Business: Mel’s Amish Connection

Location: 6953 Harding Highway, Mizpah section of Hamilton Township

Owner: Mel Scovill, 63, of Vineland

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Employees: Owner operated

Phone: 609-616-5156

Mel’s Amish Connection sells Amish-made furniture, mostly oak and pine.

I go to Lancaster County or western Pennsylvania for rustic hickory furniture or outdoor furniture made of recycled plastic.

I’m getting more outdoor inventory this year. It’s all maintenance free, nothing required forever.

We have bedroom sets, dining room sets, end tables, rockers, gliders, whatever they want. There’s a lot of rustic furniture. We just got in a rustic hickory couch that’s pretty nice.

A Cadillac of slider rockers is made of rustic hickory, a great big chair with cushions.

They leave the bark right on the limb, smooth it off and then polyurethane it to protect it. It actually looks like the tree limb.

We have a gorgeous bedroom set out of white quarter-sawn oak, which means it’s sawed against the grain. That produces an end-grain pattern. That’s one of our more expensive sets, at $6,659, which includes a queen bed, a high five-drawer dresser with a beveled mirror, a bedside chest of drawers and a night stand.

I can get customers anything, in whatever finish they choose.

Probably the most popular items are the swivel-rocker-gliders, all wood but still very comfortable. They’re priced at $446.

This store is for people who appreciate solid wood — no particular board or plywood or anything else.

I’ve got a dining set made out of elm, a real pretty wood, with a Michael’s cherry stain.

Entry: When the recession hit, I got into furniture, because I knew a lot of the Amish furniture makers in western Pennsylvania. I came east because there was more money here than where I was.

I started in Maryland and then moved up to Vineland, in the Landis Marketplace. That didn’t seem to get enough foot traffic and people interested in this type of furniture.

Now I’m in a store with large glass windows in the front, right on Route 40. This location is working better.

The future: We’re going to add more pine. We’ll have a grand opening around mid-April.

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