Fascinating History of the Riegsecker Marketplace

The Riegsecker Marketplace is a family-owned business that started with local entrepreneur Mel Riegsecker. He recently passed down the business to his children, but it is still a family owned and ran establishment.

1. Early Beginnings

Mel Riegsecker grew up in an Amish family and left the Amish church when he became old enough. He was raised in the Shipshewana area and learned his woodworking skills from his father. He developed a passion for craftsmanship and woodworking and began making toy horse and carriages with his skills. To his surprise he created his first one and put it up in his father’s harness shop, and it sold quickly!

2. Birth of Riegsecker Marketplace

Mel decided to buy and renovate a factory building located at the 4-way stop in Shipshewana, and they called it the Shipshewana Craft Barn. With the help of his wife June, Mel was able to open a workshop for his miniature wagons and six horse hitches. He worked on these creations in the back of the store and his wife June opened a small shop in the front of the store.

3. Expansion

As time went on the Craft Barn became a popular spot for tourists and shoppers. Since the company was founded the fastest growing part has been the Blue Gate Restaurant. Mel first opened the restaurant in the mid 80’s and it contained 50 seats and one dining room. Over the years it grew to over 100 seats and two dining rooms, but it still wasn’t big enough. After 20 years the old restaurant was torn down and a new state-of-the-art facility was built. The new Blue Gate Restaurant contains 750 seats, multiple dining rooms, and a large bakery and theatre.

4. Present-Day

Today the Riegsecker Marketplace includes the Craft Barn of course, multiple furniture stores, a huge restaurant and bakery, two theatres, a large hotel, and more! The Riegsecker Marketplace along with the Shipshewana Flea Market has transformed Shipshewana into a bustling spot for tourists and visitors from all over the world!

The Riegsecker Marketplace has definitely grown over the past years, but we still hold true to the same humble beginnings that began in an Amish harness shop. Come to Shipshewana and experience the Riegsecker Marketplace for yourself!

One thought on “Fascinating History of the Riegsecker Marketplace

  1. I am so excited about visiting Shipshewana for the first time to attend a concert. I hear the venue and restaurant are amazing. Your lineup of concert is going to make me go broke. Love that fact it’s a family business that has endured over the years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *