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September 8, 2020
Better With Age: The S. Clyde Weaver Family Celebrates Its Centennial
Few towns in the United States have access to entire libraries of black and white photos from the earliest years of their city’s origin; with panoramas of fedora-topped crowds, bright marquees, and classic automobiles overflowing onto familiar street corners. But Lancaster is lucky to have this window into history, and even more so to have heirloom establishments like S. Clyde Weaver which have witnessed and endured these eras. What’s more, they’ve managed to preserve their legacy and traditions for 100 years.
Among a stack of these black and white photographs, one might spot the just-married S. Clyde and Emma Weaver standing in front of the Northern Market, where their first-ever store offered Lebanon bologna, Wisconsin cheddar, and Ohio swiss. They’d become a neighborhood staple shortly after their opening in 1920, eventually bringing the first-ever “boiled ham” to the neighborhood in the 1930’s, and introducing similarly innovative food products over the next 7 decades of operation.
To this day, S. Clyde Weaver is run by third and fourth generation family members. But their reputation of exceptional customer service has been upheld by more than just direct descendants of its creators–half a dozen of their employees have been part of the S. Clyde Weaver staff for more than 50 years!
Sandy Brown has seen 61 holidays come and go as the gift pack operations manager. She can remember one particular snow storm when the Weavers set staff up in a motel the night before, so they could make it to market. “It was Christmas time, and we needed to be there. That was the dedication we had to our customers!”
Dave Miller, who has spent 50 years repairing slicers and equipment for every location, remembers the distinct smell of smoke on his hands in those weeks leading up to the holidays. And Barry Earhart, Lois Shonk, and Ken Miller, who have committed 56, 52, and 48 years of service to S. Clyde Weaver respectively, recall battling those same harsh winters to serve customers… as well as more unusual encumbrances, such as overturned animal trucks on the Turnpike and an early morning police chase that nearly tipped their delivery van!
These devoted employees have spent a lifetime making memories and building relationships with their community, a tradition that has helped S. Clyde Weaver maintain its strong generational ties in an ever-modernizing world. It’s a tradition that Daniel Weaver Neff, grandson of S. Clyde and Emma Weaver, has found to be an essential part of the company’s ethos.
One of Daniel’s favorite parts of the job is overseeing the process for aging the Canadian Sharp Cheddar, which began in 1999; more than 20 years ago. S. Clyde Weaver recently released a limited quantity of this cheese in celebration of its centennial anniversary, which represents a philosophy the now 100 year old institution continues to stand by: there is no shortcut to flavor, or success.
S. Clyde Weaver has stands in more than half a dozen farmers markets across South Central Pennsylvania, with larger stores in East Petersburg and on Lititz Pike. For those who prefer to avoid the crowds, online ordering and curbside pickup is also available! Visit their website for locations online shopping options.