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In Amish Country, A Lesson in Niche Marketing

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This story appears in the April 2012 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
Lehman's
The values of the Amish community were the inspiration for Jay Lehman's eponymous hardware store.
Photo© Ross Mantle

Founded in the early 1800s, Kidron, Ohio, is home to fewer than 1,000 residents. But the town, in the heart of Ohio's Amish country (a community of about 40,000 people), is where you'll find Lehman's hardware, a business that, since 1955, has expanded from a small storefront to an internationally known, 42,000-square-foot showroom.

Founder Jay Lehman loved the values of the Amish community surrounding Kidron. Unable to imagine a world without that culture, he bought a hardware store and set about building a business to serve the population's needs (and preserve its way of life). The store specialized in nonelectrical tools and appliances.

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