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Portage County Farmers Market
14Mar

Emy J’s has a new owner, may add live music

Originally posted by the Stevens Point Journal

A favorite spot for coffee and food in downtown Stevens Point has a new owner.Emy J's, 1009 1st St., was opened in 2003 by Guy and

In a post on the business’s Facebook page, former Emy J’s owners Guy and Maria Janssen announced that Hana Cutler took over as owner on March 1.

“We have always tried to be great stewards of the community, and I know Hana will do the same,” the post read. “This is a little bittersweet, but Emy J’s will be in great hands and we look forward to the future.”

The Janssens, who has previously owned and operated The Wooden Chair restaurant in the downtown, opened Emy J’s at 1009 1st Street  in April 2003, offering coffee, tea, smoothies and ice cream. In 2005 the business expanded to include a cafe serving breakfast, wraps, sandwiches, burgers, salads and soups.

The Janssens had also operated an Emy J’s for about seven months in Plover before it closed in November 2008, and a live music venue located next to Emy J’s, The Garage, which closed in 2010. The Janssen’s statement online gave no other reason for why they were choosing to sell the business.

Emy J’s was recognized as the small business of the year by the Portage County Business Council for 2007, and has been recognized multiple times for best coffee in the Stevens Point Journal’s Portage County Best reader survey.

Cutler, who had previously worked in the health office at Stevens Point Area Senior High, joined the business a year ago and became a manager before taking over.

636244922821435328-17022434-10154153243446260-5277943230965281933-n.jpg“It certainly wasn’t the plan for me when I first started here, but (the Janssens) thought it was time for a new face here,” Cutler said in an interview with USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. “It’s been very nice to hear a lot of congratulations from people coming in.”

The Janssens were proponents of using natural and as locally-produced products as possible, and Cutler said customers won’t see a change from that philosophy. Fair trade or organic coffee beans are roasted on site, and local honey is used in smoothies. Turkey and chicken without antibiotics or growth-promoting drugs, along with grass-fed bison are used in its sandwiches and burgers. Their selection of ice cream comes from Madison-based Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream.

Regular staff has stayed on and helped to make the transition easy, Cutler said. One change customers will see is the addition of live music, which will likely be Thursdays and Fridays.

The coffeehouse at Emy J’s is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. The cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. For more information please visit www.emyjs.com or find the business on Facebook.

photo credit:  Nathan Vine/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin and Emy J’s