By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Reading Terminal Market is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the arrival of the Pennsylvania Dutch to its stable of standholders.

If it hadn’t been for Jeff Algatt (right), a real-estate rep for the old Reading Company railroad operator (which owned the Reading Terminal Market), the Amish may not be selling their wares there today.

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Algatt, who came back to take part in ceremonies on Thursday at the market, says he took a trip to a farmers’ market out in Booth’s Corner (Delaware County), Pa. more than 30 years ago to try to entice them to come to center city:

“City boy meets Amish culture!  And fortunately, we were all very open and honest about things because they would have smelled any dishonesty.”

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Algatt says a handshake brought the Amish to Philadelphia — including David Esh (right), of Hattville Deli:

“Deli meats, that’s what we still have. We added sandwiches a few years later knowing that we’re catering to a lot of office people and center city people.”

Esh says there are 10 Amish or Mennonite-controlled stands in the market, and many of them are now being run or handed over to children and even grandchildren of the original owners.

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Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio.
Photos by Mark Abrams