by Lisa Tome
Growing up, Angelina Vanderhoef delighted in making a perfectly prepared cup of coffee for her parents.
Now, Vanderhoef, owner of Rising Sun's still under construction Rise 'N Grind coffee and ice cream shop will have the chance to make coffee for everybody's parents and a lot of other people too.
"We're getting there," said Vanderhoef, who, with her husband Jeremy, bought the former Sun Cellular building on Rising Sun's Main Street and the neighboring former Western Auto building months ago.
The Sun Cellular building has been the focus of renovations since early in the year. And although Vanderhoef is uncertain of when the shop will officially open, she is estimating that it will be late summer or early fall, just in time for the pumpkin coffee season.
"We want the grand opening to be a big surprise," she said.
Rise 'N Grind will sell coffee, pastries, and bagels, as well as ice cream. The new building will feature a community room. There's also a patio which will have live entertainment on occasion. "I was a stay at home mom. We want to cater to everybody," she said. She said families will be welcome at Rise 'N Grind. There will also be internet access which she hopes will appeal to those who work from home and want to take a break and socialize.
And although the family lives nearby in Nottingham, Pa., Vanderhoef said they have long been part of the Rising Sun community. "We've been part of Rising Sun for a while," she said. "Owning a coffee shop has always been my dream. I've always wanted to do this," she said.
She has worked long hours establishing a list of vendors, many local. She said she also made an effort to deal with those whose companies give back as part of their sales. A water company which will be featured donates to clean water causes. A candle dealer donates to abuse awareness programs. The coffee they serve will be an award winning roast.
The ice cream will come from Keyes Creamery, a small family-owned dairy in Harford County. The bakery items and pastries will be homemade. There will be fresh bagels and an assortment of speciality cream cheeses. She said when the store opens, the emphasis will be on selling quality coffee and ice cream. Community demand will spark any future expansion of the menu.
Vanderhoef is aware of the building's rich history as part of the downtown. She said she's in love with the building. "I could see the character in the falling bricks," she said. She said the community has encouraged the business and the renewal of the former downtown business district.
"I've been praying about it a lot and it's all falling into place. I can't wait for people to see it. I'm so excited," she said. She knows that people wonder about parking. There will be designated parking on the Queen Street side of the building just for Rise 'N Grind customers. She also plans to serve up such good coffee, that it will be worth any possible walk. The business will be a family affair. Her children, twin 16 year old girls, and 13 year old son, will work in the shop.
She's worked to make the building more visually appealing despite the fact that it's not open. She recently borrowed uniforms from American Legion Post 194 and created a Memorial Day display in the shop's windows.
While the former Sun Cellular building is well on its way to a new beginning, the fate of the neighboring former Western Auto is still an unknown. She said she and her husband are searching for "the perfect tenant." "We want the right tenant, something for families. We will be selective. The ultimate goal is to revitalize Main Street," she said. "I love this community. We've had nothing but support and have been given so much help."
"We want to provide Rising Sun and its visitors with a charming place where they are comfortable and happy. My goal is for customers to leave happier than when they came in," she said.
And although the business isn't open yet, Rise 'N Grind will have a presence at Sunfest on June 2. One of Vanderhoef's three children will pedal a bike cart in the parade. Ice cream sales will be part of the day.