About Down A Country Road
Hi! My name is Kathy Kuderer and I'd like to Welcome you to our website and to introduce you to my husband Chuck, and our children Jenny, Jason, Jeremy and Janessa.
We live on a small farm just two miles east of Cashton, Wisconsin, in the heart of Wisconsin's largest Amish community. We invite you to visit us and our business at Down A Country Road.
Chuck and I both grew up on dairy farms right here in the area and were young children when the Amish began moving to the area in 1966. Over the years we have established many friendships with the Amish and work with them in our business.
We married in 1978 and moved here to the small farm, which is our home and home to Down A Country Road Amish Gifts and Tours.
In 1980 Jenny was born and in 1983 Jason was added to the family. I was working a full time job as a bookkeeper/accountant and I really wanted to be "an at home Mom." So in 1985 I quit my full time job to stay home with the kids and became an independent home decorating consultant with Home Interiors and Gifts. It allowed me to set my own hours and gave me the freedom to earn not only a great income, but the flexibility to be with my kids. I continued to be involved on a part time basis with that company for over 25 years later.
In 1987 Jeremy was born and I continued to enjoy the country life with my young children. During the summers the kids and I would be out in the yard tossing softballs or riding bikes, when someone would pull in the yard and ask me for directions to find the Amish. They would often want to know where they could go to buy Amish made quilts, rugs, or furniture. I started thinking "Maybe I should start a business to sell their products."
In the early 90's many of our Amish friends were struggling to make ends meet with very low milk prices and it was at that time with their encouragement that I decided to go ahead and make my dreams come true of having my own little gift shop.
In the fall of 1993, as my baby (at the time) went off to school, plans started unfolding for "Down A Country Road." In the Spring of 1994 our Amish friends built our first gift shop here on the farm. I began to work with about 45 Amish families that continue to this day to bring their products here to sell. You'll find a large selection of their handcrafted furniture, quilts, rugs, baskets, home made candies, jams and jellies, maple syrup and more. I began doing tours of the Amish community at that same time, as I found that many people were very curious about the Amish and their customs.
In 1996 we were blessed with an addition to our family and to our business. After 18 years of marriage we welcomed Janessa into our lives in late March. As we awaited her arrival, Chuck and the boys spend time remodeling an old shed that was built here on the farm in 1905. In May of that year we opened "The Little Red Shed," which features country crafts and gifts, many of which are made by other local artisans.
In 1997 one of our Amish friends built a gazebo for us. It's a place for guests to stop and relax, have a picnic lunch or just to enjoy the beautiful scenery here in the valley.
By early in 2000 we had our first website up and running and that brought a whole new world to us, in terms of marketing the business. By this time we were seeing somewhere around 10,000 people visit us here at the farm between May and October. That number included as many as 30 bus tours each season.
In 2001 we decided to add to the business once again. Our Amish friends built another small gift shop that we named "The Potting Shed," which is filled with all kinds of gardening accessories. You'll find everything from bird houses and bird feeders to stepping stones, wind chimes, garden stakes, gardener's soaps and much more.
2006 brought another change as we converted The Potting Shed into an Ice Cream Shop. We've named it "Country Corner Ice Cream Shoppe." The ice cream shop features hand dipped ice cream made in Wisconsin, as well as ice cream sundaes, root beer floats, nostalgic Spring Grove Soda Pop and Amish made candies as well as old time nostalgic candies. It is decorated in a very warm and welcome country feel. Come enjoy!
We also added a new gift shop, "Emma's Kitchen." Emma's Kitchen is filled to the brim with all kinds of jams and jellies, home made candies, noodles, maple syrup, honey products, bread mixes, spices and flavorings and more.
In the summer of 2006 our son Jason built the newest addition to the village shops, which is named "Memories from Amish Country." This little gift shop is filled with a selection of gifts and souvenirs from Amish Country as well as the beautiful Kickapoo Valley, the local Cranberry Country, The Elroy Sparta Bike Trail and more from Down A Country Road.
In the spring of 2009, to celebrate 15 years of business, I published a book about the local Amish community and a bit about my experience of starting a business and working with the Amish. The book, entitled "Down A Country Road with the Amish" can be found here on the website, at our gift shops and at Barnes & Noble. It is filled with the history, traditions and customs of my Amish friends and neighbors.
Our children have all grown into wonderful young people and in 2010 we added to our family with the marriage of our son Jason to his lovely wife Sabrea. In 2012 they had a son, Crawford. Our first grandchild!
In the fall of 2013 we welcomed another member to our family when our daughter Jenny married Dale Radcliffe.
In 2011 we have added the newest of our gift shops "Not So Plain & Simple." This gift shop, added to The Village Shops in the spring of 2011, was built by our Amish friends. Although built by the Amish, that is where all things Amish end. This shop is where you will find things "Not So Plain & Simple." This is where you will find something to pamper yourself, make you giggle, create reminiscences of cherished memories, or find that just right gift for someone special. Many of our items have been hand crafted by local artisans and has been a joy for us to make this addition to The Village Shops.
Chuck worked full time as a truck driver up until April 1st of 2012. He then retired to work with me in the business and also raises some animals here on the farm. He also loves to landscape and continues to do so around the farm and business.
To meet the needs of our customers, we're excited to inform you that in 2013 we converted our "Memories from Amish Country" shop to one that focuses on children, which we named "Kinner Corner Children's Shop." Stop by to see all the variety of clothes, toys, books, furniture, wall decor and more!
We hope you'll take the time to stop and visit us as you make your visit to Cashton and Wisconsin's largest Amish community.