Bob Burnley and I started canning in our new 2-car garage back in 1954. Me with three children in tow. Bob raised chickens, geese, pheasants, rabbits and even sheep in our backyard that is now the village. I learned how to cook at home by Mother–with a lot of love and care in everything we made.
This is my house growing up. It's now the Kling House Restaurant. This is where my mother taught me her secrets of cooking. Later on, Bob Burnley and I raised 3 wonderful children here.
I still recall the day Bob came home with a real hair-brained scheme to start our own jelly business in the garage. We started with a range, 30 kettles, and a half-dozen good recipes, And with a little help from Ben Stoltzfus and Katie Kling we had a jelly business.
Before long Bob had another far-fetched idea to invite people to come to our kitchen to chat over coffee and see how we do it.
A newspaper article from 1954 when Kitchen Kettle first opened.
Soon we had to expand. Build a store. Then one store led to another and a small village was born. People would come as far away as Philadelphia to stock their pantries.
Kitchen Kettle Village has now grown to 42 shops, 2 restaurants and 17 lodging rooms, and like most homes in Lancaster County, the hub of activity around here is our family-run kitchen.
My three children work with me in our Village, and a few grand kids as well. And the days just keep getting better. I have always said, "Once the fun stops, then I'll retire." I might just be working a few more lifetimes.