Pictured: Ernie and Nikole Hartzell family with Sherry and Jason Rathburn family/Courtesy photo
"It's been a dream of mine to open a bakery/coffee [shop]," Nikole Hartzell told Durand Now on Saturday.
Nikole and husband, Ernie, will take over Stomping Grounds Coffee Shop in downtown Durand on January 1st 2018.
Their first day of business will be January 2nd.
Jason and Sherry Rathburn turned the space formerly occupied by a heating/cooling business, banks, a salon and even Consumers Energy, into Stomping Grounds Coffee Shop in May of 2015. Earlier this month, patrons were alarmed when Jason Rathburn indicated that he and his wife, Sherry, were looking to pass the torch by the end of the year.
Nikole said she and Ernie approached the Rathburns after seeing that post.
"We both feel it was meant to be," Hartzell said of both families.
She said the name will stay the same and there will be no initial menu changes, but the new owners of Stomping Grounds will roll out new flavors and specialty drinks and a limited "on-the-go" breakfast menu that includes a breakfast burrito, by popular demand.
Beginning January 2nd, the new Stomping Grounds winter hours will be 6am to 7pm, Monday through Thursday, 6am to 9pm Friday and Saturday, and 6am to 6pm on Sund
Hartzell says look for Stomping Grounds to be active on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and, of course, Facebook.
A Stomping Grounds Facebook post announcing the upcoming change describes the Hartzell family as "Durand residents with four children in Durand schools, and...extremely excited to continue to serve this community!" The post goes on to say "For two and a half years, the shop has been a second home and you our second family. We believe we are placing the shop in very capable hands, and that Ernie and Nikole are the right people for us to pass the torch. Thank you for helping us build a foundation here, for allowing us to share in your lives, and for nurturing this business in a way only a small town can. Please welcome Ernie and Nikole with open arms and open hearts."
Facebook video shared with Durand Now captures image of Wednesday afternoon crash on I-69 at M-13/Brittani Paige
Eastbound I-69 has been slow or shut down since around 11am Wednesday as one driver calls the freeway "a solid sheet of ice." A series of accidents began with an accident involving a fifth wheel at I-69 and M-13 at around 11am. That crash locked up traffic for more than an hour. Eventually, cars were able to start moving along the shoulder, but not before more accidents occurred.