Summer is winding down, school has started back up, and if you are anything like me you are family-funned out! I have been to the Children’s Museum more than enough times to pay for our membership, lost kids in the labyrinths of Creation Station, and built up the kids’ immune systems at Chuck E Cheese. I’ve even gotten a wild hair and taken all the kids roller skating for the first time so I could pay $10 a kid to watch them take slow laps clinging to the wall for dear life while I ran interference between a determined toddler and a roller rink full of other people’s kids skating at break-neck speeds.
But in my quest for summer fun, I stumbled upon a Mennonite bakery in Whiteville, TN that has a lot more to offer than just baked goods. Backermann’s Country Market started out as a bakery but now has become more of a destination. They have a little petting zoo, a play set for the kids to enjoy, and a large bakery, including a full menu of delicious foods made to order.
When I told my kids one Saturday morning that we were going to Backermann’s bakery, they were less than thrilled. But when we got there and they saw the pulley system used to feed the goats, they were sold! After the kids spent some time feeding animals, they played on the play set, then went on a tractor ride to feed some pigs, more goats, and a miniature pony. Then we browsed through the beautiful pottery, jewelry, fresh produce, and other goods at the Farmer’s Market before going inside so my kids could spend 20 minutes mesmerized by the gigantic wall of candy! We let each kid pick out some candy and we chose some baked goods for ourselves. Everyone that worked there was so kind and didn’t bat an eye at the traveling circus that is our family. As we were leaving, there was someone giving away kittens. Now the good Lord must have known that the last thing we would need was another mouth to feed so he made me allergic to cats and one of our kids allergic to dogs. So, after a few half-hearted pleas and a calculated suggestion from the oldest that I could “just take allergy medicine,” they reluctantly left sans kitten. After we got in the car, the kids all said that they wanted to come back every Saturday!
About an hour outside of Memphis, the bakery hosts many special events including All You Can Eat Breakfasts, Herb Walks, Woodcarving Demonstrations, Cake Decorating Classes (that I am told sell out quickly), and you can even learn to milk a goat! All of the events are on their facebook page: Friends of Backermann’s Country Market. Or if you just want to go check it out, make sure to come on a Saturday morning so you can shop the Farmer’s Market and take advantage of the Tractor Rides at 10:00, 11:00, and 12:00. Just make sure you leave with a homemade strawberry cake. Trust me.