Elva Stauffer apple dumplings

Elva Stauffer, former owner of the Cloister Restaurant, was first known for her apple dumplings, according to an Intelligencer story from 1987. 

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Elva Stauffer, owner of the Cloister Restaurant in Ephrata from 1973 to 2019, passed away on April 5. She was 95.

Known across Lancaster County for her famous baked corn pie and energetic spirit, Stauffer left her mark on the Lancaster community. 

Throughout the years, LNP|LancasterOnline has done reporting on Stauffer and her culinary contributions to the county. Here's a look back at Stauffer and the history of her Cloister Restaurant through the LNP|Lancasteronline archives.


1987: 'Lancaster's Famous Apple Dumplings'

"Elva Stauffer has earned the reputation of making delicious apple dumplings. She's been making the Pennsylvania Dutch specialty since she was 14 years old and her father put her in charge of a small food stand on their farm in the New Holland area."

To read the original report from out archives, click here.


1987: 'Ham Loaf & Chow Chow: Decidedly Dutch'

"When Elva Stauffer bought the Cloister Restaurant -- then known as the Cloister Diner -- 15 years ago she thought it would bring her some relief from the constant far, work she did night and day.

Being the wife of a farmer gave her little free time. Owning a restaurant in Ephrata would be easy. Right?"

To read the original report from our archives, click here.


2005: 'Ephrata senior has driving need to help people'

"As long as she's in good health, Elva Stauffer wants to help people as much as she can.

That's why she has volunteered for 25 years with the Ephrata Ambulance Association."

To read the original report from our archives, click here.


2019: 'Cloister Restaurant sold'

"Ephrata's iconic Cloister Restaurant has been purchased by Faith 'Mike' Sivri, who owns the Black Olive Family Diner in Columbia.

Sivri said he is considering keeping former co-owner Elva Stauffer's legendary corn pie on the menu."

To read the original report from our archives, click here.


2019: 'Goodbye, corn pie'

"Elva Stauffer shares her traditional family recipe for a pie she has served for decades at the soon-to-close Cloister Restaurant in Ephrata."

To read the original report from our archives, click here.

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