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, their spouses and our Grandchildren. This is Us…
The Kids are all grown up, married and Chuck and I are now empty nesters but we continue to make our home on a small farm, 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.
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, homemade 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 spent 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. We have added a selection of Vintage items as well.
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.
2006 brought another change as we added 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, and Amish made candies as well as old time nostalgic candies. It is decorated in a very warm and welcome country feel. Come enjoy!
In 2006 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, homemade candies, noodles, maple syrup, honey products, bread mixes, spices and flavorings and more.
In the summer of 2006, our son Jason built another addition to the village shops, which is named “Kinner Korner Children’s Shop” which features Children’s furniture made by the Amish as well as books, plush, and other Children’s items.
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.
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.
In 2016 I published a second book entitled “Walking Away from Amish to English". The book shares the heartfelt stories of those that have left the Amish, as well as the perspective of the Mothers and Fathers, Brothers and Sisters and Grandparents of those left behind. I truly enjoy writing, but the real pleasure was the time I spent interviewing hundreds of people over a 5-year period of time.
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.
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.
Our Family has expanded over the years and we are now the 15 of Us. Jenny and her husband Dale Radcliffe have a daughter Charley Rose. Jason and his wife Sabrea have two sons, Crawford and Carson. Jeremy and his wife Brittany have a daughter Addison and a son Owen. Janessa and Eric were married June 2019
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