Nebraska Prairie Girl Opens a business...............

I have long had a dream to open a little country store.

For many years I have run a small business out of my home.    It started with making and selling bath and body products using the goat's milk produced on our farm.   One thing led to another, and I started adding other products to my offerings.  Pretty soon I had a full line of products that I hauled to various farmers markets and craft shows.    I was always asked,  "Where is your store located?"  I hated telling people that I did not have an actual store front.   I did eventually put together an online store however, it was nothing like having a brick and mortar building.

Cafe the last time it was open. Prior to our purchase. 
Photo Credit: Katie Bradshaw
An old café  became available about 20 miles east and north of our farm.   After a lot of begging and a lot more begging I convinced my husband (tractor Dave) to purchase the building.  The initial plan was to use the building as place to produce and warehouse the products that we sold.  By this time we were raising beef, chicken, pork and eggs to sell to a co-op.    We had outgrown our freezer space and storage areas at the farm.

The building we purchased had been in disrepair for a couple of years.  The last owners just walked out, leaving the dirty dishes in the sink and food in the freezers.  (the power had long since been turned off)  Needless to say the mice had taken over and really tore the place up.  Our first line of action was to get rid of the mice.  (that took a couple of months)  We then began renovations,  doing them when the time and money permitted.  As the renovations moved forward and changes were made, so did our plans for the building.

We ended up opening a cafe and little country store.   "Double L Country Store and Cafe"   My home based business was called Double L Country Store.   I was going to come up with a new name for the cafe, however people recognized my original name  and it was suggested that I keep it.

How do you get from opening up a warehouse of sorts to renovating and opening a cafe?   As we were working on the building, we decided we needed to just gut it and remodel.  We figured if we were going to go through all that work, we should open it up to the public.    Many people saw us working on the building and stopped to inquire about our plans.   So many voiced the need for the cafe to be open again.  The cafe is located in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska.  Our county and small village do not have any conveniences like gas, food, or lodging.  We don't even have a bar.  We went from opening up and offering  soups and sandwiches to having a  full blown menu. (talk about a change in plans)

Inside of café.

We have now been open for 2 1/2 years. It will be 3 years in November.    I have learned a lot (that is another post all on it's own)  I have gone from stay at home mom running a home-based business to a full time business owner away from home.   Talk about an adjustment!!!  There are days that I wonder what I was thinking!?  Days that business is super slow or days when equipment breaks down,  or weeks that I have put in over 60 hours. Then there are days that everything goes right,  and people come in and are so appreciative of everything you do.  
Those are the days that keep you going and  that I am most thankful for. 

Front of Cafe after renovation.

Nebraska Prairie Girl!


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