On the very edge of Bucyrus, outside the charming downtown and well in the heart of the industrial district, a long, low building houses Cooper’s Mill. It’s not in the most attractive area. Look for a blue building with a front porch and a brightly painted wooden sign, and you'll know you found it.
Inside Cooper's Mill is a market packed with charm and all the down-home, small-batch and hand-crafted food items you'd care to see. Old-fashioned cupboards display a variety of jams, jellies, preserves and butters. (Apple butter! Pumpkin butter! Apricot butter!) Tables decked in cheerful tablecloths fill the long, narrow sales floor and show Buckeye gear and old-fashioned candies and Amish-made cakes and breads. A freezer keeps Amish-made pie crusts and tart shells cool. A deli counter holds thick-cut bacon, ham and beef, and next to it, a bakery case features a dozen types of fudge. Our jar of pumpkin butter proved to be creamy, sweet, thick and delicious on buttered toast, and we would have gladly indulged in more treats, if we had thought to bring a cooler.
The friendly and accommodating staff makes the store feel closer to a farmers market than a retail outlet. Ask if they're making anything when you visit—a small building behind the store houses the factory, and plate-glass windows let visitors take a peek at how the butters, jams and jellies are made. This is not a place for the health conscious, but it is a delight for the taste-conscious, provided your taste runs in a down-home Ohio-country direction, of course.