OTTAWA — Well Grounded Cafe opened officially on Tuesday at 114 N. Elm St. in Ottawa.
The business is owned by Tom Giesken.
“I’ve actually been wanting to do it for about 30 years,” Giesken said. “We’ve looked at a couple of franchises through the years, went to some meetings and stuff and it just wasn’t the right timing. This opportunity came up and it was the right time.”
The coffee shop is located at what Giesken called the crossroads of the county at state Route 65 and U.S. 224.
“It’s kind of the main hub and the busiest intersection in the county so it’s a good place to have a coffee shop,” Giesken said.
The building itself used to be an Arco Gas station and after that a Sinclair Gas station, but its history goes even further back.
“This used to be a livery stable for the hotel which is right about next door on the corner. People would come from other places and they would park their horse and buggies here and go over to the hotel or one of the other establishments downtown,” Giesken said.
Well Grounded Cafe, as the name suggests, offers coffee of all kinds and more than that.
“We have one guy stop in and he goes, ‘I know you don’t have Mocha’ but (I told him) no we actually do have Mocha. He started hugging me and he was so excited because he goes to a lot of coffee shops and they don’t have Mocha but we have a little bit of everything,” Giesken said.
Besides all sorts of coffee, hot and cold, they have “lemonade, hot chocolate, smoothies and some other things for the non-caffeine type people,” Giesken said.
Well Grounded Cafe employs 16 people.
“They’re such a good group of kids. My wife took care of all the hiring. She was amazed by the quality of these kids,” Giesken said.
Giesken is providing Ottawa with its first real coffee shop.
“It’s a good Christian environment. We want to open it up and make it a place for people to come together and congregate and to have a social environment. It’s a nice place to just relax and just enjoy other people,” Giesken said.
Giesken says they hope to expand beyond the first location in Ottawa.
“Our initial goal is to maybe do this in other places and maybe franchise this out down the road,” Giesken said.
Well Grounded Cafe is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.