Do you call them Long Johns or Achenbachs? One of Lancaster's Most Popular Treats, Found in a Humble Leola Bakery

Melissa Frost

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Photo by Sara Melissa Frost

If you're a Lancaster native, you likely know these sweet things. Maybe you grew up with them as a weekend treat or something to go with your morning coffee. What do you call them, though? Long Johns, or Achenbach's? They go by both, and officially, they're named Long Johns.

These treats go way back

The history of these treats goes back 67 years. In 1954, Leon and Anna Achenbach has a dream of starting their own bakery business in Lancaster County. They settled on Leola, a small and rural area within the county.

The two of them opened the bakery, Achenbach's, and in a short time, their product line became the benchmark of quality in the made from scratch pastry products in the area. Especially the local favorite, Long Johns, but also their sticky buns, vanilla and pecan rings, pies and cakes won the hearts of customers, both local and out-of-towners.

If you're visiting the bakery today, you'll see the walls filled with several Bakery of The Year awards.

Today, some things have changed on the ownership side since the start of the humble Leola bakery, but Achenbach’s looks very much like the original, being a part of the local culture and known as a warm and friendly place to pick up some homemade pastries or to stop for a Long John and coffee.

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Photo by Sara Melissa Frost

Donut-ish

A Long John is basically a long and fluffy donut, with a generous spread of icing. It tastes sort of different than a donut though. In my opinion, Long Johns have a fresher taste and I can't stop after just one.

Some of the flavors they have at Achenbach's are coconut, chocolate, and vanilla. On Saturdays, they do a special vanilla flavor, topped with vanilla crumbles, pictured above. This one was my definite favorite.

Achenbach's Pastries market itself as the Home of the Long John. And they are. They even do Long John wedding cakes, specialty cakes, and there's a Long John eating contest, held at the New Holland fair, usually in October.

Locals love these treats, and they have become a staple in the community. If you bring Long John's to a party or social gathering in Lancaster County, they'll be gone in a few seconds. I haven't met one person who doesn't love these treats.

Address: You'll find Achenbach's Pastries, Inc. at 375 East Main Street, Leola, PA 17540. They're open every day, except Sundays.

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Melissa is a journalist and content writer. She covers food, travel and local news, mostly from Pennsylvania.

Lititz, PA
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