The history of the Essenhaus is a story of growth, commitment and genuine hospitality. In 1970, Bob and Sue Miller moved west from Sugarcreek, Ohio to Middlebury, Indiana. After arriving in Middlebury the Millers purchased property on U.S. 20, a 24-hour truck stop known as Everett’s Highway Inn. After a week of minor repairs and cleaning, they opened as Das Dutchman Essenhaus on January 4, 1971, six days a week as an Amish-Style restaurant, complete with Amish & Mennonite cooks and waitstaff.
Bob remembers some local skepticism about the survival of their venture without the cigarette machines and Sunday trade. However, despite the odds, the Millers were committed to pursue their dream of establishing a solid business within one year, and they did.
Much has changed since the early 70’s. Bob and Sue have witnessed their children and grandchildren develop an interest in the organization. Some of them are involved in the daily operations and strive to continue the traditions of the family-owned company.
The restaurant, flagship of the campus, has grown from 120 seats to 1,000, and is considered the largest family restaurant in Indiana. The Millers have continued to expand their business by adding the Essenhaus Inn & Conference Center, gift shops, bakery, miniature golf, catering, wholesale foods and live theatre and concerts at Heritage Hall.
For more information visit www.essenhaus.com.