Lost amid the excitement that greeted news of Rob Levitt's upcoming butcher shop, and then Paul Kahan's, was the quiet opening two weeks ago of Amish Healthy Foods a small storefront on Western specializing in a range of Amish-produced food products, including a bunch of local meat from naturally fed animals.
Lyudmila Firov has been operating in the space for about three years, selling kitchen equipment and health supplements, but she'd been on a disciplined diet of all-natural Amish products for some ten years, nursing herself back to health after losing a kidney to cancer. "I stopped going to the doctor," she says. Eventually she started buying from Amish suppliers on behalf of friends, and increasing her volume to the point where it made sense to dedicate the space to them.
Right now she has beef, turkeys, smoked and cured meats, and cheeses from Yoder in Shipshewana, Indiana, including chicken from Miller Amish Country Poultry. The uncured stuff is frozen now, but she's studying to get certified to stock fresh meat, and wants to bring in ducks and geese from Wisconsin.
She also has a pretty varied stock of fudge, candies, eggs, milk, yogurt, butter, preserves, flours, grains, soup mixes, a smattering of produce (potatoes and apples), and a bunch of baked goods from Midlothian's Rise and Roll. Who knew the Amish made whoopie pies?
Calma Optimal Deli, on the far northwest side, is another outlet for almost exclusively Amish-made products. And there's some interesting and skeptical discussion on LTHForum about their value and provenance.
Amish Healthy Foods, 1023 N. Western, 773-278-1717
Calma Optimal Deli, 5155 W. Addison, 773-545-9227