BOTKINS — Since the fall of 2019 when Heide Koenig bought the historical building at 101 S. Mill St. that now houses FarmGrounds Coffee Company, the plan was to bring interest to the town and develop a comfortable gathering spot for the surrounding community. Now, since its soft opening on March 25, the coffee shop seems to have garnered the attention it needs to do just that.
“Our ultimate goal was to give Botkins a coffee shop or someplace where folks could gather, the community could gather, and maybe be the start of people investing in downtown Botkins,” Koenig said.
Koenig has a background in social work and real estate and is the co-owner of FarmGrounds Real Estate with her sister-in-law. Her husband, born and raised in Botkins, is the president and CEO of Koenig Equipment, “so we just really wanted to invest in Botkins,” Koenig said.
The shop is “inspired by the rich farming community of yesterday,” according to the FarmGrounds Coffee Company Facebook page. The statement is warranted given the extensive history of the FarmGrounds building dating back to when it was built in 1870. The earliest known tenant was the Brideweser Harness shop from 1894 until the early 1940s, then it was Nuss’ IGA store, the village library, RBC Video, Corner Video and Topp Notch Photography studio, according to the Botkins Historical Society. When Koenig began to renovate the building, she found hooks hanging from the ceiling that harnesses once hung from and the remnants of a mural advertising the harness shop that was once on an exterior wall but is now an interior wall.
FarmGrounds also highlights its “authentic, locally roasted coffee,” which comes from Purebred Coffee Co. in Troy. Noah and Meggin Walkup, the owners of Purebred, have done more for FarmGrounds than just supplying beans — they have also offered advice on the layout of the shop and the equipment they would need.
In addition to locally produced coffee, the shop’s bakery items are also locally sourced from a baker named Brianna Swartz. Koenig said her cinnamon rolls are a hit, and she is looking to sell Swartz’s other options in the future, like homemade Pop-Tarts, bagels and soft pretzels.
FarmGrounds Coffee Company already has 1,193 followers on Facebook, and Koenig said she has heard positive comments from customers all over the area, spanning from Auglaize County to Shelby County.
Katie Geis, the owner of Pilates for Life in Botkins and New Bremen, is a frequent customer. Her Botkins location used to be housed in the same building as FarmGrounds.
“I’ve been there almost every week since they’ve opened,” Geis said. “I know many Botkins people that will run to Sidney or Wapakoneta to grab coffee many times a week. Now they don’t have to; we have it right here.”
The next venture for FarmGrounds is to add GT’s Living Synergy kombucha on tap to the menu.
“That was one thing we wanted to do that no one else around here has or offers,” Koenig said. She mentioned that it will be a more health-conscious option and another option for non-coffee drinkers.
FarmGrounds Coffee Company is currently open Fridays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. After a grand opening on May 3, the new hours will be Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.