To step through the doors of the former E.E. Kready General Store is to enter a place where time stood still for over 151 years. The store and the residence was built in 1865 by Christopher Reist,who first operated a small store here until 1885. From 1885 to 1904 the store was run by J.P. Swarr. Elias E.Kready Senior took over the property and the general store in 1904 and ran the operation until his death in 1957, His son and daughter, Elias Jr and Anna,kept the store going on a part time basis from 1957 to 1970 when it closed and remained that way until 1996 when it was sold.
The new owner, Paul Brown,who befriended Elias Jr,turned the building and all contents into a museum. Brown eventually closed the museum and moved it to Lititz. Brown concluded by selling most of the contents of the former landmark for his personal gains. Brown dismantled the building stripping it of doors,brick ovens,even the spouts and shutters were taken from this historic building.
In 2002,after pains taken hours to rebuild what was destroyed,the Ericksons re-opened as Mudpies,a country craft boutique and coffee shop. Mr Erickson obtained and installed the chestnut wainscoting that once adorned he walls of the state capital.
In 2006 history turned full circle. David Reist and his family purchased the building not knowing that it was built by an ancestor. In 2009 the cafe closed to build a commercial kitchen in the summer kitchen. Many still remember the old country store and stories abound from the now older children of Manheim. Many former students remember coming in from the one room school located across the street to buy penny candy. History continues to be written and you are part of the story!