Strolling through the Bluemkes building on the corner of highways 23 and 26 in Rosendale, an idea strikes Emajean Westphal as silly.

   “Absolutely not. Absolutely not!” she said.

   Her grandfather couldn’t have imagined selling coffee at that property — certainly not when he began the hardware and implements company in 1903.

   But, 115 years later, that’s what three generations of his descendants plan to do starting Tuesday, Oct. 2. Four generations, actually, if you include the little ones around the shop.

   Emajean, daughters Rebecca Westphal and Elizabeth Crook, and granddaughters Bethany and Carly Crook will open Village Grounds at 100 S. Main St. in Rosendale.

   While the main Bluemkes building continues to offer hardware and more on the corner, Village Grounds occupies the first door south on the 1940s-era addition to the property.

   The family also continues to operate the Bluemkes Food Mart convenience store across the street as well.

   That, however, is the closest the family has come in the past to the food-service industry.

   Creating a coffee shop with a nice menu to accompany the hot and cold drinks? This was a completely different experience.

Read the full story in the Sept. 27, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.