may have been new at the time, but we now know this arrangement to be a mini mall.

Even though Ora passed away in 1992 at the age of 85, the business has remained a family owned and managed business passing onto the 3rd generation during 2006.

Yoder Department Store celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2015.



Values and Philosophy

Although our business environment has changed significantly since inception of the business, our philosophy in many regards has remained the same. Ora founded the business on the Golden Rule of treating others as you would want to be treated. He was a firm believer that if guests were treated fairly, he would be treated the same by them.

A guest served by knowledgeable, friendly sales staff is commonplace in our store. We strive to take this same level of service and caring with all our guests whether or not you are physically in our store. We believe in this concept so strongly that everyone we hire is initially placed on the sales floor and mentored by one of our long-term employees on the proper treatment of guest service. This allows us to teach the concept of color coordinating fabric for quilts, as well as properly fitting shoes using tools rarely seen, let alone used by other shoe retailers.

Even though quality transcends country boundaries, made in the U.S.A., which used to be the norm, has definitely become the exception. Yoder’s carries a significant amount of product still made in the U.S.A. and makes every attempt to continue to offer our guests domestically manufactured products whenever possible.

Yoder’s has long been using the terms “basic and unusual” and “quality merchandise”. These terms try to convey the concepts of providing those basic things such as jeans and work shoes, as well as those hard to find items like wool fabric and women’s tatting hankies. These things and many others have been available at Yoder’s for decades.