Innkeeper owners sell coffee after 23 years


GALESBURG – After 23 years of growth in the hands of Mike Bond and Johan Ewalt, Fresh roasted coffee from the innkeeper will change hands at the end of this month.

New owners Ben and Jessica Ketchum are Monmouth College graduates who worked in finance and healthcare before taking the opportunity to own and operate Innkeeper.

“Overall, Innkeeper’s is an amazing place for the way it is,” Jessica said. “We don’t want to come in and change a lot. “

Jessica grew up in Abingdon and worked at Innkeeper in high school and college.

“That kind of started my love for the place. I love customers, I love people, I love coffee, ”Jessica said.

After:Innkeeper’s Coffee celebrates its 20th anniversary

A native of Springfield, Ben has also grown to love Innkeeper’s.

“I’ve never been here when every table isn’t full,” Ben said.

Bond and Ewalt will stay until the end of the year to familiarize the Ketchums with the operation.

“Ben and Jessica are a young couple who will bring new sparkle and vitality to the Innkeeper,” Ewalt said. “The innkeeper has always evolved, always changed. Whatever they do, it will be exciting.

Innkeeper's Fresh Roasted Coffee is located at 80 N. Seminary St. in Galesburg.

Bond and Ewalt opened Innkeeper’s in the Galesburg Antique Mall in 1998.

In 2003, they were in the process of building a new premises for Seminary Street business when Maytag announced he would be leaving Galesburg.

“It was a very risky thing,” Bond said. “We have already innovated. “

They went ahead with the new building, which opened in September of the same year.

A few years later, Butler Manufacturing would also leave, further altering the economic landscape of Galesburg.

“It was a crazy time,” Bond said.

In the new building, Bond said, they’ve really followed customer suggestions, evolving to add baked goods, lunch offerings, and drive-thru.

A customer walks in through the front door of the Innkeeper's fresh roast coffee, 80 N. Seminary St., Thursday.

Although the term isn’t used as much these days, Bond said the Innkeeper has become a “third place” in Galesburg, serving as a community anchor and a gathering place for friendships and reunions. business.

“It’s just an easy place to come and not only feel welcome, but for the person who comes here regularly, it’s like their second home,” said Bond.

Ewalt said Innkeeper’s is a place the people of Galesburg are proud of.

“They like to show it to their families from out of town,” he said.

Bond and Ewalt have always planned to retire at 65. Health issues, the death of a family member, as well as the stress and uncertainty associated with COVID-19 have pushed this forward by a year.

Staff pose on Thursday with current Innkeeper's Fresh Roasted Coffee owners Mike Bond and Johan Ewalt, as well as new owners Jessica and Ben Ketchum.

They said they had no plans to leave town during their retirement.

“We plan to stay in Galesburg,” Ewalt said. “And we threaten to come down and take tables for lunch.”

For the Ketchums, Innkeeper’s is about community and friendship.

“You always see people you know,” Jessica said. “It’s a very important part of Galesburg.

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